Category: Health Care

Jefferson County Commission Considers Buying CPR Devices

The Jefferson County Commission will likely approve the purchase of at least 123 Lucas chest compression devices.

The sheriff’s office requested the funding from American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase 250 of the automatic CPR devices at a cost of $17,980. The plan was for 138 of the devices to be deployed to 49 entities throughout the county.

The timing of the matter is sensitive as a price hike of 7% per unit is expected after the first of 2022. Another 138 Lucas devices were previously purchased with monies from the Care Act.

Commissioners were concerned that the devices need to be in more isolated locations where ambulance response times have been especially long. Commissioners noted the need to have devices in county senior centers and in schools. Read more.

Biden Budget Plan Could Close ‘Coverage Gap’ for 300,000 Alabamians

MONTGOMERY — A provision of the massive budget proposal being considered in Congress this week would offer as many as 300,000 low-income, uninsured Alabamians tax credits to pay for health coverage.

Billed as President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, the far-reaching proposal would spend $1.75 trillion on long-sought Democratic priorities, including universal pre-school, an expanded child tax credit, measures to combat climate change, low-income housing and reduced prescription drug costs.

As written, the budget also extends tax credits for the uninsured in the 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, including Alabama. The White House estimates that will allow 4 million Americans to afford private insurance through the healthcare.gov exchange, including 300,000 in Alabama.

Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Selma, has pushed for expanded health coverage in the bill and worked with colleagues in other non-expansion states to see the provision included in the final House bill.

“Alabama has over 300,000 people that fall in that gap, where they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford health insurance premiums,” Sewell said in an interview. “We just made this our No. 1 ask. In every room that I’ve sat in, whether it’s at the White House or smaller tables here in Congress, health care is just my No. 1 issue. Read more.

COVID-19, Federal Requirement Increases Alabama Medicaid Enrollment

Alabama’s Medicaid enrollment has continued record growth because of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing federal requirement that people can’t be removed from the rolls.

But the state also got extra money from the federal government and, for now, the program is costing the state less than it did before. However, at least one lawmaker is concerned costs could begin to rise, and the state is working now on projections for next year’s budget. Read more.

Work Scheduled to Tear Down Cooper Green Parking Deck, Building New Clinic

Demolition of the old Cooper Green Hospital parking lot is expected to begin later this year or early next year to make way for building a new indigent care clinic in that location, officials with Jefferson County and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System announced Tuesday.

Designs for the new clinic, planned to be about 150,000 square feet, are being worked on, and those involved hope it will be ready to open in 2½ to 3 years, David Randall, chief strategy officer for the UAB Health System, said during a press conference.

The project is expected to cost between $55 million and $65 million, Randall said. Read more.