Specialty Focus   
Volume VIII | Issue 29                                                                                               
July 16, 2019   
Practice specific news, analysis and commentary for Florida's Medical Specialists  
                            From the publisher of FHIweekly & FloridaHealthIndustry.com

Oklahoma AG calls Johnson & Johnson 'kingpin' in state's opioid crisis
Sean Murphy | AP via ABC News

Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson was a "kingpin" company that helped fuel the most devastating public health crisis in Oklahoma history, the state attorney general argued Monday < 7.15.19> during the close of his case against the opioid drug manufacturer. Mike Hunter said the New Jersey-based company and its subsidiaries, including Janssen Pharmaceuticals, created a public nuisance by launching a "cunning, cynical and deceitful" marketing campaign that overstated the benefits of opioid drugs for treating chronic pain and understated the risk of addiction.
White House withdraws controversial rule to eliminate drug rebates
Peter Sullivan | The Hill

The White House is withdrawing a controversial proposal to change how drugs are paid for, a spokesman said Thursday < 7.11.19>. The administration is scrapping a rule that would have banned "rebates," which are essentially discounts that drug companies give to negotiators known as pharmacy benefit managers. This proposed rule was one of the few drug pricing moves that the pharmaceutical industry actually supported, so the withdrawal is a loss for drug companies and a big win for pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies, who had strongly opposed losing out on the discounts they get from drug companies.



HIV's genetic code, extracted from a nub of tissue, adds to evidence of virus' emergence in humans a century ago
Helen Branswell | STAT
For more than 50 years, the DNA remained hidden in a lymph node that had been snipped out of a 38-year-old man in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That nub of tissue, the size of a nail on a pinky finger, had been sealed up in a protective block of paraffin. Once freed from its wax casing, scientists at the University of Arizona were able to extract from the tissue a nearly complete genetic sequence of an HIV virus - the oldest nearly full-length genetic code for an HIV-1 virus recovered thus far, and one that supports the theory that the virus that causes AIDS began to transmit among people within the first decade or two of the 20th century.
How can data analytics improve the care of cancer patients?
J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD | KevinMD
I want to share some thoughts about artificial intelligence, or as I prefer to call it "data analytics." Fundamentally: How can we capture the capability of analytics to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients? And more importantly: How can we harness this technology to help bring back the human touch in cancer care?
Growth of Telemedicine Sees Increase in Healthcare Fraud
Earlier this month, a New York anesthesiologist was indicted on charges stemming from her role in an alleged telemedicine conspiracy to submit fraudulent claims to federal and private insurance plans. The indictment alleges that Anna Steiner, also known as Hanna Wasielewska, along with others, ordered and prescribed durable medical equipment (DME) and prescription drugs in connection with purported telemedicine services. She was arrested in April. The alleged fraud is said to have started sometime around January 2015, during which she and other healthcare providers signed prescriptions and order forms for DME and drugs that were not medically necessary for beneficiaries that neither she nor the others had examined. The indictment alleges that she and others submitted, or caused to be submitted, more than $7 million in claims on behalf of more than 3,000 beneficiaries in exchange for kickbacks. Medicare paid out more than $3 million on those claims.
Inside FloridaHealthIndustry.com