Volume IV, Issue 44

Oct. 30 , 2017
Broward Nursing Home Lawsuit Shelved  
Late Sunday evening ( 10.29.17) the News Service of Florida reported (via Health News Florida) that a circuit judge has agreed to put on hold a lawsuit about the continued operation of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma. The facility, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, is controlled by South Miami based Larkin Community Hospital. The nursing home filed the lawsuit to challenge state decisions to suspend its license, suspend it from the Medicaid program and place a moratorium on patient admissions.

Attorneys for the nursing home are apparently working on an "administrative" solution with the state Agency for Health Care Administration. By at least temporarily halting the lawsuit, the facility can, at least in the short run, avoid costly litigation and additional negative PR. Whether they can resurrect their license and Medicaid program status remains to be seen.
CVS, Aetna Discuss Mega Merger
Elizabeth Weise a nd Marco della Cava report, for USA TODAY on Oct. 26, 2017, that CVS Health is reportedly in talks to buy the nation's third largest health insurer, Aetna, for more than $200 per share.  
A linked Aetna-CVS could presumably better manage the cost of prescription drugs, driving utilization toward better value products and getting a better deal on pharmaceuticals, said Laurence Baker, chair of the Department of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University Medical School. However, the merger wouldn't likely save much money for consumers, in the opinion of Aaron Katz, an expert on health policy at the University of Washington's School of Public Health. In Mr. Katz' view, any cost savings would be retained by the new firm as extra profit.
Opioid epidemic declared a public health emergency
On 10.26.17 President Donald Trump officially declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids
crisis, mobilizing his entire administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse. The release is posted to WhiteHouse.gov.

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem," states President Trump.



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