Medicaid and Spending Caps – A Bad Idea that Won’t Go Away

Law & Policy InsightsMedicaid

January 31, 2019
by Sarah Somers

Recent reports from news media assert the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on plans to radically change the way that state Medicaid programs are funded – without the requisite changes in the law. If CMS goes ahead with this plan, it would give states permission to strictly limit spending on their Medicaid programs, which has the potential to negatively impact public health in significant ways.

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Public Health Law News Round-Up – January 2019

Law & Policy Insights

January 29, 2019

Public health law and policy stories that made headlines recently examined the disproportionally high maternity mortality rates for African American women, the lack of access to mental health care for children, New York’s worst measles outbreak in decades, states’ efforts to address the opioid crisis, Philadelphia’s new plan to curb gun violence, and a Missouri law that connects animal abuse and domestic violence.

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Ebola Outbreak 2018-2019: An Escalating Health Crisis

Law & Policy InsightsEmergency Legal Preparedness and Response

January 15, 2019

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing its 10th outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). As of January 2, 2019, 608 individuals have been infected, 368 of whom have died. Already, the outbreak is the “second-deadliest and second-largest in history.” Federal, state, tribal, and local governments should stay well informed of outbreak developments and should review their plans and procedures for response to the potential spread of EVD to the U.S.

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The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative Provides a Blueprint for Improving Medicaid Prenatal Care

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child Health

January 9, 2019

Timely, evidence-based prenatal care dramatically improves health outcomes for pregnant women as well as their babies. However, many women in the United States lack access to timely and adequate prenatal care. Lack of access to care is particularly prevalent among women of color as well as younger women, exacerbating existing inequities.

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What School Nurses Really Do: Realizing the Power of School Nursing in Public Health

Law & Policy InsightsHealth in SchoolSchool NursesSchool Nursing

December 19, 2018
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

School nurses can play a critical role in advancing child and adolescent health — including expanding access to care for many children. However, laws across the country do not yet recognize the importance of school nurses, and only one state requires a full-time registered nurse in every school.

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Mandatory Reporting of Attempted Suicides

Legal Technical Assistance HighlightsMental Health and Well-Being

December 6, 2018

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2016 alone there were close to 45,000 deaths from suicide, roughly one death every 12 minutes. In an effort to better measure the full impact of this significant public health issue, many jurisdictions require mandatory reporting of both suicides and attempted suicides. A health officer whose state was considering mandatory reporting of attempted suicides recently contacted the Network for assistance in finding examples of other states or jurisdictions where such mandatory reporting is required.

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Federal Court Recognizes State Employment Protections for Medical Cannabis Patients

Law & Policy InsightsMarijuana Legalization

November 30, 2018
by James G. Hodge, Jr.

Recently, a federal district court in Connecticut diverged from precedent to rule for an employee whose medical cannabis use resulted in a blatant rescission of a prospective job offer. According to the court in Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., d/b/a Bride Brook Nursing & Rehab. Ctr. (Bride Brook), Connecticut’s legal protections from discrimination for employees lawfully using medical cannabis are not barred by contrary federal legal provisions. The holding differs from prior state court decisions finding that employers generally have no duty to accommodate medical cannabis patients.

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