Around the nation: Another state officially expands Medicaid

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Alaska: Medicaid expansion will go into effect as scheduled on Tuesday, after the state Supreme Court on Monday refused a request from Alaska lawmakers to temporarily block Gov. Bill Walker (I) from expanding the program through the Affordable Care Act. The Alaska Legislative Council had asked the court to intervene while its underlying lawsuit against the expansion goes forward (Hanlon, Alaska Dispatch News, 8/31).

  • Illinois: Under a new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), the state will be the first to launch a pilot program equipping prescription painkiller bottles with locking devices. Participating pharmacies will place numerical locking devices on bottles of drugs containing hydrocodone when the program launches next year. "This legislation will help prevent individuals who haven't obtained a written prescription from using hydrocodone, a dangerous drug when used without a doctor's supervision," says state Sen. Iris Martinez (D), who sponsored the bill (AP/Miami Herald, 8/29).

  • New York: The state Department of Health will now require children to receive a complete series of measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis immunizations prior to starting school. Students who haven't received the full vaccine schedule can attend school only if parents show evidence they have made appointments for the children to receive the final shots. Previously, children did not have to be fully vaccinated until age six (AP/Sacramento Bee, 8/28).

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