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News

Last 50 News Postings

 (Click on title to be directed to posting, most recent listed first)

Determining if Drug Price Increases are Justified
Court Overturns CMS' Site-Neutral Payment Policy
Pulmonary Disease Linked to Vaping
CEO Compensation-One Reason Healthcare Costs So Much
Doctor or Money Shortage in California?
FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Resigns
Physicians Generate an Average $2.4 Million a Year Per Hospital
Drug Prices Continue to Rise
New Center for Physician Rights
CMS Decreases Clinic Visit Payments to Hospital-Employed Physicians
   and Expands Decreases in Drug Payments 340B Cuts
Big Pharma Gives Millions to Congress
Gilbert Hospital and Florence Hospital at Anthem Closed
CMS’ Star Ratings Miscalculated
VA Announces Aggressive New Approach to Produce Rapid Improvements
   in VA Medical Centers
Healthcare Payments Under the Budget Deal: Mostly Good News
   for Physicians
Hospitals Plan to Start Their Own Generic Drug Company
Flu Season and Trehalose
MedPAC Votes to Scrap MIPS
CMS Announces New Payment Model
Varenicline (Chantix®) Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Events
Tax Cuts Could Threaten Physicians
Trump Nominates Former Pharmaceutical Executive as HHS Secretary
Arizona Averages Over 25 Opioid Overdoses Per Day
Maryvale Hospital to Close
California Enacts Drug Pricing Transparency Bill
Senate Health Bill Lacks 50 Votes Needed to Proceed
Medi-Cal Blamed for Poor Care in Lawsuit
Senate Republican Leadership Releases Revised ACA Repeal and Replace Bill
Mortality Rate Will Likely Increase Under Senate Healthcare Bill
University of Arizona-Phoenix Receives Full Accreditation
Limited Choice of Obamacare Insurers in Some Parts of the Southwest
Gottlieb, the FDA and Dumbing Down Medicine
Salary Surveys Report Declines in Pulmonologist, Allergist and Nurse 
   Incomes
CDC Releases Ventilator-Associated Events Criteria
Medicare Bundled Payment Initiative Did Not Reduce COPD Readmissions
Younger Smokers Continue to Smoke as Adults: Implications for Raising the
   Smoking Age to 21
Most Drug Overdose Deaths from Nonprescription Opioids
Lawsuits Allege Price Fixing by Generic Drug Makers
Knox Named Phoenix Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs
Rating the VA Hospitals
Garcia Resigns as Arizona University VP
Combination Influenza Therapy with Clarithromycin-Naproxen-Oseltamivir
   Superior to Oseltamivir Alone
VAP Rates Unchanged
ABIM Overhauling MOC
Substitution of Assistants for Nurses Increases Mortality, Decreases Quality
CMS Releases Data on Drug Spending
Trump Proposes Initial Healthcare Agenda
Election Results of Southwest Ballot Measures Affecting Healthcare
Southwest Ballot Measures Affecting Healthcare
ACGME Proposes Dropping the 16 Hour Resident Shift Limit

 

For an excel file with complete news listings click here.

A report from Heartwire described a letter written by Peter Wilmshurst to the AHA asking for full disclosure of conflicts of interest in the MIST trial. Wilmshurst was portrayed in SWJPCC on April 27, 2012 in our Profiles of Medical Courage series. We felt the report of the letter might be of interest to the readership of SWJPCC but there was no good section to pass along the Heartwire article. For this reason, a new Section entitled “News” has been started to report developments outside the usual medical journal purview or from other sources which might interest our readers. We encourage bringing news-worthy articles to our attention and would welcome submission of written reports of such articles.

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Entries in access (2)

Monday
Jun122017

Limited Choice of Obamacare Insurers in Some Parts of the Southwest

The New York Times is reporting that all of Arizona, much of Nevada, and portions of Utah and Colorado will have only one insurer available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) marketplace (Figure 1) (1).

 

Figure 1. New York Times compilation of insurance company announcements for providing coverage under the ACA or Obamacare.

 

About 35,000 people buying insurance in Affordable Care Act marketplaces in 45 counties could have no choice in carriers in Ohio and Missouri (Figure 1), This would be the first time that has happened since the marketplaces were opened in 2014.

Some insurance companies are still deciding what they will do in 2018, and others may reverse course, so these numbers could go up or down.

Most Americans get health insurance from a job or government program, but about 22 million people buy individual policies under Obamacare. More than half of them use Obamacare marketplaces, where most of them get a federal tax credit to help pay for coverage. The rest buy directly from an insurer or broker, outside the Obamacare marketplaces. A recent New York Times analysis showed that many insurers are now choosing to sell exclusively outside the marketplaces, where their customers are not eligible for federal subsidies. Because customers cannot use subsidies for these plans, many may not be able to afford coverage.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

Editor, SWJPCC

Reference

  1. Park H, Carlsen A. For the first time, 45 counties could have no insurer in the Obamacare marketplaces. New York Times. June 9, 2017. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/09/us/counties-with-one-or-no-obamacare-insurer.html (accessed 6/12/17).

Cite as: Robbins RA. Limited choice of healthcare insurers in some parts of the southwest. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2017;14(6):295. doi: https://doi.org/10.13175/swjpcc074-17 PDF 

Saturday
Apr122014

Smoking Rates Low in Southwest

The Gallup survey confirms that smoking rates in the US are declining and that smoking rates are lower in the Southwest than the US as a whole (1). Nationally, the smoking rate fell to 19.7% in 2013 from 21.1% in 2008. Among the Southwest states California ranked second (15.0%), Colorado ninth (17.4%), and Arizona tenth (17.5%). Only New Mexico was above the Nation's average at 20.0%. Utah remains the state with the lowest percentage of smokers, 12.2 percent, and Kentucky the highest, 30.2 percent.

Nine of the 10 states with the lowest smoking rates have outright bans on smoking in private worksites, restaurants, and bars, with California allowing for ventilated rooms. Bans are significantly less common in the 10 states with the highest smoking rates. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Mississippi -- the states with the three highest smoking rates -- do not have statewide smoking bans. In addition, these three states have some of the lowest average cost of a pack of cigarettes (2).

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has identified access to tobacco as a major factor in youth smoking (3). However, tobacco products still remain readily accessible. Recently, CVS, the National chain of pharmacies, announced that it will no longer sell cigarettes (4). A recent New York Times op-ed called for Walgreen’s to do the same (5).

Richard A. Robbins, MD

Editor

References

  1. McCarthy J. In U.S., Smoking Rate Lowest in Utah, Highest in Kentucky. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/167771/smoking-rate-lowest-utah-highest-kentucky.aspx?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=in-u-s-smoking-rate-lowest-in-utah-highest-in-kentucky-smoking-rate-in-alaska-has-dropped-the-most-since-2008 (accessed 4/12/14).
  2. Boonn A. Campaign for tobacco-free kids. Available at: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0202.pdf (accessed 4/12/14).
  3. Campaign for tobacco-free kids. Enforcing laws prohibiting cigarette sales to kids reduces youth smoking. Available at: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0049.pdf (accessed 4/12/14).
  4. CVS quits for good. Available at: http://info.cvscaremark.com/cvs-insights/cvs-quits (accessed 4/12/14).
  5. Bach PS. The tobacco ties that bind. New York Times. 4/10/14. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/opinion/the-tobacco-ties-that-bind.html?_r=0 (accessed 4/12/14).

Reference as: Robbins RA. Smoking rates low in southwest. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2014;8(4):233. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13175/swjpcc051-14 PDF