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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 
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.


Entries in ColoradoCare (1)


Southwest Ballot Measures Affecting Healthcare

Modern Healthcare (1) has published an article summarizing ballot measures affecting healthcare. Those from the Southwest are listed below:



  1. Recreational marijuana. Proposition 205: Legalizes recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older. Opponents of the measure include the Arizona Health and Hospital Association and Insys Therapeutics, a company that makes a cannabis-based pain medication.


  1. Medi-Cal hospital fee program. Proposition 52: Requires the legislature to get voter approval to use fee revenue for purposes other than generating federal matching funds and funding enhanced Medicaid payments and grants for hospitals. The initiative, which was written by the California Hospital Association and is supported by most state lawmakers, would also make the program permanent, requiring a supermajority in the legislature to end it.
  2. Tobacco tax. Proposition 56: Increases the state's cigarette tax by $2 a pack and impose an "equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine." The revenue primarily would support healthcare programs.
  3. Prescription drug price regulations. Proposition 61: Ties the prices California state agencies pay for prescription drugs to the discounts negotiated by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department. The initiative, backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has drawn more than $100 million in spending from opponents, most of it from the pharmaceutical industry.
  4. Legalization of recreational marijuana. Proposition 64: Legalizes recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older and creates taxes on the cultivation and retail sale of the drug.


  1. ColoradoCare, a single-payer health system. Amendment 69: Amends the state's constitution to establish a universal healthcare system financed by payroll taxes and governed by an elected 21-member board of trustees. The plan is opposed by Colorado Hospital Association.
  2. Cigarette tax. Amendment 72: Amends the state's constitution to increase the cigarette tax from 84 cents a pack to $2.59 a pack. Most of the revenue would fund health-related programs, research into tobacco-related health issues and education and prevention. E-cigarettes are exempt.
  3. Physician-assisted suicide. Proposition 106: The End of Life Options Act allows physicians to prescribe a lethal drug to their terminally ill patients and allows terminally ill patients to be prescribed lethal drugs to end their life.


  1. Recreational marijuana. Question 2: Legalizes recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older.  
  2. Medical equipment tax. Question 4: Exempts medical equipment like oxygen machines and hospital beds from the state sales tax.


  1. Albany, CA. Soda tax: A 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages.
  2. San Francisco, CA. Soda tax: A 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages.
  3. Oakland, CA. Soda tax: A 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages.
  4. Boulder, CO. Soda tax: Imposes a 2 cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages.

Richard A. Robbins, MD

Editor, SWJPCC


  1. Modern Healthcare. How the Nov. 8 state elections will affect healthcare. November 5, 2016. Available at: (accessed 11/7/16).

Cite as: Robbins RA. Southwest ballot measures affecting healthcare. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2016;13(5):218-9. doi: PDF