July 3, 2024 | Volume XIII | Issue 27

How to live when you know you are dying

Sonny Miles, MD writes for KevinMD:

We had been meeting for a number of months when she posed the question. We met in person one time, but other than that single appointment, all of our meetings were virtual. She had metastatic cancer. She didn’t actually want to know that her cancer had returned. The metastatic disease had been found when they couldn’t complete her colonoscopy and ordered a scan to see why. She helped me understand the depth of her medical trauma by telling me that she couldn’t stand to walk in the cancer center as it brought back all the trauma of her initial diagnosis and treatment. I’m sure other patients felt similarly, but few named the trauma of the treatment experience.

Read More

Some surprises in the No Surprises Act

T. Christian Miller writes for ProPublica:

In 2020, Congress passed the No Surprises Act to protect patients from exorbitant medical bills that had burdened Americans with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The law was designed to decrease the charges for patients treated by an out-of-network doctor during medical emergencies. Such ER visits often left people vulnerable to so-called surprise bills, in which their insurer would only pay a portion of the expensive treatment.

One of the biggest health care reforms since Obamacare, the No Surprises Act appears to have worked in one important sense. Patients have reported fewer crippling bills. Although little hard data exists, an insurance industry survey found that consumers avoided some 10 million surprise bills in the first nine months of 2023.

Read More

DOJ slaps $20M opioid prescription penalty on OptumRx

Fierce Healthcare reports:

OptumRx will pay $20 million to resolve claims the company violated the Controlled Substances Act by improperly filling certain opioid prescriptions, the Department of Justice recently announced.

The agency claims OptumRx did not fill prescriptions correctly for "trinity prescriptions" like benzodiazepines and other muscle relaxants from April 2013 to April 2015.

Read More

How effective is milk pasteurization against bird flu?

WTNH News 8

Dr. F. Perry Wilson, associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Medicine physician, and author of “How Medicine Works and When It Doesn’t,” discussed this topic on News 8 at Noon.

Watch the video HERE.

Publisher of Week in Review, Specialty Focus, FHIweekly & Game Changers