Quality

Hospitals are now conducting wealth screenings with software that culls public data to see which patients are most likely to donate to the healthcare organization, The New York Times reported. The practice is increasingly common across hospitals, particularly large systems.

The U.S. adult uninsured rate for healthcare reached 13.7 percent at the end of 2018––a four-year high, according to a recent Gallup poll. The findings underscore the actions of the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act over the last two years.

 

Walgreens Boots Alliance has settled two fraud cases with the Department of Justice, shelling out $269.2 million. In both cases, which arose from whistleblowers, Walgreens admitted and accepted responsibility for conduct alleged by the government in its complaint under the False Claims Act.

Climate change impacts, from more harmful pollution to wildfire injuries, are negatively influencing human life. But doctors can help, according to two physicians who wrote a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA is fast-tracking efforts to produce an over-the-counter version of naloxone, a life-saving drug which can reverse an opioid overdose. Current FDA-approved versions of naloxone require a prescription, creating a barrier of use for some.

Two new lawsuits have been filed against Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the fourth and fifth malpractice complaints involving heart transplants at the Houston hospital since the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica exposed problems with its transplant program last year.

Physicians are feeling stressed out, with 44 percent reporting they feel burned out and 15 percent reporting they are depressed, according to a recent report from Medscape.

Americans are concerned about higher drug costs impacting their wallets, but hospitals and health systems have also been feeling the pinch, according to a recent study from hospital groups including the American Hospital Association.

An American family that has become one of the wealthiest in the nation due to sales of the powerful opioid OxyContin misled doctors and patients about the dangers associated with the drug, The New York Times reported.

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center appointed a new president and restructured other staff after an investigation from the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica found mistakes at the Houston-based hospital’s heart transplant center led to patient deaths.

The U.S. healthcare system is not very popular, according to a recent Gallup poll. In fact, 70 percent of Americans describe the system as being “in a state of crisis” or “having major problems,” the poll found.

An aggressive flu season in 2017 contributed to 145,000 global deaths, according to a recent study published by The Lancet. The high figure echoes early estimates of 80,000 flu deaths in the United States in the same year.