KHN’s ‘What the Well being?’: It’s Well being Prices, Silly (2022 Version)


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The pandemic could also be exhibiting indicators of winding down, however well being care prices aren’t.

In Massachusetts, a combat is shaping up over whether or not probably the most prestigious hospital methods wants to save cash, whereas antitrust circumstances in opposition to different hospital methods have been filed in California, Connecticut, and North Carolina.

In the meantime, the Senate confirmed Dr. Robert Califf to go the FDA, lastly filling out the Biden administration’s well being management. Califf’s nomination was strongly opposed by anti-abortion teams, however, in the long run, he gained the votes of a number of Republicans who aren’t working for reelection.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Califf’s slender affirmation vote was in marked distinction to seven years in the past when he additionally headed the FDA. Twenty-six Republicans who supported him then voted no this time. This week, 5 Democrats who had complained concerning the FDA’s stance on opioids additionally voted no.
  • With Califf confirmed, he might be a part of different administration public well being officers, such because the Nationwide Institutes of Well being’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in turning into a spokesperson for the administration on covid and different medical points.
  • Among the many main points going through the FDA are security and efficacy of covid vaccinations for younger youngsters, the pending software by Novavax for authorization for a special kind of covid vaccine, and a evaluation of how the company handles accelerated drug approvals. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) secured a promise by Califf earlier than he was confirmed to probe whether or not drugmakers live as much as their promise to report again on these medicine.
  • Whereas the controversy on slicing well being care prices usually facilities on prescribed drugs, hospitals are a significant driver of spending. A Massachusetts regulatory panel has ordered Mass Basic Brigham hospital to arrange a efficiency enchancment plan to curb the expansion in well being care prices on the state’s premier hospital system.
  • The disruption of the well being care workforce brought on by the pandemic is creating main shifts, amongst them a transfer by many nurses to take high-paid journey nursing jobs. That has created issues for smaller, much less worthwhile hospitals to recruit full-time nurses. Non-public fairness corporations are exhibiting curiosity within the touring nurse business, which is prompting some officers to hunt extra transparency in how these corporations are paid and who will get the cash.
  • Federal well being officers reported this week that the U.S. has recorded 1 million “extra deaths” because of the pandemic.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness about how the pandemic has worsened the nation’s psychological well being disaster and what could be executed about it.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it’s best to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Demand for Service Canines Unleashes a ‘Wild West’ Market,” by Markian Hawryluk

Sarah Karlin-Smith: Scientific American’s “There Is Nothing Regular About One Million Folks Lifeless From COVID,” by Steven W. Thrasher

Tami Luhby: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “COVID-19 Has Even Ruined Our Ft,” by Sarah Gantz

Rachel Cohrs: Bloomberg’s “Nurses Who Confronted Fines, Lawsuits for Quitting Are Preventing Again,” by Josh Eidelson

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

Stat’s “Non-public Fairness Corporations Are Cashing In on the Journey Nursing Enterprise That Has Boomed Through the Pandemic,” by Rachel Cohrs

The New York Occasions’ “Automobile Crashes, Surging,” by David Leonhardt

CNN’s “Extra Than 50 Million Households Have Obtained Free Authorities Covid-19 Exams,” by Tami Luhby and Naomi Thomas

To listen to all our podcasts, click on right here.

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