health care

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What’s in a name?

Well, Christiana Care Health System is shortening its name.

It will be known simply as ChristianaCare.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the name change is to emphasize that the health care provider is about more than buildings.

CEO Dr. Janice Nevin said it also embraces new technologies and innovation as well as concentrating on the needs of the whole person.

In short, she said, it is designed to deliver not just health care but health to their patients.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Just over 300,000 low-income Virginia adults have enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program.

Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement Wednesday at a health center in Alexandria.

State officials have previously estimated that roughly 400,000 adults would be newly eligible for Medicaid under the expansion lawmakers approved last year.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey said in a news release that more than 229,100 newly eligible adults had received some type of health service.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have unanimously approved a bill reforming a committee charged with monitoring prison health care in Delaware.

The changes approved Tuesday are aimed at improving the work of the Adult Correction Healthcare Review Committee.

The bill places the committee under the oversight of the state Criminal Justice Council and adds the chairs of the House and Senate Corrections committees and the chief of the Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Services as nonvoting members.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia health officials are offering six regional opportunities for residents to join a focus group or participate in a personal interview to discuss health issues.

The focus groups are part of a statewide health assessment conducted every five years by the state Department of Health. The goal is to assess the health needs of women ages 15-44, men of any age, pregnant women, new mothers and parents.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Health organizations in Maryland are backing a proposal to create an individual health care mandate at the state level.

Several groups and lawmakers will gather in Annapolis on Wednesday to endorse legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that would revive the mandate that was gutted at the federal level. But instead of requiring those who remain uninsured to pay a penalty, the measure would require them to pay a down payment on health insurance.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is scheduled to give the annual State of the State speech, and he has said he'll be proposing a tax cut.

Hogan will give the speech to a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday.

At a PBS Newshour discussion Monday night in Baltimore, the Republican said he would talk about a "major tax cut" when he delivers the speech, though he declined to offer details Monday night.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state task force headed by Democratic lawmakers is recommending that Delaware establish an individual mandate to bolster the financial stability of the state's Affordable Care Act program.

The recommendation follows the expiration earlier this month of the federal mandate that required individuals to obtain health insurance or face tax penalties. The mandate was eliminated as part of the 2017 tax reform law.

According to the task force report, Delawareans paid $8 million in penalties in 2016 under the federal mandate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Making prescription drugs more affordable and raising the minimum wage are expected to be among the top issues Maryland lawmakers are expected to debate when they gather for their annual legislative session next week.

Lawmakers convene Wednesday for their 90-day session. There will be a record number of women legislators, 72 out of 188 members.

Lawmakers will debate a variety of health care issues, including high prescription drug costs and potentially restoring an individual mandate for health insurance.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than 182,000 Virginians have enrolled in new health coverage that begins in the new year.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the enrollment in the new coverage under Medicaid expansion on Wednesday.

The coverage is available to 19- to 64-year-olds who are not eligible for Medicare and meet income requirements, which vary by family size. SNAP recipients and parents whose children receive Medicaid coverage can use a short-form application to sign up by Jan. 4.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration for efforts he says are intended to undercut the nation's health care law.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday is the latest in a broad effort by attorneys general in various U.S. states pushing back against a "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act following years of failed GOP attempts to fully repeal the Obama-era law.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a contract with the federal government to enact the state's unique all-payer health care model.

Hogan signed the five-year contract Monday with Seema Verma, who is the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Overall, the model aims to provide incentives in the state's health care system to emphasize the quality of care over the quantity of care and focus on value rather than volume.

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The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna is suffering from a shortage of both correctional officers and nurses.

That is the conclusion of a review done in the wake of the 2017 inmate uprising that left one correctional officer dead.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the review that found a combination of a poor electronic records system and too few health professional have resulted in delayed care and missed appointments.

In addition, correction officers are working overtime at least once or twice every two weeks.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia House of Delegates has approved a state budget that would expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income adults.

The Republican-led House approved the state spending plan Tuesday with bipartisan support, but the measure still has to pass the state GOP-controlled Senate.

Lawmakers are taking another stab at passing a budget after attempts during the regular session ended in a stalemate over disagreement about Medicaid expansion, a key part of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A key Virginia Republican has signaled support for Medicaid expansion, a move that gives pro-expansion lawmakers a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Virginia Beach Sen. Frank Wagner said in a statement Friday that he favors expanding Medicaid, enacting a new tax on hospitals, and using part of the extra money raised to give tax credits to lower income Virginians.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.(AP)- Maryland's House of Delegates has approved legislation to help prevent the collapse of the Maryland Health Care Exchange's individual market.

The House passed the second of two bills that are part of the plan on Monday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Even with new support from key GOP leaders, Medicaid expansion in Virginia still faces serious roadblocks. That includes a fierce intraparty squabble among Republicans and strong disagreement among expansion supporters on how to pay for it.

Those divisions were on display Thursday as both chambers of the GOP-controlled General Assembly debated whether Medicaid expansion should be included in the state budget. The House favors Medicaid expansion and the new hospital tax, which the Senate opposes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is giving his fourth and final State of the State speech of his first term.

Hogan, who hopes to become the first Republican governor to be re-elected in Maryland since 1954, has focused on economic concerns in previous speeches.

He also has taken the opportunity in past years to outline his legislative agenda to the 188 members of the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are bracing for a challenging session wrestling with changes in tax and health care law in Washington.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, told senators Wednesday on the first day of the General Assembly's 90-day session that lawmakers will need to come up with equitable solutions to "these very weighty issues that have been passed down from the federal government."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials say enrollments in the state's health insurance exchange significantly out-paced last year's tally after the first week.

The Baltimore Sun reports that those buying policies on the exchange for the first time are up about 15 percent, compared to this time last year. Officials say total enrollments through marylandhealthconnection.gov are double the number at this time last year, at 10,420.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - This week's groundswell of political change in Virginia has improved the odds of Medicaid expansion becoming law there. The long-stalled liberal priority gained new life after Democrats nearly wiped out Republicans' overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.

It had repeatedly failed when Republicans controlled two-thirds of the chamber.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering yesterday that a University of Delaware initiative could be a model for creating healthier and more equitable communities.

He gave his remarks the Vision Coalition of Delaware’s 10th Annual Conference which is focusing on improving partnerships in health and education.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the coalition is a public-private partnership.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Both major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor are promising to improve the state's health care system.

But Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam differ sharply on how to curb costs and increase care.

Their biggest difference is on Medicaid expansion.

Northam wants to expand the health care program for the poor to cover more low-income Virginians, with the federal government picking up most of the cost.

Gillespie opposes Medicaid expansion, saying its long-term price tag will be unsustainable.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest health insurer will restrict where customers can get CT scans and MRIs in non-emergency situations.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the change will occur for people insured by Anthem in March.

Beneficiaries will have to seek imaging services at free-standing facilities instead of hospital-based ones.  The policy change does not include X-rays or mammograms.

Virginia Anthem spokesman Scott Golden said the move will save up to hundreds of dollars per scan and help keep premiums affordable.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delawareans will pay 25 percent more next year than they did this year for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

State insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced Thursday that he had approved the latest double-digit increase for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will be the only insurer providing ACA coverage in Delaware.

Highmark sought a rate increase of 33.6 percent earlier this year after Aetna, which covers almost 12,000 Delawareans under the ACA, announced that it is pulling out of Delaware health insurance exchange.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's governor says a revived Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act won't work for Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said Tuesday the Graham-Cassidy health care bill would "cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens."

The effort to repeal the health care law in Washington has taken on new life after it seemed all but dead earlier this summer.

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Maryland Congressman Andy Harris said last night that he supports the Cassidy-Graham bill that would essentially repeal the Affordable Care Act and rely upon block grants to the states.

During an appearance on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore the incumbent Republican said he believed the states were the best place for shaping health policy.

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Senator Tom Carper denounced the decision by his Republican colleagues to move ahead with consideration of a measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In a written statement the Delaware Democrat said he had never seen anything like the push to approve such a wide ranging measure.

Democrats note that the Senate is moving forward without the normal committee hearings to take testimony on the impact of such legislation.

Carper complained that it was not clear what was being forced to consider.

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OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings, says she is "strongly considering" running for governor of Maryland.

Rockeymoore Cummings, a Democrat, told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the health care debate in Washington has shown that Republicans in the nation's capital are not considering the needs of women, children and minorities.

She says more decisions about important issues like health care will fall to state leaders, where governors will have a lot of say in who gets needed services.

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The Senate will not vote on its health care bill this week after losing the support of GOP lawmakers and a bad review by the Congressional Budget Office. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller was in Salisbury for a luncheon at the Greater Salisbury Chamber of Commerce where we sat down with him to talk about the Senate measure what must be done to fix the health care system.

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