Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Wednesday announced that the state has received CMS' approval to use Medicaid funds to pay qualifying health care workers bonuses, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arkansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
- Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Wednesday announced that the state has received CMS' approval to use Medicaid funds to provide up to $250 per week in bonuses for full-time, direct-care health workers in long-term care facilities or up to $500 a week for qualifying workers in facilities with Covid-19 patients. The bonuses will vary based on a worker's schedule and proximity to patients who've tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (Marr, Bloomberg Law, 4/15; Queram, Route Fifty, 4/17).
- Ohio: The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that large pharmacy chains such as CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens will not have to face litigation for dispensing opioids in a way that contributed to the U.S. opioid epidemic. However, according to John Leppard from Washington Analysis, the pharmacy chains still can face litigation for targeting opioid distributors (Silverman, "Pharmalot," STAT+, 4/15 [subscription required]).
- Oklahoma: Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Friday announced that state residents on June 30 will vote on whether the state will fully expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Stitt has said he opposes a full expansion of Medicaid and instead would prefer to convert the state's Medicaid program to a block-grant style funding system proposed by the Trump administration (Associated Press, 4/17).