WHO: COVID-19 emergency is over
Plus: FDA approves RSV vaccine and a new mini-series from FLATLINING
Good morning and happy Friday. Welcome to this week’s Friday Pulse Check from FALTLINING.net and Fulcrum Strategies.
In the news:
FDA approves first RSV vaccine
While debates continue to swirl in the court system about how the Food and Drug Administration can approve drugs and vaccines, the agency kept plugging away this week and approved the first RSV vaccine. You’ll recall that a spike in RSV cases last year were causing fears of a triple-demic of that virus, flu, and COVID-19. The new RSV vaccine is called Arexvy and is manufactured by GSK (GSK 0.00). It is approved for adults ages sixty and older. Next, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must put their stamp of approval on the vaccine; that CDC panel is meeting in June. Read more in STAT News.
Two hospitals fined by CMS for price transparency violations
You’ll recall on a previous episode of the FLATLINING Podcast that Ron and I expressed frustration over Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Beccera’s seeming unwillingness to enforce certain laws passed during the Trump administration. First and foremost was the No Surprises Act and second was the hospital price transparency rules. He said in an interview with NBC News that they had sent many warnings but no violations. That seems to have changed as of late. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fined two hospitals last month, one in Texas and the other in New Hampshire, and Becker’s Hospital Review is reporting that they are the third and fourth fines the agency has sent out. Kell West Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas says they will appeal the decision by CMS. Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New Hampshire claims CMS never contacted their hospital, but they haven’t said if they will appeal. Read more in Becker’s Hospital CFO Report.
WHO says COVID-19 no longer an emergency
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, General-Director of the World Health Organization announced today that the United Nations funded agency would no longer consider COVID-19 a public health emergency. Hospitalizations and deaths have been on a downward trend globally for over a year. Dr. Tedros did clarify his statement saying that he did not mean that the pandemic was over. Read more from ABC News.
Other articles of interest:
US to lift most federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates next week - ABC News
Opinion: Fifteen days became 1,141 days; Biden is right to end vaccine mandate - The Washington Post 🔒
Mayo, others turning to AI and precision medicine - Becker’s Health IT
Healthcare adds 40K jobs in April - Becker’s Hospital Review
Detroit school closes until next week after illnesses, student death, district says - The Detroit News
California Watch: California Says New Cigarettes Appear to Violate State’s Flavored Tobacco Ban - KFF Health News
HIPAA Violation of the Week: Are Amazon Clinic patients covered by HIPAA? - The Washington Post
The FLATLINING Podcast
This week on the podcast, I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Dan Hurley, MD. Dr. Hurley is an otolaryngologist in Arizona who has been diagnosed with a rare and fatal form of cancer. When trying to set up his treatment plan, his insurance carrier denied him coverage for a PET scan. I asked him what he thought about his insurance carrier, how he responds to medical directors, and what he would like to see in the future.
Subscribe to the FLATLINING Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the iHeartRadio app, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pandora, TuneIn, and Audible.
As was reported several months ago, Russia’s seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, rang alarm bells around the world about the safety of Ukranians and eastern Europe if an accident there were to happen. A recent panel at Manor College in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania discussed the political and health implications of a disaster at the power plant. Many expressed concern over the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inability to demilitarize the area. Read more in the Tablet.
Now that President Joe Biden has officially announced that he is running for re-election, it is time to give a little bit more serious thought to the policies of the declared candidates ahead 2024. After all, the first Republican primary debate has already been scheduled for August on FOX News. On FLATLINING.net and the FLATLINING Podcast, we will be taking an in-depth look at the health policy of the candidates in a new mini-series called Pulse Check on the Candidates. You won’t have to do anything else to receive these updates; they’ll be available in the regular FLATLINING Podcast feed and here on FLATLINING.net. The first edition should be available in the coming months.
Have a good weekend,