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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Dollar Tree Hit With Warning From FDA Over Its Sales Of ‘Potentially Unsafe Drugs’

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The FDA issued a warning letter to Dollar Tree for allegedly selling over-the-counter medications from Chinese manufacturing companies that have violated U.S. federal law for not properly testing products and cited an example where “rodent feces (were) found throughout the manufacturing facility.”

‘To Err Is Human’ Initiative Set A Goal Of Curbing Preventable Medical Errors 20 Years Ago. But Hospitals Are Still Struggling.

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“Everyone sat up and said: ‘Wow, we’re not very good. Not only are we very expensive, we kill a lot of people,’ ” recalled Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, who who has written about patient safety issues for years. Many of the report’s ambitious goals, such as creating a reliable system of measuring errors, have yet to be realized. In other news on hospitals: debilitating lawsuits, financial struggles at rural facilities, infant deaths from contaminated equipment, and more.

Leapfrog Issues Semi-Annual Hospital Safety Ratings Report

KHN Morning Briefing

Media outlets take a look at what area hospitals rated on the closely watched Leapfrog Group report, which bases its rankings on preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals.

Red States Go Back To The Drawing Board As Roadblocks Derail Medicaid Work Requirements

KHN Morning Briefing

Legal rulings have made red states more hesitant to try to implement work requirements, but Republicans aren’t throwing in the towel yet. Work requirements “are not dead, but they’re certainly on life support,” said Joan Alker, of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. “The reasons for states not to go down this path are piling up.” Medicaid news comes out of Missouri, Wyoming and Maine, as well.

Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s ‘Conscience’ Rule, Calling It Unconstitutionally Coercive, Arbitrary

KHN Morning Briefing

The rule makes it easier for medical personnel to avoid assisting in procedures that they say violates their morals. “Wherever the outermost line where persuasion gives way to coercion lies, the threat to pull all HHS funding here crosses it,” said U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan, noting that the rule would have let HHS withhold billions from hospitals, clinics, universities and other healthcare providers that did not comply. Engelmayer also wrote that the “stated justification for undertaking rule making in the first place — a purported ‘significant increase’ in civilian complaints relating to the conscience provisions — was factually untrue.”

14 Of Country’s Largest Hospital Systems Pledge $700M Toward Programs Addressing Health Outcome Disparities

KHN Morning Briefing

Although many in the health landscape are starting to look at the economic and environmental drivers of health outcomes to figure out how they can better improve a community’s health, experts say this pledge is “the first time that systems have acknowledged that this strategy of impact investment should be part of their overall strategy for improving health and well-being in their communities.”

Buttigieg Is Rare Candidate To Target Hospitals In Cost-Cutting Plan, As Sanders, Warren Shy Away From Powerful Lobby

KHN Morning Briefing

While plans from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) target the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies — both subjects of public ire — South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes on politically powerful hospitals with his health care overhaul proposals. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden bristled over Warren’s dismissal of his criticism of her health plan.

Ga. Governor Proposes Small Medicaid Expansion With Work Requirements So Beneficiaries Have ‘Skin In The Game’

KHN Morning Briefing

The plan from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) includes work or volunteer requirements despite troubles other states are experiencing with such measures. Supporters of a full Medicaid expansion under the health law estimated it could cover about 500,000 Georgia residents, while the governor’s office envisions this limited expansion will cover around 52,000 people in its fifth year.

Warren’s Numbers Do Add Up, But They Rely On Everything Going Perfectly To Plan

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The Washington Post Fact Checker takes a deep dive into the “Medicare for All” cost analysis offered by experts and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Critics continue to focus on the assumptions — such as getting hospitals accepting near-Medicare rates from all patients — that the proposal relies on. If those fall apart, so does the plan.

Trump Rule That Visa-Seekers Must Prove They Can Pay For Health Insurance Temporarily Blocked By Judge

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“Facing a likely risk of being separated from their family members and a delay in obtaining a visa to which family members would otherwise be entitled is irreparable harm,” wrote Judge Michael Simon in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon of the Trump administration’s policy that would require new immigrants to show proof of health insurance or the means to afford it.