KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: It’s Health Costs, Stupid (2022 Edition)

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The pandemic could also be exhibiting indicators of winding down, however well being care prices usually are not.

In Massachusetts, a combat is shaping up over whether or not one of the crucial prestigious hospital techniques wants to economize, whereas antitrust instances in opposition to different hospital techniques have been filed in California, Connecticut, and North Carolina.

In the meantime, the Senate confirmed Dr. Robert Califf to go the FDA, lastly filling out the Biden administration’s well being management. Califf’s nomination was strongly opposed by anti-abortion teams, however, in the long run, he gained the votes of a number of Republicans who usually are not working for reelection.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the many takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Califf’s slim affirmation vote was in marked distinction to seven years in the past when he additionally headed the FDA. Twenty-six Republicans who supported him then voted no this time. This week, 5 Democrats who had complained in regards to the FDA’s stance on opioids additionally voted no.
  • With Califf confirmed, he could be part of different administration public well being officers, such because the Nationwide Institutes of Well being’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in changing into a spokesperson for the administration on covid and different medical points.
  • Among the many main points going through the FDA are security and efficacy of covid vaccinations for younger youngsters, the pending utility by Novavax for authorization for a unique kind of covid vaccine, and a assessment of how the company handles accelerated drug approvals. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) secured a promise by Califf earlier than he was confirmed to probe whether or not drugmakers live as much as their promise to report again on these medication.
  • Whereas the controversy on reducing well being care prices usually facilities on pharmaceuticals, hospitals are a significant driver of spending. A Massachusetts regulatory panel has ordered Mass Normal Brigham hospital to arrange a efficiency enchancment plan to curb the expansion in well being care prices on the state’s premier hospital system.
  • The disruption of the well being care workforce brought on by the pandemic is creating main shifts, amongst them a transfer by many nurses to take high-paid journey nursing jobs. That has created issues for smaller, much less worthwhile hospitals to recruit full-time nurses. Non-public fairness corporations are exhibiting curiosity within the touring nurse trade, which is prompting some officers to hunt extra transparency in how these corporations are paid and who will get the cash.
  • Federal well being officers reported this week that the U.S. has recorded 1 million “extra deaths” on account of the pandemic.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness about how the pandemic has worsened the nation’s psychological well being disaster and what may be accomplished about it.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you must learn, too:

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Demand for Service Dogs Unleashes a ‘Wild West’ Market,” by Markian Hawryluk

Sarah Karlin-Smith: Scientific American’s “There Is Nothing Normal About One Million People Dead From COVID,” by Steven W. Thrasher

Tami Luhby: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “COVID-19 Has Even Ruined Our Feet,” by Sarah Gantz

Rachel Cohrs: Bloomberg’s “Nurses Who Faced Fines, Lawsuits for Quitting Are Fighting Back,” by Josh Eidelson

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

Stat’s “Private Equity Firms Are Cashing In on the Travel Nursing Business That Has Boomed During the Pandemic,” by Rachel Cohrs

The New York Instances’ “Vehicle Crashes, Surging,” by David Leonhardt

CNN’s “More Than 50 Million Households Have Received Free Government Covid-19 Tests,” by Tami Luhby and Naomi Thomas

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KHN’s What the Well being? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you take heed to podcasts.


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