Browsing the "Health" Category

Health programs endangered by declining federal support

February 3rd, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

As the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene discussed Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2% across-the-board budget cuts on Friday, Sen. Adelaide Eckardt of the Senate Budget and Tax committee questioned the future of 68 mental health program facilities DHMH has created the past two years through aid provided by the Affordable Care Act. Eckardt, a psychiatric nurse from the Eastern Shore, described DHMHs’ growth of mental health programs in the past two years as “pretty remarkable,” but voiced concerns that if the department doesn’t locate state funds to cover reducing federal funds, Maryland will begin backtracking

Analysis: State in no hurry to file suit over health exchange, faces disclosure of improper actions

October 28th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward

State officials responsible for overseeing construction of the health exchange platform faced two frightful choices under the contract to produce the website in the months preceding the Oct. 1, 2013 ”go live” date: Terminate Noridian, and fail to bring any health exchange platform to market; or Keep Noridian on the job while violating major contract provisions designed to maintain equilibrium between payments to Noridian, and the quality and completeness of their work. The state decided on the latter

Pro-choice group responds to Kittleman on reproductive rights

September 3rd, 2014 | by Maryland Reporter

County executives and councils have the authority---and many assert it---to increase funding for reproductive related issues on the county level, says an abortion rights group. Or, if the state cuts funds, a county executive may choose to restore funding.

Md. awards $16 billion, 10-year contract for health insurance

August 13th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Top state officials on Wednesday approved spending $16 billion over the next 10 years on health insurance for over 200,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents. One of the largest contracts ever granted, the three-member Board of Public Works approved it at a meeting dominated by discussion of the positives and negatives of health care delivery in Maryland, including serious patient care problems at a state hospital in Hagerstown.

Health Secretary Sharfstein had too much on his plate

August 10th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

It was easy to feel sorry for state Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene Joshua Sharfstein during the last couple of years. When it was announced he was leaving the department late last month, the only surprise was that his departure wasn’t immediate and that it hadn’t happened sooner. With the failure of the Maryland Health Care Exchange, his department already had too much dysfunction on its plate.

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

April 10th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward

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

Analysis: Health Exchange Mess Part I: Failures in leadership

April 9th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward

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.

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