Our Healthcare Hot Topics of the Week

Life is hectic, we know, so here’s a recap of the Healthcare Weekly Hot Topics you can’t afford to miss:

  1. Pharmacists Convicted in Prescription Scheme Avoid Prison. AP News. December 23, 2019.

Two pharmacists who worked for a compounding pharmacy blamed for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak have been sentenced for their roles in an unrelated scheme to ship medications without valid prescriptions using phony patient names. The pharmacists were able to avoid prison and were only sentenced to probation.

2) St. Louis Jury Sides with Johnson & Johnson in Talc Case. AP News. December 23, 2019.

The jury ruled 9-3, denying the plaintiff’s allegation that more than 30 years of use of the talcum-based powder caused ovarian cancer.

3) Health System Pays $575 Million to Settle Anti-Trust Lawsuit. AP News. December 20, 2019.

One of Northern California’s largest health systems will pay $575 million to settle claims that it used anti-competitive practices to bump up costs for patients.

4) Verata Health Using Artificial Intelligence to Speed Prior Authorization Process. Star Tribune. December 23, 2019.

A startup company called Verata Health is among a handful of companies nationally offering proprietary artificial-intelligence systems that scan patients’ voluminous medical records to pinpoint the 10 or so documents insurance companies need to see before agreeing to cover a patient’s care. 

5) Hospital Opposition to State Health Care Reforms Foreshadows Challenges for Congress. The Hill. December 21, 2019.

State lawmakers seeking to rein in health care costs are facing formidable push back from hospitals, foreshadowing the obstacles a Democratic president and Congress would also face if they try to follow through on bold promises for health reform.

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