The Weekly Insight: February 12

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Texas Insight Reports

  • Texas Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue: Part III: After 26 Texans lost their lives in the November 7, 2017, Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting, Texas Representatives Nevarez and Collier pushed for the state to address gun violence as a public health issue. The shooting occurred not even five weeks after the Las Vegas tragedy which injured 567 and killed 59 individuals. This third part of the TI series on gun violence as a public health issue will provide an overview of the public health approach, which has long been used to deal with injuries in addition to a large range of causes of death and illness. The model is applied to promote health and life in the presence of prolific firearms (in the US, a gun is in circulation for every resident), not to curb gun ownership among law-abiding citizens. For the purposes of this posting, gun violence includes murder/homicide, suicide, assault, injury, robbery, domestic violence, and unintentional and accidental shooting.
  • HHSC: Behavioral Health Advisory Committee: The Behavioral Health Advisory Committee gathered for their quarterly meeting. [The Committee] provides customer/consumer and stakeholder input by making recommendations regarding the allocation and adequacy of behavioral health services and programs within the state of Texas. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) established the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) as the state mental health planning council in accordance with the state’s obligations under 42 U.S.C. §300x-3.
  • HHSC: Medicaid Payment Rates for the Medicaid Biennial Calendar Fee Review | Private Duty Nursing: The Health and Human Services Commission conducted two public hearings [on February 7] using a combined hearing format. The first was related to Proposed Medicaid Payment Rates for the Medicaid Biennial Calendar Fee Review. The second was related to Private Duty Nursing Services.

Texas Healthcare News

Federal Healthcare News

  • Kentucky Rushes to Remake Medicaid as Other States Prepare to Follow: With approval from the Trump administration fresh in hand, Kentucky is rushing to roll out its first-in-the-nation plan to require many Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer or train for a job — even as critics mount a legal challenge to stop it on the grounds that it violates the basic tenets of the program.
  • Trump Budget to include billions to combat opioid epidemic: President Trump’s budget will propose billions of dollars to combat the opioid epidemic plaguing the country, months after the administration designated the crisis a national public health emergency
  • From Clinics to Child Insurance, Budget Deal Affects Health Care: The budget deal in Congress is billed as a measure to grant stability to a government funding process that has lurched from crisis to crisis — but it is also stuffed with provisions that will broadly affect the nation’s health care system, like repealing an advisory board to curb Medicare spending and funding community health centers.
  • OxyContin maker will stop marketing opioid products to doctors amid scrutiny: The maker of the painkiller OxyContin will stop actively marketing its opioid products to doctors. Purdue Pharmaceuticals announced that it would cut its sales staff by more than half and would stop sending sales representatives to doctor’s offices to discuss opioid products.
  • What Puerto Rico Is, and Isn’t, Getting in Disaster Relief: Puerto Rican officials have for months denounced the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria, urging for more attention and action to help the island’s hard-pressed storm survivors. This week, island leaders declared a rare victory when Senate leaders folded disaster relief funding into a two-year budget deal to avert a government shutdown.
  • Trump Plan to Move Drug Prevention Program to Justice Dept. Prompts Protests:State and local law enforcement officials are fighting a Trump administration proposal to move oversight of a $275 million drug prevention program to the Justice Department, fearing that such a move would steer the country’s drug-fighting strategy toward federal legal crackdowns and away from years of holistic, community-based approaches.
  • Far More U.S. Children Than Previously Thought May Have Fetal Alcohol Disorders:More American children than previously thought may be suffering from neurological damage because their mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy, according to a new study. The study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA, estimates that fetal alcohol syndrome and other alcohol-related disorders among American children are at least as common as autism. The disorders can cause cognitive, behavioral and physical problems that hurt children’s development and learning ability.