Tag: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Md. officials count undocumented immigrants as uninsured for health care, but none qualify for Obamacare

State officials have been talking a lot about the high number of uninsured Marylanders who will have access to Obamacare, but not all are eligible to sign up.
Of the state’s estimated 750,000 to 800,000 uninsured residents, only 480,500 — or roughly 60% — are eligible to enroll for health insurance plans under President Obama’s signature health care law, according to the federal health care website HealthCare.gov.

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Bad day for bureaucrats seeking money from Board of Public Works

It was a bad day for bureaucrats at the Board of Public Works Wednesday – at least for several state officials who had to defend their spending plans to the three-member board that must approve all major state contracts.

In the end, most of the state agencies got the money they came for, but not before some uncomfortable questions and critical remarks came their way about slow payments and outsourcing loan-making and faculty hiring.

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House committee hears proposal to double fees for birth, death certificates

Legislative budget analysts are recommending the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene double the price of birth and death certificates from $12 to $24 a piece as a way to raise $7.9 million for fiscal 2012.

Maryland currently charges $12 for each copy of a vital record, including birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. In 2003, the last time the Department of Legislative Services analyzed vital record fees, Maryland ranked among the lowest and have remained comparatively low, according to the budget report that analyst Simon Powell presented to the Health and Human Resources Appropriations subcommittee.

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Agency improperly refunded money, lacked oversight, audit says

The Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration didn’t have adequate procedures to verify that claims paid by its drug assistance program for AIDS were legitimately filled, nor did it monitor inspectors at some of its food and milk processing plants, according to an audit released Monday.

Auditors found that the agency didn’t have good enough oversight system in place for monitoring the pharmacies it gave $29 million in fiscal 2009. “People were paid, but not authorized,” Legislative Auditor Bruce Myers said.

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Massage therapists object to proposed regs that will add training and costs

“There is widespread opposition to the changes within the massage therapy community,” said Cher Hunter, a licensed massage therapist and member of the board of the Maryland Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. The group is spearheading a letter-writing campaign to get the department to reject the changes.

Hunter contended that the proposed changes would limit the options for continuing education. “The Maryland changes are much stricter than most states’ requirements,” Hunter said. But regulators say the regulations are consistent with a 2008 law

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Medical benefits administration needs better controls to protect against fraud, audit finds

Widespread lack of accountability may have led to millions of dollars wasted by the Medical Care Programs Administration of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an audit released Monday found.

The medical administration spent $6.8 billion to provide low-income residents with health care benefits like Medicaid in the last fiscal year. The General Assembly’s Joint Audit Committee will review the audit this afternoon (Tuesday).

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