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State Highlights: Minn. Gov. Blasts Medica For $120M Funds Transfer; In Mass., Closing Arguments In Murder Trial Related To Compounding Pharmacy Meningitis Outbreak

Media outlets report on news from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, Kansas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia and Ohio.

The Star Tribune: Dayton, Consumer Advocates Blast Minnesota HMO For $120 Million Transfer
Medica Health Plans transferred the money this month to shore up the finances of its for-profit and Wisconsin insurance businesses, using reserves from its nonprofit HMO. The move is also reigniting a debate about the role of Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans. (Howatt, 10/19)

The Associated Press: Closing Arguments Set In Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Trial
Attorneys are preparing to make their closing arguments in the case of a Massachusetts pharmacist charged with second-degree murder in a deadly meningitis outbreak. Closing arguments in Glenn Chin’s trial are expected Friday in Boston’s federal courthouse. Chin faces second-degree murder, mail fraud and other charges under federal racketeering law. (Richer, 10/20)

Dallas Morning News: Two Texas ERs Got Bad Reviews Online. Now They Want Google To Help Them Find Out Who Did It 
Two North Texas free-standing emergency room operators want tech giant Google to give up the identities of nearly two dozen reviewers who rated them poorly online. Highland Park Emergency Center on Lemmon Avenue and Preston Hollow Emergency Room on Walnut Hill Lane filed a joint petition Tuesday in Dallas County District Court. The 30-page pre-suit deposition lists the screen names used by 22 individuals, who the facilities claim never were treated in their emergency centers. (Rice, 10/19)

New Hampshire Public Radio: Outcry From Child Care Community Sinks State’s Attempt To Overhaul Licensing Rules
The state’s attempt to overhaul its childcare rules has been stalled yet again, after childcare providers across the state mobilized against the proposed changes. The Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules sent the Department of Health and Human Services back to the drawing board after a hearing on the issue Thursday morning. (McDermott, 10/19)

Kansas City Star: Fungus Destroyed Inmate’s Brain While Kansas Prison Contractor Did Nothing, Suit Says
Marques Davis was in the infirmary at Hutchinson Correctional Facility on Dec. 27, 2016, back with the same symptoms he’d been complaining of for months, including numbness and weakness in his legs. But on that day there was something new. “It feels like something is eating my brain,” Davis told Corizon Health employees who staff the prison infirmary. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, something was infecting his brain: a fungus that slowly killed the 27-year-old over the next four months, as he pleaded for help. (Marso, 10/17)

WBUR: Study: Mass. Has The Highest Percentage Of Inmates Over 55
The study, from the Pew Charitable Trusts, finds that more than 14 percent of Massachusetts inmates are over the age of 55. And the state spends more than $8,900 per inmate per year on health care. (Becker, 10/19)

WBUR: BU Study: States With Tighter Laws On Concealed Carry Have Lower Rates Of Handgun Homicides
States like Massachusetts, which have some of the tightest laws regulating who can carry a concealed handgun, have significantly lower rates of handgun homicides than states with more lax handgun permitting laws. That’s according to a new study from Boston University, released Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health. (Brooks, 10/19)

Arizona Republic: Arizona Heat Takes An Extra Toll On People With Mental Illness
Out of all the people who died of heat-associated causes in Maricopa County in 2016, around 15 percent had a history of mental illness, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of autopsy reports. …Some medications, including certain types of antidepressants and antipsychotics, block the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, said Dr. David Eisenman, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Altavena, 10/19)

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com: Major Sanctions At Darby Nursing Home After Neglect Found
The Pennsylvania Department of Health revoked the regular license of St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare last month and installed a temporary manager at the Darby nursing home after an August inspection found that a patient had developed “wounds that went down to the bone with exposed tendon.” The 273-bed facility, one of five sold in 2014 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Center Management Group of New York, appealed the decision and remains open under a temporary manager installed by the health department. The revocation was the first in Pennsylvania since at least the beginning of 2014. (Brubaker, 10/20)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Quest Diagnostics To Acquire Cleveland Clinic Spinoff Cleveland HeartLab
Cleveland HeartLab, a cardiovascular diagnostic testing company, has proprietary tests that use biomarkers to predict cardiovascular disease. With the deal, Quest, a New Jersey-based medical testing laboratory with locations around the world, will be able to add those diagnostic tests, and others, to its offerings. (Christ, 10/19)

Georgia Health News: Director Who Steered DFCS Through Crisis Leaving For Calif. Post
Bobby Cagle, who as DFCS director is credited with stabilizing the long-troubled state agency, is departing for a child welfare position in Los Angeles. He is being replaced by the agency’s chief of staff, Virginia Pryor, who will be interim DFCS director, the governor’s office announced this week. (Miller, 10/19)

Des Moines Register: Quadriplegic Spent Hours In Dirty Diaper After Services Cut
Throughout last summer, 25-year-old quadriplegic Louis Facenda Jr. spent as much as half of each day in a dirty diaper after his caregiver services provided through Iowa’s Medicaid program were dramatically cut. …The cuts ended payments for at least 16 visits each week for an in-home care program that helped the family dress, feed and change the diapers of Facenda Jr. two to three times each day. (Clayworth, 10/19)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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