Latest Morning Briefing Stories
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.”
Experts don’t predict the proposed requirement would cause a broad pullback of ad campaigns, but companies will have to make some tough, and possibly expensive, choices. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump hints at a big win for drugmakers with a big change to Medicaid’s rebate rule.
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
Dr. Piero Anversa popularized the idea of stem cell treatment for damaged hearts, prompting the formation of start-up companies to develop new treatments for heart attacks and stroke. Harvard has called for the studies to be retracted.
The request from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) comes in response to a Wall Street Journal article that detailed hidden financial arrangements between hospital systems and insurers that included limitations on coverage offered by the plans to their enrollees, which in turn would save the hospitals money.
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
The legislation targets President Donald Trump’s newly expanded short-term plan coverage, which for the Democrats has become a proxy for the Republicans’ supposed willingness to roll back protections on preexisting conditions. Meanwhile, the administration announces its plans for maintenance downtime for the federal health law registration website, Healthcare.gov.
Media outlets report on news from California, Texas, Maryland, New Hampshire, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota and Florida.
Some residents are being treated with “ultrahigh intensity” rehab in their last week of life, which has experts looking at who is benefiting from that decision. Meanwhile, CMS aims to increase its enforcement actions of nursing home staff in cases of elder abuse. Nursing home and elder care news comes out of Kansas and Florida, as well.
Open enrollment for Medicare and prescription drug plans will begin Oct. 15 for coverage in 2019 and close Dec. 7. One change this year is that seniors can try a Medicare Advantage plan for up to three months and if they don’t like it, they can switch to another Advantage plan or enroll in traditional Medicare.
Just because health systems are not direct competitors doesn’t meant they won’t create a power shift in the market that should be regulated, experts say.
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.
Leon Lederman, who had started experiencing memory loss problems that became more severe, died at a nursing home in Idaho. He sold his Nobel Prize for $765,000 at auction in 2015 to help cover the cost of care.
Not only has the number of workers who face an annual deductible grown, but the average deductible has creeped higher and higher for more than a decade, a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds.
Media outlets report on news from Tennessee, Georgia, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio and Florida.
As Dr. Jeffrey Drazen steps down from the post he held for 18 years, doctors weigh in on changes they’d like to see rather than having it be a place to publish the “most important” studies. “The main job of journals will not be to disseminate science but to ‘speak truth to power,’ encourage debate, campaign, investigate and agenda-set — the same job as the mass media,” Dr. Richard Smith told Stat.
ProPublica investigates the case of one Texas doctor and the way the state’s protections that are meant to help patients were flawed.
Generics drug companies can’t launch the process to ask the FDA to be able to market the drug for off-label use. In some cases, the brand drug is pulled, and only the generic remains. “The result is that these drug labels get frozen in time,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Studies show that physicians with mental health conditions have long been discriminated against and suicides have often been kept hidden from colleagues and the public. Some doctors are trying to fight that stigma.
The report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services “is not properly vetting the physicians it designates to conduct required medical examinations of these foreign nationals, and it has designated physicians with a history of patient abuse or a criminal record.”