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Study: U.S. Ranks 43rd in End-of-Life Care Quality

The United States ranks 43rd in end-of-life care quality among 81 countries according to a recent study in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Worldwide, much improvement is needed in the realm of caring for terminally ill patients, researchers found. For the purposes of this study, researchers defined “end-of-life care” as any health care…

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How many employees have hospitals lost to vaccine mandates? Here are the numbers so far

The past several months have seen thousands of hospitals announce COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff and clinicians as a condition of employment. Although controversial, the policies picked up steam when Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty received a full regulatory approval. Mandate announcements really kicked into gear when the Biden administration made workforce vaccination a requirement for Medicare and…

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[Updated] Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Mandate, Allows CMS Rule to Take Effect

The long-awaited decisions regarding the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates have finally arrived from the U.S. Supreme Court. In the end, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “soft” mandate was shot down by SCOTUS by a 6-3 count. The mandate would have applied to all private businesses with 100 employees or more, requiring workers to…

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Hackers hit Broward Health network, potentially exposing data on 1.3M patients, staff

Hackers breached the computer networks of Broward Health in October and may have accessed personal and financial information on more than 1.3 million patients and staff. The southeast Florida health system, which operates more than 30 healthcare locations in Broward County, disclosed it was hit with a cyberattack on Oct. 15, 2021, when an intruder gained…

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Medicare Part B spent $1.5B on COVID-19 tests in 2020, other testing decreased

Medicare Part B spending on lab tests slightly increased to $8 billion in 2020, fueled by $1.5 billion in new reimbursements for COVID-19 diagnostics. But the report (PDF), released Dec. 30 from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), found Medicare Part B lab spending on other types of tests declined in…

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OSHA Mandate Reinstated, Noncompliance Penalties to Begin in January

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation requiring workers at companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing has been revived. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay on the OSHA vaccine mandate late Friday. The mandate had been paused since Nov. 6, challenged…

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Humana, Centene sue pharma companies over alleged scheme to squash HIV drug competition

Humana, Centene and several Blues plans have filed suit against multiple drugmakers, charging that the companies illegally conspired to protect market exclusivity for widely-prescribed HIV drugs. Pharmaceutical companies named in the suits include Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson’s Jansen, Bristol Myers Squibb and generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals. Gilead dominates the market for antiretroviral drugs, and…

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Majority of US States Again Subject to CMS Vaccine Mandate After New Court Ruling

On the last day of November, a nationwide injunction was issued by a federal judge in Louisiana to freeze the COVID-19 vaccine mandate from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). On Wednesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that the injunction should not have been applied nationwide. Instead,…

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Home Care Jobs Are Taking Over the Long-Term Care Workforce

While most states have seen an increase in the size of their home care workforce, the nursing home workforce has experienced a slight decrease, a new analysis shows. This growth and decline took place between 2009 and 2021. The analysis comes from a study published Monday in the policy journal Health Affairs. The study examines…

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‘It’s Now for the Wealthy’: Regulation Creating Cost Barriers for Live-In Home Care Services

In 2013, the Obama administration included live-in caregivers in U.S. wage and overtime law. Previously, those caregivers – along with salaried workers – had been exempt from overtime provisions. The administration’s goal at the time was to raise caregiver wages. That has certainly happened, albeit in a small number of cases. Mostly, though, the Obama-era…

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