First Edition: March 21, 2019

As we speak’s early morning highlights from the main information organizations.

Kaiser Health News:
Health Plans For State Employees Use Medicare’s Hammer On Hospital Bills

States. They’re simply as perplexed as the remainder of us over the ever-rising price of well being care premiums. Now some states are transferring to regulate prices of state worker well being plans. And it’s triggering alarm from the hospital {industry}. The technique: Use Medicare reimbursement charges to recalibrate how they pay hospitals.  If the gamble pays off, extra private-sector employers may begin doing the identical factor. “Authorities staff will get it first, then everybody else will see the financial savings and demand it,” stated Glenn Melnick, a hospital finance knowledgeable and professor on the College of Southern California. “That is the camel’s nostril. It would simply develop and develop.” (Appleby, 3/21)

Modern Healthcare:
New Hampshire’s Medicaid Work Requirement Challenged In Court

Three advocacy teams sued the Trump administration Wednesday to problem New Hampshire’s authorized work requirement for Medicaid beneficiaries. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 4 named plaintiffs, stated the administration is making an attempt to “bypass the legislative course of and act unilaterally to essentially rework Medicaid… threatening irreparable hurt to the well being and welfare of the poorest and most weak in our nation.” (Meyer, 3/20)

The Wall Street Journal:
Third Lawsuit Filed Over Medicaid Work Requirements

The administration authorized a bundle of modifications to New Hampshire’s Medicaid program, together with the brand new work necessities, in November. It goals to overtake Medicaid state by state, after a wholesale revamp of this system sank in 2017 with Republicans’ failed try and repeal the Inexpensive Care Act. A spokesman for the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers declined to touch upon the lawsuit. The official stated the administration stays dedicated “to contemplating proposals that will give states extra flexibility to interact with their working-age, able-bodied residents.” (Hackman, 3/20)

The Hill:
Trump Officials Take Bold Steps On Medicaid

The Trump administration is pulling out all of the stops to encourage purple states to make conservative modifications to Medicaid with out congressional enter. Administration officers are pushing forward and granting approvals to states looking for to impose work necessities on Medicaid recipients, even within the face of authorized challenges and large-scale losses within the variety of individuals lined. (Weixel, 3/20)

The Hill:
Analysis: Data Contradicts HHS Claims On Arkansas Medicaid Work Requirements 

A lot of the 18,000 individuals who misplaced Medicaid protection in Arkansas on account of new work necessities haven’t discovered new jobs, in response to an evaluation of state information. The evaluation from the left-leaning Middle on Funds and Coverage Priorities additionally discovered that the majority of these unemployed persons are nonetheless uninsured. (Weixel, 3/20)

Los Angeles Times:
Fentanyl Overdose Deaths In The U.S. Have Been Doubling Every Year

If you wish to know what it means for one thing to develop exponentially, think about the demise toll of fentanyl. This highly effective artificial opioid seemingly got here out of nowhere and is now killing tens of 1000’s of Individuals annually. A brand new report from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention particulars the meteoric rise of a drug that was first authorized by the Meals and Drug Administration again in 1968. It reveals that fentanyl’s function as a driver of the opioid epidemic might be traced to late 2013. (Healy, 3/20)

The Washington Post:
Fentanyl Drug Overdose Deaths Rising Most Sharply Among African Americans

The artificial opioid fentanyl has been driving up the speed of deadly drug overdoses throughout racial and social strains in the USA, with the sharpest improve amongst African Individuals, in response to a brand new evaluation by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The demise charge amongst African Individuals from fentanyl-involved drug overdoses rose 141 p.c annually, on common, from 2011 to 2016, the research confirmed, with a very dramatic spike beginning in 2014. The demise charge for Hispanics rose 118 p.c in that interval yearly on common, and 61 p.c for non-Hispanic whites. The CDC didn’t have dependable information on Asian Individuals and Native Individuals. (Achenbach, 3/21)

Steep Rise In Fentanyl-Linked Deaths Marks Opioid Epidemic’s Third Wave

Elevated trafficking of the drug and elevated use are each fueling the spike in fentanyl deaths. For drug sellers, fentanyl is simpler to supply than another opioids. Not like the poppies wanted for heroin, which might be spoiled by climate or a nasty harvest, fentanyl’s components are simply equipped; it is a artificial mixture of chemical compounds, typically produced in China and packaged in Mexico, in response to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. And since fentanyl might be 50 occasions extra highly effective than heroin, smaller quantities translate to greater earnings. (Bebinger, 3/21)

Did A Medical Education Course For Doctors Favor Fentanyl Products?

Because the opioid disaster dawned within the U.S., persevering with instructional materials that docs are required to evaluate could have contributed to the burgeoning downside, in response to a newly printed research. How so? The research in contrast a unbroken medical schooling module, or course, that was funded by a drug maker that offered a fentanyl lollipop and lozenge with apply pointers issued by a medical society. The scope of the 2 publications was not fully equivalent, however each centered on using opioids in treating non-cancer ache. And the research discovered the industry-funded course contained a “delicate bias.” (Silverman, 3/20)

The Associated Press:
US Experts: Medicines For Opioid Addiction Vastly Underused

Medicines confirmed to deal with opioid habit stay vastly underused within the U.S., the nation’s prime medical advisers stated Wednesday. Solely a fraction of the estimated 2 million individuals hooked on opioids are getting the drugs, in response to a report by the Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Drugs. The influential group, which advises the federal authorities, known as for elevated prescribing of the medication and different modifications to cut back obstacles to their use. (3/20)

The Pharma-Backed Group With A Lot To Say On Trump’s Drug Rebate Pitch

RetireSafe, a Washington-based advocacy group with ties to the drug {industry}, seems to be behind a deluge of feedback on HHS’ controversial proposal to finish the present system of rebates used to barter the worth of medication. Roughly 18,000 feedback have been submitted concerning the proposal, a quantity that far exceeds the conventional submission charge for current Trump administration drug pricing proposals. (Florko, 3/20)

The Wall Street Journal:
Pfizer Adds To Big Pharma’s Gene-Therapy Deal Streak

Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay as a lot as $636 million for the rights to gene therapies beneath improvement at French firm Vivet Therapeutics, because it seeks to construct its pipeline on this cutting-edge therapy. The U.S. drugmaker stated Wednesday it had paid €45 million upfront for a 15% stake in Vivet. Additional funds, which embrace the potential acquisition of Vivet, are depending on the progress of the French firm’s experimental therapies. (Roland, 3/20)

AbbVie Is Sued For Using Humira Patent Deals To Block Competition 

In a novel step, a New York union accused AbbVie (ABBV) and 7 different drug makers of anticompetitive habits for putting offers that resolved patent lawsuits, but in addition meant that lower-cost biosimilar variations of the Humira therapy wouldn’t be obtainable within the U.S. for a number of years. In its lawsuit, Native 1500 of the United Meals and Industrial Employees, which represents grocery retailer staff, alleged that AbbVie “abused the patent system” and “erected vital obstacles to entry to dam biosimilar competitors” by submitting dozens of patents for Humira, its franchise product. (Silverman, 3/20)

The Associated Press:
Gillibrand ‘Open To Improving’ Opioids Bill After Criticism

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand says she’s “open to bettering” a Senate invoice that will restrict opioid prescriptions for acute ache. The senator from New York was addressing criticism she acquired final week when she tweeted that she and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado had launched the invoice “as a result of nobody wants a month’s provide for a knowledge tooth extraction.” (3/20)

The Associated Press:
With Black Lung Fund In Jeopardy, Taxpayers Could Foot Bill

The Trump administration and coal {industry} allies are insisting {that a} federal black lung belief fund will proceed to pay advantages to sick miners regardless of a drastic lower in funding. However the anticipated shortfalls might be lined by taxpayers as a substitute of coal firms, including extra debt to the already struggling fund. And a minimum of one Republican congressman from the coalfields has added his voice to the refrain of miners and advocates apprehensive that the fund’s promise to sick staff and their households finally may not be stored. (3/20)

Roanoke Times:
Kaine, Warner Introduce Bill Aimed At Strengthening Mental Health Services For Veterans

Virginia’s U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are looking for to enhance veterans’ entry to psychological well being care. The 2 Democrats launched the laws in Congress on Monday together with Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., in an effort to bolster the Division of Veterans Affairs’ psychological well being workforce; improve rural entry to care; and develop entry to different choices reminiscent of animal remedy, out of doors sports activities and yoga. (Friedenberger, 3/19)

Pulse Check: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb

Scott Gottlieb was nominated to run the FDA in March 2017. Two years — and almost 500 press bulletins — later, the productive and high-profile commissioner is getting ready to step down in early April 2019. Gottlieb joined POLITICO’s Dan Diamond to debate why he is leaving FDA, his regulatory and communications technique, his work on medical gadget security, digital well being, opioid abuse, the Trump administration’s method to science and the selection of Ned Sharpless as performing FDA commissioner, what Gottlieb would’ve pursued if he had extra time at FDA and if he’ll ever return to authorities. (3/20)

The Washington Post:
Veterans Talking Veterans Back From The Brink: A New Approach To Policing And Lives In Crisis

The previous Military soldier was slumped within the again seat of a sheriff’s division squad automobile when Shannon Teague and Tyrone “T-bone” Anderson arrived on the scene. A few hours earlier, excessive on meth, he’d been yelling “you’ll die” from the entrance porch of a transition home for homeless veterans. Teague made the introductions. Neither she nor Anderson wore a uniform, apart from the patch on their jackets and the ID tags clipped to their shirts. “I’m a social employee, and that is my companion, T-bone,” she advised the person. “We’re from the VA. You’re not in bother.” (Kuznia, 3/20)

The Associated Press:
Army Bill For Public Records On Contaminant: About $300,000

The U.S. Military has put a price ticket on releasing the outcomes of water assessments for a harmful contaminant at navy installations: almost $300,000. In a March 12 letter, the Military advised the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, that the navy would cost the group $290,400 to supply information of water assessments at 154 installations for a household of compounds often called PFAS, which federal authorities say seem linked to sure cancers and different well being and developmental issues. (3/20)

The Associated Press:
EPA Argues For Shifting Focus From Climate Change To Water

Unsafe ingesting water, not local weather change, is the world’s most instant public well being problem, Environmental Safety Company administrator Andrew Wheeler contended Wednesday. Environmental teams responded by saying the Trump administration was neglecting — or worsening — each well being threats. Wheeler made his case for a shift in public focus in a CBS Information interview that aired Wednesday, and in a speech later within the day in Washington on world water points. (3/20)

The New York Times:
Remember Chickenpox Parties? Kentucky Governor Says He Let His 9 Children Get The Virus

Amid a renewed nationwide dialog about childhood vaccinations, Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky stated this week that he and his spouse made certain all 9 of their kids obtained chickenpox. “Each single one in all my youngsters had the chickenpox,” Mr. Bevin stated in an interview on Tuesday with a radio station in Bowling Inexperienced, Ky. “They obtained the chickenpox on function as a result of we discovered a neighbor that had it and I went and made certain each one in all my youngsters was uncovered to it, and so they obtained it. They’d it as kids. They had been depressing for a couple of days, and so they all turned out effective.” (Bosman, 3/21)

The Washington Post:
Anti-Vaxxers Trolled A Doctors’ Office. Here’s What Scientists Learned From The Attack.

College was about to start out. Medical doctors at a Pennsylvania pediatric apply needed to remind mother and father to get their kids vaccinated towards human papillomavirus, or HPV, which may trigger a wide range of cancers. The docs produced a 90-second video and posted it to the apply’s Fb web page. The video sparked optimistic suggestions initially and resulted in additional mother and father scheduling appointments for his or her kids and adolescents to get the advisable vaccine. However three weeks later, anti-vaccine activists started inundating the Fb web page of Youngsters Plus Pediatrics, a Pittsburgh docs group, with hostile messages. (Solar, 3/21)

Washington Post:
New Zealand Bans All Assault Weapons In Response To Mosque Attacks

New Zealand will ban military-style semiautomatics and assault rifles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced Thursday, six days after assaults on two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 individuals useless. “On 15 March, our historical past modified ceaselessly. Now, our legal guidelines will too,” Ardern stated. “We’re saying motion right now on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun legal guidelines and make our nation a safer place.” (Fifield, 3/20)

Los Angeles Times:
As U.S. Struggles To Pass Modest Gun Curbs, New Zealand Swiftly Bans Assault Weapons

The short motion was a stark distinction to the sluggish tempo of constructing gun laws in the USA. Firearms are a part of the tradition in each nations. New Zealand has 4.7 million individuals and 1.5 million weapons, and the U.S. has 328 million individuals and between 265 million and 393 million weapons. However on the subject of gun legal guidelines, there are some huge variations. Most significantly, New Zealand’s structure doesn’t assure the precise to personal a gun. And although the gun foyer is influential in each nations, it’s stronger within the U.S. “There’s loads of vitality within the days after a mass taking pictures in America, nevertheless it tends to wane fairly rapidly,” stated John Donohue, a regulation professor at Stanford College who teaches on gun coverage. (Kaleem, 3/21)

The Washington Post:
As Zika Danger Wanes, Travel Warnings Are Eased For Pregnant Women

U.S. and worldwide well being officers are easing warnings towards journey to areas with Zika virus as a result of the risk has diminished markedly because the virus started to comb throughout the globe 4 years in the past. The World Well being Group designated Zika a world well being emergency in 2016, and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention advised girls who had been pregnant or would possibly develop into pregnant to steer clear of almost 100 nations or areas. The mosquito-borne virus could cause extreme delivery defects. (Solar, 3/20)

The New York Times:
Sugary Drinks Tied To Shorter Life Span

Ingesting sugary drinks is related to a barely elevated threat for early demise, a brand new research has discovered. Researchers used information from two massive persevering with well being research begun within the 1980s that embrace greater than 118,000 women and men. Amongst many different well being, behavioral and eating regimen traits, the researchers collected information about their consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, together with noncarbonated fruit punches, lemonades and different sugary fruit drinks. (Bakalar, 3/21)

The New York Times:
A Twin Inside A Twin: In Colombia, An Extraordinary Birth

A Colombian lady has given delivery to a child whose stomach contained the tiny, half-formed — however nonetheless rising — physique of her personal twin sister. Any such delivery, an instance of “fetus-in-fetu,” could be very uncommon however not unprecedented. The situation was described in a British medical journal in 1808 and is assumed to happen in about one in each 500,000 births. Lately, comparable births have occurred in India, in Indonesia and in Singapore. (McNeil, 3/20)

How Rhode Island’s Emergency 911 System Failed Baby Alijah

Barbara’s son had simply gotten out of the bathe and gone again downstairs to the place his 6-month-old son was napping when she heard a scream. Then got here the pounding of toes on the steps of their residence in Warwick, Rhode Island. Conner handed her Alijah, who was limp. Barbara tried to remain calm as she carried her grandson into the lounge. She’d watched medical reveals on TV the place they did CPR on infants. (Arditi, 3/20)

The Associated Press:
Lawsuit: Vanderbilt Hospital Operated On Wrong Kidney

A Tennessee lady says Vanderbilt College Medical Middle operated on the mistaken kidney throughout her surgical procedure in what federal officers name a “by no means occasion.” The Tennessean reviews Carla Miller says the error broken her urinary system and he or she now wants dialysis for all times. She’s looking for greater than $25 million in damages in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. Vanderbilt officers declined remark to the newspaper. (3/20)

The Washington Post:
Disabled Residents In The D.C. Region Face Obstacles When Searching For Housing, Report Says

On a sunny afternoon on the primary day of spring, Deepa Goraya opened her laptop computer and sat at her dining-room desk within the shiny Washington condominium she has by no means seen. Goraya, 34, a incapacity rights lawyer who’s blind, ready to do a Google search with screen-reader software program — a program that reads every phrase on a web site at blistering pace in a robotlike monotone. Whereas unintelligible to the uninitiated, the reader is an unlimited enchancment over analysis strategies obtainable to Goraya years in the past, which included discovering her mother or another person prepared to learn to her. (Moyer, 3/20)

The Associated Press:
Workers Stage 1-Day Strike At California Campuses, Hospitals

Members of a union representing analysis and technical staff walked picket strains Wednesday at College of California campuses and hospitals in a one-day strike amid a lengthening stretch of unsuccessful contract negotiations. About 10,000 members of College Skilled and Technical Workers-Communications Employees of America had been anticipated to participate statewide, spokesman Dan Russell stated. (3/20)

That is a part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a abstract of well being coverage protection from main information organizations. Join an email subscription.

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