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Doctors Were Alarmed Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 03 June 2019 16:50

Secret recordings of meetings between physicians at UNC Children's Hospital reveal several doctors doubted and questioned the quality of care for children with serious heart issues. On May 31, The New York Times published a nearly 7,000-word investigation of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina hospital's pediatric heart surgery program, entitled Doctors Were Alarmed: 'Would I Have My Children Have Surgery Here?'

According to Santiago Leon, JD, Associate Director, Health and Benefits at Willis Towers Watson, "This illustrates a fundamental problem with fee for service medicine: the possible pressure to suspend clinical judgment in the face of financial considerations."  
What should be done? Professional associations seem to play a positive role. Mr. Leon recommends looking up children's heart surgery programs that report to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. There are nine of them in Florida, of which eight are two-star and one, UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, is three-star.

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Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2019 17:07
High LDL linked to early-onset Alzheimer's Print E-mail
Written by Medical Xpress   
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 00:00

Researchers with the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Emory University have found a link between high LDL cholesterol levels and early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The results could help doctors understand how disease develops and what the possible causes are, including genetic variation. According to Dr. Thomas Wingo, lead author of the study, the results show that LDL cholesterol levels may play a causal role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The results appear in the May 28, 2019, issue of JAMA Neurology.

"The big question is whether there is a causal link between cholesterol levels in the blood and Alzheimer's disease risk," says Wingo. "The existing data have been murky on this point. One interpretation of our current data is that LDL cholesterol does play a causal role. If that is the case, we might need to revise targets for LDC cholesterol to help reduce Alzheimer's risk. Our work now is focused on testing whether there is a causal link."

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2019 17:16
FDA Approves Most Expensive Drug Ever Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 27 May 2019 11:43

Rob Stein reports for NPR on a new drug developed by a subsidiary of Novartis, in a post dated May 24, 2019:
The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved a gene therapy for a rare childhood disorder that is now the most expensive drug on the market. It costs $2.125 million per patient. But for those patients lucky enough to get it, it appears it can save their lives with a one-time treatment...<The medication treats> spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare disorder caused by a defective gene; the illness destroys the nerves that control muscles.
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Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2019 12:02
DoD Wants to Impose CMPs on Those Who Defraud TRICARE Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:04
Plagued by fraud and abuse targeting its TRICARE program, the U.S. Department of Defense, on May 1, issued a proposed rule that would allow it to impose civil monetary  penalties (CMPs) against providers and suppliers who commit fraud and abuse against the TRICARE program. The new rule would create the "Military Health Care Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program."

TRICARE is the federal healthcare program that provides benefits to the military, military retirees and their families. DoD says the authority is necessary because of the Department of Justice's limited resources to go after those who commit fraud against TRICARE.

Instead of re-inventing the wheel, DoD proposes to adopt "well-established CMP rules and procedures" used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "to enable both TRICARE and TRICARE providers to rely upon Medicare precedents and guidance issued by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding conduct that implicates" the CMP law.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:09
White House requires Big Pharma to list drug prices on TV ads as soon as this summer Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 13 May 2019 18:20
Berkeley Lovelace, Jr. reports for CNBC on May 8, 2019:
Pharmaceutical companies will be required to disclose the price of its prescription medicines in television commercials, the Trump administration says. The requirement is set to take effect as soon as this summer and will apply to drugs that cost more than $35 for a month's supply. High drug costs have become a rare bipartisan issue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding something be done.
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Last Updated on Friday, 07 June 2019 16:38
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