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POLITICO New York Health Care: New twist in Zika transmission; Beth Israel relocates inpatient rehab

07/18/2016 10:00 AM EDT

Good morning! You are receiving the complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Health Care newsletter. Pro subscribers are receiving an enhanced version of this newsletter at 5:45 a.m. each weekday, which includes a look-ahead and robust analysis of health care policy news driving the day. If you would like the Pro version of this newsletter, along with customized real-time insights on New York health care, please contact us here and we will set you up with trial access. Thank you for reading!

written by Dan Goldberg

FEMALE TO MALE ZIKA TRANSMISSION - New York City reported the world's first case of female-to-male sexual transmission of the Zika virus on Friday, opening a new front in the virus's spread. A woman in her 20s returned from a Zika-infected country last month and had unprotected sex her first day back in New York City, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The woman, who is not pregnant, showed symptoms the next day, indicating to health officials that her viral load was high when she had vaginal sex. The woman, whose name was not released, was also early in her menstrual cycle and reported her period was heavier than normal, according to Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control with the city's health department. That likely aided in the transmission of the virus, as did the fact that her partner was uncircumcised.

BETH ISRAEL LOSING ITS INPATIENT REHAB - Beth Israel Medical Center announced Friday it would relocate its inpatient rehabilitation unit, marking the beginning of a four-year transformation that will see the hospital downsized and many services absorbed by Mount Sinai Health, its corporate parent.

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K2 DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A STATEWIDE PROBLEM - The 54 counties north of Westchester have been relatively unaffected by overdoses of synthetic marijuana, according to monthly data reported to Poison Control at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez has more:

A GAME OF CATCHING UP - The New York Times reports: "The police raids around a gritty Brooklyn intersection were meant to show that city officials were taking charge after 33 people had been stricken by suspected overdoses of K2. But the spectacle, captured by a crush of news media, came up all but empty, without a single packet of the drug seized."

SCHUMER IS ON IT - Sen. Chuck Schumer called for banning nearly two dozen substances in synthetic drugs such as "K2" and "spice" on Sunday.

NOW WE KNOW - The New York Times examines a study by experts perplexed by the burning question of how much weed is in a typical joint.

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BROOKDALE PARTNERS IN NEURO - Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center is expanding its neurosurgery capacity, partnering with two Brooklyn-based medical groups - Interventional Neuro Associates, and Drs. John Miller and Nicholas Post who specialize in stroke care and other neurovascular conditions.

WAGE RALLY - Advocates, state lawmakers and health care providers rallied on the steps of City Hall Friday, calling for more comprehensive Medicaid funding for direct care providers who work with the developmentally disabled. POLITICO New York's Addy Baird has more:

SEX EMOJIS - The city's public hospitals are using emojis to encourage young people to talk about sex and reproductive health, The New York Times reports.

THAT'S GROSS - A wide range of pollutants has been found in the Hudson River, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products and insect repellents, a new study has found. You can read the study here:

AUDIT - Two managed care organizations that contract with the state's Department of Health made millions of dollars in "improper and questionable" payments over a four-year period, according to an audit from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. United HealthCare and Amerigroup, which contract with DOH to coordinate care for Medicaid beneficiaries, made at least $6.6 million in payments to ineligible providers, including almost $60,000 in payments to pharmacies for medications that were prescribed by deceased doctors. Read the audit here:

SIGNED - The three unions that represent employees at Buffalo-based Kaleida Health ratified a new three-year master bargaining agreement.

WISH LIST - Becker's asked seven hospital CEOs - including two from New York - what they would change in health care. See their answers here:

SETTLED - State Sen. Jeff Klein, who has denounced Herbalife's multilevel-marketed health supplement business as a "pyramid scheme," welcomed a settlement between the company and the Federal Trade Commission. Herbalife agreed to pay $200 million and improve disclosures on its products - which include diet shakes and body creams - about the number of people who actually use them, according to the Wall Street Journal. As a result, the FTC will not classify it as a pyramid scheme. Herbalife stock jumped nearly 10 percent on Friday.

RAT RACE - Scientists are tagging New York City rats with RFID microchips to study their behavior and potential for transmitting disease.

MAKING ROUNDS - Dr. Sandeep P. Kishore, associate director of The Arnhold Institute and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Health System Design & Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has been elected to a five-year term as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations..

ACROSS THE RIVER: The owner of for-profit hospital chain CarePoint Health is behind a secret, $1 million donation made late last year to a super PAC tied to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year. Read more from my colleagues at POLITICO New Jersey.

PHARMA REPORT: Teva, the world's largest generic drug company, is officially a member of the brand-drug lobbying powerhouse PhRMA.


-RATE SETTING - The New York Times looks at the four states - Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming - where the federal government is in charge of reviewing health insurance rates.

-TERRIBLE FIRST DATE CONVERSATION - Gonorrhea may soon become untreatable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the bacteria is developing resistance to all known treatments.

- HOSPITAL SHOOTING - The Associated Press reports: "A gunman entered a Florida hospital through the emergency room early Sunday, went to the third floor and fatally shot a patient and an employee apparently at random, police said."

-DON'T DO THAT - CBC News reports: "An Edmonton doctor was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail after being convicted last month of sexually assaulting a nurse at a Medicentre in 2013. 'I am imposing a short jail term because I know it will have a profound effect on Dr. Taher and his family,' provincial court Judge Greg Lepp said in his sentencing remarks Wednesday."

TODAY'S TIP - Comes from Everyday Health which offers healthy drink recipes.


- VENUS AND MARS - Researchers from The City College of New York's Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine, Yale University and Yeshiva University, say medications that help people quit smoking affect men and women differently.

-RHYTHM AND BLUES - Researchers at my alma mater, Binghamton University, say genetic and cultural factors impact the circadian blood pressure, which may explain ethnic differences in cardiovascular morbidity.

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