February 21, 2017

Around the nation: Alabama could face Medicaid funding cuts

Daily Briefing
    • Alabama: The state may lose some of its federal Medicaid funding over a policy it used to determine program eligibility. CMS learned that state officials were rejecting applicants who had a prior history of fraud or abuse but had not been convicted of a crime. CMS in a notice posted Thursday said state Medicaid officials instead should have referred such cases to law enforcement to investigate the allegations. If the issues are not resolved, the state could see its federal Medicaid funding docked by 1 percent next fiscal year (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 2/16).
    • Florida: Doctors at St. Mary's Medical Center have given Madeleine Murray, 10, a chance for a normal life. Because of a congenital disease and complications from surgeries aimed at addressing it, Murray's spine essentially collapsed, leaving her significantly disabled and at risk of serious medical complications. Her family searched for a specialist who could help repair Madeleine's spine and found David Feldman of the Paley Institute at St. Mary's. He performed two surgeries that left Madeleine "seeing, eating, and breathing like any kid," the Palm Beach Post reports. She continues to live near the hospital with her mom so she can receive extensive physical therapy (Milian, Palm Beach Post, 2/17).

    • Missouri: Drugmaker Pfizer and Washington University (WU) are joining forces to accelerate the development of new drugs. The school will join Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI). The research collaborative, which brings to together Pfizer scientists, foundations, and other researchers, focuses on rare, cardiovascular, neurological, and other diseases. Under the program, WU can apply for funding from Pfizer for research projects into new drugs. Jennifer Lodge, vice chancellor for research, said, "We are excited to be combining the resources and expertise of Pfizer scientists with the talents of our Washington University faculty in this effort to develop the next generation of therapeutics" (Barr, St. Louis Business Journal, 2/16).

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