The Weekly Insight: April 2
Texas Insight’s Recent Reports
- Texas Senate: Senate Health and Human Services Part III: The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met to address several charges. This report covers the following: Study efforts by the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Insurance to increase health care cost transparency, including a review of the Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC) system, and the Consumer Guide to Healthcare. Recommend ways to make provider and facility fees more accessible to consumers to improve health care cost transparency, increase quality of care, and create a more informed health care consumer base.
- Texas House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations: Article II Subcommittee: The Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II met to hear invited and public testimony on the following issues related to interim charge 18: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the Committee will also specifically monitor: d) Implementation of therapy rate increases and policy changes at HHSC; e) HHSC’s use of appropriated funds to expand Texas’s inpatient psychiatric infrastructure; f) Ongoing impact of critical-needs funding at DFPS.
- Texas House of Representatives: Select Committee on Opioids & Substance Abuse: Parts ONE and TWO: The Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse met to consider Charge #1: Study the prevalence and impact of substance use and substance use disorders in Texas, including co-occurring mental illness. Study the prevalence and impact of opioids and synthetic drugs in Texas. Review the history of overdoses and deaths due to overdoses. Also, review other health-related impacts due to substance abuse. Identify substances that are contributing to overdoses, related deaths and health impacts, and compare the data to other states…
- Trauma-Informed Care in Texas: Part II: To expand on some of the recent issues raised in postings on gender disparities in poverty and the effects of violence, TI offers a new series on trauma-informed care (TIC) and its use and promise in Texas. TIC programs are those that incorporate knowledge of the impact of trauma and traumatic stress into policies and programs of systems of care, such as the child welfare system, schools, criminal justice systems and the healthcare system.
Federal Healthcare Policy Reports
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal social insurance program that provides monthly cash benefits to nonelderly disabled workers and their eligible dependents, provided the worker paid into the system for a sufficient number of years…
- Department of Health and Human Services: FY2019 Budget Request: This report provides information about the FY2019 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The report begins by reviewing the department’s mission and structure. Next, the report offers a brief explanation of the conventions used for the FY2018 estimates and FY2019 request levels in the budget documents released by the HHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)…The report concludes with a breakdown of the HHS request by agency, along with additional HHS resources that provide further information on the request. A table of CRS key policy staff is included at the end of the report.
Federal Healthcare News
- ‘I Can’t Stop’: Schools Struggle with Vaping Explosion: E-cigarettes have been touted by their makers and some public health experts as devices to help adult smokers kick the habit. But school officials, struggling to control an explosion of vaping among high school and middle school students across the country, fear that the devices are creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
- Massachusetts, a Health Pioneer, Turns Its Focus to Drug Prices. It’s in for a Fight: Massachusetts, which led the nation in expanding health insurance coverage, now wants to rein in the growth of prescription drug spending for low-income people on Medicaid, but its proposals have met an icy reaction from patients and drug companies.
- Battling Heroin With A Hearse And A Prayer: in a West Virginia community hard hit by the opioid crisis, two people have taken on the fight against addiction, using unorthodox – and very different – approaches.
- Is This Tissue a New Organ? Maybe. A Conduit for Cancer? It Seems Likely: Researchers have made new discoveries about the in-between spaces in the human body, and some say it’s time to rewrite the anatomy books. A study published in Scientific Reportsthis week described a fluid-filled, 3-D latticework of collagen and elastin connective tissue that can be found all over the body, in or near our lungs, skin, digestive tracts and arteries.
- Breast cancer page scrubbed from women’s health website: report: A webpage that focused on breast cancer was reportedly scrubbed from the website of the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH).
- Judge Temporarily Stops U.S. From Blocking Undocumented Teenagers’ Abortions: Judge Tanya S. Chutkan allowed a case to proceed as a class action, suggesting that the government’s policies infringed on the teenagers’ constitutional rights.
- CDC director: US could end AIDS epidemic in three to seven years: The new CDC director predicted Thursday that the AIDS epidemic could end in the United States within the next three to seven years.
- Coffee Drinkers Need Cancer Warning, Judge Rules, Giving Sellers the Jitters: A decision by a California judge could force Starbucks and other coffee companies to warn about acrylamide, a chemical that has been linked to cancer.
- 4,000 Eggs and Embryos Are Lost in Tank Failure, Ohio Fertility Clinic Says: The “catastrophic” failure of a storage tank this month at an Ohio fertility clinic caused the apparent loss of more than 4,000 frozen embryos and eggs, the clinic said this week.
- California sues hospital network over high health costs: California on Friday sued one of the largest hospitals in the state for “anticompetitive practices” that increase health care costs.
- Medicare is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer: Officials are close to limiting doses of the painkillers, but doctors say doing so could put older patients into withdrawal or lead them to buy deadly street drugs.
- Grindr App to Offer H.I.V Test Reminders: Men using hookup apps are at high risk, so AIDS experts applaud a new effort to help subscribers get tested as often as four times a year.