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NEWS
May 22, 2012
Either County Councilman David Marks and county Chief of Staff Don Mohler are untruthful or they are sadly misinformed about the Baltimore County budget ("Balto. Co. Council poised to adopt 'bare-bones budget,'" May 17). The county is laying off the entire staff of the Medicaid Waiver Program. This is a program committed to keeping the elderly who qualify for nursing home care in their own homes or those of relatives. Instead of retaining the current staff, the case management responsibilities will be farmed out to temp agencies.
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NEWS
October 5, 2014
Bradley Williams makes a good point about the problems with legalizing assisted suicide, one of them being that people assisting a suicide may have their own agenda ( "The perils of assisted suicide," Oct. 2). Mr. Williams gives as an example a recent Montana case in which a man is accused of encouraging a teenage girl to kill herself in order to prevent her from testifying against him in a rape trial. I am a doctor in Oregon, one of the few states in which physician-assisted suicide is legal.
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BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | July 27, 2002
HMOs are expanding their participation in the state's Medicaid program, Debbie I. Chang, deputy health secretary, said yesterday. This month, Chang said, Americaid expanded to cover most of the state, and Priority Partners, which had frozen enrollments in four counties, reopened enrollment throughout the stat e. Two other health maintenance organizations with enrollment limits, Helix Family Care and United Healthcare, lifted their restrictions a...
NEWS
March 20, 2014
Regarding your article on Connecticut's health exchange ( "Maryland looks to Connecticut as exchange model," March 14), Maryland should copy that state's one-payer Medicaid system for the poor. In 2012, Connecticut's Medicaid program jettisoned its private insurance plans, a system similar to Maryland's Medicaid program, and formed "Husky," a state-administered Medicaid plan with only one payer - the state. The impetus for the change came after outside audits of two private Medicaid insurers in Connecticut showed significantly less money going to actual medical care than reported by the insurers.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Lisa Goldberg and Andrea F. Siegel and Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF | June 22, 2002
Maryland's Medicaid program violated federal rules when it refused to reimburse Johns Hopkins Hospital for two teen-agers' life-saving liver transplants after the state said the operations were not "appropriate," Maryland's highest court said yesterday. Federal Medicaid guidelines clearly state that only medical necessity - not whether a life-saving procedure is "appropriate" - is the standard that applies to patients under age 21, the Court of Appeals said in a unanimous ruling. The case, which stems from a pair of operations costing a total of $264,000, could affect a range of Medicaid-funded procedures for children that require preauthorization under Maryland regulations, such as other transplants and mental health services, lawyers said.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | October 1, 2004
As pressure builds for governments to import medicine from Canada or take other measures to cut spending on prescriptions, Maryland is saving millions of dollars more than anticipated through an initiative to win rebates on drugs purchased domestically. Although the state initially estimated it would save $20 million a year by developing a "preferred-drug list" for Medicaid patients, the program has been so successful that it expects to save $31 million, said Nelson J. Sabatini, who retires today as state health secretary.
NEWS
October 5, 2014
Bradley Williams makes a good point about the problems with legalizing assisted suicide, one of them being that people assisting a suicide may have their own agenda ( "The perils of assisted suicide," Oct. 2). Mr. Williams gives as an example a recent Montana case in which a man is accused of encouraging a teenage girl to kill herself in order to prevent her from testifying against him in a rape trial. I am a doctor in Oregon, one of the few states in which physician-assisted suicide is legal.
NEWS
September 19, 1996
A Columbia pharmacist pleaded guilty yesterday to defrauding the state's Medicaid program by billing for prescriptions that were never filled, the attorney general's office said.Jim Su Pak, 35, who owns the Hickory Plaza Pharmacy on Hickory Ridge Road, was sentenced in District Court in Baltimore to a year of probation before judgment and was ordered to pay a $500 fine. He also was ordered to repay $361.76 to the Medicaid program, the money that was paid to him from the fraudulent billings.
NEWS
March 20, 2014
Regarding your article on Connecticut's health exchange ( "Maryland looks to Connecticut as exchange model," March 14), Maryland should copy that state's one-payer Medicaid system for the poor. In 2012, Connecticut's Medicaid program jettisoned its private insurance plans, a system similar to Maryland's Medicaid program, and formed "Husky," a state-administered Medicaid plan with only one payer - the state. The impetus for the change came after outside audits of two private Medicaid insurers in Connecticut showed significantly less money going to actual medical care than reported by the insurers.
NEWS
May 11, 2011
Reader Suzanne R. Schlattman ("Ryan budget would hurt Maryland," May 9) writes, "we here in Maryland … know far better" how to run the state's Medicaid program. I couldn't agree more. So why does she oppose the reforms that passed the U.S. House, which would give Maryland officials unprecedented flexibility to run their program? Could it be because those reforms would also require Marylanders to pay for more of their own bright ideas? Michael F. Cannon, Washington The writer is director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
Maryland must spend as much as $30.5 million more to provide Medicaid coverage to Marylanders because the state's glitch-riddled health exchange website can't tell whether they are still eligible. It's another problem exacerbated by the software that has been causing headaches since the exchange website launched on Oct. 1 for those trying to get into the expanded Medicaid program or buy private insurance with subsidies. This issue identified in a legislative report only applies to people already in Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | October 23, 2013
The state Medicaid program is expanding the types of doctors and other medical providers it will reimburse for providing consultation to patients remotely. In the past, Medicaid only reimbursed such telemedicine services for mental health consultation. Now the program will pay for other specialists as well. The patient must be in the office with their physician when the consultation is given. The program is meant to provide better care in areas, such as rural parts of the states, where there is a shortage of specialists.
NEWS
May 9, 2013
Thank you for your recent article on a study of Medicaid the New England Journal of Medicine that addressed the role of Medicaid in promoting mental health and protecting families from financial ruin ("Study: Medicaid has mixed record in improving health," May 2). Maryland was among the first states to commit to full expansion of Medicaid under health reform, and we can (and should) learn a lot from the results of this study. Nearly 200,000 people are expected to gain coverage through the program starting Jan. 1, 2014, and we can expect that these people will also benefit from improved mental health and protection from financial ruin like those in the study.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
The Maryland Attorney General's office in conjunction with the federal government and 46 other states has reached a $48 million settlement with a Texas drug company that marketed an ointment to treat bedsores even though it wasn't approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Healthpoint Ltd and general partner DFB Pharmaceuticals marketed the drug Xenaderm to nursing homes. The ointment was modeled after a drug made prior to 1962 that the FDA never reviewed. In the 1970s, the FDA determined the principal ingredient in Xenaderm was "less than effective.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2012
The owner of a Baltimore substance abuse center led a protest of more than 120 people Thursday morning at the doors of Johns Hopkins Hospital, saying the medical giant owes his organization more than $100,000 in Medicaid payments. The Rev. Milton E. Williams, who operates the Turning Point Substance Abuse Clinic in East Baltimore, said his organization had provided hundreds of patients with free care because a Hopkins affiliate has not reimbursed it for treating Medicaid patients.
NEWS
May 22, 2012
Either County Councilman David Marks and county Chief of Staff Don Mohler are untruthful or they are sadly misinformed about the Baltimore County budget ("Balto. Co. Council poised to adopt 'bare-bones budget,'" May 17). The county is laying off the entire staff of the Medicaid Waiver Program. This is a program committed to keeping the elderly who qualify for nursing home care in their own homes or those of relatives. Instead of retaining the current staff, the case management responsibilities will be farmed out to temp agencies.
NEWS
July 28, 2011
Contrary to Robert Erlandson's letter ( "Van Hollen shows why it will be so hard to reduce the deficit," July 26), Rep. Chris Van Hollen's op-ed ("Medicaid cuts would hurt us all," July 25) correctly pointed out the consequences of cutting Medicaid. As Rep. Van Hollen wrote, whenever uninsured people go to the hospital and get care they cannot afford, we all pay for that with increase premiums that are used to cover uncompensated hospital costs. According to Families USA, about $1,000 of each of our health insurance premiums go every year to cover the health care costs of the uninsured.
NEWS
September 1, 2011
The Maryland General Assembly mandated that the Medicaid program trim $40 million from its budget during this fiscal year. Rather than making its decisions in a closed room, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene asked its Medicaid Advisory Committee for help in gathering input from a range of stakeholders through public hearings and an open comment period. Guided by a set of "least harm" principles, the committee and the agency sifted through more than 190 proposals and publicly evaluated less than 20 deemed "viable" for savings in Fiscal Year 2012.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2011
The state may have erroneously paid up to $2.5 million on health care through the Medicaid program for more than 300 low-income residents after they died, according to a state legislative audit released Wednesday. The payments were discovered after auditors checked the names of Medicaid recipients from January 2008 through August of this year against Social Security records to capture those who died out of state. The program had relied on state vital statistics to track deaths.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | November 16, 2011
State health officials have leveraged federal funds to offer more people substance abuse treatment, according to a report sent to state lawmakers by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The extra $26 million from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012 means that almost 21,000 more people got treatment. The money, a total of $142.8 million, comes from Medicaid and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration. "Expanding access to effective treatment for substance abuse is a top priority," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of the health department, in a statement.
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