Rival nonprofit gains state approval to build facility for medically fragile kids

August 18, 2018, Mississippi Clarion Ledger- A nonprofit accused of hijacking another group’s work has secured state health officer approval to build a $12.8 million palliative care facility for medically fragile children in Jackson.The state Department of Health announced Friday that it has issued a certificate of need to the Mississippi Center for Medically Fragile Children Inc. to construct a 25,329-square-foot facility consisting of 30 pediatric beds. It will provide pediatric skilled nursing services and has a limited waiver for treatment of individuals over age 21. The facility will serve as a home for some of the most medically vulnerable patients in the state, some of whom are living at Batson Children’s Hospital on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Gov. Phil Bryant calling special legislative session for infrastructure funding

August 16, 2018, Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Geoff Pender- Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday said he plans to call the Legislature into special session next week to deal with road and bridge funding. Bryant said the long-anticipated session is scheduled for Aug. 23-24. He initially said he would issue the formal announcement and provide details on Thursday afternoon, but a spokesman later said it will be issued Friday morning.  Bryant has said for months he wants lawmakers to return to Jackson and figure out how to devote more money to the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. But Republican House and Senate leaders had remained at odds over such funding, as they have for the last three years as business and transportation leaders have lobbied for more money.

Forum: Health care helps drive Mississippi’s economy; let’s keep physicians home

August 16, 2018, Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Bracey Harris and Geoff Pender- Dr. Barbara McAneny, president of the American Medical Association, touted during her speech Thursday at a forum in Jackson that the health care profession is one of the country’s major economic drivers. That statement was reinforced at the forum earlier in the day when Gov. Phil Bryant noted Mississippi’s 99 acute-care hospitals account for more than 60,000 jobs and have a $14 billion impact on the state’s economy. McAneny also stressed action must be taken to curb rising health care costs that account for two-thirds of the country’s bankruptcy filings. McAneny gave the keynote for a summit hosted by Bryant of more than 600 health care and business leaders in Jackson. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, originally slated to give the address, spoke to attendees with a brief pre-recorded video message.

Medical City projected to create $2 billion impact for Mississippi

August 16, 2018, WLOX, Karen Abernathy- Developers of Medical City at Tradition believe the medical industry can jump-start the state’s economy at a time when analysts say it’s still not meeting its full potential. The project’s lead developer is Joe Canizaro. “We’re talking about a sustainable industry for our gulf coast frankly,” Canizaro said moments after his team released new research about a medical corridor on Highway 67 in Harrison County. Canizaro and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant have worked closely with William Carey University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to lay the foundation for the Medical City at Tradition project. Canizaro owns the land. William Carey just opened a school of pharmacy.

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

August 15, 2018, Associated Press, Mike Stobbe- If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new U.S. study finds you’re still better off in the long run. Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found. The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.

Arkansas Medicaid work requirements could cost thousands coverage, data show

August 15, 2018, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann- New data released by the state of Arkansas on Wednesday show Medicaid enrollees are struggling to comply with the state’s new work requirements, putting thousands at risk of losing health care. The requirements - which mandate that some Medicaid beneficiaries work or complete similar activities to retain benefits - went into effect in June after being approved by the Trump administration. Beneficiaries who don’t report their work activities to the state, or do report but aren’t meeting the 80-hour-per-month work requirement, could lose coverage if they don’t meet the requirements for three months out of the year.