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Alexander, Murray just released updated legislation to address 'surprise' medical bills. Here's what made the cut.

June 20, 2019


Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday formally introduced a wide-ranging bill to address so-called "surprise" medical bills that would establish a benchmark provider payment rate for out-of-network services, instead of the arbitration process favored by hospital industry groups.

What happens when a hospital gets 4,500 scam calls in just 2 hours?

June 20, 2019


Tufts Medical Center in April 2018 received almost 5,000 scam phone calls in two hours, bringing communications at the hospital to a standstill—and it is not the only health care provider to be hit with such calls.

Pharmacy identifies another cancer-causing chemical in US heart drugs

June 20, 2019


Valisure, an online pharmacy, in a filing to FDA last week said it discovered the carcinogen dimethylformamide in the common heart drug valsartan—marking the fourth carcinogen found in the drug.

How CMS wants to change Medicare Part D prior authorization requirements

June 20, 2019


CMS on Monday proposed a rule intended to streamline Medicare Part D's electronic prior authorization process by circumventing certain HIPAA requirements.

Why these diabetes patients are caravanning to Canada

June 19, 2019


U.S. residents increasingly are visiting Canada to purchase insulin, as costs for the diabetes treatment in the United States have spiked in recent years.

Almost 200 people got expired flu vaccines last season, according to CDC

June 19, 2019


About 169.1 million doses of the seasonal influenza vaccine were administered last flu season, and about 200 patients received expired vaccines—though the real figure might be higher, according to a CDC report published Friday.

Varma warned ACA changes could harm coverage for 1.1 million people. HHS moved forward with one anyway.

June 18, 2019


CMS Administrator Seema Verma in August 2018 warned HHS Secretary Alex Azar against three policy changes that she estimated would decrease Affordable Care Act exchange enrollment by 1.1 million and jeopardize the exchange market, according to an internal memo.

How state, local health departments are responding to US measles outbreaks

June 18, 2019


The number of measles cases reported in the United States this year has continued to grow, and state and local health departments—which are largely responsible for tracking, reporting, and combating measles outbreaks—are feeling strained.

Fecal transplants carry potential life-threatening risks, FDA warns

June 18, 2019


FDA on Thursday warned providers and patients of the potential life-threatening risks of fecal microbiota transplants (FMT), after a patient who received an FMT was infected with a drug-resistant bacteria and died.

Drugmakers sue HHS over rule requiring prices in TV ads

June 17, 2019


Three pharmaceutical companies and the Association of National Advertisers on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging HHS' final rule to require drugmakers to disclose their products' list prices in consumer-directed television advertisements, claiming the final rule exceeds HHS' statutory authority and violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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