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Newsroom - September 2017

Health-care advocates brace for crisis (features GLFHC & League)

Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, September 29, 2017
LAWRENCE — While a national debate over a Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act has dominated media this week, Congress faces another health-care deadline that would directly impact coverage for thousands of people in the Merrimack Valley. Read more »

Lowell Community Health Center on edge of "funding cliff" (features Lowell CHC and League)

Lowell Sun, September 28, 2017
Lowell, MA -- The importance of community health centers in Massachusetts cannot be overstated. Read more »

Optometrists pushing Beacon Hill for more flexibility in providing services

Boston Fox 25 news, September 26, 2017
BOSTON - When it comes to getting eye treatment in Massachusetts, there is a push on Beacon Hill to let optometrists provide more services. Read more »

Amid Trump's immigration crackdown, farmers look for reform

Marketplace, September 26, 2017
In Irwin County, Georgia, Gary Paulk walks through a field of strawberries as workers load a truck that’s playing music. He greets his employees, some of whom he's known for decades. Read more »

The geography of incarceration in a Gateway City: The cost and consequences of high incarceration rate neighborhoods in Worcester

MassInc, September 25, 2017
In 2016, MassINC and the Boston Indicators Project issued a report detailing the geography of incarceration in Boston. Utilizing new data provided by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, this report extends that line of research by examining incarceration in a Gateway City. The analysis explores the cost and consequences of high incarceration rates in Worcester neighborhoods, offering vital information for policymakers crafting comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation. Read more »

Obamacare repeal could hit state hard

Newburyport News, September 25, 2017
BOSTON - Massachusetts could lose billions of dollars under the latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, which specifically singles out blue states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under the federal law. Read more »

Graham-Cassidy health bill would shift funds from states that expanded Medicaid

NPR, September 21, 2017
Senate Republicans' latest plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system ends with a massive shift of federal money from states that expanded Medicaid — and are largely dominated by Democrats — to those that refused to expand. Read more »

Waltham health center gets opioid treatment grant

Wicked Local Waltham, September 19, 2017
Chronic use of painkillers to treat degenerative joint disease has left Waltham resident John, 55, addicted to opiates and suffering from anxiety, trauma and economic hardship. A patient at Charles River Community Health in Waltham, John would traditionally be referred elsewhere for treatment for his substance abuse issues, away from his primary care provider. Read more »

Franklin County health center receives federal grant to help stop opioid addiction

WHAV, September 18, 2017
According to the CDC, 91 Americans die from opioid overdose every day. Peter Sheridan of Greenfield said, "Go back to the war on drugs." Read more »

Local health centers face cuts if Congress doesn't act before Sept. 30 (features Gtr Lawrence FHC)

WHAV, September 15, 2017
If Congress and the president don't act in the next two weeks, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will lose close to $3 million, potentially impacting patients who rely on the center for primary care. Read more »

Health Center gets grant to fight opioid crisis

Greenfield Recorder, September 15, 2017
GREENFIELD — The Community Health Center of Franklin County will get a $175,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fight the opioid abuse crisis in greater Franklin County. Read more »

HRSA awards $200 million to health centers nationwide to tackle mental health and fight the opioid overdose crisis ($6M to 38 MA Health Centers)

HRSA Newsroom, September 14, 2017
Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $200 million to 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. Read more »

Despite gains in Massachusetts, poverty still a reality for 686,000 residents

Salem News, September 14, 2017
BOSTON – With the state moving toward major decisions over wages, income taxation and health care spending, new data published by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday shows Massachusetts to be a state with declining poverty and rising incomes that rank among the highest in the country. Read more »

Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association names CEO to succeed Lynn Nicholas

Becker's Hospital Review, September 14, 2017
The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association has appointed Steven Walsh president and CEO. He will succeed Lynn Nicholas, who is retiring after a decade at the helm. Read more »

Healthcare spending growth stalls in Massachusetts; However, the adoption of alternative payment models grew by 6.3 percentage points in the commercial market

Health Care Finance, September 14, 2017
Healthcare spending in Massachusetts grew 2.8 percent in 2016 to a total of $59 billion, falling short of the cost growth benchmark of 3.6 percent, according to new findings from the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Read more »

Kalter: Bay State health care costs climb

Boston Herald, September 14, 2017
Costs for health care per man, woman and child in Massachusetts last year grew to $8,663 a year - and although the rise of costs appears to be slowing, residents continue to face crippling co-pays and insurance premiums, according to a new report. Read more »

Massachusetts bends under health care spending bar in 2016

Boston Globe, September 13, 2017
It's time to announce what happened in the annual health care spending limbo contest in Massachusetts. he bar for 2016 was set at 3.6 percent. Total health care expenditures were not supposed to increase any faster than that. And the preliminary results show... the state bent to come in well under the bar. Read more »

Mass. health centers help fill gap in oral care

Boston Globe, September 12, 2017
In his Sept. 5 Opinion column, Alex Beam overlooks a major source of dental care for low-income children and adults in Massachusetts: the state's community health centers. Read more »

'We can't fight the opioid crisis without adequate health care'

Common Dreams, by Senator Elizabeth Warren, September 11, 2017
The opioid epidemic touches every family in every corner of the Commonwealth. Last year alone, about 2,000 people in the state died from opioid overdoses, and many more struggle with addiction. The state Department of Public Health offers some hope that fatal overdose rates are slowing, but patients, families, and addiction treatment providers know this epidemic continues to burn its way through our state. Read more »

South Cove Community Health Center celebrates 45 years

SAMPAN, September 11, 2017
South Cove Community Health Center (SCCHC) celebrated its 45th anniversary celebration and sapphire gala on Sept. 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. About 460 guests attended the gala for the community health center. Read more »

Health insurance market stabilization - Governors testified at a hearing on stabilizing health insurance premiums and the individual insurance markets

C-Span (featuring Governor Charlie Baker), September 7, 2017
Governors testified at a hearing on stabilizing health insurance premiums and the individual insurance markets. Read more »

Lynn Community Health Center announces new CEO

Boston Globe, September 7, 2017
The Lynn Community Health Center will soon have a new leader for the first time in two decades. The board of directors recently announced that Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, currently the center's chief medical officer, will become its new chief executive officer. Read more »

Dentists to poor people: Drop dead

Boston Globe, September 5, 2017
Dentists, who seem like perfectly nice people when you meet them at after-school events or at the grocery store, are carving out a bizarre public persona that is a mixture of Simon Legree, Snidely Whiplash, and Dr. Evil. Read more »

Lowell-based healthcare, substance abuse and mental health services to collaborate, September 5, 2017
LOWELL, MA - A collaboration of Lowell-based healthcare, addiction treatment and support, and mental health agencies has been selected to enter into contract negotiations with MassHealth to become Community Partners, in a new approach designed to connect and streamline care for local MassHealth and Medicaid patients with complex behavioral health and substance abuse needs. Read more »