Archive | Health

Analysis: The Health Exchange Mess Part II: Assigning blame, recouping money

April 10, 2014

In the second installment examining Maryland’s disastrous health care exchange site launch, longtime auditor Charlie Hayward takes a walk through the status of audits and legal maneuvering to assign blame and recoup money. Auditors and lawyers will begin structured, even forensic work, to determine what went wrong and why Maryland’s exchange fared so much worse than those in other states. Hayward looks at the surprising scope and nature of damages of the failure and explains why both the state and its contractor Noridian bear responsibility. He predicts resolution could be complex, costly, and time consuming. [...more]

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Analysis: Health Exchange Mess Part I: Failures in leadership

April 9, 2014

In a two-part series Thursday and Friday, retired auditor Charles Hayward (full bio below) delves into the problems that led to a disastrous launch of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange in fall 2013. Among the chief failings of state leadership: not addressing serious red flags when there may have been enough time to fix the root causes; not appreciating the monumental tasks assigned to limited resources; and (3) not selecting one IT expert to take leadership on the website’s development. [...more]

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Guest commentary: The legislature forgot mental health again

April 8, 2014

In passing legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage, the General Assembly included a provision to increase reimbursement for community-based developmental disabilities providers. This action addresses a legitimate need and no one should begrudge it. However, it does nothing for the direct care workers who serve equally vulnerable citizens, those with psychiatric disabilities. [...more]

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Rascovar column: Stonewalling Md. Health Exchange probe

April 5, 2014

The Maryland General Assembly concludes its 2014 session Monday in good shape – except for one monumental omission: the mystery surrounding Maryland’s fatally flawed health exchange, which has squandered uncounted tens of millions of dollars. It’s now clear that both Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are content to stonewall and impede any detailed investigation of what went wrong in setting up the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange until well after the June 24 primary election. [...more]

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House Democrats appear likely to approve decriminalizing marijuana

April 4, 2014

A wave of support among House Democrats for decriminalizing marijuana is apparently forcing the House Judiciary Committee to reverse itself and approve a Senate bill, SB364, removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. [...more]

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Rascovar: When Obamacare website failed, Oregon took a different approach than Md.

March 30, 2014

Oregon's website for the Affordable Care Act failed in many of the same ways as Maryland's but the governor there ordered an independent probe and dealt with the problems differently than Maryland officials have. [...more]

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Proposed ban on e-cigarettes in public places draws opposition

March 10, 2014

Maryland became the latest in a series of states struggling with how to regulate electronic cigarettes this past week when a bill aiming to ban them in public places was heard in a House committee. [...more]

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Rascovar column: Maryland’s Obamacare fiasco continues

March 2, 2014

How high will it go? How much more will it cost the O’Malley-Brown administration to fix or totally replace the dysfunctional online health insurance system that it bragged about until the software crashed on Day One? It already is the most costly debacle in state history. [...more]

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Higher pay sought for caregivers of disabled

February 27, 2014

With the governor and legislators pushing for an increase in Maryland’s state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, advocates of people with disabilities want to make sure their paid caregivers get higher wages, since the state now only reimburses them at $9.82 an hour. [...more]

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Bill requires many employers to offer paid sick leave

February 18, 2014

Almost a majority of the House of Delegates is sponsoring legislation to mandate many Maryland businesses offer paid sick and safe leave policy for their employees, a move one research group estimates would cost employers $165 million. [...more]

General Assembly, Health, News Comments (23)