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.
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.
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.
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?
Great news! Read the whole story at the Huffington Post.
SCOTUS REJECTS PLANNED PARENTHOOD CASEThe 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 acollision 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]