University Awarded Federal Funds to Help Train Rural Doctors

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded The University of Maryland School of Medicine $750,000 to train doctors through rural residency programs. The Baltimore Sun reports: The money, announced Thursday at the Baltimore school, comes from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. It’s part of a $20 million award that will be made over a three-year period to develop rural residency programs across the country. Maryland’s medical school was among programs in…

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Howard County Seeking Healthier Vending Machines

Howard County has opened bidding for new healthy vending machines in county buildings. As Maryland Matters reports the vending machines must include at least 75% healthy options: Drinks will include water, fruit and vegetable juices, and non-fat and low-fat milk. Snacks will include no trans-fat, no more than 200 calories per package, and less than 35 percent of calories from fat. The article notes it was the first opportunity for vending contract renewals since 2015 when…

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US House Votes To Repeal “Cadillac Tax” On Health Care Plans

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to repeal a scheduled new "tax" on high-value health care plans offered by employers. In an environment where bipartisan consensus can be hard to find in Washington DC, it appeared to power a House vote to repeal the pending "Cadillac tax" that would apply to high-value health care plans offered by employers. From coverage in The Hill: The wide bipartisan vote of 419-6 illustrates how the tax is one of…

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DEA Data: U.S. Saturated with 76 Billion Opioid Pills Over Nearly a Decade’s Time

Newly released Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data shows how between 2006 and 2012 drug companies manufactured and distributed more than 76 billion opioid pills across the country. The DEA's Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System (ARCOS) follows the path of each pill from the manufacturer to the local pharmacy and includes detailed information such as drug codes, DEA registration numbers, seller and buyer contact, transaction dates, and dosages of the drugs. The Washington Post's investigative…

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Montgomery Considering Air Conditioning Mandate For Rentals

The Montgomery County Council will consider local legislation to require rental properties in the county be air conditioned - responding to frequent dangerous heat conditions. Council Member Tom Hucker, seen above in an interview with Fox 5 News, argues that the proposal recognizes that cooling is a necessity, alongside similar laws mandating rental properties be heated: "I think in the old days we thought of air conditioning as a comfort issue," Hucker told FOX 5's…

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Wrap Up, and Look Ahead, with the Governor at #MACoCon

Be there for the traditional closing session with Governor Hogan, as he reflects on the year (and the conference), and helps Maryland turn the corner toward 2020 and beyond. Each year, MACo's summer conference serves as the unofficial turning point between wrapping up 2019, and looking at ahead to 2020. We are glad to once again host Governor Larry Hogan, as his Saturday morning address will punctuate that shift, and help county and state policymakers…

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Healthworx: Innovation and Partnerships at CareFirst

CareFirst will host a session on innovation and partnerships at MACo's Summer Conference as part of MACo's Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at all levels of government, from cybersecurity to Phase III WIP to school funding. Healthworx: Innovation and Partnerships…

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Overdoses Continue to Drop in Anne Arundel

Compared to 2018 Anne Arundel County has seen a 25% drop in opioid overdoses so far this year. The drop is attributed to the efforts the county has made on multiple fronts. From The Baltimore Sun: An incorporation of cross agency collaboration from offering trainings on Narcan, using Safe Stations, removing drugs from the community, and distributing fentanyl strips all contribute to the decrease of overdoses that occur in the county, said Jennifer Corbin, director…

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Howard County Government to Roll Out Healthy Vending Machines

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week announced that the County has begun soliciting bids for healthy vending machines in county government buildings and facilities. This vending machine contract will adhere to the nutritional standards set by CB17-2015, an act sponsored by Ball during his tenure on the county council, “requiring that healthy food and beverage options be provided on certain county properties and for certain county programs.” According to a press release: “When I…

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Maker of Suboxone Reaches Largest Settlement Yet Related to Opioid Crisis

The maker of Subxone is the latest pharmaceutical company to settle rather than face trial for alleged. The company will pay $1.4 billion to the U.S  government to settle -- the largest opioid-related settlement to date. From The Hill: Reckitt Benckiser Group, the manufacturer of Suboxone, a treatment for opioid addiction, agreed to the settlement to end criminal and civil probes into the business, but it denied any wrongdoing. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said…

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