Twelve Mississippi hospitals earn ‘A’ rating from hospital safety group

The grade, which is assigned to about 3,000 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice a year, is based on how hospitals and other health care organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The score comes from hospitals’ performance on more than 30 national measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other data. The state’s largest hospital and only academic medical center scored a C for the fourth year in a row. No Mississippi hospitals received an F grade, and one hospital received a D: Merit Health Biloxi. Each grade is based on hospitals’ performance in five categories: infections, problems with surgery, safety problems, practices to prevent errors, and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

Fact check: Feds not slated to end Medicaid expansion funding

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney recently told members of the media he supports the expansion of Medicaid, but that the program most likely will end in 2025. That statement is inaccurate. Robin Rudowitz, vice president and head of the Medicaid team for the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the program is not slated to end and there is nothing pending federally that would result in the demise of Medicaid expansion in 2025. The Medicaid expansion program will continue “unless Congress changes the law,” said Rudowitz. Kaiser is a health care advocacy nonprofit and keeps close tabs on federal legislation.

MAP: Mississippi makes it uniquely hard for low-income new moms to get health care

Low-income women in Mississippi have less access to health care in the months after giving birth than their counterparts in every state except Wyoming. Mississippi and Wyoming are now the only two states in the country that have neither expanded Medicaid eligibility to low-income working adults, nor extended postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers beyond 60 days after birth, according to data compiled by the health nonprofit KFF.  The other nine states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility have all sought to extend postpartum coverage in recent years. Seven of them, including Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina, have extended coverage to a year after birth. Texas and Wisconsin have sought federal approval to implement shorter extensions of six months and 90 days, respectively.

Legislative leaders approve budget plan, leaving at least $1 billion for consideration in 2023 session

Legislative leaders approved a starting budget proposal for the quickly approaching 2023 session that leaves the state with an unprecedented $3.9 billion in unencumbered money. House Speaker Philip Gunn, who presides over the Legislative Budget Committee that approved the budget recommendation Tuesday, said a little more than $1 billion of the reserve funds are recurring. In other words, the funds will be available yearly for legislators to spend. The overflowing state coffers are already spawning debate among legislative leaders about providing taxpayers with rebate checks or phasing out the personal income tax.

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program