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Dear readers: POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it at that time, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York health care policy news throughout the day, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set you up for trial access.
written by Dan Goldberg
A ‘CRISIS’ IN BROOKLYN — Calling the health of some Brooklyn neighborhoods a "crisis," Borough President Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett unveiled updated health profiles for every community district in the borough. Adams described the report as a "troubling diagnosis." But missing from Wednesday's press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall was any semblance of a treatment plan. Instead, Bassett said she hoped the information would spur community boards to action and inspire local change. While it is true everyone has a role to play, Adams said he would like the health department, over the next few weeks, to come up with some plan or policy prescription to address these issues. Adams said "everything should be on the table," in this fight, including politically unpopular solutions such as taxing unhealthy items or rezoning certain areas to keep out unhealthy fast food restaurants. Read my full story. http://politi.co/1PhbPwZ
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HELP FROM LLAMAS — The Wall Street Journal writes about the stable of therapy animals used at Andrus, a Westchester mental health provider, to help children who have suffered severe trauma, stress and other emotional-health issues, as well as children with autism and ADHD. http://on.wsj.com/1Llwl9I
NOW WE KNOW — Are you struggling to impress your potential in-laws? Well, an article in Human Nature suggests that bribing them won’t work. Instead, try showing them that you’re a good influence on their child. Small warning: the researchers found these tactics were more likely to influence mothers than fathers. http://bit.ly/1OvVmoG
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** A message from PhRMA: In 2013 alone, the biopharmaceutical industry invested more than $553 million dollars in clinical trials in New York. Learn more about the economic impact of clinical trials in our communities at http://bit.ly/1O64IWa **
NEW RULES FOR HOME HEALTH AIDES — WNYC’s Fred Mogul reports that home health aides are getting a raise thanks to new federal rules that require increased pay for overtime. Their time driving to and from cases will now count toward their hours. http://bit.ly/1jAZzKq
PROTEST AT THE CAPITOL — The Albany Times-Union reports: “Members of the disabled community gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to press the state Department of Health to release funds allocated to cover a federally mandated increase in the overtime costs of home health care aids.” http://bit.ly/1K9VKBs
NEW PROGRAM — The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will launch a new Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics degree beginning in Fall 2016, according to a press release from the school. http://bit.ly/1K9RSjG
COMING SOON — The New York State Health Foundation and the Healthcare Association of New York State are holding a payment reform summit on November 2 at the Brooklyn Marriott. It is geared for those who are at various points along the curve in adopting new payment arrangements. See the agenda here: http://bit.ly/1jAZWEN
ACROSS THE RIVER — New Jersey’s fifth medical marijuana dispensary will open to patients today. The Department of Health granted Breakwater Treatment & Wellness in Cranbury the final permit to operate as an alternative treatment center after an inspection of the facility, according to a news release. This will be the second facility to open in the central New Jersey region. The first was the Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge.
INSURANCE REPORT: POLITICO reports: “Community Health Alliance, a startup health plan in Tennessee seeded with federal loan dollars under the Affordable Care Act, will shut down at the end of the year. The co-op becomes the six such nonprofit plan to collapse. Roughly 27,000 customers will need to find new coverage when the next enrollment period begins Nov. 1. There had been earlier signs that the insurer was struggling. The co-op cut off enrollment midway through the 2015 enrollment period, citing concerns about the mix of customers that it was attracting. The Tennessee insurer lost $22 million during its first year of operations, according to financial filings.Under the ACA, 23 nonprofit startups were provided low-interest loans totaling $2.4 billion. Co-op plans based in New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, and Iowa have also collapsed because of financial difficulties.”
PHARMA REPORT: The Wall Street Journal looks at the legal dispute that has ensnared a $100 million research effort to test new Alzheimer’s drugs. “The dispute highlights the growing financial stakes for academic institutions when it comes to research. Academic research centers manage significant corporate and federal grants, including large ‘center grants’ that are increasingly granted to institutions with expertise to carry out multiple trials in the same disease area. The big money at stake, and the possibility to share in the fruits of any commercial successes, can lead to significant tension over ownership of intellectual work.” http://on.wsj.com/1OvV3Ko
-FEDS LOOKING INTO DRUG PRICING — The Wall Street Journal reports that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has received subpoenas from federal prosecutors seeking information related to how it prices drugs, distributes them and helps patients afford the medicines. http://on.wsj.com/1OwKUgo
WHAT WE’RE READING:
-MONEY ON THE SIDELINES — The minds at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services thought they had come up with a pretty good idea. They would begin paying physicians for chronic care management sessions. They offered $42. But very few seem interested, according to Modern Healthcare. “The CMS estimates 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries—roughly 35 million—would be eligible, but CMS has only received reimbursement requests for 100,000 beneficiaries thus far.” http://bit.ly/1PhapT1
TODAY'S TIP — Comes from the state’s health department. “Flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness.”
-SPEED PILL — Placebos can make you run faster. “Qualitative data suggest that placebo may have improved performance by both reducing perception of effort and increasing potential motivation, in accord with the psychobiological model for exercise performance, and that cognitive and noncognitive processes appear to have influenced placebo response.” http://1.usa.gov/1Ph9oKE
** A message from PhRMA: Every day in New York, countless people fight life-threatening diseases. Their bravery inspires countless researchers and scientists across the country in their quest to develop medicines that help patients live longer, healthier lives. Here in New York, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested more than $553 million during the 2,476 clinical trials that took place in 2013 alone. Each step brings us closer to a cure. To learn more, please visit http://bit.ly/1O64IWa **
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