June 30, 2016, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Desare Frazier- Seventy-eight percent of Mississippi doctors affiliated with a hospital received payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies in 2014. That’s according to a new study released by ProPublica, a non-profit online investigative news reporting agency. Mississippi and Louisiana tie for third place nationwide for the number of doctors who received payments. ProPublica Senior Reporter Charles Ornstein.“Hospitals in the south have a relatively high rate of doctors who take payments from drug and device companies.

Study: Mississippi children see highest lead level increase

July 9, 2016, The Clariod Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Children in Mississippi have higher levels of lead in their blood than they did six years ago, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The Mississippi State Health Department refutes this data, suggesting children’s blood lead levels have gone down over the past several years. Data from Quest Diagnostics shows that from 2009 to 2015, nearly 10,000 Mississippi children under 6 with high blood lead levels jumped from 3.6 percent to 6.3 percent. This was the highest increase in children with unsafe blood lead levels out of 37-state data set.

State representative to mom: Buy your own meds

June 29, 2016, The Clarion Ledger, Sarah Fowler- A state representative has apologized to the mother of a diabetic child who reached out to him asking for help navigating Medicaid. Nicole Nichols sent an email Monday to each state representative, asking for help in obtaining her diabetic daughter’s insulin pump supplies. State Rep. Jeffrey Guice, R-Ocean Springs, responded, “I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?” Guice, who told The Clarion-Ledger Tuesday morning “I don’t do interviews” and declined to comment, issued an apology Tuesday night.

Pine Belt companies explain MS Medicaid coverage after mom’s struggle for diabetic testing supplies

June 29, 2016, WDAM, Amanda LaBrot- After a Mississippi mom received backlash from a state lawmaker for expressing concerns about the state’s medicaid program not covering her child’s diabetic testing supplies, the agency and Pine Belt companies are answering the questions the house representative did not. Nicole Nichols sent an email to Rep. Jeffrey Guice, who represents Harrison and Jackson Counties, saying she was “having a lot of problems with Medicaid/CHIPS coverage for of the essential diabetic supplies needed,” and asking the representative “Is there someone in the legislature that can and will help these children stay healthy?” Guice’s terse response, “I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?”

Will Louisiana’s Medicaid Expansion Be A Harbinger For Georgia?

June 29, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Andy Miller- Louisiana and Georgia have many political similarities. Both states face significant health challenges affecting their populations. And until recently, both states had identical approaches to Medicaid expansion. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, has rejected expansion since he took office in 2011, and GOP lawmakers have repeatedly backed him up. They point to concerns about the future cost of expansion, saying it would eventually put too much strain on the state budget.

Heart disease and cancer are responsible for nearly half of all deaths in the U.S., report says

June 29, 2016, Los Angeles Times, Karen Kaplan- What are the most common ways to die in America? The answer depends on how old you are, whether you’re a man or a woman, and your racial and ethnic background, a new report shows. Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 5% of deaths among U.S. women, for instance, but only 2.1% of deaths among men. Accidents and unintentional injuries caused 39.7% of deaths among people between the ages of 10 and 24, but only 7.4% of deaths for adults between the ages of 45 and 64. Diabetes was responsible for 4.3% of African American deaths and 2.7% of white deaths.