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Sep 14, 2018

North Carolina hospitals hunkered down and waited for emergency patients to arrive after Hurricane Florence pummeled the coast near Wrightsville Beach on Friday, bringing 90 mph winds, life-threatening storm surge, and power outages for more than 500,000 residents.

At least four hospitals were running on generator power as of Friday morning and several were dealing with leaking roofs or other property damage, according to the North Carolina Healthcare Association, which has been...

Sep 14, 2018

The U.S Food and Drug administration wants to develop a new payment model aimed at encouraging drugmakers to develop new antibiotics.

Speaking at an event held in Washington D.C., by the Pew Charitable Trust, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Friday described the approach as an "agency-wide" effort to encourage product stewardship as well as support efforts to better track antimicrobial resistant outbreaks.

"We can't count on outracing drug resistance," Gottlieb said. "...

Sep 14, 2018

Seven healthcare industry and advocacy groups sued the Trump administration Friday to block a new rule expanding the availability of short-term health plans that don't comply with Affordable Care Act consumer protection rules for the individual market.

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans, the American Psychiatric Association and several other groups alleged that the rule flies in the face of the intent of the ACA to make low-cost comprehensive insurance available to...

Sep 14, 2018

As Hurricane Florence pummels the south and east coast this weekend, healthcare providers will turn to health information exchanges to get patient data.

These aggregation services have been preparing in advance to fill in gaps that arise when patients see providers they don't usually go to or when providers' electronic health record systems go offline. Just as it's crucial during fair weather for providers to have access to patient data, so it is when natural disasters strike. But...

Sep 14, 2018
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

If you’ve been glued to your preferred weather service (as I have) over the past few days watching Hurricane Florence lumber toward the East Coast, you may have missed that it was a fairly huge news week for health. So, let’s get right to it!

Sep 14, 2018

Long-term acute-care hospitals were excluded from the Inpatient Prospective Payment System back in the early '80s. Other so-called IPPS-excluded hospitals include rehabilitation, psychiatric, cancer and children's hospitals. These IPPS-excluded hospitals serve very specific patient populations, where specialization brings both scale and requisite expertise to focus on specific needs.

To be recognized by Medicare, a long-term acute-care hospital, or LTAC, must satisfy the conditions...

Sep 14, 2018

The number of Americans affected by opioid use disorder has been greatly undercounted, according to a new analysis, and funding to combat the crisis hasn't kept up with the need.

As many as six million people in the U.S. are experiencing opioid use disorder, nearly three times higher than the federal government's estimate of 2.1 million, global management consulting firm McKinsey and Co. revealed in a new white paper. The figure stems from Massachusetts' Medicaid beneficiary data....

Sep 13, 2018
Maryland's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration for efforts he says are intended to undercut the nation's healthcare law.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday is the latest in a broad effort by attorneys general in various U.S. states pushing back against a "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act following years of failed GOP attempts to fully repeal the Obama-era law.

Attorney General Brian Frosh is seeking a declaratory judgment...

Sep 13, 2018

(Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET)

Congressional appropriators on Thursday approved $90.5 billion in HHS appropriations in a spending package that includes $3.8 billion in opioids funding.

Congress designated $1.5 billion of the opioid funds to state response grants to replace the $500 million from the 21st Century Cures Act due to expire in May of 2019. The funding comes as the Senate heads for a Monday vote on its major opioids package.

All told, HHS got a $2.3 billion...

Sep 13, 2018
A bipartisan group of senators asked the CMS to expand the Medicare Advantage value-based insurance design model to include substance abuse disorder patients, saying it could help combat the opioid epidemic.

Starting in 2020, the CMS should add substance use disorders to the specified clinical conditions identified in the current demonstration, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) wrote in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Wednesday.