Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Benefit Of Multimillion-Dollar Industry That Accredits Hospitals Called Into Question In Study

KHN Morning Briefing

The Harvard University study challenges the assertion that patients benefit when a hospital is accredited. “The wealthy, big hospitals that generally have more resources are more likely to be Joint Commission-accredited, and the thinking is that they have better outcomes,” said Ashish Jha, the author of the study. “What you find is that it doesn’t have a big effect, and it really makes you worry. We’ve put a lot of faith and resources into accreditation.”

Company That Wants To Sell Medicare Advantage Plans Raises Additional $300M In Venture Capital Funding

KHN Morning Briefing

The company, Devoted Health, was founded last year by Todd Park, a former chief technology officer for the Obama administration, and Ed Park, a former Athenahealth executive. In other health industry news: the ripple effects of Anthem’s privacy breach settlement; UnitedHealth earnings projections; and Catholic Health Initiatives’ merger with Dignity Health

CVS-Aetna Merger Clears Crucial Hurdle With Justice Department Approval

KHN Morning Briefing

The deal is one of several in recent years that has consolidated power among health care companies. Critics worry that the mergers will mean fewer choices and higher health care costs for consumers. “The combination of CVS and Aetna creates an enormous market force that we haven’t seen before,” said George Slover, a senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. CVS still needs to get approvals from several states.

With Regulatory Threat From FDA Looming, Juul Beefs Up Lobbying Efforts

KHN Morning Briefing

Last week, Juul brought in Josh Raffel, a former senior communications aide and crisis communications expert who has worked closely with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has taken steps in recent weeks to crack down on the e-cigarette company.

CMS To Bolster Oversight Of Commission That Inspects Hospitals For Safety Violations

KHN Morning Briefing

The move comes following a Wall Street Journal investigation that found that the commission that inspects hospitals typically took no action to revoke or modify its accreditation when state inspectors find serious safety violations. Other hospital news comes out of Massachusetts and Virginia, as well.

MiMedx’s Limit On Range Of Products It Sold To VA Forced Government To Buy More Expensive Treatments

KHN Morning Briefing

At Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense hospitals, The MiMedx Group — which manufactures skin grafts and injectable products from donated placental tissues — didn’t offer the small sizes of two popular products it offered elsewhere. As a result, the government agencies had to buy bigger, more expensive offerings for smaller treatments, former employees said.