Industry News: Volume 3, Issue 18

UnitedHealth CEO estimates one-third of Americans could be impacted by Change Healthcare cyberattack

By Ashley Capoot

cnbc.comUnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty on Wednesday told lawmakers that data from an estimated one-third of Americans could have been compromised in the cyberattack on its subsidiary Change Healthcare, and that the company paid a $22 million ransom to hackers.

Witty testified in front of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which falls under the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce. He said the investigation into the breach is still ongoing, so the exact number of people affected remains unknown. 

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Biden administration will expand health care coverage for immigrants under DACA

By Quinn Owen – The Biden administration has finalized plans to expand government-subsidized health insurance for people brought to the country illegally as children but shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Immigrants with DACA status receive protections from deportation but had been formerly barred from receiving health care coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.

But now, an estimated 100,000 previously uninsured DACA holders can enroll in coverage, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, fulfilling a pledge the White House made last year.

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Walmart will close all of its health care clinics

By Nathaniel Meyersohn

cnn.comNew YorkCNN — Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, will close all 51 of its health care centers in six states and end virtual health care services, the company said Tuesday.

Walmart had made a big push into health care in recent years, opening clinics next to its superstores that offered primary and urgent care, labs, X-rays, behavioral health and dental work — Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. Walmart believed it could use its massive financial scale and store base to offer convenient, low-cost services to patients in rural and underserved areas that lacked primary care options.

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 Nonprofit hospitals aren’t immune to FTC’s noncompete ban, lawyers, Fitch analysts warn

By Dave Muoio – The widespread ban on noncompete contracts finalized last week by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will throw a wrench into the staffing and finances of nonprofit hospitals, legal experts and Fitch Ratings analysts say.

Those changes are expected despite the agency’s limited jurisdiction over entities that aren’t corporations, experts say.

The rule, which forbids new noncompetes and has organizations stop enforcing existing noncompetes for all but senior executives, is slated to take effect 120 days after its April 30 publication in the Federal Register.

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CDC: Hospitals no longer required to report COVID-19 data

By Jeff Lagasse – Beginning Wednesday, hospitals are no longer required to report COVID-19 hospital admissions, hospital capacity, or hospital occupancy data to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To date, hospitals had reported the data to HHS through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

While hospitals are no longer required to submit the data, the CDC is still encouraging them to do so voluntarily. 

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After downsizing health care for years, Pentagon says medical readiness was a casualty

By Quil Lawrence – The Air Force put Todd Rasmussen through medical school, and he planned to serve a while and then go into private practice at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He started his military career as a vascular surgeon in Northern Virginia, a few weeks before Sept. 11, 2001.

“You could sort of see smoke from the Pentagon. I thought, boy, my military career as a surgeon … it’s gonna be vastly different than what I expected,” he recalls.

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3 in 4 Americans feel that mental health takes a back seat to physical health

By Dr. Ruchi Rachmale and Dr. Pareena Kaur – Even though one in five Americans lives with a mental illness, many feel it is not adequately addressed, with a new survey from West Health and Gallup suggesting that three in four Americans believe mental health conditions are not identified and treated in the same way as physical health conditions.

Roughly 60% of Americans give a poor or failing grade to how mental health conditions are treated, according to the survey.

“The magnitude [of the problem] really surprised me,” said Tim Lash, President of West Health.

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