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NEWS
April 21, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
South Jersey's second medical-marijuana dispensary, expected to open in a renovated 18,000-square-foot building in Bellmawr, Camden County, received its final construction approvals from the borough in late December. But the Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center still needs the green light from the state Department of Health before it can begin growing marijuana on the premises. The background check of the dispensary's principals and funding sources - which began in February 2013 - is continuing and is expected to be completed by the end of June, according to the department.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
When investors first called Tom Spann with their idea of making health care more accessible, he thought they were nuts, to put it politely. No way was he going to leave a senior management job - leading a $2 billion unit of the consulting group Accenture, for "the most cockamamie thing I ever heard," Spann said. Even so, in 2007, Spann did just that, leaving Accenture to become founding chief executive of Accolade Inc. in Plymouth Meeting. The cockamamie idea was to create a concierge business, hired by companies such as Lowe's and Comcast to help their employees navigate the health-care system.
NEWS
April 17, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - When Gov. Christie slashed spending for women's health services in his first term, legislators and advocates feared that women would lose access to a range of needed health-care services. The Christie administration now is saying women have greater access to such services in New Jersey than they did before he took office in 2010. Appearing before the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday, Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd said the number of women served by federally qualified health centers has increased 25 percent since 2009, more than offsetting the number of women who lost access to family planning centers because of Christie's budget cuts and vetoes.
BUSINESS
April 12, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court on Friday upheld a year-old lower-court decision that restored $125.8 million in tobacco-settlement money to Pennsylvania. The money had been stripped from the state's share of a 2003 payment under the landmark 1998 agreement by major tobacco companies to compensate states for their health-care costs related to smoking. "We are very pleased with the Commonwealth Court's decision, which ensures the terms of the [master settlement agreement] are followed by the arbitration panel and that Pennsylvania is fairly treated under the terms of the agreement," Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said in a statement.
NEWS
April 12, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
With just three days left to file 2014 taxes, tax preparer Mary Arthur and her colleagues at the Campaign for Working Families at 31 sites across Philadelphia and South Jersey are hard at work. But even as the tax season winds down, Arthur, the group's executive director, already is fretting about next year. She is worried because statistics from early March show that of the 10,000 tax returns filed, 2,800 were from people who didn't have health insurance last year and were paying a penalty.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Health Group Inc., the nonprofit holding company for Independence Blue Cross and other businesses affiliated with the Philadelphia region's largest health insurer, on Monday reported a decline in annual net income for the third year in a row. The drop, to $69.18 million last year from $142.64 million in 2013, came despite a 19 percent gain in revenue, to $13.2 billion, and the addition of two million members to Independence's operations...
NEWS
April 5, 2015 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. - 3 John 1:2   Pastor Douglas Yancy left his physician's office pondering his advice. Yancy weighed 330 pounds, was diabetic, had high cholesterol, suffered from sleep apnea, and had recently had an attack of angina. The doctor's recommendation: bariatric surgery. When Yancy returned that day to his master's program classes at Palmer Theological Seminary, he mentioned it to his professor of Christian education.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than a decade ago, city health inspectors would see occasional mouse droppings at Philadelphia International Airport, black residue and slime inside ice machines, and eggs and other cold foods kept at temperatures too warm. In 2011, the airport approved the hiring of two former city health inspectors, and the results have been dramatic. Violations for risk factors known to cause food-borne illness have significantly declined. Today, the airport's 27 eat-in restaurants have a better average than the citywide numbers for 5,000 non-airport eat-in restaurants.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Individual hospitals in the behavioral health unit of Universal Health Services Inc. have long been dogged by federal investigations into their billing practices, but the King of Prussia company disclosed Tuesday in a regulatory filing that it was under criminal investigation at the corporate level. The Securities and Exchange Commission filing updated legal matters noted in UHS's Feb. 26 annual report. "UHS and its subsidiary facilities have cooperated with the investigating agencies and will continue to do so," the company said in a statement.
NEWS
March 26, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Building on its ambitious goal to create a "culture of health" in America, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is adding coaches and competitions to help local communities take up the challenge. The additional support reflects the size of the task: getting schools, businesses, transportation agencies, and other institutions to take responsibility for their communities' health. Princeton, N.J.-based RWJF may be the nation's largest health philanthropy, but its power to change the culture rests mainly on whether it can persuade local leaders to play along.
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