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Heroin deaths galvanize families, authorities in Scituate

Boston Globe, July 28, 2014
SCITUATE - Syringes on the beach. Young people found drugged and unconscious. A growing list of deaths caused by heroin. But now, five deaths have been linked to opioids in the town this year, and officials fear more fatalities before the region's drug crisis abates. Read more »

New York debates whether housing counts as health care

NPR, July 28, 2014
Standing outside her sixth-floor apartment in the Bronx, Lissette Encarnacion says she sometimes forgets the place belongs to her. "I'm thinking I'm at somebody else's [house]," she says. "I'm ringing my own doorbell." Encarnacion used to have a career in banking, and lived in a real home with her son and husband. Then one night everything changed, she says, when her husband came home drunk and angry and threw her off a balcony. Read more »

Lynn protesters denounce mayor's immigration comments

Boston Globe, July 23, 2014
LYNN - The passion and polarization of the immigration debate was on full display here Tuesday afternoon, when more than a hundred protesters stood on the steps of City Hall to denounce Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy for saying that an influx of child immigrants from Central America is draining the city's resources. Read more »

Voters split on sheltering migrant children in Mass.

Boston Globe, July 23, 2014
Massachusetts voters are split on Governor Deval Patrick's plan to provide temporary shelter for up to 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children on a state air base or military training installation, according to a new Boston Globe poll Read more »

Mass. towns struggle with deate over immigrant services

WBUR, July 23, 2014
LYNN, Mass. - The national debate over an unprecedented wave of Central American young people entering the country illegally is more of a practical challenge in places like Lynn, a former industrial city outside Boston that's thousands of miles from the U.S.- Mexico border. Read more »

Bourne residents critical of proposal to house immigrant children

WBUR, July 23, 2014
BOSTON - Residents of Bourne are blasting a proposal to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who have entered the country illegally at the Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod. Read more »

State crackdown shuts migrant labor camps in Western Mass.

Boston Globe, July 23, 2014
A task force of labor investigators shut down two "farm labor camps" in Western Massachusetts last year after finding migrant workers underpaid, overworked, and living in squalor, in part of statewide crackdown on employers that dodge wage, hours, tax, and worker safety laws. Read more »

U.S. courts deliver conflicting rulings on health care law

New York Times, July 22, 2014
WASHINGTON - Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The decisions are the latest in a series of legal challenges to central components of President Obama's health care law. Read more »

Hazards tied to medical records rush

Boston Globe, July 20, 2014
Theresa Robertson's bedside oxygen alarm sounded at 2:52 a.m., sending an urgent beep through the South Shore Hospital emergency room. The alarm came as something of a surprise. The 46-year-old visual artist from Weymouth, who suffered from diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other serious health problems, had arrived at the nearby community hospital complaining of shortness of breath the previous afternoon. But by midnight, her vital signs were stable and she was resting peacefully. Read more »

Governor Patrick seeks location for unaccompanied children

Boston Globe, July 18, 2014
Governor Deval Patrick has asked state officials to find a location to temporarily provide shelter for several hundred unaccompanied children who crossed the United States border illegally, The Boston Globe reports. Read more »

Boston hospital merger

New York Times Letter to Editor, July 17, 2014
"The Risks of Hospital Mergers" (editorial, July 7) notes the leadership of Partners HealthCare in supporting the Affordable Care Act by improving care and controlling costs. Read more »

Massachusetts asked to shelter unaccompanied kids

Boston Globe, July 16, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he's weighing a request from President Barack Obama's administration about whether Massachusetts can shelter some of the unaccompanied children crossing the nation's southern border illegally. Read more »

Mayor Walsh announces immigrant integration programs

Boston Globe, July 16, 2014
Mayor Marty Walsh announced a search for a new staff member who will increase immigrants' community engagement and signed a bill in support of bilingual ballot legislation this week. Read more »

National survey finds 10.6 million people helped by navigators and assisters during the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period

Kaiser Family Foundation, July 15, 2014
An estimated 10.6 million people nationally received personal help from navigators and assisters during the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period, finds a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of navigators and assister programs nationally. The survey estimates that the 4,400 assister programs operating nationally had an estimated 28,000 full-time staff and volunteers, suggesting each assister would have helped more than 370 people on average during the six-month open enrollment period that ran from October 1 through March 31. Read more »

Obama seeks Governors' support on immigrant kids

Boston Globe, July 13, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell met privately with dozens of governors Sunday as the Obama administration tried to get support from the leaders of states that will host thousands of the Central American children who have crossed the Mexican border on their own since Oct. 1. Read more »

Mayor Walsh launches Boston Alzheimer's initiative

Boston Globe, July 11, 2014
During his inaugural speech earlier this year, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he would take steps to help those afflicted with Alzheimer's in the city of Boston, an issue that is deeply personal to him. Read more »

New Mass. health insurance website passes key test

Boston Globe, July 10, 2014
A new software system for the state's health insurance website passed its first key test this week, and a final decision on whether Massachusetts will run its own site or join the federal exchange will be made in early August, a top state official said. Maydad Cohen, special adviser to the governor, told the Massachusetts Health Connector board Thursday morning that the new software from hCentive performed every task required by federal officials, and then some, in a Washington, D.C., demonstration on Monday. Read more »

Health insurers ae trying new payment models, study shows

New York Times, July 10, 2014
Health insurers are experimenting with new formulas for reimbursing doctors and hospitals, slowly moving away from the traditional approach of basing payments on the numbers of tests and procedures performed, according to a survey of Blue Cross insurers, among the most dominant plans in the country. Read more »

Mayor Walsh aims to end homelessness among Boston's veterans by 2015

Boston Globe, July 9, 2014
Mayor Marty Walsh wants to house all of Boston's homeless veterans by the year 2015. The "Boston Homes for the Brave" initiative seeks to house 400 homeless veterans in the city, the mayor's office announced today. Read more »

Children of same-sex couples are healthier than their peers

Boston Globe, July 9, 2014
Children of same sex couples are happier and healthier than children raised by heterosexual couples, a major study conducted by The University of Melbourne found. Read more »

Boston considers immigration enforcement proposal

Boston Globe, July 9, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - Boston police would be barred from detaining immigrants suspected of being in the U.S. illegally unless they are wanted for serious crimes, under a proposal introduced Wednesday. Read more »

Marijuana dispensaries for Boston sought

Boston Globe, July 9, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - State health officials are considering proposals for medical marijuana operations in some of Massachusetts' largest urban centers and tourist destinations. Read more »

Prison health care costs stabilize after decade of growth

Boston Globe, July 8, 2014
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - States are spending slightly less on prisoner health care after nearly a decade of steady increases, according to a report released Tuesday. Read more »

Obama: US always has been a nation of immigrants

Boston Globe, July 4, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - Celebrating the ethnic diversity of America, President Barack Obama said more than two dozen foreign-born service members who became U.S. citizens at the White House on the Fourth of July are vivid reminders that welcoming immigrants "is central to our way of life." Read more »

Report: Partners merger would increase costs

WBUR's CommonHealth, July 3, 2014
A report by the state's Health Policy Commission finds allowing Partners HealthCare to merge with Hallmark Health Systems would increase health care costs on the North Shore. Read more »

Mass. receives mixed marks on painkiller prescription report

WBUR's CommonHealth, July 2, 2014
Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 of all states for prescribing OxyContin and other long-acting painkillers, but in the bottom 10 for overall prescribing of opioids. Read more »

Partners' growth plans challenged by state board

Boston Globe, July 1, 2014
BOSTON (AP) - Efforts by the biggest health care system in Massachusetts to become even bigger have received another challenge, this time by a key state board. Read more »

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