News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

House lawmakers bash Trump’s Medicare drug pricing efforts
Modern Healthcare

U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers on Tuesday criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to introduce formulary management tools such as step therapy into more parts of Medicare.

Republicans and Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee alleged that the Trump administration’s efforts threaten patient access to needed drugs.

News Headlines Article

Industry battles Medicare for All traction
Modern Healthcare

Health insurers and hospitals are starting to sweat.

Medicare for All and other proposals to give more Americans the choice to enroll in government-funded insurance programs have little chance of going anywhere under a Republican-controlled Senate and White House. Yet the insurance and hospital industries are taking seriously the threat to the status quo upon which they’ve built their businesses.

News Headlines Article

Medicare-for-all advocates get their first hearing on Capitol Hill
The Washington Post

In the opening moments of Congress’s first-ever hearing on Medicare-for-all, House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) hit on a theme that already has begun to dominate the 2020 Democratic primary season: “Health care is a right for all,” he said, “not a privilege for the lucky few.”

That mantra, which he and others invoked on Tuesday, is political ammunition for liberals’ crusade to convert the U.S. health-care system into a single-payer model. The language casts a redesign, intended to guarantee all Americans access to care by enlarging the government’s role, as a moral imperative.

The most poignant presence during the day-long hearing was that of Ady Barkan, a 35-year-old activist dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disease with no cure, who appeared weak and sweaty in a wheelchair and delivered his testimony through a computer because his diaphragm no longer allows him to speak.

News Headlines Article

House lawmakers throw down gauntlet for Medicare for All
Modern Healthcare

Hospitals’ and insurers’ roles in the rising cost of healthcare took center stage during a high-profile U.S. House of Representatives hearing Tuesday on a single-payer system.

In a sign that industry jitters and strident healthcare lobbying may be justified, the House Rules Committee examined the chamber’s Medicare for All legislation, and committee Chairman Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) declared that while critics decry the policy’s projected price tag, “we’re spending an awful lot on healthcare right now, and we’re not getting the services and effectiveness that we’re all demanding.”

News Headlines Article

CMS awards multiyear data contract in shift to the cloud
Modern Healthcare

The CMS has inked a multiyear agreement with MarkLogic Corp. as part of its “cloud first” strategy, the vendor said Tuesday.

The CMS is in the midst of migrating data to a cloud service from Amazon Web Services, according to a news release. The agency plans to use a data integration service from MarkLogic to support this process, chiefly by bringing together data from disparate sources to help build and deploy new applications in the cloud environment.

News Headlines Article

The Health 202: New CBO analysis could torpedo Medicare-for-all proposals
The Washington Post

Democrats eyeing Medicare-for-all are trying to avoid the same trap Republicans fell into back in 2017 when they were trying to replace Obamacare.

The trap is this: a damaging analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’s official scorekeeper.

This afternoon, the CBO is expected to release a highly anticipated report on the potential structure and costs of transitioning the United States into a single-payer system. The report, requested by Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), will analyze a number of questions raised by Medicare-for-all proposals, including what services would be covered, what costs consumers would share, how much doctors and hospitals would be paid and how the whole thing might be paid for.

News Headlines Article

Breakdown: California’s mental health system, explained
CALmatters

Mental health advocates have long described California’s fragmented mental health system with words like “struggling” and “broken.”

Evidence of its consequences can be found in our jails and prisons, our hospitals and clinics, our schools and colleges. The problem touches those living in comfortable middle class suburbs, remote rural towns, and on the streets of the state’s biggest cities.

In January 2018, a year before he was elected governor, Gavin Newsom laid out his concerns: “Our system of mental health care in California falls short, not for lack of funding. We’ve done the right thing in this state: Thanks to the vision of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, we passed a millionaire’s tax in 2004 that now funnels more than $2 billion a year into services. We fall short because we lack the bold leadership and strategic vision necessary to bring the most advanced forms of care to scale across the state. We lack the political will necessary to elevate brain illness as a top-tier priority.”

News Headlines Article

Officials: New California measles cases involve travelers
Associated Press

Two people who returned to Southern California from overseas were infected with measles, health officials said Tuesday, emphasizing the travelers were not connected to other cases that prompted quarantines involving hundreds of people at two Los Angeles universities.

The latest case in Los Angeles County involves someone who arrived April 23 at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the county Department of Public Health.

News Headlines Article

Cigna and VA join forces to help veterans at risk of opioid misuse
MedCity News

Health insurer Cigna and the Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered in an effort to aid veterans with chronic pain who are also at risk for opioid misuse.

By teaming up, the organizations seek to educate healthcare providers as well as veterans and their families about safe opioid use.

News Headlines Article

UC Davis selects new medical school dean after two-year vacancy
Sacramento Business Journal

University of California Davis has named Dr. Allison Brashear, known for her research on neurological disorders, as the new dean of its school of medicine, filling a vacancy that has been open for two years.

In early 2017, the previous dean, Dr. Julie Freischlag, was named CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The new dean hails from Wake Forest. Brashear will join UC Davis after more than 13 years at the Wake Forest School of Medicine where she was a professor and chair of neurology.

News Headlines Article

Sutter Health naming rights help fund Capital Public Radio’s downtown move (Renderings)
Sacramento Business Journal

Capital Public Radio’s move into new studio space in downtown Sacramento is being assisted by a naming rights deal with Sutter Health, which will create the Sutter Health Center for Community Engagement at Cap Radio’s new headquarters.

The public radio station now broadcasts from the campus of California State University Sacramento, where it is crowded into 16,000 square feet of office and studios.

News Headlines Article

Paradise Valley expects to re-open remainder of psychiatric unit in May
San Diego Union-Tribune

It should take about one more month to get Paradise Valley Hospital’s psychiatric unit back to full strength, a hospital representative said Tuesday.

The 38-bed unit was shut down in late March after a routine accreditation survey found that it did not meet new federal requirements to remove potential hanging risks.

In an email, Benjamin Macapugay, a spokesman for Paradise Valley, said that 10 of the unit’s beds were returned to service on Apr. 16.

Commands