Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WVTK Local & State News February 24, 2015

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) says that Vermonters were affected by a security breach at Anthem on February 5. Affected members at BCBSVT most likely received health care services in one of the 14 states Anthem operates. Those states include New Hampshire and parts of New York. Personal information that was part of the breach included names, addresses, and in some cases dates of death. For more information regarding the breach visit www.anthemfacts.com.

For the second consecutive year, funding for afterschool programs in Moriah, Schroon and Westport is in jeopardy. Officials say that funding comes from a number of state and federal sources but the problem is supply can’t keep up with demand. Adirondack Community Action Programs needs over a $150,000 to continue programming at their three sites.

A state audit says Vermont officials ignored evidence of problems with billing submitted by health care economist Jonathan Gruber. The audit indicates that Gruber's invoices for work in designing a single payer health system for Vermont lacked detail, but were not questioned by state officials. The auditor says the matter is being referred to Attorney General William Sorrell for further action. Officials in Governor Peter Shumlin's office say they believe Gruber was doing his work and not falsifying hours.

A new report doesn't paint Vermont's nursing homes in the most favorable light. New ratings show that 30-percent of Vermont nursing homes are below or much below average. The new rating system is from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They take into account health inspections, staffing levels and other factors over the last three years.

A new poll suggests that parents should be required to vaccinate their kids. The CNN/ORC poll reveals that nearly eight out of 10 Americans believe vaccines should be required for healthy children. Most poll-takers also said children should be barred from daycare or public school unless they are vaccinated. The vaccine debate has heated up following a nationwide measles outbreak.