The law is aimed at allowing people with terminal illnesses to end their own lives. Meanwhile, Texas requires wellness checks on medically fragile people during power-outage situations. Adult day care centers, covid tests, medical bills and cannabis sales are also in the news.
Aid-In-Dying Law Takes Effect In New Mexico
For advocates of legislation allowing terminally ill New Mexicans to end their own lives with the help of prescribed medication, Friday has been a long time coming. But, for critics, it marks the first step down a path they’d long tried to block. A new aid-in-dying law, which drew emotional debate at the Roundhouse in recent years before finally winning approval this year, is one of nearly 70 new laws set to take effect Friday. (Boyd, 6/17)
New Law Requires Wellness Checks During Crises For The Medically Fragile Who Depend On Power
Caroline Cheevers still recalls the panic. With Winter Storm Uri killing power across Houston, there seemed no help for her daughter, Hailey, a medically fragile 10-year-old who requires electricity to power the ventilator that keeps her alive. Hotels were full or had no power. First responders were overwhelmed. And even though she’d signed up for a state registry meant to help first responders plan for how to care for medically fragile Texans during disasters, she and her husband were on their own, scrambling to take care of Hailey and their three other disabled children. (Barned-Smith, 6/17)
North Carolina Health News:
NC’s Adult Day Care Centers Push State For Funding
A retiree at 75, Melvin P. often rises in the morning to find the adult daughter he lives with has already left for work. Jamaica-born Winston-Salem resident Melvin understands why he’s left alone by his daughter’s need to meet her needs as well as his. But the situation makes him appreciate his arrival at Williams Adult Day Center and the hours he gets to spend at the facility not far from Wake Forest Baptist Health. (Goldsmith, 6/18)
Salt Lake Tribune:
‘Important And Disturbing:’ Utah Leaders Surprised By SEC Investigation Of Coronavirus Tests
In the early, anxious days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of politically connected Utah companies mounted a high-profile effort to thwart the spread of the virus. They initially planned to volunteer their business acumen to secure coronavirus tests and promote and perform testing, but soon shifted to a more lucrative approach: Claiming an initial $5 million in no-bid state contracts for Nomi Health. Other Utah companies won subcontracts with Nomi. The TestUtah initiative, lauded by state leaders, served as a springboard to win contracts in other states. Public health officials felt usurped almost immediately in Utah, emails show, and within weeks, Nomi’s decisions were under scrutiny. There were questions about both the accuracy of the tests it chose, from Utah company Co-Diagnostics, and the expertise of the community hospital Nomi selected to process them. After just four months, health officials regained influence and forced Nomi to stop using both. (Becker, 6/17)
Washington’s Latest Surprise Medical Bill Debate
Washington’s latest health care brawl is over wonky questions about how last year’s law banning surprise medical bills will now actually be implemented by the Biden administration. Billions of dollars are at stake — either for providers or for patients and employers. (Owens, 6/18)
Bangor Daily News:
1st Summer Season Of Cannabis Sales Expected To Buoy Maine’s Tourism Recovery
Maine’s summer tourism season has a new attraction this year with the first year of legal recreational marijuana sales expected to bring more people to the state, following trends in Colorado and California.
A major marijuana retailer in Maine told a HospitalityMaine seminar Thursday that he expects Maine to see a tourism boost, with some visitors coming strictly on a marijuana vacation. “We’re seeing a huge increase in interest about coming to Maine to try cannabis after we legalized it,” said Charlie Langston, managing director of Wellness Connection, which has a cultivation facility, extraction laboratory and two adult-use storefronts and two medical ones in Maine. “We get calls all the time from people planning vacations, wondering about how they can get cannabis when they’re here.” (Valigra, 6/18)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.