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A report warns that artificial intelligence can be easily duped with tiny pieces of data. The authors say bad actors could hack into records and make it seem like there’s an illness there that isn’t. But more likely is that doctors, hospitals and other organizations could manipulate the A.I. in billing or insurance software in an effort to maximize the money coming their way. In other health technology news: a day of reckoning is coming for digital health, the FDA calls for tighter security of electronic health records following a KHN report, and data breaches from the states.
Economists say that part of the reason price transparency won’t do much to the market is not only because consumers don’t pay list prices but they also don’t really choose which medication they’re buying. And, unlike with toothpaste or soda, it’s not easy for a consumer to switch brands of medicine. In other pharmaceutical news: pharmacy benefits managers will have their day getting grilled by lawmakers, how the NAFTA deal may hinge on intellectual property protections for pharma products, and more.
Sixty-nine percent of the 20,700 air ambulance transports–which cost up to $40,600–taken in 2017 by privately insured patients were out of network, meaning that the costs may not be fully covered, a Government Accountability Office report finds. And it will only get worse: Companies have hiked their prices by 60 percent, despite states’ efforts to put controls in place. In other health care costs news: the price tag on treating sepsis, surprise medical bills, and what the U.S. is spending on health care.
Media outlets report on news from Rhode Island, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts, D.C., Florida, California, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Texas, Minnesota and Georgia.
“There just aren’t enough places and schools to get trained for how many people we need in those roles,” said economist Tara Sinclair. An aging population and increase in wealth has contributed to higher demand for health care services, and the skills gap is only going to have a greater impact on the booming industry as it grows. In other health industry news: costly insurance, a hospital whistleblower case, health stocks, state employee premiums, cheating doctors and more.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote that the government will step in if even further than it already has if the e-cigarette industry doesn’t take an active role in curbing the epidemic. Meanwhile, in a podcast, Gottlieb talks about his work at the agency and if he’ll ever return to the government.
More than 5,000 of the current 18,000 comments were made public this week, and nearly all of them support the proposal with very similar wording that matches a RetireSafe-sponsored form letter available at the website SubmitForChange.org. In other pharmaceutical news: Pfizer makes a gene-therapy deal, AbbVie is sued over its patent deals, and the FDA is taking steps to cut down on blood pressure medication recalls.
New Hampshire residents are challenging the Trump administration’s approval of work requirements for Medicaid recipients, after suits filed in Arkansas and Kentucky. Critics of the work requirement waivers say they are an attack on the poor. “This approval will not promote coverage, but it will result in significant coverage losses, and that is the administration’s goal,” said Jane Perkins, legal director of the National Health Law Program, which filed the suit on behalf of the New Hampshire residents. Meanwhile, an analysis finds that most of the 18,000 people kicked of Arkansas’ Medicaid program because they didn’t report work hours are still uninsured. The data contradicts statements from Trump administration and state officials, who have claimed that most of the people who lost Medicaid have found jobs.
Media outlets report on news from California, Washington, Wyoming, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
News from state legislatures comes out of Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts.
According to new documents, the University of Illinois at Chicago Institutional Review Board, the committee responsible for protecting research subjects, improperly fast-tracked approval of Dr. Mani Pavuluri’s clinical trial, didn’t catch serious omissions from the consent forms parents had to sign and allowed children to enroll in the study even though they weren’t eligible. Still, UIC officials have continued to blame only Pavuluri, and have downplayed the institution’s role in the research.
Even after Altria and Juul said they’ll take extra efforts to prevent teens from getting addicted, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb isn’t convinced and called for a meeting with them last week. He told Bloomberg “The e-cigarette industry has been overly dismissive” and he’s considering temporarily pulling pod-based nicotine products off the markets. Other FDA news looks at new strategies for HIV drug development.
But the infusion will be expensive, averaging $34,000 per patient before discounts, and the women would have to stay in a medical center for two and a half days. Still, many experts cheered the new treatment that would offer relief much quicker than current drugs, which kick in after weeks if at all.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
Media outlets report on news from Maryland, New York, Texas, Kansas, Connecticut, California, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Louisiana.
Experts are worried this behavior could be extremely dangerous for the patients. “We have lots of treatments where if you don’t take them exactly as prescribed, you might be doing more harm than good,” said Stacie Dusetzina, a health policy researcher at Vanderbilt University. Other ways patients are trying to control costs are by asking for cheaper drugs from doctors or seeking out alternative therapies. Meanwhile, Ohio’s attorney general is suing UnitedHealth’s OptumRx unit alleging it overcharged the state for prescription drugs.
Modern Healthcare looks at how the CEO’s paychecks followed suit. In other health industry news: value-based care models and noncompete clauses for doctors.
The ad is the latest example of Democratic attacks on the Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020. Democrats saw health care as a winning issue in the midterms, and are hoping to repeat that success in upcoming elections. Other Medicaid news comes out of Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia and Idaho.
A review conducted by the U.S. Digital Service, an elite group of software developers and designers employed by the White House, recommended that the VA should scrap the eligibility tool and start over. The report predicted that the tool would generate errors or run slowly or crash, and that these glitches would lengthen each appointment by five to 10 minutes.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.