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POLITICO New York Health Care: Aid in dying splits MSSNY -- City Council discusses prospective doula program -- Planned Parenthood fights to add abortion protections

By Amanda Eisenberg | 06/28/2018 09:59 AM EDT

AID IN DYING SPLITS MSSNY — A disputed survey has caused dissension among several members of the state's largest medical society, as it tries to grapple with one of the most sensitive issues a doctor can face. The Medical Society of the State of New York, which has roughly 30,000 members, announced last year it would poll doctors on the question of aid-in-dying, often referred to as medically assisted suicide. The survey came as the Legislature considered allowing prescriptions of lethal medications to patients with terminal illnesses. The society has long opposed aid in dying, otherwise known as physician-assisted suicide.

— MSSNY's own survey was emailed to approximately 10,000 people. Roughly 3,300 people opened the email and somewhere between 300 and 450 completed the survey. That relatively low response rate was boosted by groups - both for and against - forwarding the survey to sympathetic colleagues, hoping to juice the numbers. MSSNY put a halt to that and even though only a few hundred ended up completing the survey, the damage was done and MSSNY, citing that fact, has not released the results of the survey. Dan has more here.

ALBANY UPDATE — Paul Francis, the deputy secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about global budgeting and single payer health care at the New York Academy of Medicine Wednesday evening. Read some of the key takeaways here.

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MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW Dan @DanCGoldberg, Nick @NickNiedz and Amanda @aeis17 on Twitter.

NOW WE KNOW — U.S. pigs consume nearly as many antibiotics as people do, according to University of Minnesota researchers.

DOULA ACCESS — Two City Council committees listened to testimony from mothers, doulas, advocates, including one Council member's personal experience with a high-risk pregnancy, about bills that would expand doula services to pregnant New Yorkers. Read more from Amanda here.

ABORTION PROTECTIONS — If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, New York will not be protected, pro-abortion advocates warn. New York's abortion law is currently located in the penal code, and predates the 1970s-era court decision. The nation's high court is likely to shift to the right following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. Read more from Amanda here.

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ACROSS THE RIVER — Holy Name Medical Center has settled with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey over its controversial tiered network health plans, both parties announced in a joint statement. Holy Name's decision to settle leaves just two hospitals — The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and CentraState Medical Center in Freehold — remaining as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state's largest insurer, whose OMNIA health plans separate facilities into two tiers. More from POLITICO's Linh Tat here.

DEAL STRUCK, STRIKE SCUTTLED — The New York Nurses Association and Staten Island University Hospital have struck a tentative agreement on a three-year contract, averting a one-day strike that had been planned for July 3. Union members at the hospital will start vote Thursday and Friday whether to approve the contract.

DON'T DO THAT — The New York Post reports: "A former doctor has been indicted on charges of defrauding a 98-year-old Yonkers woman of more than $540,000 by impersonating her during calls with financial institutions, officials said. Corines, 71, of Eastchester, NY, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, identity theft and scheme to defraud, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said."

NEXT STEP — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute broke ground on the radiology oncology center to open in 2019 that it will operate jointly with Oneida Healthcare. Read more here.


FACEBOOK FRIEND — From STAT News: "Facebook users attempting to purchase opioids or seeking out addiction treatment will instead be redirected to information about a federal crisis help line, the company announced Tuesday, a major step for an industry leader facing pressure to more aggressively police illicit drug sales on its platform." Read more here.

PILL COUNT — The Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration are claiming that releasing the number of opioid prescriptions shipped to pharmacies across the country would spur robberies, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Read more here.

RUSHING INTO PROFIT — ProPublica investigates the flipside of the FDA's expedited drug approval processes: a windfall for drug makers, particularly for drugs that may have not stood up to regulatory scrutiny under the prior processes. Read more here.


MED MAR — Oklahoma will become the 30th state to enact a medical marijuana program, after voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot initiative doing so. Belying its conservative reputation, physicians will be allowed to prescribe the drug for almost any ailment and will be one of the most permissive laws in the country. Read more here.

UNDERESTIMATED — From Forensic Magazine: "Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health." Read more here.

JUST A REMINDER — From MarketWatch: "More than half of women who got an abortion last year were using at least one form of contraception, according to data released by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a United Kingdom charity that provides reproductive health services, including abortions." Read more here.

TRIAL SUSPENDED — "Hennepin Healthcare is suspending a clinical trial of the sedative ketamine in emergency situations following criticism that its hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, enrolled patients in the study without their knowledge," the Associated Press reports.

ZIKA, LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE — From The New York Times: "Scientists have captured the clearest and most detailed image yet of Zika, the virus that set off a global health crisis in 2015 and 2016 and left thousands of babies with serious birth defects." Read more here.

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Slate, which breaks down the best sunscreen and sunscreen-protective clothing for children and babies.


ANTIVIRAL — Antiviral genes have an enzyme that generates a compound to stop viruses from replicating, according to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Read the rest of the study here.

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