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Still no approval for state to cut Medicaid payments

JACKSON — Mississippi’s Medicaid program still hasn’t received federal permission to cut payments to doctors, dentists and other providers for the final three months of the budget year, the program’s spokesman said today. The chairman of the state Senate Public Health Committee, meanwhile, said the planned cuts for April, May and June are counterproductive. “It just further irritates the very ...

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Cause of oyster illness remains a mystery

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana health officials are still trying to determine what’s led to a stomach illness outbreak that forced the closure of three oyster harvest areas in the past two weeks. The areas in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and parts of Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have been closed to oyster fishing as a precaution. The disease, norovirus, is a ...

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Coast doctors sentenced for illegal prescriptions

GULFPORT — A federal judge has ordered two Biloxi doctors to prison for prescription-drug violations. U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced Dr. Richard Trieu April 1 to eight years in prison for prescribing narcotics outside the scope of professional practice. The judge gave Trieu’s wife, Dr. Victoria Van, a year in prison. The judge ordered the couple taken into ...

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State last in the nation in swine flu shots

New England leads the nation in swine flu vaccinations, while the South has the lowest rates, U.S. health officials said Thursday in the first state-by-state report on turnout. Tiny Rhode Island has the highest rate of about 39 percent — three times higher than Mississippi, which has the lowest percentage of residents vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control ...

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Attorneys general resisting healthcare lawsuit

PHOENIX — Republican governors in two western states want to join in legal challenges to recent federal health care legislation, but each is meeting stiff resistance from the same obstacle: an attorney general from the rival party. Amid campaign-year jockeying, high-profile health-care disputes have erupted between the states’ top elected officials in both Arizona and Nevada. In Nevada, Democratic Attorney ...

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Reeves slams new healthcare law

JACKSON — State Treasurer Tate Reeves says recently passed healthcare reform threatens the state’s fiscal outlook. In a statement, Reeves said, “It is hard to believe at a time when our state’s budget for the next several fiscal years is in limbo, when gas prices are steadily increasing, and the economy is still struggling, the U.S. Congress passed the most ...

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Decision on hospital still pending

OLIVE BRANCH — State health officials say a decision on Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s request to build a hospital in Olive Branch may still be a couple of months away. A public hearing held in Jackson earlier this month on whether the request should be approved ended with the expectation of a decision within 40 days. But Rachel Pittman with ...

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Arkansas AG becomes Republican target

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Conservatives have plenty of passion and anger to direct at Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as they push for him to fight the new federal health care law. They just don’t have any leverage to see that he does it. McDaniel has emerged as the new target of Republicans opposed to the health care overhaul that ...

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Health Department issues CONs

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has issued Certificates of Need (CONs) for the following projects: • Forrest General Hospital, d/b/a Highland Community Hospital, has received CON authority for the construction of a medical office building. The proposed project involves the construction of a 20,000-square-foot, one-story building adjacent to the future Highland Community Hospital in Picayune. ...

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Lantern Medical Clinic expects summer opening

Mission for facility is ‘providing medical care to qualified working, uninsured individuals and families’ Mississippi’s working uninsured will be getting a break on healthcare, thanks to a new non-profit medical clinic to open in Pearl by this summer. The clinic is in need of more volunteer physicians before opening. Lantern’s mission, according to its web site, lanternclinic.org, is “an after-hours clinic ...

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