What We're Reading: Medicaid Advocates Cheer Va. Expansion; Price Hike for Estradiol Drugs; Rural Hospital Considers Telemedicine

AJMC Staff

Health Advocates Encouraged by Medicaid Expansion in Virginia

Heath advocates in other states are hopeful about Medicaid expansion after Virginia expanded healthcare for the poor last week. The next states to expand could be Utah and Idaho, where initiatives will be on November’s ballot, The Hill reported, and it may also wind up as a ballot measure in Nebraska. Medicaid expansion may also be a factor in governors’ races, such as in Florida.

Estradiol-Containing Drugs See Price Hikes for Condition Women Don't Discuss Publicly 

Prices of drugs containing estradiol, which has been around for decades and is used to improve women’s sex lives by treating a painful, often unspoken condition experienced by older women, have doubled in the past 5 years, The New York Times reported. Creams, vaginal rings, and tablets containing estradiol treat a dry vagina, which can cause uncomfortable intercourse and complications like urinary tract infections. Pharmaceutical firms have been able to raise their prices without pushback in part because the topic is not discussed publicly by women, doctors said.

Can Telemedicine Save a Bankrupt Hospital in Rural California? 

An entrepreneur from Colorado is pitching a plan to save a tiny, bankrupt rural hospital in California by using the 26-bed hospital to bill insurers for laboratory tests no matter where patients live. Through telemedicine, doctors working for Surprise Valley Community Hospital could order tests for people who have never been there, Kaiser Health News reported. A vote on the deal, which could come this week, is symptomatic of the struggles facing rural hospitals across the country.
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