KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: Venture Capital’s Medical Technology Signals; Ky. Moves To Tighten Abortion Rules

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

Health Affairs Blog: Medical Technology: What Changing Venture Capital Investments Signal
The market for medical devices historically has been dominated by big-ticket “physician preference items” such as artificial joints, spinal implants, and cardiac pacemakers. Venture capital and private equity investors have been eager to fund new firms in this expanding and lucrative domain. Changes in physician payment and organization are reducing the demand for these cost-increasing innovations, however, and redirecting the flow of investment capital. (Josh Baltzell and James C. Robinson, 1/9)

Lexington Herald Leader: View From The Gallery: Ky.’s War On Women
In Kentucky we hear a lot about the war on coal. But on Saturday, during a special, emergency session that cost taxpayers $70,000, I had a front-row seat at our Capitol for Kentucky’s other war: the war on women. The Senate passed House Bill 2, requiring an invasive, humiliating, intra-vaginal ultrasound for any girl or woman seeking an abortion. (Teri Carter, 1/9)

The Wall Street Journal: Siri, Am I About To Have A Heart Attack?
ObamaCare was always about paying for health care—costs have outpaced inflation for decades—but seldom about keeping people healthy. As Republicans repeal and replace, they need a vision for the path to better care. Technology now exists to provide cheaper and higher-quality health care, but giant roadblocks stand in the way. (Andy Kessler, 1/9)

Stat: Massachusetts Postpartum Depression Program A Model For A National Plan
The Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) was launched in 2005 with an eye toward helping children receive psychiatric support and care. In 2014, MCPAP was expanded to MCPAP for Moms by creating a network of obstetric, pediatric, family medicine, and psychiatric providers along with a group of dedicated counselors to be resources for women, their families, and health care providers. Through this network, which also includes specialists who may see women outside of obstetric appointments, clinicians caring for women can identify symptoms of postpartum depression. MCPAP for Moms also creates a continuum of care for women to get timely access to recommended support and treatment. In the first 18 months of the MCPAP for Moms program, more than 1,100 women were screened and treated for postpartum depression. (Katherine Clark, James S. Gessner and Maryanne C. Bombaugh, 1/9)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland Clinic Doctor's Anti-Vaccine Column: Q&A Explainer
The medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, who writes a monthly column for, created a firestorm over the weekend with a column in which he championed some of the discredited arguments of those who oppose vaccines. Word spread quickly, largely through social media, causing the medical establishment and health reporters across the county to question why a high-ranking doctor at such an august medical institution would write something so irresponsible. And, because Dr. Daniel Neides' column is published on, we're hearing questions about our role. Here, I offer some answers. (Chris Quinn, 1/9)

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