Happy Friday! If you’re like me, you’re hooked on the The Golden State Killer case, the place investigators used a genealogy website to search out their suspect. (And in case you’re additionally a well being wonk like me, you’ll wish to take a look at this story on what privateness considerations the investigators’ technique sparked.)
On to the remainder of the very best from the week.
Dr. Ronny Jackson’s alleged misconduct (like how he was referred to as “the candy man” and oversaw a hostile office) has dominated the headlines. But behind the theatrics of the failed nomination course of lies an important however leaderless company — the Department of Veterans Affairs — that’s caught within the midst of a fierce battle over privatization. There has been a current legacy of turmoil and scandal on the VA, and veterans’ well being care is at stake. “This is complete and total chaos after years of complete and total chaos,” stated Paul Rieckhoff, with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Do drug corporations see rare-disease sufferers as human jackpots? A deep dive into the cash circulation for charities which are, in idea, set as much as assist these sufferers pay for costly medication reveals that pharma might not be donating to the organizations out of the goodness of their hearts. (Go forward, feign shock.)
Don’t overlook our new KHN patient advocacy group database, “Pre$cription for Power,” which tracks the donations of among the nation’s greatest drugmakers to a whole bunch of affected person teams. It was a useful resource for the USA Today story and is out there for all to make use of.
Short-term plans are again within the information as a result of the remark interval for the proposed extension was Monday. Lots of individuals within the trade spoke out towards them for apparent causes — they know wholesome and younger shoppers are prone to soar ship to those enticingly low cost plans leaving the inhabitants shopping for particular person protection sicker and older, on the entire. Also, they warn, these younger and wholesome shoppers might properly discover that the plans don’t supply good protection in the event that they get sick.
In the brand new development of transparency as a repair for top well being costs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services desires to require hospitals to publish their costs on-line in an simply accessible format for sufferers. But specialists say that whereas the thought sounds good in idea, it’s not truly going to assist most shoppers as a result of listing costs aren’t what individuals find yourself paying. And there’s the large query: Does CMS actually have the authorized authority to make them do that?
There was numerous motion in ladies’s well being this week: The administration is favoring abstinence-focused applications with its teen being pregnant prevention funds; a choose has blocked cuts to Planned Parenthood grants; and an government order banning Title X funding for Planned Parenthood is outwardly within the pipeline for subsequent month.
The analysis on needle exchanges is crystal-clear. They minimize deaths, curb spending and scale back illness with out growing drug use. But within the midst of a raging opioid epidemic, public well being leaders simply can’t fairly persuade the general public that they’re a good suggestion.
And a drug distributor absolves itself of duty within the opioid disaster — however, uh, it doesn’t actually work that approach.
In the miscellaneous file: In Oregon, the criminally insane get higher psychological well being providers than individuals who don’t commit against the law; oncologists surprise if the slimmest probability of a remedy working justifies providing the therapy to terminal sufferers or if it’s higher to maintain their mouths shut; and a reporter gives a heartbreaking take a look at West Virginia’s lengthy historical past of damaged guarantees over black lung illness.
Have an incredible weekend! And let me know what you consider this physician who’s pushing the thought of “regifting” kidneys as a method to remedy the nation’s organ scarcity.