CMS nominee Tavenner discloses $162K annual payout from U.S. hospital (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including Medicare nominee Marilyn Tavenner receives lifetime payout from largest U.S. hospital chain, public school lunch reform, and progress in diabetes treatment.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

Tavenner discloses possible conflict of interest. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services nominee Marilyn Tavenner disclosed that she is receiving $162,000 annually in retirement pay for the rest of her life from her former employer, Hospital Corporation of America, The Washington Times reports.

The country’s largest private hospital chain regularly lobbies for Medicare issues that Tavenner has influence over. Under federal conflict-of-interest rules, she can’t weigh in on any action that directly impacts HCA more than the rest of the industry.

School lunch reform. Public schools will have to serve more fruit and vegetables and less salt and fat under new USDA rules for publicly funded meal programs announced Wednesday. This is the first change to those nutrition standards in 15 years. So far, reactions to the changes have been mostly positive.

Visible progress for diabetes treatment. Better diabetes treatment has led to 50 percent fewer foot and leg amputations since the mid-1990s, according to new CDC data. Researchers also noted visible declines in other diabetes-related complications, including blindness and kidney failure.

A review of the FDA’s 2011 in pharmaceuticals. On the list of drugs cleared by the FDA last year are 30 innovative new drugs, eight of which targeted cancer and more than half of which were granted fast tracks for approval. Biotech Now has put together an analytical breakdown the drugs approved last year.

Lilly ends Jubilant joint venture. Eli Lilly has pulled out of a joint venture it started with India’s Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd. to provide low-cost outsourced early-stage drug development work, but the two companies will continue to work together under a separate drug discovery agreement signed in 2005.