WNC Wellness review

N.C. bills requiring insurance for autism remain in committee level

“North Carolina House and Senate bills that would require all health benefit plans in the state to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder are lingering in committees as legislators grapple with the state budget. ‘We’re continuing to monitor these bills,’ said David Laxton, director of communications for the Autism Society of North Carolina, a nonprofit advocacy group that supports these bills. ‘It’s a waiting game.’ Senate Bill 115 was introduced Feb. 23. After it passed a first reading in the Senate on Feb. 24, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Insurance, where it remains. Comparable House Bill 826 was filed April 6. The next day, the House passed a first reading of the bill and sent it on to the House Committee on Health and Human Services.” — [Carolina Public Press]

Hospital turf war in WNC heats up

"A state bill aimed at ensuring a balance of power between Mission Health System and smaller hospitals has placed lawmakers in the middle of a healthcare turf war. As Mission steps up efforts to acquire smaller hospitals and doctors’ practices around the region, some fear the Asheville-based health system will siphon healthcare dollars away from local communities and limit the scope of medical care patients can get closer to home. Meanwhile, patients don’t want business motives to drive the healthcare they receive. The medical community universally asserts that isn’t the case, even as hospitals jockey over market share and fiercely guard their territory from encroaching competition. But Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, who introduced the bill, isn’t so sure. …" — [Smoky Mountain News]

N.C. Medical Board took actions against 13 WNC doctors in 2010

"The North Carolina Medical Board took actions against 226 medical practitioners in 2010, a slight increase from 2009, according to an annual report released this week. There were increases in medical license suspensions and reprimands, the most serious disciplinary actions the board can take. There was also a rise in public letters of concern statewide. In Western North Carolina, 19 different actions were taken against 13 practitioners last year, including suspension of three doctors." — [Asheville Citizen-Times]

Health Insurers making record profits as many postpone care

"The nation’s major health insurers are barreling into a third year of record profits, enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans who are postponing or forgoing medical care.” — [New York Times]

Tai Chi offers special benefits for cancer survivors

"Every Thursday morning, a group of women who share a common bond gather at Mission Hospital's Wellness Resource Center at 50 Doctors Drive on the Memorial Campus. The bond we share? We're all Cancer Thrivers and Survivors. Why do we gather? Mainly because of the camaraderie. And because tai chi is relaxing and good for the soul.” — [Asheville Citizen-Times]

— Send your health-and-wellness news to mxhealth@mountainx.com or news@mountainx.com, or call News Editor Margaret Williams at 251-1333, ext. 152.

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