Top Story

Kaiser Permanente reaches deal on three year contracts, Health Diagnostic Laboratory filed for bankruptcy (Morning Read)

Kaiser Permanente reached a deal on new contracts for workers and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. filed for bankruptcy.

TOP STORIES

Kaiser Permanente reached a tentative deal on new three-year contracts for 105,000 Kaiser workers nationwide, with the majority of them in California. The deal includes raises averaging two to four percent, depending on the region and timing.

Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The embattled lab company had moved from startup to a company with annual revenue upwards of $400 million in just a few short years. But the company, which provides advanced blood tests that it says help detect heart disease at an early stage,
had suffered from legal problems. It reached a $50 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over whether its payments to doctors amounted to kickbacks to induce them to order its tests.

LIFE SCIENCES

Massachusetts based Unum Therapeutics teamed up with Seattle Genetics in a $645 million immuno-oncology deal to combine antibody drug conjugate technology and cancer fighting research and development.

The FDA shut down production of drugs in 46 clinical trails at an NIH facility after finding fungus in two vials of albumin two months ago.

Opto Circuits’ Cardiac Sciences business won a $23 million lawsuit over Zoll Medical.

A new vaccine style treatment for rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated it is safe and effective.

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

A study shows 50 hospitals with the highest price markups based on data from 2012. Medicare researchers conducted the study, which was published in Health Affairs. “The researchers noted that hospital executives suggest high charge-to-cost ratios are partially attributable to the slow rate growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending and the need to have operating surpluses in order to remain in business.” From the researchers perspective it is more about the lack of price transparency and negotiating power by patients.

Jobs growth for hospitals is continuing to rise. In the past year hospitals have gained more than 100,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, . It increased for the 10th straight month according to the recently released report from the Labor Department.

The US Office of Personnel Management cybersecurity attack has been linked to similar incidents at Anthem and Premera.

CMS has launched an investigation into St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla following a CNN report claiming the hospital has a much higher than average mortality rate for pediatric heart procedures.

TECH

Cybersecurity firm TrapX released a report explaining that three targeted hospital attacks exploited an attack vector called MEDJACK for medical device hijack.

Telemedicine and soon-to-be public company Teladoc recently acquired Stat Health Services, which provides online doctor visits.

IMS Health launched two Apple Watch healthcare apps on their new healthcare app platform called IMSHealthWear 1.00.

POLITICS

President Obama is maybe getting a little stressed about the upcoming Supreme Court review of King v. Burwell. At a press conference during the Group of Seven Summit in Germany he said: “This should be an easy case, frankly it shouldn’t have even been taken up.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wants more funding for Lyme Disease research in order to develop better diagnostic and reporting tools.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) accused President Obama of “bullying the Supreme Court” in an effort to uphold a major part of his healthcare law. Barrasso said the court was wrong to take up the case challenging his law.

A LITTLE EXTRA

NASA is using Kauai skies to test new technology for landing larger spacecrafts and astronauts on Mars.

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: Flicker user Ted Eytan