health care

Latest effort to legalize medical marijuana in TN: The TRUMP Act

Heartened by President Donald Trump’s recent comments about marijuana, two Tennessee lawmakers who are physicians plan to renew efforts next year to legalize medical cannabis and are naming the bill after the president, reports the Times Free Press.

Continue reading

Faison criticized for medical marijuana support by GOP challenger in House District 11

In a “spirited and at times heated debate,” House Government Operations Chairman Jeremy Faison was criticized on several matters by Greg Fodness, who is challenging him in in the House District 11 Republican primary, reports the Newport Plain Talk. One hot topic was Faison’s advocacy of legalizing medical marijuana in recent legislative sessions.

Continue reading

Folks reported ‘flocking’ to first TN hemp dispensary — offering ‘pain relief’ through ‘mother nature’

People are “flocking” to the first hemp dispensary in Tennessee, which recently opened in Murfreesboro, says WTVF TV in a report that seems almost an advertisement for cannabidiol oil (CBD) sales – legalized by the state legislature two years ago with little fanfare and previously peddled on a mostly incidental basis within the state. Such sales led to a big bust in Rutherford County earlier this year, but all charges were dismissed after law enforcement officials realized candy contained CBD derived from hemp, not its illegal cousin plant marijuana, is legal in Tennessee and TBI labs confirmed that was the stuff being sold.

Continue reading

TN whistleblowers credited in $30M settlement of federal fraud complaint against nursing home chain

A nursing home chain with more than two dozen facilities in Tennessee has settled a $230 million Medicare fraud complaint with an agreement to pay a $30 million settlement, reports WPLN. Two women who worked at one of the facilities in Columbia are credited as key whistleblowers and will get $6 million.

Continue reading

Roe balks at backing Trump administration move to eliminate mandated health insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions

Many Republican congressmen – including at least one member of the Tennessee delegation — are unhappy that the Trump administration has moved to eliminate a provision in the Obamacare law that assures health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, reports Politico.

Continue reading

TennCare backs off initiative aimed at making doctors more cost conscious

After months of resisting pressure from doctors, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, known as TennCare, is slowing down an initiative meant to make physicians more cost conscious, reports WPLN. The Tennessee Medical Association has complained about the so-called “episodes of care” payment model since its inception, though doctors initially cooperated with state officials in designing the program.

Continue reading

Needle exchange programs getting underway in TN after recent legislative authorization bills

Health officials say a new needle exchange program in Johnson City will be only the second of its kind in Tennessee and will help limit infections spread by the increasing rate of intravenous drug use in the area, according to the Johnson City Press.

The report comes after the legislature has, without much media attention, moved to authorize more needle exchange programs statewide. The 110th General Assembly approved two bills on the subject – one in 2017 that allows private and nonprofit organizations to run needle exchange programs subject to Department of Health approval, and another this year that lets all local governments do the same, again subject to DOH approval.

Continue reading

Doctor who advised TN legislature decries ‘overzealous’ raid on home, offices

The Johnson City home of Dr. Tom Reach, an addiction treatment physician who has been involved in developing Tennessee legislation, and the eight recovery centers he operates in Virginia and Tennessee were raided Wednesday by federal agents, reports the Johnson City Press. Reach says the action was an “overzealous” move tied to the “current political environment” —  and noted several local politicians have visited his facilities.

Continue reading

Legislature mandates that state health insurance cover experimental cancer treatment

An experimental cancer treatment has won a rare endorsement from the Tennessee legislature despite some criticism, reports WPLN. The measure requires insurance coverage of proton therapy, which benefits a Knoxville-based company that is building a treatment center in Franklin.

Continue reading

GOP legislators spurned renewed Haslam pitch for Medicaid expansion in private meeting

Gov.  Bill Haslam asked Republican legislative leaders earlier this month if they would reconsider Medicaid expansion legislation, which was rejected when he initially proposed the idea three years ago, reports The Tennessean. House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally were open to discussing the idea but others were not and the notion was dropped.

Continue reading