Volume IV, Issue 8

Feb. 20, 2017
Court Strikes Down Florida Law Barring Doctors From Discussing Guns With Patients
Rebecca Hersher reports for NPR on 2/17/17:

A federal appeals court says doctors in Florida must be allowed to discuss guns with their patients, striking down portions of a Florida law that restricts what physicians can say to patients about firearm ownership.

In a 10-1 decision, the full panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law, known as the Privacy of Firearm Owners Act, violates the First Amendment rights of doctors.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Ruling by Appellate Court means physicians can counsel parents about firearm safety without fear of sanctions and loss of license.
National Health Expenditure Projections, 2016-25: Price Increases, Aging Push Sector To 20 Percent Of Economy
A Health Affairs post from last week ( 2/15/17) details right-arrow-icon5.gif trends in national health spending:

Under current law, national health expenditures are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent for 2016-25 and represent 19.9 percent of gross domestic product by 2025.

An inefficient health delivery and payment system conspires with an aging population to create a scenario where one in five dollars is spent on healthcare. This is sure to be a drag on the economy until the health system drastically improves efficiency and/or the Baby Boomers have all died.
Aetna-Humana & Anthem-Cigna: Two mergers die in one day         
Aaron Smith and Jackie Wattles reporting for CNNMoney on February 14, 2017:

dollar_bill.jpg Aetna and Humana said Tuesday morning that they're calling off their $34 billion merger, and just hours later Cigna said it's calling off its $54 billion deal with Anthem.

Both deals were targeted by the Justice Department and were recently blocked by federal judges, citing antitrust concerns.

According to the authors:

When then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch sued all four companies last year to block the two mergers, she said the combinations ran the risk of "drastically constricting competition" in health care.

The two mergers would have left the health insurance industry dominated by only three giant insurers. The third company is UnitedHealth.



About Us
Florida Health Industry Week in Review is published every Monday by FHIcommunications

Each Monday morning we share the top healthcare headlines of the previous week and summarize What Happened (WH) and Why It Matters (WIM).

To learn how you can join our team of editorial contributors, contact Jeffrey Herschler.
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