The Latest

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    FDA seeks feedback on draft device shortage guidance

    A new document poses a series of questions for industry on the overall design and operation of the policy, and is intended to help manufacturers provide timely information about supply disruptions during public health emergencies.

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    Healthcare sharing ministry 'sham' faces suit for allegedly defrauding consumers in California

    Aliera allegedly scammed thousands of people by collecting monthly payments but denying coverage of medical costs, a lawsuit claims.

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    Stakeholders urge Supreme Court to act fast on OSHA mandate

    "We are asking for a stay before enforcement takes effect Monday," an attorney for the National Federation of Independent Businesses said.

    Updated Jan. 10, 2022
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    UHS

    UHS details omicron's hit, shares dip

    The health system has enough beds and ventilators but sometimes not enough staff, echoing concerns from other providers across the nation crushed by the latest wave of coronavirus patients with the fast-spreading omicron variant.

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    Biden health officials defend COVID-19 testing policies amid diagnostics shortage

    Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and others were under fire from senators during a Tuesday hearing for not doing enough to increase the availability of tests.

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    Medicare proposes to limit coverage of Biogen Alzheimer's drug

    The program will only cover Aduhelm, which the FDA controversially approved last June, for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

    Updated Jan. 11, 2022
  • Digital health funding reaches record $29.1B in 2021

    "The digital health market wasn't an across-the-board bubble, but it wasn't placid water either," Rock Health researchers said in a new report on investment in the space.

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    Becerra orders CMS to reassess Medicare premiums after Aduhelm cost cut

    It's an unusual step for HHS, given the plan year has already begun, and follows Biogen slashing the price of its controversial Alzheimer's drug in half.

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    Insurers will be required to cover 8 at-home COVID-19 tests per month

    The Biden administration is incentivizing insurers to create programs that enable people to get tests from preferred pharmacies without paying upfront or needing to file a reimbursement claim.

  • Teladoc ups revenue, visit expectations for 2021

    Despite consistent revenue growth with an expected topline of $2.03 billion for the year, the 20-year-old vendor has not yet turned a profit and is currently facing a skeptical market.

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    Healthcare roles dominate U.S. News 2022 list of best jobs

    Information security analyst took the top spot in the annual list, followed by nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medical and health services manager and software developer.

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    Hospitals turned to M&A to shore up core operations last year

    The financial pressures, supply chain disruptions and labor challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic drove hospitals to seek out merger partners that could help expand their presence in key markets.

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    Centene reaches latest settlement over alleged PBM overcharging, agrees to pay New Hampshire $21M

    The insurer has now settled with at least five states, paying out more than $236 million. It's possible more settlements are on the horizon, as Centene has set aside $1.1 billion for future payments.

  • SCOTUS justices leave opening for healthcare worker vaccine mandate

    The key question is whether the agencies enacting federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates — OSHA and CMS — had the authority to do so, or whether that power falls to the states.

  • Humana slashes Medicare Advantage outlook, shares tumble

    Competition for members was "very aggressive" as Humana's competitors came in with lower-priced plans and spent more on marketing to attract customers away, CEO Bruce Broussard said.

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    iStock

    Telehealth use reached pandemic low in October, per tracker

    The decrease was seen in all U.S. regions except the Northeast, which was particularly slammed with COVID-19 cases and rising hospital admissions during the fall and winter months, nonprofit Fair Health found.

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    Biden admin proposes stricter network adequacy, marketing standards for MA plans

    CMS is looking to hold Medicare Advantage plans to a higher standard as their rolls swell, targeting their networks, marketing practices and spending; while improving dual-eligible and Part D costs and patient input.

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    Courtesy of Vera Whole Health

    Vera Whole Health to acquire navigation player Castlight in $370M deal, including Anthem investment

    Merging care navigation, including digital touchpoints, into primary care isn't an entirely new idea, especially as more players turn to primary care models to tamp down on health costs and improve preventative care.

  • Stryker to buy Vocera Communications for nearly $3B

    The multibillion-dollar buy is medtech's first major deal of 2022, following a spending spree in the sector last year. Stryker's stock price was slightly down Thursday, but Vocera's rose by nearly 27%.

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    Unions petition to keep OSHA pandemic protections for health workers in place

    "The grave danger that led to issuance of the emergency temporary standard not only remains, but has dramatically increased with the omicron variant and current surge in infections and hospitalizations," National Nurses United said.

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    Chicago-area systems NorthShore, Edward-Elmhurst Health finalize merger

    The union gives NorthShore a footprint in the region's western suburbs with the addition of two general acute hospitals and one focused on behavioral health.

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    Permission granted by The Boldt. Co.

    Hospitals' labor expenses rose again just before omicron arrival, report finds

    Expenses outpaced revenue growth as hospitals continued grappling with nationwide staffing shortages in November, according to Kaufman Hall.

  • Molina closes $60M acquisition of Cigna's Medicaid contracts in Texas

    Molina is known for being acquisitive, but has been on a recent tear as it looks to capitalize on growth in the Medicaid program.

  • After years of decline, drugmakers' price hikes may have bottomed out

    Inflation in 2021 may have offered drugmakers a catalyst for taking slightly bigger increases on a list price basis. But rebates to insurers are still keeping net price rises lower.

  • Centene closes $2.2B acquisition of Magellan Health

    The deal is designed to broaden Centene's ability to provide "whole person" care, as the pandemic has highlighted the need to increase access to behavioral health services.