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President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would force hospitals and insurers to be more transparent about their prices. But a look at New Hampshire, which has the oldest and most comprehensive transparency laws in the country, reveals a more complicated outcome. In other hospital news: how systems profit from the poor they’re supposed to serve, drug shortages, and the struggles of rural hospitals.
A suit filed against the University of Chicago Medical Center and Google demonstrates the difficulties technology companies face in handling health data as they forge ahead into one of the most promising — and potentially lucrative — areas of artificial intelligence: diagnosing medical problems.
“People with a new cancer diagnosis are often feeling vulnerable and scared,” said Renee DiResta, a researcher who studies disinformation. Facing the horrors of such a diagnosis and treatment, some people start searching for information and community online. But even as tech giants like YouTube and Facebook try to crack down on false health information shared on their platforms, it’s nearly impossible to get it all. In other health and technology news: robocalls, securing data and digital chronic disease management.
Guess who’s back grabbing headlines? Pharmacy benefit managers — those companies that serve as middlemen in the prescription drug pipeline.
Centene and WellCare said more than 99% of their shareholders supported the merger that would cover nearly 22 million people. They are now working to obtain approvals from insurance regulators in 26 states. Other industry news is on: PatientsLikeMe, uBiome Inc., and Highmark Health.
Universal Health Services said read-only versions were available during the time, but declined to say how many patients’ records were affected. Other technology news: A period-tracking app might hold clues to fertility.
While experts say a prominent legal expert’s warnings over the constitutionality of legislation address surprise medical bills are weak, it is still unlikely that any new regulations will skate through without being challenged in court.
Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
A bioscience company’s decision to find a partner in China prompted the introduction of the measure. The legislation is the most recent example of the Trump administration and members of Congress taking a more aggressive role to counter the economic and national-security risks posed by China’s rise as a biotech power. Other news from Capitol Hill deals with abortion, black lung, and the 9/11 victims fund.
Editorial pages weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The FTC alleged the UnitedHealth-DaVita deal would create a monopoly in the Las Vegas area and that the combination would have resulted in higher health-care costs and weaker competition for on quality, services and other amenities.
The measure far exceeds President Donald Trump’s budget request for domestic programs, attracting a White House veto threat, and denies him his full Pentagon budget increase. It also contains policy “riders” related to abortion and other hot-button issues that drove away potential GOP supporters. Lawmakers face a series of deadlines this fall, the first of which is to avert a repeat of this year’s partial government shutdown.
During cardiac events, minutes can make a difference between life and death. Can there be an upside found to the fact that Alexa and other digital assistants are always listening? Meanwhile, one expert wonders if artificial intelligence will become the asbestos of health care.
Although many lawmakers agree that patients need to be protected from surprise medical bills, there are different ways that could go and many stakeholders who have strong opinions on what the solution should be. At a hearing on Wednesday, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said that requiring hospitals to guarantee that any doctor a patient sees is in-network is the strategy he “intrinsically liked the best.” But the future of any legislation is still unclear.
Politico talked to a dozen current and former White House and HHS officials, as well as others familiar with the tensions brewing between President Donald Trump’s aides and HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “You have two teams with two visions,” an individual who’s been in heated meetings with HHS and the White House told Politico. “Alex is outnumbered and keeps losing.”
Hospitals “can’t not pick them up,” said Steven Cardinal, a top security official at the Medical University of South Carolina. “They don’t have any indicator it’s a spoof until they answer it.” Officials across the country are terrified for the day that their phone systems can’t keep up with the spam on top of a real emergency. And there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. In other health tech news: a data breach ends in bankruptcy, a look at how 13 became the age of adulthood for the Internet, and e-prescriptions.
The use of ECMO, the most aggressive form of life support in modern medicine, has skyrocketed — but along with miraculous rescues, it can leave patients in limbo, kept alive with machines but with no prospect of survival outside the ICU.
In a survey of hospital and health CEOS, only one of the top-five areas of interest from 2018 remained in 2019: innovative approaches to expense reduction. Last year’s No. 1 topic, preparing for sustainable cost control, fell to No. 11 out of the 29 included.
Although many lawmakers agree that surprise medical bills are an urgent problem, the devil is in the details of how to determine who gets stuck with the costs. “I worry that if Congress chooses the wrong approach, consumers will simply end up paying those costs through higher premiums,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said at the opening of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”
Stat takes a look at the key players involved in the ride-sharing companies’ forays into the health care landscape. Research has shown that a lack of transportation is a top reason why some patients skip physician visits.