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Aug 20, 2015

Regardless of political affiliation, Americans strongly support government action to control prescription drug costs, according to a poll released Thursday.

While the 2016 presidential candidates continue to debate President Barack Obama's 5-year-old law expanding coverage for the uninsured, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey suggests the public is shifting to other health care issues.

Overall, 72% said the cost of prescription medications is unreasonable. Large...

Aug 19, 2015

The effort to recruit and train physicians to tend to the specific and often very locally focused needs of VA patients is slow-going despite its fast-track implementation, according to the Veterans Affairs Department.

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 contained an ambitious provision to create 1,500 new VA-affiliated graduate medical education positions in five years. The legislation aimed to put resident physicians in areas of need with the hopes that they...

Aug 19, 2015

About 600 patients were moved Thursday into a new $1.3 billion hospital in Dallas that replaces an aging facility memorialized in U.S. history as the place John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead after his assassination.

Some 1,700 staff members and volunteers participated in the move across the street from the old Parkland Memorial Hospital into its new 17-story embodiment, which features about $80 million worth of digital technology and a lobby with a display commemorating the 35th...

Aug 19, 2015

Scientists have finally figured out how the key gene tied to obesity makes people fat, a major discovery that could open the door to an entirely new approach to the problem beyond diet and exercise.

The work solves a big mystery: Since 2007, researchers have known that a gene called FTO was related to obesity, but they didn't know how, and could not tie it to appetite or other known factors.

Now experiments reveal that a faulty version of the gene causes energy from food to be...

Aug 19, 2015

Republican GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker's proposal for helping people with pre-existing health conditions acquire and maintain affordable health insurance would leave out many who live paycheck to paycheck while dealing with a chronic health problem, some experts say.

This week, Walker, Wisconsin's second-term governor, joined the short list of 2016 Republican presidential candidates who have outlined proposals for replacing the Affordable Care Act, which all 17 candidates...

Aug 19, 2015

Banner Health, the Phoenix-based system that has expanded rapidly through acquisitions, is seeing its expenses outpace the additional revenue.

Banner took over operations of the University of Arizona Health Network in February, adding two hospital campuses, a faculty practice and three health plans. The deal included about $1 billion in funding and capital commitments.

In the first half of the year, Banner incurred $9.8 million in operating expenses related to the transaction,...

Aug 19, 2015

Since it launched in 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's “Bad Ad” campaign has received hundreds of complaints about potentially misleading or imbalanced drug advertisements.

Most recently it condemned a series of social media posts by reality TV star Kim Kardashian, in which she raved about relieving morning sickness with a pill she endorses.

But while drug marketing is subject to “Bad Ad” oversight, watchdog groups, clinicians and policy leaders say there's far less...

Aug 19, 2015

The North Shore-LIJ Health System has finalized a partnership with Brooklyn's Maimonides Medical Center as the suburban New York giant extends its reach into the city.

The deal is being described as a strategic partnership with Maimonides retaining its own governance and identity—at least initially. “The hope is that the collaboration will work toward integration in the future,” said Mark Claster, who chairs North Shore's board of trustees.

Financial terms of the deal were not...

Aug 19, 2015

Aetna is determined to nab government approval of its $37 billion acquisition of Humana. And the health insurance titan has bulked up its roster of hired guns to meet that goal.

Last week, Aetna hired four Washington-based lobbying firms, according to a Politico news brief. The not-for-profit Sunlight Foundation shows that Aetna brought on Bloom Strategic Counsel, CGCN Group, The Gibson Group and West Front Strategies. Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna now has six lobbying firms working on...

Aug 19, 2015

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Wall Street Journal: The Post-ObamaCare Debate Begins
We interrupt the Donald J. Trump summer jam for something slightly more substantive: the emerging debate in the Republican field about how to wind down ObamaCare and repair health-care markets. Scott Walker rolled out a pragmatic center-right plan on Tuesday, and the other candidates ought to follow the Wisconsin Governor’s lead with their own proposals...