Around the nation: Montana becomes 30th Medicaid expansion state

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Massachusetts: Massachusetts General Hospital plans to use an interactive story booth to comfort and educate critically ill patients. "Facing illness can be scary and isolating," says Anne Brewster, an internist at the hospital. Through the booth, critically ill patients can hear stories of others with similar health challenges, and, hopefully, be reminded that they are not alone (Ferguson, FierceHealthcare, 10/30).

  • Montana: CMS on Monday approved Montana's alternative Medicaid expansion plan, making it the 30th state—in addition to Washington, D.C.—to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. The plan will require some beneficiaries in the expansion population to pay premiums equivalent to 2% of their income, as well as pay copayments. Coverage will start on Jan. 1, 2016, and officials expect that at least 70,000 state residents will be eligible for the expanded coverage (Volz, AP/Daily Journal, 11/2).

  • Washington, D.C.: With the help of a $2.5 million donation, George Washington University Hospital (GWUH) is dedicating a new kidney center in an ongoing effort to expand its organ transplant program. While hospitals in the region are investing in major ambulatory care networks, GWUH is focusing on complex care, CEO Barry Wolfman says, adding, "I want people who are in this community to say, 'I need to see a doctor at GW. They do things no one else does'" (Reed, "Morning Edition," Washington Business Journal, 10/28).

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