TennCare Completes Year-Long Case Review, More Than a Half-Million Members Deemed Ineligible So Far


More than 63,000 eligibility checks are still pending but more than 967,000 individuals are renewed and nearly 508,000 are ineligible following the full year review of TennCare cases.

The analysis of more than 1.5 million members comes after the federal COVID-19 pandemic eligibility check pause between March 2020 to March 31, 2023.

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Virginia Hospital PSA Asks Patients to Behave Appropriately Amid Rising Violence for Healthcare Workers

Virginia Nurse PSA

A new public service announcement by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) asks patients to behave appropriately while receiving treatment or otherwise in healthcare settings. It was released amid rising workplace violence for health workers in hospitals.

The VHHA press release explains the “Help Us, Help You” campaign “draws attention to the heightened risk of workplace violence faced by health care professionals.”

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Conservatives Applaud Youngkin in New Ad for Amending Bill Critics Claim Provides Free Healthcare to Illegal Immigrants

Glenn Youngkin Medical Bill

Governor Glenn Youngkin received praise on Wednesday in a commercial celebrating his decision to amend a bill critics argue would have allowed illegal immigrants to receive free healthcare by expanding a federal program.

As passed by lawmakers, SB 119 would expand the federal 340B program that was designed to for hospitals to buy drugs at discounted prices in order to provide healthcare to low-income individuals.

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Health Insurance Costs in Virginia Rising Despite Low Levels of Healthcare Spending, Study Finds

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) is bringing awareness to a new study showing health insurance premiums and deductible costs among Virginians are rising despite the state’s overall healthcare spending remaining below national levels.

“When it comes to health care spending, Virginia is in the enviable position of having expenditure rates that remain well below national levels. The same cannot be said for health insurance costs, unfortunately,” the VHHA said in a press release. “On the contrary, the amount that individuals and families across the Commonwealth spend on annual health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles continues to rise sharply year-over-year.”

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Commentary: The SITE Act Could Save Tennesseans Millions in Healthcare Spending

The escalating cost of health care in America has reached an unsustainable level, leaving millions of Americans saddled with medical debt. In Tennessee alone, 61 percent of residents have grappled with the burden of health care affordability, with 78 percent expressing concerns about affording health care in the future. As many of my fellow college students would agree, working within the confines of a tight budget means that the impact of high medical bills is that much more acute. And as a concerned and engaged citizen, I feel compelled to shine a spotlight on these critical affordability issues that impact everyone in my community.

 High health care costs have rightfully become the focus of intense scrutiny. Many Americans are wrestling with all-too-high medical bills, and government health care programs consistently rank among the largest annual federal expenditures. With an aging population and an ever-changing public health environment, it is incumbent upon our elected officials to examine more solutions to bring down health care costs.

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California’s Free Medi-Cal to Cover Illegal Immigrants amid Healthcare Shortage

Doctor and Patient

Beginning January 1, illegal immigrants will be able to qualify for and use Medi-Cal, California’s taxpayer-funded free and low-cost healthcare plan for low-income residents. Experts warn that the state is already facing a healthcare shortage as a new $25 healthcare minimum wage threatens to reduce staffing levels — and doctors who accept Medi-Cal’s low reimbursement rate — even further. 

By expanding Medi-Cal eligibility to illegal immigrants between the ages of 26 and 49 under SB 184, an omnibus spending bill, California will add an estimated 700,000 users to the Medi-Cal system at a cost of $2.7 billion per year. 

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Despite Backlog of Claims, Department of Veterans Affairs Using Resources to Help Illegal Immigrants

At a press conference on immigration reform earlier this month, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., criticized President Biden for putting the needs of illegal immigrants over those of America’s veterans. “Veterans have a hard enough time getting the care that they need and now they have to compete with illegal immigrants? This will not fix the border crisis. Biden’s border crisis puts illegal immigrants first, it puts our veterans last,” Daines said.

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University of Minnesota Spent over $200,000 On ‘Diversity’ Platform Teaching Physicians That Healthcare Is Racist

The University of Minnesota (UMN) paid over $200,000 to develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training program that teaches medical professionals that healthcare is fundamentally racist, according to documents received by the medical watchdog Do No Harm and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The training, developed by Diversity Science, is intended to educate healthcare professionals on obstetric care for black and indigenous women, which the training dubs “birthing people,” and highlights perceived “structural racism” in healthcare practices. Moreover, UMN’s DEI office blames “white supremacy” for certain disparities in perinatal care, and trains providers to view the development of medicine and the healthcare system as tainted with racism, documents obtained by Do Not Harm reveal.

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Florida Enrollment in Medicaid Continues Recent Decline

doc nurse senior patient

Florida’s Medicaid enrollment continue to decline, according to recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on health policy, research and polling.

According to data from the Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker, the number of people on Medicaid in the Sunshine State declined 7% from April to July, shrinking from 5.78 million to 5.36 million.

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislators Should Support SITE Act

Our health care institutions were put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic, stretching everything from large hospitals and pharmacies to local emergency rooms and makeshift testing sites. We saw our medical personnel endure unprecedented strain throughout the public health crisis. As a health care professional myself, I know the unique challenges that the medical community faces, whether it’s during times of crisis or times of calm. At the end of the day, we do our work to serve patients in need.

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Commentary: The Left’s Misguided Attempt at a Drug Pricing ‘Fix’

Here in Tennessee, we stand up for what’s best for our communities and do what we can to encourage our elected officials to act in the best interests of our families and taxpayers. In health care, it often becomes convoluted and hard to decipher what will actually improve the lives of patients. When it comes to prescription drug affordability, prices continue to skyrocket and we need our lawmakers to do what they can to effectively lower costs and reject policies that will actually hurt patients and families.

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Tennessee Department of Health Announces Grant Recipients to Expand Services, Address Staffing Shortages

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced on Tuesday the recipients of $119 million in grant funding through its Healthcare Resiliency Program.

Forty-one applicants received funding to expand “brick-and-mortar healthcare capacity, and for Practice Transformation and Extension projects, to improve access to healthcare services” through Capital Investment projects, according to TDH. The funding was awarded on a competitive basis.

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Commentary: Republicans Must Not Surrender to Bernie Sanders on Healthcare

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the GOP needs an effective healthcare agenda. There are many policies and programs they could be championing to help families deal with rising costs — especially now with control in the House and a slim Democratic majority in the Senate — but unfortunately, they’ve failed to capitalize on this issue so far.

Republicans are missing an important opening; last year 90 percent of voters said a candidate’s plan for reducing the cost of healthcare would be important to them and 39 percent went so far as to say they would likely cross party lines to vote for a candidate who makes reducing healthcare costs their top priority!

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Bipartisan Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow ‘Personal Option’ Through Association Health Plans

A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state lawmakers are championing legislation enabling small-business association healthcare plans to offer workers affordable coverage. 

Such plans facilitate lower costs by allowing business and industry organizations to pool their members and negotiate insurance prices. The measure’s author, Representative Valerie Gaydos (R-Moon Township), was among numerous sponsors who told The Pennsylvania Daily Star they experienced firsthand how governmental burdens have made it harder for companies to provide their members with inexpensive medical coverage. Gaydos said this is particularly true since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, heavily restricted association plans. 

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Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Releases Videos Highlighting Health Care Professionals’ Personal Stories Regarding Workplace Violence

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) released a series of videos featuring the stories of hospital nurses across the state who have firsthand experience with workplace violence in clinical settings.

The videos have been released in recognition of the annual Hospitals Against Violence initiative, which focuses on “identifying strategies to combat workplace and community violence,” according to VHHA.

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Commentary: SEIU Resorts to More Influence Peddling in Pittsburgh

Two years ago, hell-bent on getting its hooks into the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) –  the largest private workforce in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania –  SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania effectively bought the Pittsburgh mayor’s office.

In November, the union intends to pay more than twice as much to consolidate its monopoly over the region’s chief executives by adding the Allegheny County executive’s office to its collection. And it’s employing the same winning strategy to do so: spending bucketloads of someone else’s money.

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Pennsylvania Republicans Consider Paths to Hospital Price Transparency

A committee of GOP Pennsylvania lawmakers on Thursday gathered in downtown Lewisburg to consider ways to make patients aware of hospital service prices ahead of time. 

At the House Republican Policy Committee hearing at the Open Discourse Coalition headquarters, policy experts testified that, despite a new federal rule requiring price transparency, many hospitals still fail to accurately inform patients of procedures’ costs. Representative David Rowe (R-Middleburg), who organized the event, recalled constituents telling him they’ve faced shocking examples of pricing opacity.

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Florida Senate Committee Approves Measure to Expand Telehealth Practice

by Andrew Powell   The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee met on Wednesday and approved a bill to revise the definition of telehealth by allowing audio-only patient services. Telehealth is a service that connects consumers in rural areas with health professionals from the comfort and convenience of their homes. This service includes lab tests or X-ray results, mental health treatment – which can include online therapy, counseling and medication management. Other recurring conditions like migraines or urinary tract infections can also be managed via telehealth, as well as post-surgical follow-ups, urgent care issues, physical and occupational therapy and remote monitoring services for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Senate Bill 298 was presented by State Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, who proposed to permanently include audio-only calls. “Senate Bill 298 removes a provision in the definition of telehealth that excludes audio-only telephone calls. This change allows Medicaid to elect to reimburse for audio-only telephone calls.” Boyd said. Telehealth has become a go-to for those who are not able to see a nurse or doctor. “Audio-only telehealth provides easy access for those in rural communities, its cost effective, convenient, time saving and reduces the risk of exposure in the spread…

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Audit of Florida Veterans’ Nursing Homes Finds Staffing and Procurement Issues

The State Florida Auditor General released this week the results of an audit into the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which analyzed the department’s nursing home staffing, time and attendance records and followed up a 2019 audit.

The first issue surrounded staff members missing meal breaks during shifts that ranged from 6 to 16 hours, while other staff were missing their entitled two 30-minute breaks during double shifts.

According to the department’s own procedures and policies, staff members must have written approval from a supervisor to be able to work through meal breaks.

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Pennsylvania Bill Seeks to End Medical-Lawsuit Venue Shopping

Pennsylvania state Representative Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown) is preparing legislation to restore a rule keeping each healthcare lawsuit in the county where the alleged malpractice occurred. 

Two decades ago, state lawmakers enacted the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act which forbade patients claiming they suffered from a doctor’s medical mistakes to file their lawsuits in jurisdictions where the alleged harm did not take place. Before that time, much litigation was being filed in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties whose common-pleas courts were known to look especially favorably on healthcare plaintiffs.

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TennCare Costs Will Increase as Emergency COVID Waiver Ends

Throughout the federal COVID-19 emergency, Tennessee’s Medicaid service TennCare and programs like it across the country have been barred from removing those who initially qualified for services.

Starting on April 1, however, the emergency will end and so will the federal matching dollars that went into the program. TennCare served 1.4 million residents in early 2020 and, after hitting a projected peak of 1.7 million members this spring, expects TennCare enrollment to go back down to 1.4 million by April 2025.

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Mass General Brigham Speech Code Includes Blacklist on Care

A wealthy Massachusetts healthcare system that went on a controversial advertising spree to justify its encroachment on cheaper hospitals is now sending patients a different message: Watch your language.

“Words or actions that are disrespectful, racist, discriminatory, hostile, or harassing are not welcome” at Mass General Brigham (MGB), according to a “Patient Code of Conduct” imposed this fall after a year of development.

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Ohio Congresswoman Brown Pushing Bill to Expand Government Role in Healthcare

U.S. Representative Shontel Brown (D-OH-11) is leading a charge among members of Congress in favor of a measure to expand the federal government’s role in healthcare, particularly regarding mental-health-related comorbidities. 

The Cleveland-area Democrat is cosponsoring her Mental and Physical Health Care Comorbidities Act with House colleague Brendan Boyle (D-PA-2). Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) has introduced a version of the legislation in his chamber. 

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Commentary: Tennessee Healthcare CON Job

Americans are still recovering from COVID lockdowns – by far one of the worst examples of chaos created by government intrusion. Career bureaucrats wreaked havoc on the economy and education system from their offices in Washington, D.C. Americans were left to fend for themselves while their businesses and savings accounts were depleted. Despite all these measures taken to safeguard the healthcare system, hospitals across the country were still overrun during the height of the pandemic.

The deregulation that occurred at the federal and state level to spur the economy and ensure the healthcare system was able to quickly respond to the ever-changing environment showed the power of regulatory reform without forcing taxpayers to foot the bill. Tennessee’s deregulation of some of the provisions of Certificate of Need (CON) during the pandemic was a shining example.

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Tennessee Arrests ‘Most Wanted’ Person for TennCare Fraud

Lindsey Horner, considered the “most wanted” person for TennCare fraud, was arrested Friday, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration (F&A).

The Tennessee Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, announced that the 39-year-old  Big Sandy, Tennessee, was charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. The TennCare fraud charge is a class D felony, and the theft of services charge is a class C felony, the press release notes.

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City of Dearborn Facing $22 Million Deficit

The city of Dearborn plans to restructure health care benefits and cut spending as it faces a $22 million deficit equivalent to firing 349 full-time employees.

The Metro Detroit city cited rising costs for the deficit, including $3.2 million in wage and benefit increases, $2.7 million for deferred fleet maintenance, and $1.2 million for increased fuel and other supplies.

However, budget details note the city has consistently spent more than it collected in revenue.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud told residents at a public meeting last week: “You are not going to lose benefits,” Fox2 reported. “At no point in time will the rug ever be pulled away from them, we never want to do that.”

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Democrats Worry About Spike in Obamacare Premiums Ahead of Midterms


As Democrats head into the November midterms with historically low approval ratings, another major factor could arise that will further contribute to the shrinking of their already-slim majorities.

As reported by The Hill, the Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as “Obamacare” – could face a significant increase in premiums due to a lapse in special funding provided by the coronavirus aid bill passed last year. That bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, temporarily increased financial assistance for Americans seeking healthcare through Obamacare; the increase was set to expire just one year after the bill’s passage.

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Commentary: Joe Biden and His Hostility to Conscience Rights

In 2020, the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center for forcing a nurse to assist at an abortion. Trump’s Department of Justice called the hospital’s bullying of the nurse “the kind of indecent coercion [that] violates everything this country stands for.”

In 2021, the Biden administration dropped this lawsuit. It did not want to defend the nurse. This rankled former Trump officials. “It is a dereliction of duty that is an insult to the bipartisan consensus that says you cannot force people to assist in abortions,” Roger Severino, the former head of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) told Fox News.

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Kemp Creates Commission to Find Solutions to Georgia’s Healthcare Worker Shortage

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order to create a special commission to examine how to fix the state’s healthcare worker shortage.

The 15-member Healthcare Workforce Commission must report its findings to the governor by the end of the year. Recommendations could include loan forgiveness programs, expanding education programs or technology investments.

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Two Georgia Physicians Forced to Pay Millions Over Allegations of Kickback Scheme

Two physicians, and the company they manage, agreed to pay millions to settle allegations of a healthcare kickback arrangement with other doctors, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Specifically, Paul D. Weir, John R. Morgan, and Care Plus Management will distribute $7.2 million to solve the complaint over potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.

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Commentary: Schools’ COVID-Aid Joy Ride Could Send New Hires off a Fiscal Cliff – Again

As school districts across the country grapple with declining enrollments induced by the pandemic, many are engaged in spending sprees like those of the past leading to widespread layoffs and budget cuts when federal money ran out.

Bolstered by $190 billion in pandemic relief funding from Washington, the nation’s public schools are hiring new teachers and staff, raising salaries, and sweetening benefit packages. Some are buying new vehicles. Others are building theaters and sports facilities.

Using such temporary support for new staff and projects with long-term costs is setting the table for perilous “fiscal cliffs” after COVID funding expires in 2024, some education budget analysts say. And that’s on top of doubts about whether money to battle the pandemic is being properly spent in the first place.

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‘Only Socialism Can Defeat COVID’ Flyers Found on University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Flyers posted around University of Wisconsin-Madison promising that “Only Socialism Can Defeat COVID” were promoting a Feb. 11 event held by the Madison, WI branch of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT).

According to the flyers, “capitalism offers no solutions” to COVID-19 and only makes things worse, as the organization criticizes solutions that involve “get[ting] back to work.” 

As Campus Reform previously reported, The IMT is an organization that supports a “socialist transformation of society.” They have branches across the U.S. and other parts of the world. 

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U.S. Senate Votes to Strike Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers and COVID National Emergency

nurse with hairnet and mask on

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to strike down Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate targeting healthcare workers at federally funded facilities. The measure passed on a party-line vote of 49 to 44.

No Democrat senators voted with Republicans to repeal the mandate, but GOP senators were able to get the resolution through the Senate because six Democrats missed the vote, The Hill reported.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who physician, and former military officer.  Before voting began, Marshall argued that the CMS vaccine mandate is “not about public health or science.”

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Postal Service Legislative ‘Fix’ Will Dump Workers on Medicare

A bill to “fix” the troubled United States Post Office (USPS) is on the verge of passage in the Senate but does it solve more problems than it creates? The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 3076 was scheduled for a vote earlier this month but was blocked by Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) on a procedural technicality.  “We can’t afford to add stress on our already enormous national debt with poor financial planning, which I think this bill absolutely does,” Scott said of the bill.

Now it’s back and on track for a vote in the Senate.

The biggest financial liability facing the USPS is the legal requirement to fund 75 years of retirement health benefits in advance for its workers. Congress has found a way around that by dumping the future postal workers on to Medicare.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Families, Patients from Filing Lawsuits Against Healthcare Providers over COVID

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill this week that at least 35 organizations asked him to veto. Now health-care providers have liability protection from being sued by patients and family members over COVID-19-related injuries, deaths and refusal to try available treatment.

The new law provides liability protection to health-care providers that follow “government-issued health standards” that “include the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, which many say aren’t working,” the groups wrote in a letter to DeSantis. “Some medical professionals have stated that these CDC protocols have led to unnecessary medicines, ventilation and deaths.”

Shawn McBride, director of The American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. who led the 35-group coalition asking DeSantis to veto the bill, told The Center Square that while DeSantis “signed a bill that may allow CDC protocols to continue in some hospitals, we’ve laid the foundation to help more folks get to medical freedom.”

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Doctors Sue California for Threatening to Punish Them for not Facilitating Assisted Suicide

California doctors who object to assisted suicide are fighting an amended state law that implicates them in their patients’ intentional deaths.

They are suing California officials, including Attorney General Rob Bonta, Department of Public Health Director Tomas Aragon, and Medical Board members to block SB 380, which made it easier for patients to commit suicide under the End of Life Options Act that took effect in 2016.

The original law issued a broad exemption for healthcare providers, granting them a liability shield for “refusing to inform” patients about their right to physician-assisted suicide and “not referring” patients to physicians who will assist in their suicides.

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