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The money for the expanded federal program announced by Vice President Kamala Harris comes from a $1.9 trillion stimulus fund. Employee spending on health insurance screening, Medicare data issues, the HHS Health IT Task Force and more are also in the health industry news.

Los Angeles Times: Vice President Harris: US expands postpartum health program for the poor

Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday announced an expansion of a federal program that provides health care coverage for low-income women for up to a year after giving birth. The federal government, using money from a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill signed last year, announced three more states — Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico — along with Washington, DC, have access to the program. There are 15 exemption jurisdictions including California. The program provides medical benefits, including pelvic exams, immunizations, and screenings, through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to eligible families. Previously, mothers were only insured for two months after giving birth. Administration officials did not say how much the expansion would cost. (Birman, 6/16)

More news about health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare –

USA Today: Employees struggle with health insurance costing some workers

Like many large employers, Yale has given its clerical, food service and maintenance workers the choice of getting a routine health check or paying a $25 weekly fee. But the workers argued in a federal lawsuit that the university’s “participate or pay” employee wellness program violated two federal laws. In a preliminary agreement approved Tuesday by the U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the university agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million to employees and attorneys and will not charge a $25 weekly fee for four years or until federal law or regulations will change to allow such a program. . Attorneys will have 45 days to notify about 6,300 eligible workers and their spouses of the terms of the settlement. A hearing to approve the final settlement is scheduled for November 22. (Alltucker, 5/16)

KHN: States extend Medicaid for new mothers even as they reject wider expansion

Until last year, the Medicaid program in Georgia for low-income young mothers lasted 60 days. This meant many women’s Medicaid benefits expired before they could be referred to other health care providers for help with serious health problems, says Dr. Kayla Brown, an OB/GYN in Atlanta. “If they had other postpartum issues to deal with, it was quite difficult to fit them into that limited time frame,” said Brown, who works at the Georgia Family Health Centers, a group of community health centers. (Whitehead, 17.06.)

Axios: Medicare has data problems

The race and ethnicity data Medicare collects about its beneficiaries is less accurate for groups such as American Indians, Asian Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics, which limits the program’s ability to assess health disparities, according to a federal audit. Inaccuracies can undermine efforts to address inequalities and measure results. The pandemic has exposed stark disparities among Medicare recipients, with blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians accounting for disproportionate rates of illness and hospitalizations. (Bettelheim, 6/16)

And much more from the healthcare industry –

Modern Healthcare: Task Force to Revise Standards for ONC-Certified Technologies

The health information agency of the Department of Health and Human Services has convened a task force to evaluate whether existing standards for healthcare IT products should be maintained or phased out. While the introduction of updated standards is important, “we also need to look back and talk about pruning,” Mickey Tripathi, head of the HHS National Health Information Technology Coordinator’s office, said at the Medical Information meeting. Technology Advisory Committee on Thursday. The Accepted Standards Task Force will be part of HITAC, which advises the ONC. (Kim Cohen, 16.06.)

Billings Gazette: Contractor Reports ‘Significant Shortcomings’ at Public Health Facilities

According to the initial report from the contractor hired to fix them, public health facilities in general have “significant deficiencies.” In April, Alvarez & Marsal was awarded a $2.2 million contract to stabilize and manage medical facilities operated by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. On Wednesday, DPHHS director Adam Meyer presented the organization’s findings for May to the interim legislative budget committee. Three veterans’ homes and the Montana Substance Abuse Center in Butte were rated as “existing problems”, while mental health facilities in Boulder, Lewistown, and most facilities affiliated with Montana State Hospital were rated “significant”. limitations”. (Larson, 6/15)

Modern Healthcare: UnitedHealth Clinician Buyout Puts Pressure on Negotiations with Major Hospitals

Jimmy Mayor isn’t sure how much his next assignment at OU Health in Oklahoma City will cost. The 59-year-old mayor relies on disability insurance for his income after 20 years in commercial loan servicing. He is among many UnitedHealthcare insurers who must lose in-network access to Oklahoma’s only academic medical center. “I just want these two to come to some kind of agreement and think about patients,” said Mayor, who is being treated for HIV, a brain tumor and a sleep disorder at the nonprofit OU Health. (Tepper, 6/16)

Carolina Public Press: Why a small mountain town in North Carolina is taking over the nation’s largest hospital system

A small mountain town is challenging the nation’s largest hospital system in court. Brevard officials say after years of community complaints and denied medical attention, they saw no other option. “Someone has to be first,” said Mac McKeller, the Brevard City Attorney. On June 3, lawyers from Greensboro and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit on behalf of the city of Brevard, alleging that HCA Healthcare operated a scheme to monopolize healthcare services in seven western North Carolina counties, a scheme that the lawsuit alleges led to price gouging. , lower quality of service and loss of services. (Harris, 17.06.)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a health policy brief covered by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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