According to ABC News affiliate WKBW-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., Joey Wertman has a form of infant epilepsy which can result in hundreds of spasms a day. Joeys parents, Brittany and Joe Wertman, have tried multiple medications for the infant to slow or stop his seizures but nothing has worked. According to WKBW-TV, as a last resort the family, currently living near Buffalo, is planning to move to Arizona where medical marijuana for children has been legalized. In New York, medical marijuana remains illegal, although in January New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an initiative to allow a limited number of hospitals to dispense marijuana for specific conditions. Its unclear when the drugs would become available and who would be eligible to receive them. Medical Marijuana for a 7-Year-Old? Joe Wertman told WKBW-TV the family is planning to move next month. I dont know what someones objection would be, looking at my son have a seizure and say I dont want to give him medicine to help him, Joe Wertman told WKBW-TV. In Arizona, patients under 18 can receive medical marijuana under certain qualifications. A 5-year-old child made headlines last year when his parents planned to treat him with cannabidiol oil or CBD, a chemical found in marijuana, to help treat his intense seizures. Medical marijuana given often has higher doses of CBD, which has medical properties and a low or no amount of THC, which cause users to feel high. However, some researchers say that the evidence on the effectiveness of CBD on seizures is still more anecdotal than research driven. Dr. Steven Wolf, director of Pediatric Epilepsy at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, told ABC News last year that parents should be wary of using CBD to treat epilepsy pending further studies. Although he has heard anecdotally that parents said the drug helped their children, Wolf said doctors didnt yet know if children would build up a quick tolerance to CBD or if it would ultimately prove ineffective. I can say if this was my kid and if there was a possibility it would work, I would certainly want to know, said Wolf.
Medical pot push grows on area pols
Lets work on that. Keller would not respond to the question of legal recreational use of marijuana in Pennsylvania. Culver said she has not decided on the issue. Her constituents, especially those in medical professions and parents of suffering children, have been good in providing her with data, which she is still reading and studying. Were looking at it, taking out all the information, and then well figure out what is best for Pennsylvania, she said. Yaw also has an online survey on the topic, and the results so far, while he emphasized are not scientific, are overwhelmingly supportive of some form of legalization for medical use. Yaw said he, too, has heard from constituents outside the survey on the subject. He has no problem legalizing medical marijuana, particularly the derivatives use. Cannabidiol is a compound credited with bringing great relief to children with seizure disorders without the side effects of conventional medication. My biggest concern, which applies to all prescription medications, is how do we control it? Yaw said. Weve never thought about it before now. Its for that reason Yaw said he favors the bill solely sponsored by Folmer, which would exercise more control over growing marijuana by licensed people for medicinal use. Another bill in the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee proposes a central registration for all prescription drugs, something Yaw thinks would work well with legalized medical marijuana. Yaw said hes talked with Folmer that the central registration might satisfy a lot of peoples concerns about this being abused, he said. There would be a way to check who has the prescription. Gordner also favors Folmers sole-sponsored bill over Leach-Folmer legislation for the same reason, said Todd Roup, Gordners chief of staff. Gordner has heard from doctors who favor legalizing the non-smokable forms to help children and adults. Roup met with Cristy Harding, of Turbotville, who lives in Gordners district and whose son Jason has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a childhood-onset epilepsy that appeared in him at age 2.
Health Centers See Threat From ‘Private Option’ Medicaid
The higher rates are supposed to reflect the sicker and poorer patients they see and the fact they cant limit the number of uninsured or Medicaid patients they treat. As more states look to follow Arkansas lead — Utah and New Hampshire are among those considering similar expansion plans — health centers are bracing for the worst. Medicaid is our single largest payer and if that payment rate is destabilized, then, we will start to see health centers close due to financial viability and solvency issues, said Daniel Hawkins, senior vice president of the National Association of Community Health Centers, which traditionally treat many patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid. The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers lodged a protest in January against a draft proposal by Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican seeking federal approval of a similar private option plan that would force centers to negotiate their rates with private plans. But the state reversed course in the final application submitted Wednesday to the Obama administration, guaranteeing that centers could keep their current rates and that health plans include them in their networks. Iowa, the only other state currently using the private option, albeit on a smaller scale, also pays health centers at their full rate. Medicaid is a state-federal program that covers the poor. The health law expands coverage in participating states to everyone under 138 percent of federal poverty level, or up to $15,600 for an individual, with the federal government paying the full cost through 2016 and states covering up to 10 percent of the cost in subsequent years. State Perspective When the federal government approved Arkansas plan last year, it asked the state and Arkansas 12 health centers to negotiate a new payment system. No deal has been reached though, so insurance plans have paid the centers the same discounted rates they negotiate with private physicians. Arkansas Medicaid Director Andy Allison argues that Medicaid funding for health centers should be cut for the same reason the law cut federal funding to hospitals they are expected to see fewer uninsured patients and therefore have less uncompensated care. We dont agree with that, said Alvin Sliger, Mid-Deltas soft spoken executive director. He and other health center officials say they deserve higher reimbursements than private physicians because they will continue to treat sicker and poorer patients and under federal law, must offer broader services, including dental care, immunizations and mental health treatments. Unlike private physicians, moreover, the centers cannot limit the number of Medicaid or uninsured patients they treat. Those rules dont change under the private option Medicaid. Sliger also says its uncertain how quickly the uninsured will enroll in Medicaid and, therefore, how many uninsured his clinic will still see. Since the Medicaid expansion began in January, Mid-Delta has received $60 for routine office visits for Medicaid private option enrollees who are covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arkansas, compared to the $138 it gets from traditional Medicaid. About 30 percent of Mid-Deltas patients, for instance, have high blood pressure and 14 percent have diabetesboth higher than national averages.Slightly more than half are uninsured, 17 percent receive Medicaid and 90 percent have incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty level, or $23,000 for an individual roughly the median income in the region. The centers treated about 156,000 patients in 2011, the latest year for which figures are available, including 67,000 who were uninsured.