Patients protest at HHS, the ‘Cures’ bill passed unanimously, ASCO pay reforms (Morning Read)

Also, Karen Ignagni is leaving AHIP, IBM gets some Apple Watch support, Abivax goes IPO, Press Ganey now has stock, and the feds dangle some healthcare relief to Florida.


The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a medical cures bill shortly after reaching a bipartisan $13 billion deal to pay for the legislation.

A “paint-in” protests in front of HHS over the right to patient information (with lots of photos and Ted Eytan’s take: “My opinion is that this is less about a number in a regulation than it is about an interest in being accessible to the people we serve.”).

Here are details of ASCO’s proposed payment restructuring.

It consolidates billing codes into three categories – new patient, treatment and active monitoring – and reduces 58 procedure codes down to about a dozen. It also includes a bundled payment approach that would set target spending levels for services.


Abivax has filed for an IPO to jumpstart its Hepatitis B and HIV treatments.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is seeking feedback on a new draft guideline aimed at clarifying the scientific evidence necessary to support the authorization of new gene therapies.

Otonomy’s experimental drug did not reduce vertigo in patients with Ménière’s disease. But it will go on with a third-stage trial.

Former Pfizer executive Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos is the new CEO of Synlogic.

Reimbursement is a major concern for startup medical device companies, according to a panel at LifeScience Alley’s ‘Leading the Conversation in Medtech’ event.


Karen Ignagni is leaving AHIP to run EmblemHealth.

Press Ganey’s stock closed at $27.50 per share.

Lahey Health said it had to cut 130 staff because of costly Epic implementation, training on the new system and the impact of the severe Massachusetts winter driving up snow removal costs.

Jen Chahanovich will be the new CEO of Wilcox Memorial Hospital and the Kauai Medical Clinic.

San Francisco’s Daughters of Charity Medical Foundation continues to crumble.

Nothing for nothing, but setting a salary floor of $11 per hour is not a big deal.

How do systems shift to a value-based healthcare when many healthcare organizations are still stuck in a fee-for-service world? A roundtable discussion could provide answers.

Is yelling really the way to have effective communication in the hospital? Seems to work for nurses.

Anthem Blue Cross, one of the California’s and the Bay Area’s largest health plans, has named a new president to succeed Mark Morgan, who left last month for Amgen. He will be replaced by J. Brian Ternan.


A new research project will study whether social incentives will improve remote monitoring.

This texting program got people to their regular physical exams more often.

Here’s the latest on the he Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) diversity dilemma.

Evolving ourselves and our society for the better through technology will require a far more diverse talent pool in science and engineering fields than the alarmingly resilient white- and Asian-male pool we’re running with today.

Some IBM apps are getting Apple Watch support.


The feds are dangling $1.6 billion to Florida for hospital reimbursement.

Health Care providers evaluating billing compliance for psychotherapy services should take caution from a recent multi-million dollar settlement under the federal False Claims Act involving allegedly unnecessary intensive outpatient psychotherapy (IOP) services.


In an effort to land new robo-buddies safely Mars, a collaboration of scientists has developed an innovative robot hang glider prototype: MARSDROP.

The scientist behind the idea is Rebecca Williams of the Planetary Science Institute (PSI). To get the parachute idea off the ground (and floating in the air) she collaborated with Matthew Eby of the Aerospace Corporation and a team of engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Morning Read provides a 24-hour wrap up of everything else healthcare’s innovators need to know about the business of medicine (and beyond). The author of The Read published it but all full-time MedCity News journalists contribute to its content.

Photo: Flickr user Ted Eytan