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Cochran: Healthcare reform pressuring budget

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ranking member on the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, is predicting that unfunded costs for implementing and paying for the nation’s new healthcare reform law will put new pressure on the federal budget—and Congress. In a letter to Cochran, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ...

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First-of-its-kind court headed for Hub City

HATTIESBURG — Officials in Hattiesburg say Mississippi’s first behavioral health court will be located in the city, a newspaper reported. The new program will specifically target the special needs of misdemeanor offenders, suffering with mental health issues, according to a report yesterday in The Hattiesburg American. “We are finishing up the planning right now,” said Dorothea Van Buren, coordinator of ...

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Madison approves smoking ban

MADISON — Madison has adopted a smoke-free-air ordinance, switching from a voluntary ban on tobacco that all city businesses followed. The change passed unanimously on Tuesday. Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler is expected to sign the ordinance Wednesday or Thursday. The law will go into effect 30 days after she signs it. Butler tells The Clarion-Ledger the reason for moving from ...

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Report: South epicenter for H1N1 flu

More than 99 percent of specimens tested for influenza were positive for H1N1 over approximately the past 11 months, according to a report released from Quest Diagnostics Inc. And, it finds that the South is the epicenter for the disease. The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Report suggests that H1N1 “crowded out” other influenza viruses to be the dominant flu virus ...

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State's home care costs among lowest in U.S.

According to Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey, home care costs, as well as costs of other long-term care services, are lower in Mississippi than they are nationally. The median annual rate for home care costs in Mississippi is $36,608 statewide, 16 percent lower than the median annual rate of $43,472 nationally. Mississippi is the fourth most affordable state for ...

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Ex-surgeon indicted for witness tampering

JACKSON COUNTY — A Jackson County grand jury has indicted former heart surgeon David Bruce Allen on charges he allegedly tried to bribe witnesses in a marijuana cultivation case. Allen is charged with one count each of bribing a witness, witness tampering and trying to get someone to commit perjury. Prosecutors allege Allen tried to bribe his sister, Gail Lee, ...

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Healthcare from an economic developer’s viewpoint

From an economic developer’s perspective, healthcare in a community is a positive, highly desirable activity. It creates jobs, provides a better quality of life and usually grows the local economy. One need only consider the impact of two of the most highly-regarded medical institutes in the world. First is the Mayo Clinic, headquartered in Rochester, Minn., with other locations in ...

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Delta already needs doctors

  The national physician-to-patient ratio average is four to 10,000. In the Mississippi Delta, it’s one per 10,000. “We have a huge access-to-care problem,” said Karen Fox, president and CEO of the Delta Health Alliance (DHA), an organization created to address critical healthcare and wellness gaps in the Mississippi Delta. Fox said the alliance is in the process of researching ...

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Will 21% cut to Medicare reimbursements get repealed?

In addition to speculating about federal healthcare reform implementation, physicians are also wondering when Congress will provide an answer regarding an additional 21 percent cut to Medicare reimbursements that went into effect April 1. Healthcare providers believe the cut will increasingly compromise healthcare access for Medicare patients, as doctors who serve those patients are taking a big hit to their ...

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Jackson hospitals: UMMC should not be exempt from Certificate of Need law

Seven Jackson area hospitals are urging the attorney general to withdraw its February opinion exempting University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) from state Certificate of Need (CON) law. CON approval is required for the purchase of major medical equipment and hospital expansions.  The CON process is designed to help ensure the economic stability of community hospitals and long-term nursing care ...

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