Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Under the health law, there are penalties on hospitals for avoidable readmissions. Providing support for family caregivers could help keep patients from having to come back to the facility. Meanwhile, some hospitals are revamping to become more energy efficient, and they’re saving millions.
News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing.
Media outlets report on news from Illinois, D.C., Ohio, California, Tennessee, Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona, Louisiana, Georgia, New Hampshire, Minnesota and North Dakota.
The researchers are now building a website that will allow anyone to upload genetic data. Users will receive risk scores for heart disease, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammatory bowel disease and atrial fibrillation. But scientists emphasize that DNA is not destiny, and that the results don’t account for a healthy diet and exercise.
The U.S. News & World Report analyzed 4,500 hospitals based on several factors, including performance in 16 specialty areas and reputation. This year, the report put a greater emphasis on patient outcomes.
When patients go to an in-network facility, they can still be treated by an out-of-network medical professional–anesthesia or pathology claims being among the most common.
When it comes to altering genes in the food we eat, some experts want to tread carefully while others want to embrace the healthier food. In other public health news: glaucoma, the human cell atlas, c-sections, empathy, family planning apps, growth hormones, depression, online dating and more.
Industry players who usually don’t work together are bonding over the potential push for a single-payer system, which has become a litmus test among progressive Democrats.
The Mar-a-Lago group is led by the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, 75, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s and a member of his West Palm Beach golf club. Veterans advocates are worried that the group is going to exert pressure on new VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
Politico found that in 1 out of 5 states, top public health officials are not subject to any disclosure for financial holdings. This explains why Indiana Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ financial stake in tobacco and pharmaceutical stocks wasn’t publicly known until he was picked for a federal position.
“These policies are substandard, don’t cover essential health benefits, and consumers at a minimum don’t understand [what they’re buying], and at worse are misled,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. Health law news comes out of Tennessee, as well.
A deep dive into prices at Minnesota’s hospitals reveals wide disparities in what procedures cost, but leaves more questions than answers in its wake.
The Federal government hasn’t approved the transition, but the state expects the waiver to get a green light. Medicaid news comes out of Texas, as well.
The Trump administration had informed 81 groups last August that their grants would end in 2018 rather than in 2020, but multiple judges ruled the move was unlawful.
The new guidance, which officials say will cut back on the companies’ “abusive behavior,” concerns the rebates that drug makers have to pay back to states when a patient receives one of their medicines. In other pharmaceutical news: the administration is preparing to put action behind its rhetoric on drug pricing; some say Medicare’s new negotiating powers could lead to increased hospitalizations; and more.
Accountable care organizations were set up under the Affordable Care Act with the intention of improving quality and efficiency. But government data shows that they’ve fallen short of the savings that were projected. “After six years of experience, the time has come to put real ‘accountability’ in Accountable Care Organizations,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “Medicare cannot afford to support programs with weak incentives that do not deliver value.”
A new study looked at legal immigrants’ health spending just as a federal proposal to penalize them for using Medicaid gains steam with Republicans.
The Associated Press fact checks Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) spin on the report that analyzed the cost of the senator’s “Medicare For All” plan, which is gaining steam in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Some worry that the spending weight that the subsidies place on the government is not sustainable, but few have any hope for fixes to the system as the law remains a political hot spot.
Medicare Advantage’s negotiating tool — requiring patients to try lower-cost treatments before the more expensive ones — is derided as a “fail first” process to those who oppose the strategy. “Consumers may have to go through one or more drugs before they can get a particular treatment they really need,” said Ellen Albritton, a senior policy analyst at Families USA. Meanwhile, there are already signals that implementing the new rules is going to be complicated.