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POLITICO New York Health Care: In the aftermath of FEGS; sodium suit

Dear readers: POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive an enhanced version of this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York health care policy news throughout the day, please contact us at and we'll set you up for trial access.

written by Dan Goldberg

IN THE AFTERMATH OF FEGS — The collapse of the Federation Employment & Guidance Service a year ago sent shockwaves through the New York nonprofit world, with executives wondering who might be next. Its collapse must be seen against the backdrop of a crumbling industry that won’t survive without fundamental changes in reimbursement models and regulatory burdens, according to an exhaustive report from the Human Services Council. The report laid out three major problems with the industry and made eight recommendations, including reducing regulations, increasing reimbursement and warning providers to be more responsible and avoid contracts with the city or state that do not pay the full cost of services.

SODIUM SUIT — Sandro Galea, a former New York City Board of Health member who last week published a study that appeared detrimental to the city's sodium regulation, has signed an affidavit indicating his support for the new rule.

...The city and the National Restaurant Association are scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m.

DACA DOCTOR — Following a state appellate decision in June to unanimously allow an undocumented individual admission into the state bar, the state's Board of Regents voted Tuesday to adopt regulations allowing qualified undocumented immigrants to become licensed or certified to become physicians and teachers. POLITICO New York’s Josefa Velasquez has more:

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AND MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW Josefa and me on Twitter @J__Velasquez & @DanCGoldberg. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @katiedjennings

MENTAL HEALTH DAY — Mental health advocates ventured to the Capitol on Tuesday to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to include about $183 million in the state budget for improvements in community housing and mental health services.

NOW WE KNOW — Viking poop may hold clues to an inherited deficiency that predisposes people to emphysema and other lung conditions, according to an article in Nature.

WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: This roundup is for you, so please tell us how we can make it even better. Send tips, news, ideas, calendar items, releases, promotions, job postings, birthdays, congratulations, criticisms and corrections to

ZIKA CONCERNS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether Zika was spread sexually in 14 cases. If the virus can spread through sexual contact, controlling an outbreak would become much more difficult.

INVESTIGATING HEALTH REPUBLIC — Newsday reports: “The U.S. Department of Justice has forwarded to the FBI a request for a criminal investigation into the demise of the federally backed health insurer Health Republic.”

OBAMACARE NUMBERS — More than 2.8 million people enrolled in a health insurance plan through the state's exchange by the end of the 2016 open enrollment period, according to the state health department.

CHECK THIS OUT — The Manhattan Institute is hosting a conference March 23 on hospital consolidation and competition in New York State. Distinguished health care experts, from academia, business, and nonprofits, will examine various tools that policymakers can use to deliver better outcomes across New York’s vast health care ecosystem, including regulatory reforms to boost competition, better state and federal antitrust oversight, and value-based purchasing strategies.

...I’ll be moderating the first panel and want to know what you think I should ask and/or discuss. Email me at

SETTLED — The family of Eric Garner will receive a $1 million settlement from Richmond University Medical Center, the Staten Island hospital that dispatched paramedics to help Garner, the Associated Press reported.

EXPANSION — Buffalo Business First reports: “In an effort to expand its opioid treatment program, a Niagara County addictions agency hopes to move an existing methadone treatment program to a larger site.”

DON’T DO THAT — Dr. Robert Hadden, a gynecologist, admitted to sexually abusing two female patients Tuesday — but will get only a slap on the wrist with a loss of his medical license, according to the Daily News.

MAKING ROUNDS — Dr. Francis Ferdinand has been named the chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Albany Medical Center and will also serve as director of the hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery program.

ALSO MAKING ROUNDS — McDermott Will & Emery announced that Paul Hastings health care chair James F. Owens has joined McDermott as a partner in their Los Angeles-based practice.

COMING ATTRACTIONS — ​ New York Medical College will host a community lecture tonight at 7p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Public Library. NYU Langone Concussion Center is hosting a panel discussion on concussions in the media Thursday from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

ACROSS THE RIVER — As some municipalities begin a legal push challenging the tax exempt status of local nonprofit hospitals, legislators and hospitals say they’re waiting for guidance from Gov. Chris Christie, who pocket-vetoed a bipartisan bill last session that would have have let nonprofit hospitals that conduct some for-profit medical activities make annual community contributions and still maintain a tax-exempt status. In the meantime, at least seven municipalities have filed complaints regarding omitted tax assessments from area nonprofit hospitals for 2014 and 2015 with the Tax Court of New Jersey. Make sure you check out POLITICO New Jersey’s Katie Jennings story:


-CONFIRMATION — The confirmation vote for Food and Drug Administration commissioner nominee Robert Califf is scheduled for 11 a.m., according to Democratic aides. He is expected to be approved.

-HELPING HISPANICS — A bipartisan group of 42 representatives is calling on the FDA to expedite its decision on whether to allow folic acid to be added to tortillas in an effort to prevent birth defects in the Hispanic population. Read their letter:

-PRICE PROTECTION — Puerto Rico is freezing condom prices to prevent Zika profiteering, according to NPR.

-MONKEY BUSINESS — The National Institutes of Health will examine the use of nonhuman primates in all federally funded U.S. research labs.

-MARIJUANA POLICY ON HOLD — Noting that 22 amendments have been filed and more were being drafted, Senate President Andy Gardiner has delayed action on a bill that authorizes the terminally ill to use marijuana. POLITICO Florida’s Christine Sexton has more:

-BAD DEBT — Bloomberg News looks at hospitals’ bad debt, a problem many thought the Affordable Care Act would solve. But the rise of high deductible health plans means hospitals aren’t collecting thousands of dollars in bills.

-BABY BUST — Kaiser Health News examines the trend of rural hospitals closing labor and delivery units.

-VICTORY LAP — The unexpectedly smooth switchover to the ICD-10 coding system points the way for HHS to implement value-based care reimbursement and other complex initiatives, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said Tuesday, according to POLITICO. In the last three months of 2015, fewer than 2 percent of claims were rejected because of technical issues - about the same as under ICD-9 - and 0.07 percent of claims were denied, lower percentage than under the old system.

-WAR OF WORDS — The American Medical Association blasted drug companies for raising the price of Naloxone, according to POLITICO.

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Community Healthcare Network: “To round out American Heart Month, we recommend making some diet changes to protect your heart. Try omega-3 fatty acids, eat less sodium or salt, eat more fruits and vegetables and try dark chocolate. For recipes and more information:”


-REACTION — U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, a Bronx democrat and vice chair of the Democratic Caucus, said he was “extremely troubled” by a recent paper in the Journal on Medical Ethics, which suggested physicians perform a vulvar nick as a compromise with those who insist on female circumcision. Read Crowley’s entire statement here:

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up here: 2/23, 2/22, 2/19, 2/18, 2/17

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