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Bill to Expand Primary Care Access Gains Support

WWLP — SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts People all around the state are finding it harder and harder to get access to primary care physicians, but a new measure has the potential to make things differently.

First Responders to have PTSD Medical Care covered under Bipartisan Bill

TULSA, Oklahoma — A bipartisan bill allowing first responders to get free medical care for PTSD diagnosis was passed by Oklahoma lawmakers.

Bill proposes Paying Hospitals for Maintaining Drug Stockpiles

A Senate committee drafted a measure in response to an HHS proposal that would reward hospitals and other healthcare supply chain participants for their stockpile-related and other medication shortage mitigation efforts.

Alabama Bill would Reboot Medical Cannabis Licensing Process

The state’s medicinal cannabis program is officially underway due to a law that was recently passed by the Alabama Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee (SACFC).

2 federal bills look to boost pipeline of healthcare workers

If passed into law, bills proposed in both chambers of Congress might improve the number of healthcare workers. LeadingAge is behind both pieces of legislation.

Alaska Legislature approves subscription health care bill

According to the plan, primary care physicians may charge consumers a monthly fee for their care—much like a gym membership. Patients may be able to get some medical treatments through direct health agreements, which eliminates the need for insurance companies to get involved.

2,300+ University of Michigan Health workers unionize

The clinical division of Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan Health, located in Ann Arbor, employs about 2,300 healthcare workers who have joined the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan.

Not just number crunchers: How healthcare CFOs' roles are evolving

CFOs in the health system have a reputation for being adept at math and for taking good care of the assets that belong to their respective organizations. Although these are still the main duties of a modern CFO, strategy and transformation are playing a bigger part in their work. 

Ibadan Hospital ‘Detains’ Mother, Baby Over Unpaid N300,000 Delivery Bill

The management of a hospital has “detained” Mrs. Adenike Samuel, 35, and her infant because they have not paid the N300,000 delivery fee.

Former NBA Player Avoids Prison for Role in Healthcare Fraud Scheme

According to a March 19 Law360 article, former NBA shooting guard Antoine Wright received a time-served sentence for his involvement in a plot to cheat the league’s healthcare plan out of $5 million.

How UnitedHealth's CEO personally Supported a Physician Following a CyberAttack

A Florida doctor has described how UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty personally intervened to alleviate cash flow issues as providers throughout the country continue to experience financial problems as a result of the Change Healthcare breach in February.

Insurer and DLT Tax Bill passed in Parliament

This week, a bill related to insurers and DLT taxes was approved by Parliament with the backing of opposition members. The government has referred to this as “an important moment in Gibraltar’s tax policy landscape.”

Kentucky Senate budget bill sets limits on medical cannabis oversight spending

The Kentucky Senate included language into the main budget plan that would provide prerequisites for releasing funds for managing the state’s medicinal cannabis program, which is slated to begin in 2025.

Rishi Sunak Led-UK Govt To Introduce Bill to Phase Out Smoking Among Young People

On Wednesday, the British government will present a bill in parliament that will carry out its pledge to gradually reduce youth smoking by outlawing the sale of tobacco products to future generations. If the Tobacco and Vapes Bill passes into law undamaged, it will rank among the strongest anti-tobacco regulations in the world and prohibit youngsters who turn 15 this year or younger from ever being allowed to sell tobacco products lawfully.

Kansas Bill pushes Pilot Program for Medical Cannabis

Hemp plants are harvested throughout the state by Kansas Natural Remedies. Although hemp and marijuana plants belong to the same species, hemp does not qualify as cannabis because of its low THC content, making it lawful.

Healthcare Billing Fraud:10 Recent Cases

Here are ten cases of healthcare billing fraud that Becker’s has covered since February 16th, ranging from a New York City doctor charged in an alleged $20.7 million conspiracy to a contact center owner charged in a $97 million scheme:

Bill would provide Behavioural Health Services to MD Minors without a Diagnosis

A measure to provide Marylanders under the age of 18 with greater access to mental health care is being considered by the General Assembly. The Senate Finance Committee will hear evidence this afternoon on providing limited mental health care, with or without a formal diagnosis, to children who are eligible for Medicaid. SB 876 would make therapy, treatment planning, and preventative services available to children.

Bill to aid Emergency Medical Services advances one round, in the Nebraska Legislature

BEATRICE: A senator from southeast Nebraska’s priority measure, which would provide emergency medical services units in the state more funding, moved on to the second round of deliberations last week.

Michigan Lawmaker introduces Bill requiring State Health Plans to Cover cutting-edge Cancer Treatments

A plan that would force health insurance companies in the state to pay for innovative cancer treatments—even if they aren’t classified as “cancer drugs”—was proposed by a state senator from Michigan.

UP Health System Explains Online Bill Pay Issues

MARQUETTE, Michigan (AP & WLUC) – Here’s why you might be experiencing trouble paying your UP Health System bill online at this time, according to the healthcare provider. 

Florida Anti-Trans Bill could raise Everyone’s Health Insurance Costs

THE PRESIDENT-LED Some of the most severe anti-trans legislation to pass the far-right parliament thus far was voted by the Florida House last week. A bill that would have required state identification documents to solely indicate an individual’s given gender at birth, excluding transgender persons from possessing valid driver’s licenses, garnered significant media attention. 

Medical Marijuana Bill one step closer to Senate Plenary Debates

The combined Senate committees on Finance, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, and Health and Demography delivered a committee report, which 13 senators approved, moving the measure forward in the Senate that aims to legalize medicinal marijuana in the Philippines.

Medical aid-in-dying Bill short on Votes, unlikely to pass Maryland Senate Committee

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair Will Smith (D-Montgomery) stated Monday night that a contentious bill for medical aid-in-dying, which would permit qualifying terminally ill patients to prompt their own death with the assistance of a physician, is likely to be stalled for at least another year as some senators “continue to wrestle” with the issue.

Yamunanagar: Insurance Firm told to Settle Consumer’s Medical Bill Claim

The Yamunanagar District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC) has directed an insurance provider to reimburse a Yamunanagar resident’s medical bill claim of Rs 26650.

Bill to charter Flights for Rural island Residents’ Medical needs moves forward

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Residents of Lanai and Molokai said that they frequently had to deal with canceled and delayed flights when attempting to go to their doctor’s appointments. A measure to address that is currently making its way through the state legislature.

New Bill helps Citizens keep Mental Health Care Access

Wyoming News Now (CHEYENNE, Wyoming) – The goal of the behavioral health redesign law is to guarantee that community-based mental health treatments remain available to residents.

Health Costs, Medical Bills are a Top Economic Concern among Voters: Poll

According to a new study issued on Wednesday by the health policy research group KFF, voters’ top concerns leading up to the 2024 election are unexpected health expenditures and sudden medical bills, which further exacerbates their pessimistic views about the state of the economy.

No Need To Cancel Your Medical Aid Anytime Soon, NHI Bill Still Far Off

President Cyril Ramaphosa made light of the fact that he was “looking for a pen” to sign the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law after it had just passed parliament during his speech at the 2024 State of the Nation Address.

Alleged Medicare catheter billing scam could cost $2B

Medicare may be losing $2 billion as a result of a suspected fraud scheme that the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations discovered, according to a February 9 Washington Post article.

Washington State Attorney General wins two suits under Medical Billing Practices

The Washington State Attorney General successfully sued a major healthcare organization on February 1st, demanding that it pay over $158 million in settlement money in accordance with the state’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

The shocking treatment of mental illness in UK prisons

The 2022 Mental Health Bill was meant to put an end to the practice of using jails as a so-called “place of safety” for mentally ill individuals, but a startling new investigation reveals this is still happening.

Missouri Bill would allow Workers to Decline Restraining Violent Patients

Healthcare workers in Missouri might be shielded against violent attacks by patients by a measure that was presented last month, according to NBC station KSDK.

CMS notifies HCA Mission Hospital of immediate jeopardy status

Based on letters obtained by the Asheville Watchdog, CMS has notified leadership at HCA’s Mission facility in Asheville, N.C., that the facility is in urgent danger of losing federal funding and that action must be taken.

Washington System Fraudulently Billed for 'Medically Unnecessary' Spine Surgeries

In a whistleblower lawsuit, the United States and the State of Washington charged MultiCare Health, located in Tacoma, Washington, of fraudulently charging federal healthcare programs for spine procedures done by physician Jason Dreyer, DO, at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane between 2019 and 2021.

Surprise Billing process still Choked by Claims: Survey

According to updated estimates by health insurance associations, the restriction on unexpected medical costs shielded customers from over 10 million claims for out-of-network treatments in the first nine months of 2023. However, the procedure for resolving billing conflicts remains chaotic.

10 recent hospital lawsuits, settlements

These are the 10 lawsuits, settlements, and legal events that Becker’s has covered since January 17; they range from an Illinois system resolving antitrust claims to a court reducing the damages in the civil action against Johns Hopkins All Children that became well-known due to a documentary:   

The importance of ASC Compliance programs

Despite the complex regulatory environment that healthcare institutions must navigate, establishing a safe and effective compliance program may help reduce risk, according to a Coronis Health blog article from January 17.

CMS finalizes prior authorization rule expected to save $15B

CMS predicts that by finalizing this regulation, which would enhance the electronic sharing of health information and expedite the prior authorization process, it will save $15 billion over the course of ten years

Benefit Recovery Group Reflects Growth and Innovation Through New Intellivo Brand

Benefit Recovery Group (BRG), a reputable subrogation partner, declared today that Intellivo is the new name for the organization.

Healthcare Billing Fraud: 10 Recent Cases

These are the 10 healthcare billing fraud instances that Becker’s has published since December 29. They range from the acquittal of a Maryland physician in an alleged $15 million conspiracy to the sentencing of two Florida residents for their participation in a $93 million scheme.

Ukrainian Parliament unblocks Medical Cannabis Bill

According to MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak of the opposition Holos (Voice) party, the signature of the medicinal cannabis law has been allowed by the Ukrainian Parliament, as reported on Telegram on January 16.

Bill to update emergency detention process for mental illness passed by committee

With unanimous support, the House Public Health Committee approved a measure allowing doctors to utilize information provided to medical workers as the basis for an emergency detention application.

Vista Medical Center East board members concerned about hospital finances

There are concerns about the route American Healthcare Systems (AHS) is taking as it seeks to put Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan on solid financial footing.

Congressional Spending Bill Faces Continued Opposition From Far Right

The clock is ticking down on a first spending deal deadline to fund parts of the government as Speaker Johnson attempts to wrangle the most conservative members of his caucus. The idea of another short-term patch has already been floated on the Senate side.

Ozempic Mania's billions in bills are coming for US taxpayers

An increasing issue facing state and municipal governments in the US is the cost of diabetes and obesity medications, which is threatening the balance of their healthcare budgets.

New Georgia Laws In 2024: Here’s What You Should Know

At midnight of 2024, several laws came into force together with the new year. Here are some things to be aware of about recently passed laws as well as updated laws.

Physician acquitted of $15M Medicare Fraud Conviction

A federal court overturned a Maryland physician’s conviction for his involvement in a $15 million Medicare fraud conspiracy, according to a post by the legal firm Husch Blackwell on JD Supra.

California's Medi-Cal opens offering of health insurance to illegal migrants

Starting January 1, 2024, Undocumented immigrants between the ages of 26 and 49 are now eligible for full medical treatment under California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. 

Ukraine Medical Cannabis Legalisation Breakthrough

A controversial measure legalizing medical cannabis was passed in Ukraine after hundreds of modifications were filed. At its first reading in July 2023, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada supported Bill 7457. The Bill was passed on its second reading on Thursday, Dec 21, with 248 representatives voting in favor.

Mercy reports a drop in Medical Bill Assistance in 2023

Mercy Springfield paid $147 million in medical bill payments across the community in 2022. The financial assistance payout was reduced to a little over $129.5 million in 2023. Mercy distributed almost $27 million in benefits, a decrease from slightly over $35 million the previous year.

U.S. Healthcare Giants violate Federal Pricing transparency Regulations

In a shocking disclosure, big U.S. hospital chains and esteemed academic medical facilities were discovered to be in breach of federal standards. These organizations, both for-profit and charity, have been punished for failing to adequately disclose their healthcare costs. 

Community Health agrees to pay $345M to settle ‘false claims’ lawsuit

Community Health Network agreed to pay $345 million to the US government in order to resolve charges that it participated in a multi-year program to hire doctors and provide them enormous compensation and incentives in exchange for “downstream referrals” on medical procedures.

23-Provider Dermatology Clinic increases Patient Engagement and Clinic Growth with eClinicalWorks EHR and Healow Patient Engagement Solutions

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., announced that dermatology and skin cancer surgery clinic with 23 providers based in Tennessee, is successfully utilizing eClinicalWorks and healow to allow providers to improve efficiency and enhance patient engagement.

Provider Engagement Platform "KAID" Health raises new Funding

Access to patient data and the time to convert it into compassionate care are prerequisites for delivering high-quality healthcare. Unfortunately, the majority of the information required to deliver this kind of treatment is hidden behind unstructured medical records, which makes using it exceedingly expensive and time-consuming. 

Vitale Bill granting Mental Health Workers more Flexibility in Biling, Reimbursement clears Senate

The Senate has announced legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Vitale, which would enable licensed clinical social workers and other licensed counseling providers to charge NJ FamilyCare directly for qualified services rendered to program participants.

House Passes Bill aimed at Lowering Health Care Costs

In a pivotal legislative move, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ ambitious bill designed to tackle the soaring costs of health care while prioritizing transparency within the system.

Congressman introduces Bipartisan Bill to Ban Electronic Fund Transfer Fees Paid by Physicians

Bipartisan legislation ban the fees that hospitals and doctors must pay for electronic financial transfers.Health insurers are required by the Affordable Care Act to provide medical practitioners with the choice to accept electronic reimbursements. 

The CFPB's Ongoing focus on Medical Debt Highlights Billing Practices' Significance

The 2023 Annual Report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which details the CFPB’s observations and operations about debt collection in 2022, was released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last month. 

Deceased Patients Persistently receive Healthcare Notifications: A critical oversight in Systematic Management

In a concerning revelation, it has come to light that deceased individuals are still receiving healthcare notifications and reminders, shedding light on a critical oversight in the management of patient records within the healthcare system. 

Medical Company's Data Breach Impacts Millions in NY

In a recent development, a significant data breach has occurred within a leading medical company, impacting million of individuals across New York. The breach has raised concerns regarding the security of personal and sensitive information, potentially exposing patients to identify theft risks. 

19,000 Southwestern Vermont Medical Center patients notified of billing data breach

This month, thousands of patients of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Centre are being alerted about an online data breach event that may have given hackers access to certain personal data.

USAA Insurance's automated system ‘arbitrarily’ denies claims, alleges lawsuit

A consumer class action was filed against USAA Casualty Insurance Co. and USAA General Indemnity Co. on Thursday, claiming that by assigning adjustment claims to outside parties, they unfairly and arbitrarily rejected personal injury protection and/or medical payment insurance coverage.

GALLEGO backs Bill to improve Health Care Access in Rural Arizona

A positive step towards resolving the urgent healthcare inequalities in rural Arizona, Representative Ruben Gallego has endorsed a critical bill intended to enhance poor populations’ access to healthcare throughout the state.

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