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Jul 17, 2018

Not-for-profit organization ECRI Institute announced Tuesday that it will re-open a website the federal government recently shuttered, which provided access to medical practice guidelines.

The National Guideline Clearinghouse website went dark Monday, but will return in September under ECRI's supervision carrying the same information. The new site will be based on a subscription model, according to Dr. Karen Schoelles, director of ECRI Institute-Penn Medicine Evidence-based Practice...

Jul 17, 2018

Health insurer Anthem has run into more trouble over its controversial emergency department policy that's leaving patients on the hook for big medical bills. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the Medical Association of Georgia together sued Anthem's Georgia subsidiary on Tuesday in a bid to force the insurer to kill the policy.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has been sued over the ED policy before. In February, Atlanta-based Piedmont Hospital and five...

Jul 17, 2018
U.S. regulators proposed new guidelines Tuesday to make it easier for some common medicines to be sold without a prescription — and more convenient for consumers to get them.

The Food and Drug Administration is evaluating ways to make sure patients don't take an inappropriate over-the-counter drug, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. That could include adding information to the packaging label and offering online questionnaires to help people decide if a drug is right for them...

Jul 17, 2018

Spectrum Health plans to promote one of its executives, Tina Freese Decker, to replace its retiring president and CEO on Sept. 1, the Grand Rapids-based health system announced Tuesday.

Freese Decker, 40, has been selected to take over for Richard Breon, who announced his retirement last October after 18 years.

The new chief joined the hospital under Breon in 2002 as an administrative fellow and worked her way through the ranks, including serving as Spectrum Health Hospital...

Jul 17, 2018
A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected the American Hospital Association's attempt to block HHS' $1.6 billion in Medicare 340B reimbursement cuts.

In a unanimous decision, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with HHS and ruled the hospitals' suit was filed prematurely because hospitals had not formally filed claims with the secretary because they were not yet experiencing cuts. The hospitals had argued that they satisfied that...

Jul 17, 2018

UnitedHealth Group kicked off the second quarter earnings season on Tuesday, reporting higher revenue and profit as its insurance arm grew Medicare Advantage and Medicaid membership.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company's Optum business recorded higher revenues as well, as its pharmacy benefit manager filled more prescriptions during the quarter.

"Today, UnitedHealth Group delivers increasing value to more people, driven by strong execution, consistently high quality, deep...

Jul 17, 2018

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If the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions are struck down in court, residents of the Republican-led states that are challenging the law have the most to lose.

“These states have been opposed to the ACA from the beginning,” said Gerald Kominski, a senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “They’re hurting their most...

Jul 17, 2018
About Insuring Your Health

KHN contributing columnist Michelle Andrews writes the series Insuring Your Health, which explores health care coverage and costs.

To contact Michelle with a question or comment, click here.

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

Patients whose blood cancers have failed to respond to repeated rounds of chemotherapy...

Jul 16, 2018

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was acutely unprepared for the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season, leaving many providers in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida in the dark as they tried to recover.

FEMA said in an "after-action" report issued Friday that it didn't have the infrastructure in place to share information quickly enough to properly react to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which levied $265 billion in damages—surpassing hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma's $210...

Jul 16, 2018

A new survey of hospital administrators shows their inpatient volumes continue to slump as patients flock to cheaper outpatient settings for services like heart surgeries, hip replacements and urological procedures.

Leerink Partners, the investment bank that released the survey of nearly 50 mostly not-for-profit hospital administrators, wrote that its results are "modestly positive" for hospitals, whose executives reported inpatient utilization increased 0.7% in the second quarter of...