What We're Reading: Double-Booked Surgeries; Counties With No ACA Plans; Hearing on Drug Prices


Hospital Repeatedly Double-Booked Surgeries

Federal lawsuit is alleging that Massachusetts General Hospital juggled multiple surgeries and kept patients under anesthesia longer than was safe. According to The Boston Globe, the lawsuit claims that at least 5 surgeons endangered patients in this way and the whistleblower, a former anesthesiologist, witnessed surgeons going back and forth between operating rooms to perform simultaneous operations. When patients stay under anesthesia longer than necessary, it increases the risk of complications.

Some Counties Will Have No ACA Insurer in 2018

There will be 45 counties with no insurer participating in their Affordable Care Act marketplaces in 2018, affecting about 35,000 people. An analysis from The New York Times found that an additional 1388 counties could have just 1 insurer, affecting about 3 million people. The places of the country that will be hardest hit are the South and the Midwest. However, some insurance companies have yet to make a decision about what they will do in 2018 and the final numbers could change. For instance, Anthem has already pulled out of Ohio, but it hasn’t decided about the 299 counties outside of Ohio where it is currently the only insurer.

Congressional Hearing on Drug Prices

The US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing on Tuesday about how America’s drug-delivery system impacts what patients pay. The hearing will explore how industry practices, such as rebates, affect total drug spending, according to The Wall Street Journal. There will be no company executives or industry lobby groups represented at the hearing.

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