Weekly Dose of Health News July 28 – August 1 2014

The New York State Department of Health has extended the date to announce DSRIP design grants to Performing Provider System applicants to August 6. The state received 50 applicants in total.

The New York Times write why pay for performance health care incentives are not working as anticipated.

Approximately 300 retirees from Health Research, Inc. (HRI) will no longer receive health insurance from the state workers health insurance plan after August. HRI is a non-profit that is affiliated with state government that receives mostly federal grants for research and for public health programs. HRI retirees will receive coverage through a defined benefit program. There is concern that this will serve as a template for future government retirees.

This new report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) has found that state share of Medicaid is increasingly funded by health care providers’ taxes and local governments. The report calls for increased transparency on non-federal sources of Medicaid funding.

A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services audit has determined that New York State owes $1.5 billion in Medicaid dollars to the federal government. The ‘refund’ is for the 2010-11 fiscal year for payment of services to facilities operated by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.

New research has found that even small amounts of running can decrease the risk of premature death.

The U.S. Surgeon General has called for a reduction in skin cancer rates. About 5 million Americans are treated for skin cancer every year at an annual cost of $8.1 billion. According to the article, skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the U.S.

Governor Cuomo sent this letter to Acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, which requested the acceleration of the 18-month current timeline to implement the Compassionate Care Act, i.e., New York’s medical marihuana law.

333 patient advocacy groups signed a letter addressed to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting a reduction in barriers to accessing medications and other health services in health exchange insurance plans. The coalition, I Am (Still) Essential, is calling for action to improve benefits, decrease patient cost sharing, increase transparency and uniformity in exchange health plans.

The New York State HIV Prevention Planning Group (PPG) is scheduled to meet in Albany on August 6 and 7.