Discover more from FLATLINING from Fulcrum Strategies
UnitedHealth Group allowed to purchase UK tech firm
Plus: Our next episode of Pulse Check on the Candidates
Good morning and happy Friday. This is the Friday Pulse Check from Fulcrum Strategies where we share some of the most pressing issues affecting providers and practices. In the news:
Regulator greenlights UnitedHealth Group’s acquisition of tech firm
The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority has allowed UnitedHealth Group’s British company to purchase the tech company EMIS Group. In January 2022, UnitedHealth Group offered $1.51 billion to buy the company which supplies data management systems to the UK’s National Health Service. It is another step in UnitedHealth Group’s direction of becoming one of the top ten largest companies in the world.
LIVE UnitedHealth Group stock price: UNH 0.00%↑
Four sentenced in fake nursing school scam
Earlier this year, we shared a story on the Friday Pulse Check about a fake nursing school in south Florida which sold more than 7,600 fake nursing school diplomas. This week, four individuals where sentenced to between twenty-one and twenty-seven months in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit to wire fraud. There are twelve other defendants in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas who have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
In 2022, the FBI and the Justice Department launched "Operation Nightingale" — named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing — to take down a fake nursing school scheme after a Florida state audit identified poor NCLEX passing rates. NCLEX is the National Council Licensure Examination and is required for nurses to obtain licenses in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Aspiring nurses would allegedly pay $10,000 or more for the fake diplomas, which fast-tracked the process for them to take the NCLEX test. About 37% of individuals with the fake diplomas passed the NCLEX test. Read the original Department of Justice press release.
Other articles of interest:
Who does medical debt hurt?
The FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies
This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron and I discussed the problem of medical debt. Last week the Biden Administration announced that they would be working on new rules that would prevent most medical debt from being counted in American’s credit scores.
There are a few problems with this. First, all of the major credit bureaus have already stopped including medical debt in American’s credit scores. Second, as we explain on the podcast, one person’s debt is another person’s expected payment.
We know and understand that no one chooses to go into medical debt; it is not like taking a car loan or student loan debt. But in no other industry is it acceptable to obtain services or purchase goods and then not pay for it.
Its a tricky issue for both patients and providers. I think we did it justice on this week’s episode of the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies. Listen now wherever you listen to podcasts and on YouTube.
Pulse Check on the Candidates
Unlike the first GOP primary debate, healthcare was mentioned on Wednesday night in Simi Valley, California. Here are some healthcare notes:
Former Vice President Mike Pence would not answer whether he would support a repeal of the Affordable Care Act
Ambassador Nikki Haley said Certificate of Need needs to be eliminated and big insurance needs to be reigned in
Governor Ron DeSantis said the 2.6 million people in Florida without insurance is a symptom of country’s economic decline
Of those three highlights, I think Nikki Haley’s is most significant. In my opinion, she spoke most educated out of the candidates on healthcare issues and actually spoke about issues that are of real consequence.
We know the Affordable Care Act isn’t going anywhere and we know the reason for high amount of uninsured in Florida (compared to other states) is because that state has not expanded Medicaid.
Certificate of Need reform, however, is a real debate happening across in the country; North Carolina will be eliminating it soon. Federal regulation on that front could have real consequences.
Because of this, out next episode of Pulse Check on the Candidates will be on former South Carolina Governor and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. I’ll talk about her healthcare policy and how it could affect you. Stay tuned to the FLATLINING Podcast in the coming weeks.
Have a good weekend,