Medicine is about to get even more expensive. There is a new category of drugs coming soon called Car T. These drugs are not really drugs at all but a process by which T cells from an individual are exposed ex-vivo to antigens to make them be able to be attacked by the body's own antibodies. It has been shown to be very successful in some hematological cancers. Novaritis is doing the process and is considering a price of $649,000 per treatment. This type treatment may be useful in a variety of cancers in the future.
It is now the true dawn of a brave new world. The first Car T drug has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of some pediatric leukemia. Because of the potential for severe side effects the hospitals that use this drug must be certified and they also must have available Actemra for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome (CRS). The cost will be $475,000 for the one time treatment and the patient will not be charged if there is no effect in one month. Watch for more of this type therapy as well as the start of CRISPER gene therapy for some diseases. Top
Broward continue to be the worst hospital system in the country. They had two more resignations recently. This was the senior vice president for human resources and the CEO of a hospital. This after the departure of Peek, the vice president of marketing in lieu of her firing. The company also just got their credit rating lowered. Just a terrible organization and has been for about five years, at least.
The Broward board started to fill some of the departed ones shoes. The Board president just continues to put his head in the sand and wish things to get better.
The Department of Health shut the United Medical in DC OB ward due to multiple errors in the department. These included the staff not taking the necessary steps to prevent HIV from mom to baby by a C-Section instead of vaginal birth or at least treating the baby with meds post-partum, the ignoring a woman with prior hypertension not being treated for SOB. The hospital is trying to stonewall the closure.
Anthem has attacked the hospitals bottom line in five states. They include Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin Missouri and Ohio. They want to save money by having advanced imaging done in an outpatient setting instead of the hospital. They will stop paying for outpatient MRI and CT scans at hospitals and will require preauthorization. if it is not medically necessary to have the procedure at the hospital the payment will be denied. The Hospital association has cried foul, but the policy is a good one.
Augusta University health lost $9 million last fiscal year. They say the loss was due to a lack of physicians to treat patients. They have gone on a hiring spree and to date have hired an additional 40 new physicians and are looking for an additional 73. They must be really hard to work for. Top
Express Scripts has decided they know more than the physicians. They are planning to limit the number and strength of opiod physicians can prescribe for first time users. The ban does not include cancer patients or those on palliative or hospice. The length of time will be limited to seven days no matter what the physician writes for. CVS limits length to 10 days.
Peer Review and Employment
Stefan Pulst, a University of Utah neurologist, was removed from his position four months ago by the former senior vice president of health sciences. She resigned and her temporary replacement reinstated Pulst to his academic position. Others should be also reinstated. Top
In an article I was dreading but expected to see some day, some medical schools are actually doing "trigger warnings" before discussing some potentially distressing material in class. God help these students when they get into the real world. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this
article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the
time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers
should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the