News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

How Obamacare, Medicare And ‘Medicare For All’ Muddy The Campaign Trail
Kaiser Health News

The health care debate has Democrats on Capitol Hill and the presidential campaign trail facing renewed pressure to make clear where they stand: Are they for “Medicare for All”? Or will they take up the push to protect the Affordable Care Act?

Obamacare advocates have found a powerful ally in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in a recent “60 Minutes” appearance said that concentrating on the health law is preferable to Medicare for All. She argued that since the ACA’s “benefits are better” than those of the existing Medicare program, implementing Medicare for All would mean changing major provisions of current Medicare, which covers people 65 and up as well as those with disabilities.

News Headlines Article

Many Americans Will Need Long-Term Care. Most Won’t be Able to Afford It.
New York Times

Gretchen Harris likes the small brick house she bought in Norman, Okla., 36 years ago. She’s fond of her neighbors and the magnolia tree she planted in the front yard. And having a single-story residence proved helpful after knee replacement surgery last summer.

“It’s always been a good size for me,” she said.

But Ms. Harris, 72, a retired attorney, has grappled with assorted health problems — heart disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis — and takes a long list of prescription drugs.

News Headlines Article

The Health 202: Here’s a new way to raise money for medical research: Selling bonds to Wall Street
Washington Post

Want to advance hard-to-fund medical research? Get Wall Street to pay for it.

That’s one way finance analyst Karen Petrou and her husband, Basil, are seeking to enlist the private sector in seeking a cure for blindness. Their idea: Packaging research loans into government-backed “Eye Bonds” and selling them to pension funds, insurance companies and other long-term investors.

The loans would be for projects traditionally hardest to fund, those in the preclinical trial phase in which scientists try to connect the basic science of disease with human medicine by conducting testing on animal or tissue samples rather than people.

News Headlines Article

‘Bottle Of Lies’ Exposes The Dark Side Of The Generic Drug Boom
National Public Radio

Generic drugs are supposed to work just as well as their name-brand counterparts.

Once a patent lifts, generic drug companies find alternative ways to manufacture a drug that should work indistinguishably from the name-brand version. In a world of skyrocketing prescription drug prices, cheaper generics have acted as a crucial counterweight.

But in Bottle of Lies, available Monday, investigative journalist and author Katherine Eban exposes the dangerous, dark side of some generics. Her propulsive narrative investigation traces the history of the generic drug boom, revealing how intense demand for cheaper drugs opened a dangerous chasm between what regulations required of drug companies and how some of those companies actually behaved. She also documents how the FDA struggled to address those safety gaps, and the challenges that still remain.

News Headlines Article

FDA finalizes guidance to spur biosimilar availability
Modern Healthcare

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave clear suggestions for drugmakers to make it easier for patients to obtain biosimilars, treating them similarly to generic drugs.

In the final guidance, FDA gave drugmakers some clarity on the studies they need to show their biosimilar is interchangeable with a biologic. While federal law created a pathway for interchangeability, drug companies have been seeking greater guidance from the agency. Healthcare providers have called on the Trump administration and Congress to do more to increase availability of biosimilars. Biologics can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for chronic conditions.

News Headlines Article

House lawmakers launch effort to block site-neutral payments
Modern Healthcare

Two U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers on Thursday launched a bipartisan effort to override the Trump administration’s site-neutral pay regulation.

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) want to block a final CMS rule that went into effect Jan. 1 and cuts Medicare rates for hospital offsite clinics for some outpatient treatments. Their bill is backed by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents investor-owned systems, and they are looking for senators to introduce companion legislation in that chamber.

News Headlines Article

Q&A: ‘We’re going to have to move away from, “We’re all things to all people” ‘
Modern Healthcare

Scripps Health is facing some “not in my backyard” backlash for its plans to open a psychiatric hospital in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. The hospital is being built through a private equity partnership with Acadia Healthcare, a behavioral health provider with locations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Great Britain. While the community’s complaints stem from safety issues, Acadia has a checkered past that Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder knew he’d have to navigate.

News Headlines Article

For patients, a caregiver’s compassion is essential
Washington Post

The 34-year-old man lay in his ICU bed for over a month — dependent on a breathing tube and artificial respirator to stay alive. The patient knew his life hung in the balance, as he was a physician himself. Some days the suffering was so intense that he contemplated ways he could unplug the machine on his own.

Now, nearly 50 years later, that patient, Edward Viner, an oncologist who served as chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care in New Jersey for more than two decades, reflects on how he was able to survive such a harrowing experience.

News Headlines Article

Transplants A Cheaper, Better Option For Undocumented Immigrants With Kidney Failure
National Public Radio

Uninsured, undocumented immigrants often go to the emergency room for treatment. Since 1986 the federal government has required that patients in the emergency room receive care, regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay.

But caring for chronic conditions such as kidney disease or cancer in the emergency room is expensive. So some states are quietly expanding access for undocumented immigrants to obtain medical treatment beyond the ER.

One of those states is Washington, where an undocumented immigrant named Gonzalo lives with his wife, Ricarda.

News Headlines Article

UCSD receives $4.7 million to study Crohn’s Disease
San Diego Union-Tribune

Nearly $5 million in grants from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will further the study of Crohn’s disease at UC San Diego.

The contributions, which take the form of two separate grants, will help researchers better understand the precise function of the human gut and will also continue to develop three-dimensional imaging techniques that have already proven useful in helping one of the university’s own professors guide his own surgery.

Estimated to affect about 750,000 Americans, Crohn’s causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract known to cause diarrhea, internal bleeding and chronic pain.

Commands