The big news this week happened in Texas, where a flood of immigrant children crossing the border has created an overflow—and a PR—problem for hospitals. The nation at large is concerned about the issue and President Obama has asked for almost $4 billion to handle the costs of the unaccompanied kids who are entering the nation in record numbers. The impact on hospitals has been dramatic, and demonstrates a few key lessons for administrators vis-a-vis media relations.
Meanwhile, a class action suit has been filed against Anthem Blue Cross that may have big implications for the future of narrow networks. The industry continued to react to last week's Hobby Lobby decision, New York legalized medical marijuana and everybody on the Internet had a lot to say about the growth of urgent care clinics, which are popping up like mushrooms across the country. Plus the Google founders told us in no uncertain terms that they have no interest in becoming a healthcare company.
Here are the biggest stories in the healthcare industry this week:
The border patrol won't return the Texas Hospital Association's calls and hospitals fear to speak to a media they see as being fed information to promote political messaging.
The lawsuit—which claims "fraudulent" enrollment practices—has broad implications for narrow network plans.
They think they can create driverless cars, so what's scaring Larry Page and Sergey Brin away from healthcare?
There's still a long way to go before telemedicine becomes a widely-reimbursed service, but if the proposal is enacted, commercial insurers may follow suit.
And here's what we were reading:
- The urgent care clinic gold rush is on, according to both Forbes and the New York Times
- The ROI of ratings for hospitals is dubious, according to the Advisory Board
- Steve Coll is worried about the longterm healthcare ramifications of the Hobby Lobby decision in the New Yorker
- Here's what you need to know about the legalization of medical marijuana in New York, per NY Mag. Hint: physicians who prescribe the drug for patients who don't qualify could go to jail for up to four years.