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The transplants have come into increasing use to treat severe intestinal orders and sometimes work quickly in patients wasting away. But the procedure to use stool from a healthy donor to restore the normal balance of bacteria and other organisms in the intestine is considered experimental by the FDA.
Lawmakers previously argued a program to develop a national patient identifier could violate privacy issues or raise security concerns, while the medical community and insurers claimed the ban kept them from properly matching patients with the correct medical information–a major issue that health systems are struggling with.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said they are concerned about allegations that 20 major drug manufacturers conspired to artificially inflate and manipulate the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, with the companies making billions in the process. In other pharmaceutical and biotech news: how a photocopier mistake caused a major headache; an investigation into a biohacker; a questionable sickle cell disease drug heads to the FDA; and more.
The health reimbursement arrangements are already available to employers and workers, but the administration finalized new rules that potentially could boost their popularity. Critics fear that some of the changes could undermine traditional workplace insurance, or raise premiums for individual plans.
Editorial writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
“Too often, women and members of other groups underrepresented in science are conspicuously missing in the marquee speaking slots at scientific meetings and other high-level conferences,” National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins said in a statement. Collins challenged other scientific leaders to take a similar pledge.
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.”
The progressive wing of Democratic House lawmakers is angry over the way leadership has been crafting its drug pricing strategy. On Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would take one of their key criticisms and adjust the number of drugs that Medicare could negotiate over. Meanwhile, the progressives called for six drugmakers to testify over price increases next week.
News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing.
Suspending the use of the immigration background checks could speed up the release of children by at least two or three days. About 13,200 children are in custody. Other administration news focuses on the flawed safety approval of the new depression drug esketamine.
It’s rare for a teenager to die of the flu. “By the time you’re 16 years old, you have great immunity, and you shouldn’t be dying so quickly,” said Dr. Nizam Peerwani, the Tarrant County medical examiner in Fort Worth, Texas. The boy’s death is one of several that’s shining a light on the quality of care detained migrant children receive in U.S. custody. Meanwhile, the government is opening a new mass facility in Texas to deal with the surge in children.
Dr. Kate Goodrich, chief medical officer with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that the attention on the issue “has amplified a very important national dialogue on nursing home quality.”
Media outlets report on news from Alaska, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland
The VA rolls out changes this week from the MISSION Act, which expands the number of veterans who qualify for private care that is eligible for reimbursement. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie promises that, while there might be some glitches, his team is ready for the challenges of implementing the expansion.
Media outlets report on news from Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, California, North Carolina, Connecticut, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Arizona, Louisiana, Ohio and Minnesota.
The list was provided by CMS and released by Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. The 400 facilities have similar problems to a small list released by the government, but these were withheld from the public. “We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” Casey, a Democrat, and Toomey, a Republican, said in their report.
Once the FDA approved the treatment of the world’s priciest drug, the conversation over the cost of “miracle” treatments reignited. But for those who will benefit, there is no debate. In other pharmaceutical news: a look at this year’s big bioconference, President Donald Trump’s drug pricing agenda, CVS’ defense of its Aetna deal, and more.
There have been hundreds of allegations of abuse or mistreatment, yet only one Department of Homeland Security employee was disciplined. A federal judge found the records disturbing and ordered the names of the accused agents made public. The government is trying to fight the decision.
The New York Times looks at what went wrong with Rosewood Care Centers, and how the program it relied on is a dangerous vulnerable spot for the federal government.
President Donald Trump is working on an executive order intended to increase price transparency across the health care landscape. But one of the aspects to the order is provoking intense backlash. Compelling disclosure of negotiated rates “would have the ultimate anti-competitive effect,” said Tom Nickels, the American Hospital Association’s executive vice president for government relations and public policy.