Volume III, Issue 28

July 11, 2016
More Bad News for Theranos and Founder Holmes  
Merrit Kennedy, reporting for NPR on 7/9/16:
... federal regulators say they will bar the company's < Theranos> dynamic founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from owning or operating a lab for at least two years.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services... said in a letter made public Friday that it is also revoking certification for the company's Newark, California laboratory and cancelling the lab's approval to receive Medicare payments. The sanctions will not take full effect until September and the company can appeal.

Theranos was poised to revolutionize the blood testing industry by using only a few drops of blood in inexpensive tests. Theranos was valued at 9 billion dollars; it had a contract with Walgreens. Holmes herself was viewed as a wunderkind and drew comparisons to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Today, Holmes and the firm she founded are practically worthless...and questions are being raised about whether applying hardware and software business culture to biotechnology is dangerous
Doctors May Do a "Brexit" from Medicare, States the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)
In a July 6, 2016 post at PRNewswire, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is urging physicians to opt out of Medicare. The AAPS is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.
CMS logo Characterizing CMS as the "regime of a remote, unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy" the statement sounds the alarm on MACRA. Unlike other medical organizations who merely criticize the new law, AAPS rejects it completely.
Executive Director Jane M. Orient, MD stated "It is impossible to practice medicine under this rule, for ethical and practical reasons. The rule makes it impossible to protect confidentiality, and one is in a constant conflict of interest: What is best for the patient may be bad for the financial viability of the practice. It would take a dedicated team of legal specialists to even attempt compliance. Full compliance is probably impossible even with such a team, which is beyond the means of a small practice."
The health care system that failed Prince needs an immediate intervention  
Shruti Kulkarni, JD, in a 7/4/16 KevinMD post, writes:
It has now been confirmed that Prince's untimely death resulted from an overdose of the drug fentanyl.
It is unclear whether the lethal dose of fentanyl was a prescription medication or a counterfeit "analog" drug from the illicit market. Regardless, the facts are now clear enough to know that the U.S. health care system failed Prince in the same ways it is failing the 78 Americans who die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, heroin, and analog drugs.


The author points out that:

On April 15 of this year, a plane with Prince onboard made an unscheduled landing in Moline, Illinois, to take Prince to an emergency room, where he was administered the opioid-overdose reversal medication naloxone. Three hours later, Prince left the hospital and flew home to Minneapolis.

...On April 21, just six days after his non-fatal overdose, Prince overdosed again and died.
The prince of pop and king of style was one of a kind in his life but not in his death. According to the Palm Beach County sheriff's department, one in four individuals who die of an overdose in the U.S. previously suffered a non-fatal overdose. This can't keep happening.



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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).

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