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What We're Reading: VA Healthcare Operations Still Require "Urgent Reform"


What we're reading, July 6, 2016: the Department of Veterans Affairs has made progress, but still has a long way to go; court upholds 6-month delay for biosimilars; and Apple promotes organ donation with iPhone app.

The quality of healthcare provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is inconsistent from one site to the next. A new report found that problems with access to care still remain 2 years after long wait times for veterans seeking healthcare was first brought to light, according to the AP. While the VA has made huge progress—nearly 97% of appointments are now completed within 30 days of the preferred date—the report noted there is still a long way to go. In addition, a program that makes it easier for veterans to get private care was not as being significantly flawed.

Biosimilar makers must notify brand-name rivals 6 months before they launch. The federal appeals court ruling could impact healthcare costs as the decision will delay competition, reported STAT. The court ruled that the 180-day notice is required and cannot be given until the biosimilar company receives FDA approval.

Apple is promoting organ donation for iPhone users. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this fall, iPhone users will be able to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors through the Health app. Apple is just the latest tech company to expand organ donation awareness. Facebook added a feature in 2012, and this year Instagram ran a campaign featuring people needing heart transplants.

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