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Weekly Line: Idaho tells insurers they can ignore ACA requirements. Is that legal?

February 16, 2018

Idaho is moving full steam ahead with its plan to allow insurers to sell individual health plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and on Wednesday, one insurer got on board.

Aetna pushes back against reports that medical directors do not review patient records

February 16, 2018

Aetna in a statement says its "medical directors review all necessary available medical information for cases that they are asked to evaluate," and a former medical director for the insurer says "certain misinterpretations" had arisen from his prior testimony on the insurers prior-authorizations practices.

Walgreens reportedly in talks to acquire all of AmerisourceBergen

February 15, 2018

Walgreens Boots Alliance is in tentative talks to take full ownership of AmerisourceBergen, which is one of the largest drug distributors in the United States.

Former Aetna medical director says he never reviewed patient records, prompting investigation

February 13, 2018

California is investigating Aetna, after one of the insurer's former medical directors said he did not personally review patients' medical records when deciding to approve or deny claims.

In the states: Alabama files suit against opioid maker; South Dakota lawmakers advance bill to raise tobacco purchasing age, and more

February 9, 2018

American Health Line rounds up the latest health care news in the states.

How some states are looking to bolster, undo parts of the ACA

February 6, 2018

Some states are considering new proposals to bolster or undo parts of the Affordable Care Act, which industry experts say could bring the United States back toward a system where coverage and consumer protections vary by state.

DOJ drops corruption charges against Sen. Menendez in case tied to Medicare

February 2, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) says it dropped its case against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in light of a Jan. 24 ruling that acquitted seven of DOJ's 18 corruption charges against the men.

Group claims FDA e-cigarette rule is unconstitutional

February 1, 2018

The Pacific Legal Foundation in three separate lawsuits filed on behalf of vaping businesses argues that an FDA rule on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment because it requires e-cigarette manufacturers to get the agency's approval before making claims about the products' "health and related effects."

Class-action lawsuit claims Allscripts failed to protect against ransomware attack

January 30, 2018

Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics' class-action lawsuit against electronic health record system vendor Allscripts claims that Allscripts was aware of deficiencies that made it vulnerable to a ransomware attack but failed to address those issues, ultimately leaving the company's systems open to a SamSam ransomware attack that affected providers earlier this month.

Senate report: Loopholes in international mail system allow distributors to ship illicit opioids to US

January 29, 2018

According to the Senate subcommittee report, loopholes in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Postal Service's processes for international allow Chinese distributors to ship about $800 million worth of illicit fentanyl pills to U.S. consumers.

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