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At least 366 patient deaths may be linked to surgical stapler problems, FDA warns

March 12, 2019

FDA on Friday unveiled a sweeping plan to improve surgical stapler and implantable staple safety, after a Kaiser Health News investigation revealed that FDA's internal database contains thousands of stapler-related adverse event reports.

US progress on staph infections has stalled. Here's how CDC wants providers to respond.

March 12, 2019

A CDC report released last week showed U.S. progress on stemming bloodstream Staphylococcus aureus infections slowed from 2012 to 2017, prompting CDC to urge health care providers to recommit to using infection control recommendations.

Do conflicts of interest lead accreditors to 'go easy' on some hospitals? CMS wants to find out.

March 11, 2019

CMS has received more than 120 comments on its effort to reduce financial conflicts of interest in the hospital accreditation market, and while some health care care organizations expressed support for the proposal, others said proposed regulations are unnecessary.

Is at-home cancer treatment 'closer than you might think'?

March 11, 2019

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can spend "hours a day in physician offices or outpatient clinics," but research shows providing cancer treatment at home could be a more effective solution, two oncologists write in STAT News.

How CMS is revamping its five-star ratings for nursing homes

March 11, 2019

CMS on Tuesday said it will implement various changes to its Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Ratings, including lowering its threshold for penalties related to staffing levels and launching separate ratings for short-term and long-term care facilities.

FTC is cracking down on fake Amazon reviews. (And it started with a wellness product.)

March 8, 2019

As Amazon sets its sights on the health care industry, the Federal Trade Commission has begun cracking down on fake reviews of products on its site—recently winning its first case against the distributor of a wellness product.

New hospital star ratings are out. See how hospitals fared on our map.

March 7, 2019

CMS last week updated hospital quality star ratings on Medicare's Hospital Compare website and proposed revamping its current model for rating hospitals.

There's no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, a new study shows (again)

March 6, 2019

Children who received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine did not have a higher risk of developing autism than children who did not receive the vaccine, according to a study published this week—adding to the body of evidence debunking unfounded claims that there is an association between the MMR vaccine and developing autism.

FDA OKs new depression treatment for first time in decades—but it comes with a strong warning

March 6, 2019

FDA on Tuesday approved a nasal spray antidepressant derived from the anesthetic ketamine to treat adults with severe depression who do not respond to other treatments, but the agency included a boxed warning on the drug and has stipulated that it can only be administered in a health care facility.

HHS wants to fix kidney care system that 'pays for sickness rather than health,' Azar says

March 6, 2019

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Monday said CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is looking to change how Medicare pays for dialysis treatments and to increase the number of kidneys that are available for transplant.

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