Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Lower-priced models are emerging on the scene as both doctors and patients look to cut out complications of the health system. In other health care cost and industry news: a site-neutral payment lawsuit, value-based care, the health costs of eviction, and more.
The judges seemed skeptical of the Trump administration’s arguments that Congress implicitly gave HHS authority to require list price disclosure to ensure the “efficient administration” of Medicaid and Medicare. In other pharmaceutical news: drugmakers are testing new ways to pay for pricey treatments, the high cost of medicine is making patients forgo care, and more.
President Donald Trump defended his administration’s efforts to protect health coverage for Americans in response to presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s ads, but fact checkers and other experts were quick to point out that Trump has gone to great lengths to weaken the health law and its popular provisions throughout his presidency. “That tweet is so far inconsistent with the direction of their policy push,” said Linda Blumberg, a health policy analyst at the Urban Institute. “It’s just astounding to me.”
Google has long seen health data as a natural extension of its stated mission to organize information, but many people are wary about the company’s efforts. In other health and technology news: Facebook’s preventive health tool, Apple and the CES show, and a probe into Fitbit.
Last week a judge gave Verity Health permission to close the doors of the old St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. Throughout the decades, the mission of the hospital to serve the most needy remained consistent, and thus it struggled financially. In other hospitals news: out-of-network billing, health care prices, psychiatric care, emergency departments, and more.
Pharmacy benefits managers, the controversial middlemen in the drug pipeline, are a favorite target to blame for higher prescription drug costs. A Supreme Court decision on how much oversight states can place on PMBs could send shock waves through the debate over health care costs. In other pharmaceutical news: genetic testing and proprietary data, lax oversight of the 340B drug program, a startup with the possible answer to high drug costs, and more.
The Trump administration says the plan aims at addressing changing social factors, such as the fact that people are living longer in better health and fewer people are engaged in physically draining jobs like coal mining. And new technology allows those with disabilities to work in ways that weren’t available in the past. Other news on the Trump administration’s policies focuses on food stamps and Medicaid eligibility.
Democrats had urged the Supreme Court to take up the case in the current term as it is unlikely otherwise to be decided upon before the 2020 elections. The Republicans, including the Trump administration, were given until Friday to respond. They said there’s no need to rush the case through the system.
There are countless high-tech gadgets that can flood users’ with information, but what of that data is actually useful? That’s one of the main questions facing health experts who are trying out all the goodies at the big annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Hospitals are closing their doors with startling frequency, leaving vulnerable patients with no help in sight. Already this week, the bankrupt owner of St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles said it plans to shut the facility after a failed sale attempt, and it looks like there’s only going to be more pain to come in the future.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) wants to direct his state to sell its own brand of certain generic prescription drugs, with the theory that increased competition will drive down prices. Experts, however, say that while the strategy is a good step, generics aren’t the primary problem.
After President Donald Trump seemed to take credit for the dropping rates, advocates and political rivals fired back. “The largest drop in overall cancer mortality ever recorded from 2016 to 2017, reflects prevention, early detection, and treatment advances that occurred in prior years,” said Gary M. Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society.
Gov. Laura Kelly (D-Kansas) campaigned on Medicaid expansion and has been pushing the Republican-controlled Legislature to do so since taking office. She has been wrangling with Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning on the deal, which would cover as many as 150,000 additional people.
“Candidates are actually listening to disabled people,” said Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “This is how policy should be made. It matters who’s at the table.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan is sprawling, touching on education, employment, Social Security, technology, housing, incarceration, and more, in addition to focusing on health care.
Media outlets focus on news from Mississippi, Florida, Nebraska, Georgia, Kansas, Washington, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
Media outlets report on hospital news out of California, Maryland, Louisiana, Washington, Texas and Tennessee.
“We want to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter by giving them more control over the conversations they start,” the San Francisco-based company said in a tweet.
Apart from prescription drug struggles, for the first time, Walgreens executives also seemed to acknowledge fallout from the acquisition of health insurer Aetna by rival CVS Health Corp. Other pharmaceutical news focuses on congressional drug pricing efforts, the ghosts of J.P. Morgan’s past, and a look ahead to 2020.
The ministries promotes cheaper options than health plans offered under the ACA, but the groups don’t guarantee that they’ll actually cover the cost of medical bills when the need arises. As such alternatives gain in popularity, some states are starting to take a closer look.
The method of finding the most expensive, hard-to-treat patients and better coordinating their care was touted as a popular idea for containing health care costs. A new study offers a harsh reality check on the benefits of such a strategy though. The surprising lack of results offers a cautionary tale about how difficult it is to improve patients’ care and reduce costs.