Latest Morning Briefing Stories
A study has found that relying on data about doctor-diagnosed arthritis alone may miss almost half of cases in a younger population who may see doctors less often or ignore occasional joint symptoms. In other news on aging: thinning bones, the benefits of volunteering and Alzheimer’s.
While the debate is theoretical, scientists can weigh possible risks versus the lives they know the vaccine will save. But a recent example of a controversial drug is throwing the issue into the global spotlight in a very real way. In other public health news: clinical trials and ethics; decoding a baby’s DNA; home health care workers and infection rates; a new type of self-harm in teenagers; and more.
The investment required to globalize has been daunting to the hospital industry. But facing anemic growth and other troubles, some hospitals are looking abroad. Meanwhile, Anthem is being taken to court over its new policies that restrict outpatient imaging and emergency department reimbursement.
The drug industry trade group focused its spending on issues such as generics, the “doughnut hole,” and trade.
Under the existing Obama-era rule, health insurers cannot place arbitrary limits or restrictions on health services that help a person transition from one gender to another. The Trump administration says a judge ruled part of that rule is unlawful.
While Dr. Ronny Jackson is well liked by many, there are lawmakers who question his lack of managerial experience. “He’s got a great bedside manner you feel comfortable with,” says Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “But it doesn’t mean he will be a good leader of the VA.”
Many physicians are being trained at hospitals that have been cited for deficiencies by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
But some advocates are now worried that patients with chronic pain are being undertreated. Meanwhile, NIH wants to conduct research on fentanyl, but the nationwide law-enforcement crackdown on opioid abuse means scientists are having a hard time getting permission to get samples of the illegal products they need to study. And the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on improving Medicaid, Medicare and other programs that cope with the effects of substance abuse.
“We’re not suggesting that nobody is seeing higher costs,” said Murray Aitken, of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, which released the numbers. “We’re just saying that when we roll everything up, the amount received by manufacturers rose by only 0.6 percent in 2017.”
The Washington Post takes a look at the impression Dr. Ronny Jackson has made on colleagues during his tenure serving as a White House physician under three presidents.
In a turnaround from previous elections, Republicans are ducking the topic that now fires up the Democratic base more so than the conservative one.
Scientists have figured out a way to make cells turn dark like a tattoo when calcium levels in the blood is too high. In other public health news: gene therapy, concussions, categorizing sounds, homeopathic remedies, and autism.
Touted as a “breakthrough” discovery, a new paper challenges the traditional belief that keeping the liver cool while transporting it from donor to recipient will slow the dying process.
The Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, has taken a tough stand against similar types of deals in the past.
Drugmakers are expecting to take a financial hit from the copay accumulator programs that PBMs have begun marketing. And the Supreme Court may review a whistleblower case that could have implications across the pharmaceutical industry.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has been dealing with diverticulitis, a condition where pouches form in the colon wall and can become inflamed or infected.
Advocates say it’s hard to get lawmakers to focus on the issue of up to 900 maternal deaths annually in the U.S. when their attention is on the opioid crisis. “We think this is an issue that touches enough American families that it ought to get the same attention,” said Dr. Neel Shah, vice president of March for Moms.
The measure would kick off a five-year study on the safety and efficacy of marijuana. “As a physician, I’m keenly aware of the need to look for opioid alternatives to treat patients’ chronic pain,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
In an abrupt shift, the National Institutes of Health said it won’t take money from the pharmaceutical industry, and will instead fund the study exclusively through taxpayer dollars. In other news on the crisis: a look at the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps, a 6,500-strong group of health experts fighting the epidemic; how the surgeon general’s advice for Americans to carry naloxone will play out; more states are taking the fight against drugmakers to the courts; and more.
Most people who are going with the fixed indemnity plans — which aren’t considered true insurance under the health law — are healthy and willing to bet they won’t be hit with high medical bills anytime soon. Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill have introduced a public option plan that, though it has almost no chance of passing at the moment, reinforces the party’s push toward more universal coverage.