The second US Coronavirus death was reported in EvergreenHealth hospital in Kirkland, Washington; extended-release drugs were shown to cost almost $14 billion more than twice-a-day medications over a 5-year study; the Supreme Court plans to hear the third challenge to the Affordable Care Act in October.
Yesterday, health authorities in King County, Washington, announced that 1 of the 6 individuals infected with coronavirus in a nursing facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland had died at EvergreenHealth hospital, with 3 more in critical condition, according to The New York Times. This is the second coronavirus death on US soil and the second to occur at EvergreenHealth hospital, as a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions was reported on Saturday as the first fatality by the CDC. The preparedness of hospitals in handling a potential pandemic in the United States has been questioned, with an additional article posted in the The New York Times showing that only about 62,000 full-featured ventilators were in hospitals across the county in 2010, paling in comparison to the suggestion of nearly 740,000 mechanical ventilators that would be required for a severe influenza outbreak.
According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, prescriptions for extended-release drugs cost the healthcare system almost $14 billion more than would have been spent on equivalent twice-a-day medications, based on Medicare and Medicaid spending between 2012 and 2017. Reported in Reuters, co-study author Ambarish Pandey, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, highlighted that there is not a huge difference in patient convenience when comparing the 2 regimens, “but the cost difference is remarkable.”
After turning down a motion by the House of Representatives and Democratic-led states this term to review the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Supreme Court will hear a third challenge to the ACA, potentially in October, with a decision coming before the November election. The Washington Post reports that the request was submitted by Democratic-controlled states that are fighting a lower court decision that challenged the constitutionality of the law.