Second federal judge strikes down Trump ‘conscience protection’ rule for health care providers – The Hill

The Hill reports that Washington State has again triumphed over Trump for now on the administrations attempts to allow bigotry in healthcare.

“The court agreed that all Washingtonians deserve to receive the full range of health care services,” Ferguson said in a statement. “This rule would have disproportionately harmed rural and working poor Washington families, who have no alternatives to their local health care providers, as well as LGBTQ individuals, who already face discrimination when they seek medical care.”

Read the whole story here.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/469498-second-federal-judge-rules-against-trump-conscience-protection-rule

FDA goes after bogus Alzheimer’s healthcare marketing – Consumer’s Health Digest

CHD is reporting on the FDA’s actions against a wide array of companies using unsubstantiated marketing to sell their products. As most know, the “natural” healthcare industry has been virtually unregulated, allowing almost any company to claim that they have some kind of cure or natural compound that will reverse the effects of diseases. It is gratifying to see the FDA actually continuing to crack down on these companies rather than just talk about doing something.

Read and support the Consumer Healthcare Digest at http://www.quackwatch.org/00AboutQuackwatch/chd.html

Warnings issued against illegally marketing products for Alzheimer’s disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted 12 warning letters and 5 online advisory letters issued to foreign and domestic companies that are illegally selling products with unsubstantiated claims that they prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and, in some cases, other serious health problems. [FDA takes action against 17 companies for illegally selling products claiming to treat Alzheimer’s disease. FDA News Release. Feb 11, 2019] Three other warnings were send jointly by the FDA and FTC. [FTC and FDA send warning letters to companies selling dietary supplements claiming to treat Alzheimer’s disease and remediate or cure other serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s, heart disease, and cancer FTC Press Release. Feb 11, 2019] Although most of the products were marketed as dietary supplements, the disease-related claims subjected them to regulation as misbranded and/or unapproved new drugs.

Warning letters went to: Gold Crown Natural Products, Peak Nootropics LLC (aka Advanced Nootropics), DK Vitamins, Sovereign Laboratories LLC Blue Ridge Silver, Nutrition Coalition Inc, John Gray’s Mars Venus LLC, TEK Naturals, Earth Turns LLC, Emmbros Overseas Lifestyle PVT LTD, Pure Nootropics LLC, and Capris Associates Inc. / BR Naturals.

Advisory letters went to:Alzheimer’s Corporation (ALZcorp), Alzheimer’s Organization, Dr. Fitt Intelligent Designs LLC, Healthcare Products LLC d/b/a The Alzheimer’s Store d/b/a MindCare Store, and This Wonderful Life New Age Shop.

The joint warnings went to Gold Crown Natural ProductsTEK Naturals, and Pure Nootropics, LLC.

The FDA’s total for the past five years includes more than 40 companies that promoted more that 80 products with illegal Alzheimer’s disease claims on Web sites, on social media, and in stores.

Hospital Lobbying in 2018 By the Numbers

It’s always interesting to review where the big money is spent on lobbying. Today’s article in the Healthcare Dive (link at bottom of page) covered the an overview of hospital lobbying efforts highlight a few interesting issues (facts?):

  • The last lines point out that political rhetoric for “Medicare for All” seems to die after elections. Gavin Newsome in CA and the Illinois legislature has had a bill under study for two years without movement. The Medicare for All sounds like it’s not much more than a political ploy to help get politicians elected. We’ll have to see what becomes of the bills in the Washingon State legislature before putting the final nails in the coffin of this idea of Bernie Sanders. A question could be asked that if it’s that’s important to Sanders, is he involved in lobbying these states to implement it?
  • The 340B program, which has been a political hot potato, continues to be lobbied for by hospitals. There is much to criticize in this program, which supposedly provides direct subsidies to low income patients, but has been manipulated by both big Pharma (which wants to kill it) and hospitals (which has found ways to use it to make money for their bottom line). Yes, low income patients are getting drugs at a lower cost through this program but it leads one wondering if they could get even lower prices if the money was actually given to them directly, which was the original intent of the bill. We’re a long ways from that original intent, and even our hospital is profiting from the program, and finding further ways to incorporate it into future hospital planning.
  • It’s not all cynical lobbying though, as the hospital lobby fought hard against efforts to kill the ACA, helped support more funds for mental health care and much more.
  • Read the whole story at the following link.

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospital-lobbying-in-2018-by-the-numbers/548262/

In states, Democrats start delivering on health care pledges – Chicago Sun Times

The outcome of the Blue Wave of November is starting to be felt. The article, while from Chicago, opens with Washington State and California as examples. In case you haven’t been following, newly elected Governor Gavin Newsome is off to an incredible start. He ran on healthcare as a major issue, and is already starting to deliver.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/democrats-midterm-election-campaign-promise-health-care-affordable-healthcare/

Taking Surprise Medical Bills to Court – NY Times

With a growing number of people being sent to collections here in Jefferson County by JHC, this article points out a very interesting issue of whether the “contract” between a patient (especially one coming into an E.R.) and the hospital is a legal and binding contract for billing purposes. Can you have a binding agreement if the client/consumer doesn’t know the price they are paying when they sign the consent agreement?

 

SCOTUS REJECTS PLANNED PARENTHOOD CASE. [HuffPost]

Great news! Read the whole story at the Huffington Post.

SCOTUS REJECTS PLANNED PARENTHOOD CASE The Supreme Court, with three dissenting justices, ducked a high-profile case by rejecting appeals from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to strip Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood. The court’s reluctance to take up new cases on volatile social issues is putting it on a collision course with Trump, whose Justice Department is trying to rush such disputes through the appeals system to get them before the nine justices as quickly as possible. [HuffPost]