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Newsroom - February

Mass. health care worker shortage is 'a perfect storm,' says report

Boston Business Journal, February 28, 2017
The population is aging, the opiate epidemic is blossoming, and millions of people need care at home and in their community. Yet there aren’t enough people to answer the call. Read more »

Mental illness, untreated behind bars

The New York Times, February 27, 2017
President Trump has talked quite a bit about cracking down on a nonexistent crime wave. Rarely does he talk about the different kinds of support law enforcement needs or what actually keeps communities safe. Read more »

Medicaid per capita cap would shift costs and risks to states and harm millions of beneficiaries

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 27, 2017
House Republican leaders have announced that they plan to include either a Medicaid "per capita cap" or a Medicaid block grant, or give states a choice between the two, as part of the legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that House committees will in March. Read more »

Good Samaritan approved as Brockton region's first Level III trauma center

Enterprise News, February 27, 2017
The designation will give area first responders and emergency service providers a quicker, local option to get their patients the care they need as soon as possible. Read more »

Affordable Care Act boosted primary care access for Medicaid patients

EurekAlert!, February 27, 2017
PHILADELPHIA - Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, which provided access to health insurance to millions of previously uninsured adults in the United States, the availability of appointments with primary care physicians has improved for patients with Medicaid and remains unchanged for patients with private coverage, according to new research led by the Perelman School of Medicine and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more »

Ehrlich seeks to get the lead out of school water

Marblehead Wicked Local, February 27, 2017
State Rep. Lori Ehrlich's sponsorship of An Act Ensuring Safe Drinking Water at Schools and Early Childhood Programs, filed with Sen. Joan Lovely, should come as no surprise to anyone. Read more »

Federal cuts threaten state's health reform

Cape Cod Times, February 26, 2017
Massachusetts has led the nation in health coverage reform, but policy analysts say the Bay State is not immune from the impact of federal cuts or changes to the Affordable Care Act. Read more »

Fluoridation remains a complicated matter for Worcester

Worcester Telegram, February 26, 2017
Dr. G. Robert Evans said he was always determined his kids wouldn't have any cavities. As a dentist, he had his children use fluoride drops, fluoride tablets and fluoride gels, especially his son, a budding actor. Read more »

New grant program set to assist hundreds of veterans in Massachusetts

WCVB, February 25, 2017
Boston - Four Massachusetts organizations that provide legal assistance to veterans will receive $350,000 in grant funding. Read more »

Manet Community Health Center expands affiliation with Boston Medical Center

Enterprise News, February 24, 2017
Manet Community Health Center on Friday announced a new primary affiliation with BMC Health System, which includes Boston Medical Center and Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan. Read more »

Baker-Polito Administration awards $8 million to nine healthcare provider organizations participating in MassHealth pqyment reform efforts

MA EOHHS, February 22, 2017
BOSTON - The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $8 million in grant funding to nine healthcare provider organizations, including more than 25 community health centers, which are participating in MassHealth payment reform efforts. Read more »

Hundreds of veterans in need to benefit from $350,000 in funding from Attorney General Maura Healey

masslive.com, February 22, 2017
The state is helping hundreds of veterans by awarding $350,000 in grants to four Massachusetts organizations. Read more »

Lynn clinic works to bring tuberculosis out of hiding (features Lynn CHC)

Boston Globe, February 21, 2017
LYNN - Antonio Frias took it in stride when he heard the blood test results: He was infected with tuberculosis. Read more »

WBJ names the 2017 Business Leaders of the Year (features Fran Athes, President & CEO of FHC of Worcester)

Worcester Business Journal, February 20, 2017
The Worcester Business Journal's roots with our Business Leader issue go all the way back to our very beginning. Back in 1982, the publication – then known as Business Worcester – launched its very first issue and Business Leader award with First Safety Fund Bank CEO Herb Dunnington on the cover. Read more »

Massachusetts group rings alarm on federal funding

Boston Business Journal, February 17, 2017
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says Massachusetts is at risk of losing billions in federal funding - the vast majority of that going to Medicaid - if the Trump administration decides to change several federal programs. Read more »

Steward to acquire eight hospitals in three states

Boston Business Journal, February 16, 2017
Steward Health Care is branching out beyond Massachusetts for the first time, with plans to acquire eight different hospitals in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Read more »

Health care spending is on the rise in Massachusetts

WWLP, February 15, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission's annual report found that health care spending is increasing in the state. Prescription drug costs, hospital spending, health insurance enrollment changes and long term services are all driving the costs higher. Read more »

Health care providers, policy race to keep up with rising opioid deaths

Worcester Telegram, February 11, 2017
Nineteen faces, mostly young and mostly male, smile at the camera from Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s website. The pictures reflect happier times among area residents ranging in age from 22-year-olds Eva Hall of Worcester and Michael Valerio of Sutton, to 55-year-old Thomas Morrell of Northbridge. Read more »

12.2 million sign up for 'Obamacare' despite its problems

Boston Globe, February 11, 2017
On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California began hearing arguments in a case weighing whether to continue the suspension of President Trump's travel ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. Read more »

Report: Insured Mass. residents still struggle with access to health care

Worcester Telegram, February 11, 2017
BOSTON - While most Massachusetts residents have insurance, many still stuggle with access to health care, a new report finds. Read more »

Cape feels pain in governor's health insurance proposal

Cape Cod Times, February 10, 2017
Gov. Charlie Baker's budget proposal to rein in what he considers runaway MassHealth costs is drawing fire from employers, hospital officials and other health care providers. Read more »

'Implicit bias' may account for a glaring disparity in health care screening (features South Cove CHC)

PRI's The World, February 9, 2017
Here’s a startling figure: More than half of Asian Americans with Type 2 diabetes don't even know they have it. That compares to one in four Americans with the disease overall who are unaware. Even though the American Diabetes Association changed its screening guidelines for Asian Americans, a large number are still going unscreened. Read more »

Rolling back the ACA's Medicaid expansion: What are the costs for states?

The Commonwealth Fund, February 10, 2017
Millions of people have gained health insurance coverage though the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid eligibility expansion, adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., over the past three years. Should Congress decide to eliminate or reduce federal funding for this coverage as part of ACA repeal, states that expanded will be faced with the prospect of either maintaining coverage out of their own funds or dropping the new beneficiaries from the program. Along with the loss of coverage or the creation of large budget holes, rolling back Medicaid benefits would present states with expensive and complex administrative challenges. Read more »

Health workers say some patients are missing appointments after Trump's ban

WBUR's CommonHealth, February 8, 2017
On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California began hearing arguments in a case weighing whether to continue the suspension of President Trump's travel ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. Read more »

Before the wall: Life along the U.S.-Mexico border

New York Times, February 8, 2017
President Trump's executive order to begin the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico has left many wondering what it will mean for them and the future. Read more »

Gov. Baker touts successful open enrollment at Health Connector (mentions Caring HC)

WAMC, February 7, 2017
While other states have seen enrollments in health insurance plans through online marketplaces drop, Massachusetts reported a record number of people obtaining coverage. Read more »

Does this Obamacare experiment offer significant savings?

PBS NewsHour, February 6, 2017
One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act was to develop organizations that offer doctors and hospitals a deal: In exchange for more efficient care for Medicare recipients, providers receive a share of the savings as a bonus. Now that ACOs have become embedded in the health care system, are they really working? Special correspondent Jackie Judd reports. Read more »

Repeal of Affordable Care Act lamented in Lynn

itemlive.com, February 6, 2017
LYNN - U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass) has been one of the most vocal national critics of President Trump's new administration, making appearances on the cable networks and sparking debate across the country. On Saturday morning, Moulton brought a local focus to a national issue, taking part in a roundtable on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly referred to as Obamacare, at the Lynn Community Health Center. Read more »

On college campuses, homelessness is a 'hidden' problem

WBUR, February 6, 2017
At least 57,000 college students are estimated to be homeless across the country, according to a survey of financial aid data. Read more »

Why is diabetes so low on the list of leading causes of death?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 6, 2017
Diabetes - one of America's most common ailments - is listed seventh among the leading causes of death behind heart disease, cancer, lower chronic respiratory disease, accidents, strokes and Alzheimer's disease. Read more »

Transgender people lack adequate health care in Greater Boston area, study reports

masslive.com, February 3, 2017
Transgender people lack adequate medical services in the Greater Boston area, according to a new study by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. The report, conducted by the foundation's "Health Equity Roundtable Initiative," found that transgender people faced threatening medical environments and difficulty finding primary healthcare. Read more »

Rep. Kennedy cites ACA success during visit to Codman Square

Dorchester Reporter, February 2, 2017
Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III visited Dorchester’s Codman Square Health Center last Thursday as part of a two-day tour of community health centers across Massachusetts meant to highlight the programs and people that are vulnerable as the new Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress set about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. Read more »

The growing challenge of family homelessness - homeless assistance for families in Massachusetts: Trends in use FY2008-FY2016

The Boston Foundation, February 1, 2017
On any given night in Massachusetts, more than 13,000 individuals in families experience homelessness, approximately 60% of them children (HUD, 2016). Living in shelters and hotel/motels disrupts the lives of both adults and children, affects family stability and makes it difficult for families to maintain daily routines and productive lives. Read more »

Mysterious cluster of amnesia cases, possibly tied to opioids, alarms health officials

PBS NewsHour, February 1, 2017
Public health officials on Thursday said they had detected a bizarre cluster of cases in which patients in Massachusetts developed amnesia over the past few years - a highly unusual syndrome that could be connected to opioid use. Read more »

March