News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

As Sanders Officially Revives Medicare-For-All, Plan B For Democrats Gains Traction
Kaiser Health News

As Democratic presidential primary candidates try to walk a political tightrope between the party’s progressive and center-left wings, they face increasing pressure to outline the details of their health reform proposals.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reaffirmed his stance by reintroducing a “Medicare-for-all” bill, the idea that fueled his 2016 presidential run.

As with its previous iterations, Sanders’ latest bill would establish a national single-payer “Medicare” system with vastly expanded benefits, prohibit private plans from competing with Medicare and eliminate cost sharing.  New in this version is a universal provision for long-term care in home and community settings (but Medicaid would continue to cover institutional care).

News Headlines Article

Trump administration appeals rulings that blocked Medicaid work requirements
Washington Post

The Trump administration appealed court rulings Wednesday by a federal judge that blocked federally approved programs in two states to compel some able-bodied people to work to qualify for Medicaid.

The appeals, in cases challenging Kentucky and Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirements, come two weeks after a federal judge in Washington issued opinions that President Trump’s top health aides had been “arbitrary and capricious” in allowing the new rules and failed to consider their effect on vulnerable residents’ access to health insurance.

News Headlines Article

Azar remains resolute on controversial Part D rebate rule
Modern Healthcare

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday redoubled his support for a rule to eliminate the safe harbor protections for Medicare Part D and Medicaid managed-care drug rebates.

Hospital and insurer groups complained in comments on the rule, which replaces the safe harbor for rebates with one for discounts delivered at the point of sale, that it doesn’t give drug companies an incentive to lower prices. Another concern was that the Jan. 1, 2020 implementation date is far too soon.

News Headlines Article

Making Smarter Decisions About Where To Recover After Hospitalization
Kaiser Health News

Every year, nearly 2 million people on Medicare — most of them older adults — go to a skilled nursing facility to recover after a hospitalization. But choosing the facility can be daunting, according to an emerging body of research.

Typically, a nurse or a social worker hands out a list of facilities a day or two — sometimes hours — before a patient is due to leave. The list generally lacks such essential information as the services offered or how the facilities perform on various measures of care quality.

News Headlines Article

Exasperated lawmakers grill drugmakers over high insulin costs
Modern Healthcare

Insulin manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers in a U.S. House of Representatives hearing Wednesday pointed fingers at one another over patient costs for insulin but ultimately urged lawmakers to keep the rebate system in place.

But the blame game about the system frustrated both Democratic and GOP lawmakers of the House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight panel, who issued sharp warnings of reform. They are focusing on insulin as one part of the broader drug-pricing issue.

News Headlines Article

Facing Escalating Workplace Violence, Hospital Employees Have Had Enough
National Public Radio

Across the U.S., many doctors, nurses and other health care workers have remained silent about what is being called an epidemic of violence against them.

The violent outbursts come from patients and patients’ families. And for years, it’s been considered part of the job.

When you visit the Cleveland Clinic emergency department these days — whether as a patient, family member or friend — a large sign directs you toward a metal detector.

News Headlines Article

Lack of knowledge, unreliable testing feed the stigma of herpes
Modern Healthcare

Medically speaking, it’s just a rash: an extremely common rash infecting about 1 in 5 Americans. But most people with the underlying virus don’t know they have it.

A diagnosis of the genital form of herpes—herpes simplex virus 2, or HSV-2—can send patients into a tailspin and depression, and at first can threaten romantic relationships.

News Headlines Article

Commentary: Data-sharing can transform care, so let’s get connected
Modern Healthcare

We’re finally getting it—or at least, we’re getting closer. There’s a growing understanding that the key to helping physicians, hospitals and health plans improve care quality, reduce cost and enhance the patient experience is freeing data. Putting it to work. Getting it out of those silos!

What’s the point of having data if we’re not going to use it to improve healthcare? As CEO of the Inland Empire Foundation for Medical Care for almost 25 years, I know that sharing data works.

Commands