BEIJING, China: Sprint king Usain Bolt will lead the Jamaican trio completed by Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade into the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres with one eye locked on the final a couple hours later as the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China kicks into high gear. Bolt and Powell were both comfortable in winning their respective heats with the other main players Americans Justin Gatlin – now unbeaten in 30 consecutive races – and Tyson Gay, also easing to victories in the opening round of the marquee event. Jamaicans have won five of the nine available medals in the men’s 100 metres since the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and have won the gold medal at each event since then. There is a real threat that this streak will be broken this time around with Gatlin showing the type of form he has for the past two seasons. The world leader looked ominous, advancing as the fastest qualifier after he stopped the clock at 9.83 seconds to win his heat, even if there was an illegal +2.1 metres per second wind pushing him along. Bolt, who says he is fit and ready to run fast, shows why his handlers have become so confident that he will retain his title over the past few weeks, nonchalantly winning his heat in 9.96 (-0.2) with Powell, 9.95 and Gay, 10.11 also keeping a lot in the reserve tank ahead of today’s expected double assignment. The men’s 100-metre semi-final faces the starter at 6:10 a.m. with the final set for 8:15 a.m. Also today, Commonwealth champion and national record holder O’Dayne Richards will start his campaign in the men’s shot put at 6:30 a.m. In yesterday’s men’s 400m hurdles action, the Jamaican pair of Annsert Whyte – the national champion – and Leford Green booked their spots in today’s semi-final round, where they, too, will be looking to qualify for the final set for Tuesday. Roxroy Cato struggled to get going and never looked comfortable from the beginning in the end and finished sixth in his heat with a time of 49.47. The event was won by Kenya’s Nicholas Bett in 48.37 seconds ahead of Russia’s Timofet Chalyy, 49.05 with Jeffery Gibson of The Bahamas taking third place in 49.09. Leford Green 49.33 had a nervous wait to see if he made it through as one of the fastest athletes outside of the automatic spots and couldn’t contain his excitement as he booked his spot after an aggressive run in his heat. Green took on the entire field from the sound of the gun, but faded towards the end with his legs getting heavier with each stride as he crossed the line in fifth position behind winner Boniface Mucheru Tumuti, 48.79, also of Kenya; Michael Tinsley (USA), 48.91, and and Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, 49.02. “I tried a new strategy here in this race. I decided I was going to attack the race, run aggressively from the first hurdle, and it’s a strategy that I will be using as I go through the rounds,” explained Green. Despite a early scare in his event when he clipped the second hurdle and lost some momentum, national champion Annsert Whyte was the most impressive Jamaican of the lot and was relatively comfortable in crossing the line fourth with a time of 49.10 to claim an automatic spot to the next round. Kerron Clement (USA) in 48.75 was the first athlete to finish the race with Great Britain’s Niall Flannery, 48.90 and Kariem Hussein (Switzerland), 49.08 taking the top-three spots. There were a couple of high-profile casualties in the events as world leader and gold medal favourite, American Bershawn Jackson, 50.14, who finished seventh in his heat, and defending champion Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, also seventh in his heat in a time of 49.91. Both failed to advance in the event. Danniel Thomas became Jamaica’s first World Championships representative in the women’s shot put, but she had to settle with a 12th-place finish in her qualifier and a mark of 16.62m, which was sandwiched between two fouls. There was success for Jamaica’s female triple jumpers, with Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Thomas both qualifying for Monday’s final. Williams was third in her qualifying group with a 14.23m effort with Thomas finishing fourth with a mark of 14.05m. HURDLES ACTION
More than a half-million adults who said they wanted help with their serious mental conditions last year couldn’t get it because they lacked the resources and weren’t eligible for Medicaid to pay for treatment, a new study finds. Those people — an estimated 568,886 adults ages 18 through 64 diagnosed with a serious mental illness, serious psychological stress or substance use disorder at the start of last year — lived in 24 states that didn’t expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, according to a study published this week from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). (Ollove, 4/8) D.C. home health-care workers filed a class action lawsuit against four agencies Wednesday, alleging that they were cheated out of wages and denied overtime and sick pay. The suit against four local agencies — Capitol View Home Health Agency, Human Touch, T&N Nursing and VMT Home Health — comes a week before home health-care workers and other low-wage workers across the country are expected to rally for a $15 wage on April 15 as part of the “Fight for 15 movement.” (Stein, 4/8) Supporters say a measure requiring hospitals to disclose whether a person is being admitted is needed to protect consumers. The Missouri House on Tuesday gave first-round approval to a bill that would require written notices when a patient is admitted or placed on observational status by a hospital. (4/8) The Associated Press: Ex-Mental Health Providers In NY To Pay $3M To End Suit A group of home health workers in Washington, D.C., are suing several staffing agencies in the district for allegedly stealing their wages. In a class action lawsuit, filed in the D.C. Superior Court, the workers claim they were not paid the hourly wage they were entitled to and were denied overtime and sick days in violation of the law. It’s the second in a series of lawsuits against home care agencies. (Rooney, 4/8) The Washington Post: D.C. Home Health-Care Workers File Class-Action Suit Alleging Wage Theft A cancer diagnosis is often the beginning of a life-or-death struggle. Patients want to go into that fight armed with the most powerful weapons available. In many cases, that involves treatments still in their experimental stages that are only available through clinical trials, which are typically found at academic medical centers. But the University of Kansas Cancer Center has created a partnership to bring those options closer to home for rural Kansans. (Thompson, 4/8) Kansas City Star: Missouri Senate Approves Budget That Would Expand Medicaid Managed Care The Associated Press: Suit Claims AIDS Foundation Scammed Medicare $20M Los Angeles Times: Former Blue Shield Executive Sues Insurer Over Dismissal, $450,000 Bonus A federal judge has approved a $3 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit by patients at a former state-licensed mental health facility in Putnam County alleging abuse. The suit filed in 2007 alleges patients were illegally restrained, assaulted, punished and isolated by SLS Residential staff, while the facility falsely advertised compassionate care and effective treatment and received up to $900 a day from patients’ insurance companies. (4/8) The Associated Press: Missouri House OKs Bill Requiring Hospital Disclosures Georgia Health News: Will Dental Ruling Send Ripples Through Health Care Industry Connecticut Mirror: Nursing Home Workers Vote To Strike, Send Message To Both Employers And Lawmakers Workers at 27 nursing homes [in Conn.] have voted to go on strike April 24, a move aimed at both their employers and state lawmakers wrangling over a state budget that has significant implications for nursing homes. (Levin Becker, 4/8) Prisoners in the Oregon State Penitentiary unit reserved for inmates with the most severe mental illnesses spend months, sometimes years in small cells with no natural light or outdoor access and rarely get to speak with others, according to an investigation by Disability Rights Oregon. (Bernstein, 4/8) One of the nation’s largest suppliers of HIV and AIDS medical care is accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid in an elaborate $20 million dollar scam that spanned 12 states, according to a lawsuit filed in South Florida federal court. Three former managers of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a suit last week alleging the company paid employees and patients kickbacks for patient referrals in an effort to boost funding from federal health programs. Employees were paid $100 bonuses for referring patients with positive test results to its clinics and pharmacies. (Kennedy, 4/9) The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Alliance Brings The Latest Cancer Treatments To Rural Kansas Politico Pro: States Step In On Mental Health Parity Enforcement Stateline: Wanting Mental Health Treatment And Not Getting It A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling about teeth-whitening services may have long-term implications for health care professionals and their practices across the country. The dispute involves the right of dental hygienists to perform such services in North Carolina. The Federal Trade Commission brought a major anti-competition case on the matter. The high court did not settle the case, but rejected the state dental board’s claim that its actions were immune from FTC scrutiny. (Kanne, 4/8) Former executive at Blue Shield of California has sued the health insurance giant, claiming he was wrongly fired right before he was due a $450,000 bonus. Aaron Kaufman, the insurer’s chief technology officer since 2013, sued Blue Shield on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court for wrongful termination and breach of contract. (Terhune, 4/8) State Highlights: States Move To Enforce Mental Health Parity; D.C. Home-Health Workers File Class-Action Suit Seeking Back Pay News outlets offer articles on health care issues from Washington, D.C., California, Missouri, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, Florida, Georgia and Kansas. States are stepping in to enforce a little-known federal law that’s supposed to improve insurance coverage of mental health care for millions of Americans. The parity law has been on the books since 2008, but mental health advocates say the federal government has been slow to make sure it’s been put into practice. (Villacorta, 4/8) Shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday, after a six-hour filibuster and bipartisan resistance nearly derailed the process, the Missouri Senate finished its work on the state’s $26 billion budget. Perhaps. Major differences in how the state will fund its social welfare programs, as well as how much money should be divvied out to public schools and colleges, must be worked out with the Missouri House. The debate is complicated by a dramatic proposal to turn over most management of Medicaid to private companies. Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Nixon has expressed serious concerns, setting the table for potential budget battles between the Democratic governor and a Republican-dominated General Assembly. (Hancock, 4/8) The Oregonian: Solitary Confinement Of Oregon Inmates With Most Severe Mental Illnesses Must Stop, Advocacy Group Says CNN Money: Home Health Care Workers Sue Employers For Back Pay This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.