News

State reveals more info about COVID-19 hospital cases, but large gaps remain

North Carolinians know more about COVID-19 hospitalizations than they did a week ago. But data critical to the fight against COVID-19 remain missing from North Carolina’s dashboard, researchers say.  North Carolina’s new dashboard shows a regional picture of hospital capacity and COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state began breaking down COVID-19 hospitalizations by region and bed type...

Julie Havlak
News

COVID-19 data often incomplete or unavailable, researchers say

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise across North Carolina, key parts of the state’s science and data remain inaccessible to the public.  “North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize...

Julie Havlak
News

Cohen says No Patient Left Alone Bill would violate federal law, pose risks

On May 7, Cheryl Holtsclaw took her dad to the emergency room at Watauga Medical Center in Boone. Hospital policy blocked visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so the 86-year-old man, suffering kidney problems, awaited treatment alone.  While waiting, he suffered a catastrophic stroke. He was paralyzed on the right side. He couldn’t swallow....

Kari Travis
News

Legislative roundup, week of June 8-12, 2020

Each week of the General Assembly’s short session, CJ staff will look back at several important bills lawmakers handled.  Elections: An election bill awaits Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature. House Bill 1169, Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, sends money to the N.C. State Board of Elections for COVID-19 expenses, and includes temporary reforms to absentee and vote-by-mail...

Kari Travis
News

Hospitals, health care workers not immune from fallout of virus, lockdowns 

Even health care workers aren’t immune to the economic devastation brought by the coronavirus.  Health care providers lost billions during the shutdown that delayed or canceled elective surgeries across North Carolina. The fallout could drive up prices for patients, fuel consolidation, and worsen shortages in rural health care, said Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health...

Julie Havlak

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House health panel considers temporary Medicaid expansion to cover COVID-19

Republican lawmakers are considering temporarily expanding Medicaid to cover uninsured residents’ coronavirus testing and treatment, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said during a meeting of the House Committee on COVID-19 Health Care Working Group.  Medicaid expansion derailed last year’s budget, after Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the $24 billion 2019-20 spending plan last summer. The Republican-led...

Julie Havlak
News

N.C. hospitals, medical practices could get several billion from CARES Act

North Carolina’s hospitals asked for $3 billion from Congress’s $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.  It remains unclear how much money will make it to North Carolina, but experts say the billions in the CARES Act won’t be the end. Money earmarked for business relief will also flow into the health care...

Julie Havlak
News

Folwell offers better deal — and new deadline — for hospitals to join State Health Plan project

State Treasurer Dale Fowell has sweetened a deal for hospitals to sign on to his Clear Pricing Project. While hospitals refuse to sign onto the new system, promoting transparency in pricing, state employees fear losing coverage in major hospitals, where they would be treated but have to pay out-of-network charges.  Without serious reforms, the State...

Julie Havlak
News

Senate lawmakers introduce bill creating loan program for troubled rural hospitals

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, wants to throw a lifeline to as many as 20 rural hospitals that are headed toward insolvency. Berger and Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, whose districts have a history of struggling hospitals, are primary sponsors of Senate Bill 681. Legislative staff gave a background briefing on the bill Monday, June 24....

Dan Way
News

State’s biggest independent physicians clinic network signs onto Folwell’s Clear Pricing Project

State Treasurer Dale Folwell has reeled in a big fish. With a deadline just 13 days away, Community Care Physician Network, North Carolina’s largest network of independent physician clinics, announced Monday, June 17, it signed on to the State Health Plan’s cost-cutting Clear Pricing Project. Community Care Physician Network is associated with 2,500 primary care...

Dan Way
News

Folwell says not involved in Vidant-UNC dispute, but still at odds with Vidant CEO over State Health Plan reforms

State Treasurer Dale Folwell has clashed with Vidant Health in the past over state resources and State Health Plan reforms, but isn’t involved in the current battle between the hospital chain and the UNC Board of Governors over control of Vidant Medical Center. “I was as shocked as your readers were, and the rest of...

Dan Way