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Health Headlines for Monday, February 12

Cuomo’s plan to tax health insurance industry raises concerns

City & State

In the coming fiscal year, New York faces a $4.4 billion state budget shortfall, looming cuts from the federal government thanks to the new tax law and potential threats to health care spending from Republicans in Congress.

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Beacon of light: Healthcare additions in budget law pleasantly surprise providers

Modern Healthcare

Congress’ long-awaited budget deal, passed before dawn last Friday, serves as the most significant piece of healthcare legislation since President Donald Trump took office.

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OxyContin maker will stop promoting opioids to doctors


The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin said it will stop marketing opioid drugs to doctors, bowing to a key demand of lawsuits that blame the company for helping trigger the current drug abuse epidemic.

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Officials find NYC hospitals riddled with shocking violations

New York Post

State health officials found 19 instances of safety or security lapses that put New York City hospital patients in “immediate jeopardy,” including failure to investigate sexual-abuse allegations, sending home a suicidal patient to his death and poor infection control.

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Cuomo looks to health insurance companies for a bailout: Letter

Poughkeepsie Journal

In his budget address last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a 14 percent tax on the net profits of private health insurers in the state as a way to reign in the $4.4 billion state budget deficit.

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On Drug Costs, Modest Steps Follow Trump’s Big Promises

NBC New York

President Donald Trump makes big promises to reduce prescription drug costs, but his administration is gravitating to relatively modest steps such as letting Medicare patients share in manufacturer rebates.

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States tired of waiting for feds to tackle high drug prices

Washington Examiner

State legislatures are battling against high drug prices, tired of inaction from the federal government.

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AHIP study finds room for improvement in opioid prescribing practices

Fierce Healthcare

The healthcare industry is already following some best practices for prescribing opioids, but there are areas where it must improve in order to curb painkiller addiction and misuse, according to a new study.

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Health experts, residents ticked off about Lyme disease

Hudson Valley 360

Columbia County residents are getting ticked off about Lyme disease and so is Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106.

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Flu season still getting worse; now as bad as 2009 swine flu

The Leader

A government report out Friday shows 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu.

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Kentucky rushes to remake Medicaid as other states prepare to follow

Boston Globe

With approval from the Trump administration, Kentucky is rushing to roll out its first-in-the-nation plan to require many Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer, or train for a job — even as critics mount a legal challenge to stop it on the grounds that it violates the basic tenets of the program.

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No health insurance? No problem. Program gets you to the right doc


A fledgling nonprofit points Staten Island’s most disadvantaged medical patients in the right direction — away from crowded, costly emergency rooms and into the primary care and social service facilities they need.

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California launches investigation following stunning admission by Aetna medical director


California’s insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.

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