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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Empire Health helps fund care ombudsman

The program charged with protecting the rights of nursing home and assisted living residents will continue in five Eastern Washington counties thanks in part to a grant from the Empire Health Foundation. The future of the state Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was cast in doubt in October when it was told that a third of its funding – from Medicaid – would not be available after the first of the year.

State withdraws Medicaid coverage for oral care

Annmarie Dowd had all her teeth pulled a few weeks ago. Her dentist suggested she hurry up and have the procedure because as of Jan. 1 the state stopped providing Medicaid coverage of nonemergency dental care for adults.

Federal bonus could save kids’ health care from cuts

A $17.6 million windfall from the federal government could prevent thousands of children in Washington from losing their health insurance in March if the state decides to spend the money on the Apple Health for Kids program, which has been targeted for cuts. Washington was one of 15 states to receive performance bonuses for enrolling more children in health insurance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

Interpreter services for patients face cut

SEATTLE – About 70,000 Washington residents who do not speak English fluently may lose access to interpreters during medical visits under a proposed budget cut. The proposed $2 million cut in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s emergency budget would eliminate a state-funded program that subsidizes interpreter services to medical clinics and hospitals who serve Medicaid patients.

Medicaid system fails to pay claims

SEATTLE – Washington state’s new computer system for processing Medicaid payments is failing to process hundreds of thousands of claims. Some doctors and clinics have stopped taking new Medicaid patients until they get paid for ones they’ve already treated, the Seattle Times reported.

State cuts to health clinics affect thousands

Washington state is suspending grants that enable community clinics to provide health care to about 300,000 uninsured patients. Suspension of the program was announced this week by the Washington State Health Care Authority as part of across-the-board reductions in state spending.

Letter details targeted cuts to Medicaid services

Thousands of Washington’s poorest residents will receive a letter early next month informing them that they will lose health care services in the coming year as the state cuts Medicaid spending. The “Dear Client” letter from the Medicaid Purchasing Administration says “optional” programs such as dental care, hearing devices and hospice care will be eliminated Jan. 1 as a result of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s order in September cutting state spending 6.3 percent to compensate for an expected $1.4 billion budget shortfall through June 2011.

Washington Medicaid recipients to lose services

Thousands of Washington’s poorest residents will receive a letter early next month informing them that they will lose health care services in the coming year as the state cuts Medicaid spending.

Director outlines Idaho’s gloomy Medicaid outlook

BOISE – Idaho’s Medicaid program is facing such a big potential shortfall next year that officials are considering using volunteers to help those who now rely on its services. State Health and Welfare Director Dick Armstrong told state lawmakers Tuesday that back in the 1950s and 1960s, volunteers performed many services that Medicaid provides today, such as driving disabled people to doctor’s appointments and checking on whether mentally ill patients have taken their medication.

Idaho: Volunteers could help sick, poor

Idaho’s Medicaid program is facing such a big potential shortfall next year that officials are suggesting turning to volunteers to help out the disabled and others who now rely on its services.