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What We're Reading: Houston Hospital Evacuations; Nursing Home Abuse; NYC Calorie Rule Delayed


Hurricane Harvey Flooding Causes Some Texas Hospitals to Evacuate

Hurricane Harvey brought severe flooding to Texas this weekend, causing some hospitals near Houston to close or evacuate. Modern Healthcare reports that Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson were closed on Sunday and Monday, respectively, and Ben Taub Hospital announced it would evacuate due to a broken sewer pipe and basement flooding. However, its 350 patients cannot be moved yet because the hospital is surrounded by waist-deep water. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, has declared a public health emergency in Texas as a result of the flooding.

1 in 4 Cases of Abuse in Nursing Homes Went Unreported

A government audit found that more than 1 in 4 cases of potential sexual or physical abuse against nursing home patients were not reported to police, despite a federal law that requires immediate notification, according to the Washington Post. Investigators found no evidence of a report to law enforcement in 38 out of 134 cases where emergency department records suggested potential abuse or neglect of a patient. The HHS inspector general has therefore issued an “early alert,” warning Medicare to take action to correct this underreporting.

NYC Waits to Enforce Calorie Labeling Rule

After a lawsuit by industry groups, New York City has decided to postpone enforcement of a rule that requires calorie counts to be posted for all prepared food sold in restaurants, convenience stores, and other establishments, The New York Times reports. The calorie count rule was supposed to be applied nationwide as part of the Affordable Care Act, but was repeatedly delayed by the FDA. New York had intended to implement the rule in the city regardless, but a lawsuit brought by the trade organizations and backed by the FDA blocked it from going into effect. New York City will now wait until May, when the FDA will implement its own calorie labeling rules.

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