The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country and that has a big impact on jobs in the health care field. Employment in the health care field has grown significantly in recent years and will likely continue to grow at a strong pace in the next decade.

In the last month, legislation to eliminate the so-called “tampon tax” has been passed in New York, Connecticut and Illinois. The push to exempt tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes has come amid criticism that the tax unfairly affects women. Supporters argue that menstrual products should be treated like other medical necessities, which are currently tax exempt in most states.

Emotions ran high at the Supreme Court today in oral argument of what is considered to be the most important abortion cases in over 20 years. Chief Justice Roberts repeatedly tried to cut off Justice Sotomayor as she asked questions when time was up of one of the attorneys arguing. When she and Justice Ginsburg did it again he didn’t even try to stop them.

Perhaps more than any other issue all the Justices except Justice Kennedy are considered to have entrenched views on abortion. The questions for Justice Kennedy following oral argument appear to be whether he feels he has enough information to decide this case, and if he does, where he stands.  

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard may find that the third time is the charm as he negotiates with the federal government to live up to its treaty obligations to provide health services to the state’s Native Americans. Twice before in recent state history, governors have tried and failed to solve the longstanding problem, which results in a massive cost shift to state revenues to pay for health care for many Native Americans. In his Dec. 8, 2015, budget address in Pierre, S.D., Daugaard proposed that should the federal government fulfill its obligation to provide health services to Native Americans, the state would use the projected $67 million annual savings to the state to finance the cost of Medicaid expansion.

A long sought-after pathway for medical doctors to treat patients across state lines moved one step closer to reality with the inaugural meeting of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission—or IMLC—held Oct. 27-28 in Chicago.

As states across the country continue to transform health care, achieving the balance between cost containment and high quality care remains a primary focus. CSG is pleased to present a FREE eCademy webcast featuring national health care expert Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, who explores strategies to improve the quality of health care delivery while minimizing costs. Brenner is the medical director of the Urban Health Institute at the Cooper University Healthcare as well as the founder and executive director of Camden (N.J.) Coalition of Healthcare Providers. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013 for his work on addressing the health care needs of the chronically ill in impoverished communities in the U.S. This presentation was broadcast as part of CSG’s 2015 Medicaid Policy Academy in Washington, D.C.

This Act enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The compact: Becomes effective when adopted by seven states; Creates an interstate commission comprised of two representatives from each member state to oversee operation of the compact; Provides for physicians licensed in one compact state to obtain an expedited license in another compact state; Directs the commission to maintain a database of licensed physicians, and disciplinary records involving licensed physicians, from compact states; Provides for joint investigations and disciplinary actions; Authorizes the commission to levy and collect an assessment on member states to cover the cost of commission operations, and provides civil immunity for commission representatives and employees; Reserves member states’ rights to determine eligibility for physician licensure, license fees, grounds for discipline and continuing education requirements.

Telehealth is one of the fastest growing sectors within the health care industry. Nurses are increasingly being asked to deliver care through electronic means, offering opportunities for better patient care regardless of geographic boundaries. The NLC is a state-based licensure model that facilitates innovative care models by allowing nurses to legally deliver that care to patients through a multistate license. The NLC also has economic benefits, as it facilitates and expedites the hiring process for employers in their state, by enabling them to verify licenses online and to recruit from other states without having to go through the entire endorsement process. The NLC reduces licensure fees for nurses who practice in more than one state, eliminates unnecessary duplicative license procedures, reduces a nurse’s ability to move to another state to avoid a disciplinary action, and provides more expedient access to nurses in times of national crises. In the face of calls for the federal government to address health care licensing nationally, the NLC also offers a state-based solution to the claims that licensure is a barrier to interstate practice.

CSG Director of Health Policy Debra Miller outlines the top five issues in health policy for 2015, including Medicaid expansion, growing the health workforce, integrating health and human services, long-term care, and mental health and substance abuse. 

This act requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to develop evidence-based caregiver assessments and referral tools for family caregivers. Further, a plan of care would be developed which would take into account the needs of the caregiver and the recipient.

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