VHHA will update Newsclips each weekday with relevant national and statewide health care news. Click on a headline below to view the article on that news organization’s website. Please note that access to some articles will require registration on that website, most of which are free. If you have items of particular interest you would like to see posted here, please contact VHHA.

August 17, 2017


HCA Virginia Hospitals Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
(OurHealth Richmond – August 16, 2017)

Two HCA Virginia hospitals have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Hospital for 2017-2018.They are Chippenham Hospital for congestive heart failure treatment and Henrico Doctors’ Hospital for colon cancer surgery.

VCU Health Pain Resource Nurse Program adopts ‘never just opioids’ approach for treatment
(VCU News – August 16, 2017)

The overprescribing of legal drugs has contributed to the rising use of illegal drugs, particularly opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other local and national health officials chronicling the opioid epidemic. And yet, a recent CDC report offers hope that medical professionals are making more thoughtful prescription decisions.

Virginia School Nurses Attend Mass Casualty and Disaster Training
(Daily Nurse – August 17, 2017)

Virginia school nurses recently gathered at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for a day of mass casualty and disaster training hosted by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). The NASN offers mass casualty training to anyone who cares for children so that they know how to react in an emergency.

Residents rethinking retirement, fearing ‘limited choices’ after Anthem exits Virginia Obamacare
(Southside Daily – August 17, 2017)

It’s been less than a week since Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced their decision to exit Virginia’s Affordable Care Act – commonly referred to as Obamacare – marketplace and anxieties are already rising. The health care giant made the announcement in a late Friday afternoon press release on Aug. 11, calling the individual health care market “volatile.”

Warner pledges to help ‘food deserts’ in Danville visit
(Work It, SoVA – August 16, 2017)

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, walked among the aisles of snacks, fresh produce and frozen foods of the recently reopened Save-A-Lot grocery Wednesday, with a crew of store owners, investors and community members in tow. Warner spent the day in Danville celebrating the reopening of the store, as well as drawing attention to what he called a major issue in Virginia and the United States: “food deserts.”


State-by-state breakdown of 80 rural hospital closures
(Becker’s Hospital Review – August 15, 2017)

Of the 26 states that have seen at least one rural hospital close since 2010, those with the most closures are located in the South, according to research from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. Thirteen hospitals in Texas have closed since 2010, the most of any state. Tennessee has seen the second-most closures, with eight hospitals closing since 2010.

Opioid overdoses leading to more ICU admissions and deaths
(Reuters – August 16, 2017)

A growing number of Americans are needing intensive care for opioid overdoses and dying after receiving treatment for serious complications, a U.S. study suggests. Opioid-related overdose deaths have doubled since 2000 amid a worsening epidemic of addiction to both prescription painkillers like oxycodone and illegal drugs like heroin, researchers note in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Healthcare data breaches caused by hacks are on the rise
(Modern Healthcare – August 16, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

Data breaches caused by hacking, so-called IT incidents and unauthorized access are on the rise, with 162% more incidents at healthcare organizations so far in 2017 as there were in all of 2016, according to data from HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. Security experts said that’s because hacking has gotten easier and organizations are now reporting incidents they previously might have kept quiet about.

Express Scripts to limit opioids; doctors concerned
(Associated Press – August 16, 2017)

The nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager will soon limit the number and strength of opioid drugs prescribed to first-time users as part of a wide-ranging effort to curb an epidemic affecting millions of Americans.

Many Nurses Lack Knowledge Of Health Risks To Mothers After Childbirth
(NPR – August 17, 2017)

In recent months, mothers who nearly died in the hours and days after giving birth have repeatedly told ProPublica and NPR that their doctors and nurses were often slow to recognize the warning signs that their bodies weren’t healing properly. A study published Tuesday in MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing substantiates some of those concerns. Researchers surveyed 372 postpartum nurses nationwide and found that many of them were ill-informed about the dangers mothers face after giving birth.

At Last, a Big, Successful Trial of Probiotics
(The Atlantic – August 16, 2017)

For all the hype that surrounds them, probiotics—products that contain supposedly beneficial bacteria—have rarely proven their worth in large, rigorous studies. There are good reasons for this disappointing performance. The strains in most commercially produced probiotics were chosen for historical reasons, because they were easy to grow and manufacture, and not because they are well-adapted to the human body.

Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug succeeds in key trial
(Reuters – August 16, 2017)

Novo Nordisk A/S said on Wednesday its diabetes drug met the main goal of reducing glucose levels in patients in a key late-stage trial, setting the stage for it to become the new standard therapy for type 2 diabetes. The 40-week trial tested two dosages of Novo’s once-weekly drug, semaglutide, in addition to initial standard-of-care therapy metformin, against Eli Lilly and Co’s dulaglutide plus metformin.

Silicon Valley’s ambitious new bet: Brain ‘modems’ that restore sight, hearing, and speech
(STAT News – August 17, 2017)

In a warehouse district here, a few young engineers fueled by ramen and energy bars are inventing the future of mind reading. Paradromics has big ambitions: It wants to squeeze a device the size of a mobile phone into a chip small enough to insert into a human brain, where it would “read” nerve signals and replace senses and abilities lost due to injury or diseases.


White House: Gov’t to make health law payments this month
(Associated Press – August 17, 2017)

The government will make this month’s payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that President Donald Trump still wants to repeal and replace, a White House official said Wednesday. Trump has repeatedly threatened to end the payments, which help reduce health insurance copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes, but remain under a legal cloud.

Failure of Obamacare repeal raises stakes for state waiver bids

The demise of Republicans’ Obamacare repeal effort is putting more pressure on the Trump administration to allow states more leeway to carve out major pieces of the 2010 health care law. And they may not have to wait long for President Donald Trump to deliver new regulatory flexibility.

Parliamentarian weighs whether Senate GOP can push fast-track repeal after fiscal 2017

The Senate parliamentarian is considering how much longer Senate Republicans have to try to repeal Obamacare with only 50 votes. As President Donald Trump and conservatives push the Senate to take another stab after the August recess, the parliamentarian is considering whether the 2017 budget — which set up the rules for the expedited process of passing legislation with a simple majority — can still apply after the 2017 fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, according to Democratic sources.

A Start-Up Suggests a Fix to the Health Care Morass
(The New York Times – August 16, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

If you watched the drama in Washington last month, you may have come away with the impression that the American health care system is a hopeless mess. In Congress, a doomed plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care law, has turned into a precarious effort to rescue it.

Public Opinion about the Future of the Affordable Care Act
(The New England Journal of Medicine – August 16, 2017)

In the early hours of Friday, July 28, the U.S. Senate closed debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without the passage of any piece of legislation and after rejecting the replacement bill previously passed by the House of Representatives. This public-opinion analysis offers a framework for looking at how the public as a whole saw the issues in this most recent debate.

WSJ Editorial: Blame-Sharing on ObamaCare
(The Wall Street Journal – August 16, 2017) SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED

The oracles at the Congressional Budget Office this week descended from Delphi to predict 20% premium increases if the Trump Administration ends illegal ObamaCare subsidies for insurers, and Democrats are happy to agree. Yet a careful reading of the report reveals some surprising results that are far less ominous and for consumers mostly benign.