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.

May 22, 2017


Virginia Hospitals Prepared for Computer Virus
(WVTF Public Radio – May 19, 2017)

After a cyber attack paralyzed Britain’s public healthcare system, Virginia’s Hospital and Healthcare Association rushed to assure patients that their information is safe.  Sandy Hausman reports on nearly two dozen recommendations designed to prevent hackers from getting into medical information systems here.

WMC takes precautionary shutdown Tuesday
(The Winchester Star – May 20, 2017) SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED

Winchester Medical Center shutdown its computers from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday as a precautionary measure against last week’s global cyberattack. If a hospital’s computers are hacked, doctors and nurses could be unable to access medical records of a patient about to undergo surgery, or they might be unable to determine the medical history of a patient who might experience serious side effects from taking a drug.

Fewer women in Virginia opting to deliver babies before 39 weeks
(Daily Press – May 21, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

Fewer mothers are having early elective deliveries in Virginia after a statewide effort to reduce them, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association announced. Elective early delivery is an option to give birth before 39 weeks for a nonmedical reason. In 2013, the state’s rate of early deliveries averaged 26 per month. In 2016, the monthly average was five, the lowest in the nation, the organization reported.

Virginia ranks best in country for early elective delivery rates
(Richmond Times-Dispatch – May 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

Lori Hilldrup loved being pregnant. Even on her due date, she was perfectly content when she did not go into labor. “I was very lucky in my pregnancy, so I was ready to soak up a few more days,” she said. “I wanted him to cook as long as he wanted to because I wanted nature to take its course. I felt like my body knew what to do, he knew what to do and not messing with that seemed more logical to me than stepping in.”

Mountain States’ finances ‘stable’ in FY 2015-2016
(Johnson City Press – May 20, 2017)

The region’s largest healthcare provider submitted “stable” financials for the 2015-16 fiscal year, according to the system’s chief financial officer. According to its latest filing with the Internal Revenue Service, Mountain States Health Alliance generated $736 million in revenue, which is about $10 million more than the previous year.


States Seek to Join Appeal of House Obamacare Lawsuit
(Morning Consult – May 18, 2017)

More than a dozen states and the District of Columbia filed a motion on Thursday to intervene in the appeal of a lawsuit targeting the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments, which have become a focal point for how President Donald Trump plans to treat the 2010 health care law.

Ohio Valley: Death By The Numbers: Region’s Grim Statistics Heighten Health Debate
(Ohio Valley Resource – May 19, 2017)

Eight protesters along a major thoroughfare in Lexington hoisted signs shaped like tombstones with sayings such as “RIP Trumpcare.” They were hoping Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr would catch a glimpse of the demonstration on their way to a press event at Valvoline headquarters down the road. Against the steady hum of streaming cars came a few honks. A middle-aged guy on a Harley gunned his bike through the intersection while laying on the horn.

North Carolina Hospital Association taps new president
(Triangle Business Journal – May 18, 2017)

The North Carolina Hospital Association has tapped Stephen Lawler – senior vice president of the regional group for Carolinas HealthCare System – as its new president, effective July 1. Before joining Carolinas HealthCare System, Lawler spent two decades at Vidant Health, including seven years as president of Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.


Nearly 700 vacancies at CDC because of Trump administration’s hiring freeze
(The Washington Post – May 19, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

Nearly 700 positions are vacant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of a continuing freeze on hiring that officials and researchers say affects programs supporting local and state public health emergency readiness, infectious disease control and chronic disease prevention.

‘I was panicked’: Deaf patients struggle to get interpreters in medical emergencies
(STAT News – May 22, 2017)

The chest pain was bad enough. Then John Paul Jebian asked staff at Baptist Hospital of Miami for an American Sign Language interpreter. They instead brought a video screen with an internet link to a remote interpreter to help him understand what the doctors and nurses were saying.

Time to Treatment and Mortality during Mandated Emergency Care for Sepsis
(The New England Journal of Medicine – May 21, 2017)

More than 1.5 million cases of sepsis occur in the United States annually, and many patients with sepsis present to the emergency department. International clinical practice guidelines and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommend the prompt identification of sepsis and treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotic agents and intravenous fluids.

‘Rory’s Regs’ on sepsis require hospital checklists, save lives
(USA Today – May 21, 2017)

New York regulations named after a 12-year-old victim of sepsis increased the chance of survival from the potentially deadly condition, a study out Sunday shows. “Rory’s Regulations,” named for the late Rory Staunton of New York City, requires hospitals to quickly perform a checklist of safety measures when people show up at hospitals with sepsis.  A report in the New England Journal of Medicine Sunday found the faster hospitals completed the checklist of care and administered antibiotics, the lower the risk of death in hospitals from sepsis. With each additional hour it took, the risk of death increased 4%.

A National Implementation Project to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection in Nursing Home Residents
(The JAMA Network – May 19, 2017)

More than 1.4 million people currently reside in nursing homes across the United States. One-third of Americans aged 65 years or older will receive nursing home care in their lifetime, with nearly 20% residing in a nursing home for at least 1 year. Nursing homes are crucial for meeting short- and long-term care needs of older adults.

Managing and Implementing Remote Patient Device Data in the EHR
(AHIMA – May 17, 2017)

These were the first words spoken over the telephone by inventor Alexander Graham Bell on March 10, 1876. According to popular legend, this call was also the first time the telephone was used to summon help, as Bell had just spilled acid. In a way, we can look back on this incident as prophetic, with the advent of telemedicine capabilities.

A global pledge to fight antibiotics resistance
(Axios – May 20, 2017)

The G20 health ministers, including the United States, announced today that they’ve agreed to come up with plans to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and implement plans by the end of 2018. Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price attended the meeting of the health ministers in Berlin.

A devastating story of lives ruined and ended by opioids
(The Washington Post – May 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

America’s opioid crisis is starkly laid out in the opening moments of HBO Documentary Films’ “Warning: This Drug May Kill You.” There’s a guy slumped over on a bus. A woman passed out on a street. Another guy collapsed backward across a bench. Then there’s a doctor, in a Perdue Pharma promotional video from 1999, explaining that “we doctors were wrong in thinking that opioids cannot be used long-term. They can be. And they should be.”

New project seeks to improve Zika lab reporting and testing info exchange with healthcare providers
(Modern Healthcare – May 19, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

A joint venture between the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology looks to improve reporting and information sharing on suspected Zika virus cases. The agencies have partnered on a project that aims to enable state public health laboratories to electronically transmit such information as lab test results to hospitals.


Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits
(The Washington Post – May 21, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net. For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.

Trump tells advisers he wants to end key Obamacare subsidies

President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants to end payments of key Obamacare subsidies, a move that could send the health law’s insurance markets into a tailspin, according to several sources familiar with the conversations. Many advisers oppose the move because they worry it will backfire politically if people lose their insurance or see huge premium spikes and blame the White House, the sources said.

Ryan: House do-over on Obamacare repeal unlikely
(POLITICO – May 19, 2017)

Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday he didn’t think the House would have to revote on its high-stakes Obamacare repeal legislation, despite a technical snag that raised the prospect of a do-over. “We’re moving [the bill] over to the Senate probably in a couple weeks,” Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Republicans Race The Clock On Health Care — But The Calendar Is Not Helping
(Kaiser Health News – May 22, 2017)

Back in January, Republicans boasted they would deliver a “repeal and replace” bill for the Affordable Care Act to President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the month. In the interim, that bravado has faded as their efforts stalled and they found out how complicated undoing a major law can be. With summer just around the corner, and most of official Washington swept up in scandals surrounding Trump, the health overhaul delays are starting to back up the rest of the 2018 agenda.

Trump, Shouting ‘Death Spiral,’ Has Nudged Affordable Care Act Downward
(The New York Times – May 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

When Aetna, the health insurance giant, announced this month that it was pulling out of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange in Virginia in 2018, President Trump responded on Twitter: “Death spiral!” When Humana announced plans to leave all the health law’s marketplaces next year, the president chimed in, “Obamacare continues to fail.”

Medicaid cost increases by state, under the AHCA
(Axios – May 22, 2017)

The House health care bill would require many states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to pay much more for their newly eligible enrollees beginning in 2020. Here’s what it would look like, based on projections from Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy’s office.