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Medicaid officials: Reform to be costly

JACKSON — Mississippi Medicaid officials say the federal healthcare overhaul could push as many as 400,000 additional people onto the rolls of the state program. Medicaid director Bob Robinson said in a news release yesterday that the state is struggling to pay for its current program. About one-fifth of Mississippi residents are already covered by Medicaid, a government health insurance ...

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Another West Nile virus case identified

CALHOUN COUNTY — Health officials say one new case of West Nile virus has been reported in Mississippi, bringing the state total to five so far this year. The Mississippi Department of Health said in a news release that the new case occurred in an adult in Calhoun County. Earlier, two positive cases were reported in Leflore County with one ...

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Mental health centers avert funding crisis

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Mental Health has agreed to pay half the cost of Medicaid matching funds to help the state’s 15 community mental health centers through June 2012. Officials feared the community centers may close because they didn’t have funds for the state’s share of the match to pull down federal funds to treat Medicaid recipients. ...

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Coast hospital set to begin major renovations

BAY ST. LOUIS — Hancock Medical Center hopes to get started in two months on its $24-million face-lift. Hospital spokesman Tom Carlton tells The Sun Herald that bids went out last month for the renovation project. He said hospital services will not be interrupted by the construction. The project will take about three years to complete. “The construction phase will ...

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Coast hospital lays off nearly 50 workers

GULFPORT — Forty-seven employees have been laid off at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. Gary Marchand, the hospitals president and CEO, says the layoffs came Friday and included 35 full-time employees. He says 10 nurses were laid off. Marchard said yesterday that Memorial Hospital is trying to offset an anticipated $11 million shortfall related to reimbursement reductions from Medicare and Medicaid. ...

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Health Department awards CONs for three projects

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Health has issued certificates of need (CONs) for three projects. The projects are: • Covington County Hospital and Nursing Home (d/b/a Arrington Living Center) in 
Collins — for the cost overrun to CON #R-0556-A for the construction/establishment of a 60-bed skilled nursing facility. The additional capital expenditure is $170,000
, and the total capital ...

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Officials identify another West Nile virus case

SCOTT COUNTY — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one new human West Nile virus (WNV) case in Scott County, bringing the state’s total to four. The case was reported in an adult. The MSDH reports both confirmed and probable cases to the public. So far this year, there have been two positive WNV cases reported in Leflore ...

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Baptist gives pink slips to nearly 200 workers

JACKSON — Baptist Medical Center has given pink slips to 186 employees as part of its attempt to cut more than $16 million. CEO Kurt Metzner tells The Clarion-Ledger that the first pink slips came last week, and the latest ones came yesterday. He said those people can apply for 136 job openings. Metzner offered no explanation why those openings ...

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Magnolia Regional plans major renovations

CORINTH — Magnolia Regional Health Center has plans for $17 million in improvements, including relocation and consolidation of some existing services. Hospital CEO Rick Napper outlined the project for local officials. He says it would need approval by the hospital board and the Mississippi Department of Health. “We would like to make the decision to go forward or not by ...

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Currier rules against St. Dominic in 'hospital war'

MADISON COUNTY — State health officer Mary Currier has denied St. Dominic Health Systems’ request to build a 71-bed hospital just north of Madison. Currier’s decision was announced yesterday. St. Dominic officials told The Clarion-Ledger they would appeal the decision to Hinds County Chancery Court. Currier says she agreed with her staff that the hospital isn’t needed. Health Management Associates, ...

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