State briefs

Primary care providers could be rewarded

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state says it’s moving ahead with plans to reward medical practitioners who do more to keep patients healthy while holding down costs.

Ohio is launching a program next year that it says will allow the state’s four largest private health insurers, along with Medicaid and Medicare, to change how they pay to financially reward primary care providers for the value of their work rather than the volume of services.

To join the program, practices must submit an application and meet enrollment requirements.

This week’s announcement comes after federal officials said Medicare will provide enhanced payments to certain primary care practices in Ohio through a similar program that begins in January.

Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration says its initiative will better serve people in public and private care.

No human remains found on property of slaying suspect

DELTA — Authorities say no human remains have been found during a search of property owned by a man charged with abducting and killing a college student whose body was found in a northwest Ohio cornfield.

A spokeswoman for Ohio’s attorney general said Wednesday the search of 57-year-old James Worley’s property in Delta ended last week. Worley is charged with aggravated murder in the slaying of 20-year-old University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin (JAW’-gihn). Her body was found July 21, two days after being reported missing. She was last seen riding a bicycle near her hometown of Metamora.

Worley spent three years in prison for abducting a woman on a bicycle in 1990. Authorities worried there might be other victims after finding a hidden room with restraints on Worley’s property.

His defense attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message left Wednesday.

$11M bid awarded to replace background check system

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has awarded a nearly $11 million contract to a California-based company to replace the state’s computerized criminal background check system.

Spokesman Dan Tierney told The Columbus Dispatch ( ) that NEC, of Rancho Cordova, California, was found to have submitted the best bid to replace the hardware and software of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s system.

It had been reported that the old system incorrectly returned results of clean records for some individuals to employers. Other issues included convictions not flowing into the system for months and the system not triggering automated arrest alerts.

DeWine’s employees have described the system in emails as “cobbled together” and “running on borrowed time.”

DeWine’s office has criticized the current contractor and fined it for not properly operating and improving the system.

DeWine hired a consultant for nearly $475,000 to help design hardware and software requirements. The new system will use fingerprint-identification software to match arrests and convictions. It will cost more than $1 million a year to maintain and support.

Lawmakers have allocated money in the state capital budget for the new system.

The bureau runs more than 1.3 million background checks a year for public and private employers. Police officers across Ohio and the FBI use it for criminal-history information.

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