Healthcare Headlines: The good, the bad, and the absolutely horrifying
Use national and worldwide healthcare headlines to connect the dots and master the chess game of health policy.
MedPage's Morning Brew has it all today.
An attorney for former Texas U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), who recently died at age 89 after developing an infection following back surgery, claimed her death was due to medical negligence. (AP)
The U.S. is in the midst another wave of COVID-19 as the JN.1 variant becomes dominant. (Washington Post)
During the first COVID-19 wave, an estimated 16,990 deaths in six countries may have been related to using hydroxychloroquine during hospitalization. (Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy)
The FDA is investigating reports of alopecia, aspiration, and suicidal ideation in people taking GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro, Zepbound). (CNN)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appointed a prominent anti-vaccine activist as his new presidential campaign communications director. (NBC News)
Mayo Clinic and Eli Lilly backed a startup from two Stanford Medicine physicians that created a voice-based artificial intelligence app to help manage medications like insulin, following a study published in JAMA Network Open last month. (Axios)
Regular hearing aid use cut the risk of death by 24% compared with people who had hearing loss but never used them. (The Lancet Healthy Longevity)
Ambulance workers at the border in Eagle Pass, Texas are struggling to keep up with the surge of migrants needing medical care. (New York Times)
Merck is looking to develop GLP-1 receptor agonist treatments that do more than just help with weight loss, the CEO said. (Reuters)
Meanwhile, Eli Lilly warned that its popular GLP-1 agent tirzepatide shouldn't be used just for "cosmetic" weight loss. (The Hill)
U.S. counties with reduced broadband internet access were almost three times more likely to have no mental health physicians and no outpatient facilities. (Nature Mental Health)
The New Hampshire House passed a bill banning gender affirming surgeries for minors. (New Hampshire Bulletin)
Could a fingerprint test replace mammograms for breast cancer screenings? (Reuters)
A 4-year-old girl from Washington state died after overdosing on "rainbow fentanyl" pills belonging to her parents. (USA Today)
Exposure to more green space was linked with significantly higher bone mineral density in young kids. (JAMA Network Open)
A new lawsuit claimed an IVF embryo-growing solution made by the fertility technology company CooperSurgical was toxic and killed a couple's embryos. (Reuters)
Just 92 seconds of transcranial magnetic stimulation helped boost patients' ability to be hypnotized, allowing them to be treated with hypnosis-based therapy for fibromyalgia syndrome. (Nature Mental Health)
After months of negotiations, UnitedHealthcare is no longer in network with South Carolina's Prisma Health. (Greenville News)
Kristen Monaco is a senior staff writer at MedPage Today, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and nephrology medical news. Based out of the New York City office, she has worked at the company since 2015, originally having started off in the video production department. After her transition to writing, she managed a long-standing partnership newsletter with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and was the 2017 recipient of the North American Menopause Society’s media award. She’s also a co-producer of MedPage Today’s medical storyteller podcast, Anamnesis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a double minor in anthropology and criminal justice from The George Washington University, and is a fellow of the National Press Foundation.
Previous healthcare headline selections are under subject line "30,000 foot view."
To see more topics like this, search using the tags below.
It's always fascinating to see which stories make mainstream headlines, and which do not.
Impact on individual lives may not necessarily be the priority?
Big-picture perspective from Morning Break by MedPage's Judy George last Wednesday.
HHS issued a final nondiscrimination rule that partly rescinds a sweeping 2019 Trump-era "conscience" rule, clarifying the process for enforcing federal conscience laws in healthcare and strengthening protections against conscience and religious discrimination.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra appeared to be making inroads with President Biden's closest advisers, according to a STAT special report.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent prostate cancer surgery and was subsequently treated for a urinary tract infection, his doctors reported. (AP)
A ProPublica analysis detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs has failed veterans with mental health problems.
With the January 19 government funding deadline drawing near, doctors urged Congress to reverse Medicare payment cuts that took effect January 1. (Axios)
The Federal Trade Commission charged X-Mode Social and Outlogic with selling data that could be used to track people's visits to sensitive locations like medical and reproductive health clinics, and issued an order to prohibit the companies from doing so in the future.
Citing manufacturing issues, the FDA declined to approve zolbetuximab for claudin 18.2-positive, HER2-negative gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancers, Astellas Pharma said.
The agency also warned healthcare providers about possible chemical exposure when GE HealthCare EVair or EVair 03 compressors are used with certain ventilators. Preliminary testing showed the potential for elevated levels of formaldehyde.
In a Nature Medicine commentary, experts said that while reports of T-cell malignancies after CAR T-cell therapy should be investigated, existing data suggest the risk is low compared with other cancer treatments.
The Justice Department proposed rules to improve access to medical diagnostic equipment for people with disabilities.
Face masks were mandated in hospitals and healthcare centers in Spain due to a spike in respiratory illnesses. (AP)
Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor died of natural causes, according to the Southwark Coroner's Court in London. (CBS News)
Women with perinatal depression were at an increased risk of suicidal behavior, especially in the first year after diagnosis. (JAMA Network Open)
Vertex Pharmaceuticals paused the phase I/II study of its VX-880 islet cell therapy for type 1 diabetes after two participants died. The company said the deaths were not related to the treatment.
Leiters Health recalled IV bags with either vancomycin, phenylephrine, or fentanyl that may contain twice the labeled amount of drug.
A plant-based diet was linked with lower odds of COVID infection. (BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health)
A small study showed widespread muscle tissue abnormalities in long COVID patients with post-exertional malaise. (Nature Communications)
It's an election year! Just follow the healthcare headlines.
The FDA continues to facilitate gene therapy for minorities (at $2Million per dose, massive Medicaid coverage isn't far behind).
And - what the healthcare industry wants you to know about Candidate Trump's health policy.
Today's latest, courtesy Joyce Frieden, Washington Editor, MedPage Today.
Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has been hospitalized following a planned abdominal surgery at a London clinic and canceled all engagements until Easter. (People)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 90, has been hospitalized in Washington for an infection; he is receiving antibiotic infusions. (Washington Post)
White House staffers during the Trump administration gained access to military healthcare despite not being eligible, a Department of Defense watchdog found. (Military.com)
Meanwhile, KFF Health News looks at what healthcare might be like under a second Trump presidency.
The FDA approved the CRISPR-based gene therapy exagamglogene autotemcel (Casgevy) for transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, maker Vertex said.
The agency also approved immune globulin infusion 10% (human) with recombinant human hyaluronidase (Hyqvia) as maintenance therapy for adults with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, drugmaker Takeda announced.
Anthony Fauci, MD, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, should "go to prison" for his dishonesty about COVID-19, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said. (The Hill)
The Senate's Special Committee on Aging is launching an investigation into walkaway deaths at assisted-living facilities that often involved dementia patients in "memory-care" units. (Washington Post)
Video game players may be risking irreversible hearing loss, a study in BMJ Public Health found.
Stress in adolescence was linked with greater cardiometabolic risk in young adulthood. (Journal of the American Heart Association)
An Indiana nurse was killed in a hot-air balloon crash in Arizona. (People)
San Antonio is facing an amputation crisis among men with diabetes. (New York Times)
We could learn a lot about healthy aging from a 93-year-old Irishman who took up rowing in his 70s and now has the heart of a 30- or 40-year-old. (Washington Post)
Scientists in Beijing have reportedly been experimenting with a coronavirus strain that is 100% lethal in mice. (Daily Mail)
Children in Oakland, California who test positive for COVID can return to school as long as they're not having symptoms, but they should wear masks, said school district officials there. (KRON4)
School systems in North Carolina are ignoring federal rules regarding restraint and seclusion. (KFF Health News)
ROi CPS recalled its Regard Operative Lap P&S Surgical Kit due to possible lack of sterility; no reports of injury or death have occurred.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"-Juvenal
"Who will watch the watchers?"
Today's roundup from MedPage.
The White House Medical Unit pharmacy had severe systemic problems including improper recordkeeping, according to an investigation by the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General. (STAT)
A North Dakota judge will not block part of a state law that physicians claim puts them at risk of criminal prosecution if they perform an abortion to save a patient's life or health. (AP)
The CDC said there's no evidence that JN.1, the most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variant in the U.S., causes more severe disease.
New research examines why COVID makes people sneeze. (Science)
Nursing continued to be the most trusted profession, with 78% of U.S. adults saying nurses have high honesty and ethical standards, according to a new Gallup poll.
Federal lawmakers from Massachusetts asked the for-profit Steward Health Care System about its finances and the fate of the nine hospitals it operates in their state. (WBUR)
Colorado family physician Peter Harrelson, MD, died from what appeared to be traumatic injuries caused by an avalanche. (CBS News Colorado)
Nearly 80% of clinicians in a new Commonwealth Fund survey said it was important for their hospital to address climate change.
"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli cannot return to the drug industry after a federal appeals court upheld his lifetime ban. (Reuters)
Energy drinks were linked with negative sleep outcomes among college students in cross-sectional data. (BMJ Open)
Here's why diphtheria is back. (NPR)
An 11-year-old boy was the first person in the U.S. to receive an investigational gene therapy known as AK-OTOF for congenital deafness. The treatment was a success, according to Eli Lilly subsidiary Akouos.
Social isolation ranked higher than loneliness, depression, anxiety, and lifestyle-related risk factors for estimating mortality risk of people with obesity. (JAMA Network Open)
Johnson & Johnson said it reached a tentative settlement to resolve investigations by 42 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., about whether it misled consumers about the safety of its talc products. (CNBC)
Southwest Airlines will now carry naloxone (Narcan) on flights for opioid overdose reversals. (St. Louis Public Radio)
The decision to bar intersex athletes from women's track and field events raised questions ahead of the Paris Olympics. (New York Times)
Posterior cortical atrophy, a rare syndrome characterized by progressive impairment in visuoperceptual and visuospatial processing, predicted underlying Alzheimer's disease pathology, a meta-analysis showed. (Lancet Neurology)
A mouse study shed light on how psychological stress can affect the gut. (Cell Metabolism)
Scientists see hope for restoring immune tolerance in conditions like diabetes, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. (Nature)
"CBS Sunday Morning" anchor and award-winning journalist Charles Osgood died with dementia at age 91. (CBS News)
Judy George covers neurology and neuroscience news for MedPage Today. She writes about brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, MS, rare diseases, epilepsy, autism, headache, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, concussion, CTE, sleep, pain, and more. Judy started her career with the Congressional watchdog agency GAO and has been a magazine reporter, academic text editor, and radio producer. She holds a BA in English from University of Detroit, MBA from Xavier University, and attended Columbia Radcliffe Publishing Course. Besides writing about neurology, she’s reported on topics ranging from mental health to environmental contamination. Her work has been published in outlets as diverse as Business Week, Conde Nast's Self, and AlterNet.
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