Top Story

Morning Read: Primary care pay continues to grow faster than specialties, ‘nightmare bacteria’ reaches U.S.

Plus, the FDA approves the first implanted device to treat opioid addiction, Ohio takes over a struggling insurance co-op and VC funding for digital health is on pace for a record year.

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TOP STORIES

Healthcare reform is slowly helping reverse a trend that has driven spending growth for years: dwindling income for primary care physicians encouraging new medical school graduates to go into specialty care.

According to a new report from the Medical Group Management Association, median compensation for PCPs grew by 4 percent in 2015 to a slightly more than $250,000. That’s faster than the 3 percent growth rate measured in specialties; specialties earned about $425,000 on average, including salaries, benefits and bonuses.

In the last five years, compensation in primary care has expanded by 18 percent, compared to 11 percent in specialties, the Englewood, Colorado-based MGMA reported. — MGMA

The “nightmare bacteria” family known as CRE has been found in the U.S. for the first time. Since it’s resistant to colistin, usually the antibiotic of last resort against superbugs, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden suggested that we may be nearing the “end of the road” for antibiotics. — The Washington Post

LIFE SCIENCES

The FDA has approved Probuphine, an implanted device that delivers a low dosage of buprenorphine over a six-month period to treat opioid addiction. It’s a big win for Titan Pharmaceuticals and its marketing partner, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals. — FierceBiotech

Shares of Reata Pharmaceuticals jumped more than 11 percent during the company’s trading debut on Thursday, though Reata priced the IPO nearly a third below a previously announced range. — MarketWatch

British specialty pharma firm Atlantic Healthcare has set up a U.S. office in Raleigh, North Carolina. — Business Wire

PAYERS/PROVIDERS

The State of Ohio has taken over struggling health insurance cooperative Coordinated Health Mutual, which sold Obamacare plans under the InHealth Mutual brand. — The Columbus Dispatch

CVS is now allowing people to go online to view wait times and hold a place in line at MinuteClinic locations. — PR Newswire

Indiana insurance regulators have signed off on Aetna’s purchase of Cigna HealthCare of Indiana. — Business Wire

At the 2016 ASCO annual meeting, Quest Diagnostics announced that it was offering three new genetic test services for assessing the risk of hereditary cancers. — PR Newswire

An addiction treatment company in Iowa has sued Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield for fraud, claiming that the payer is trying to put St. Gregory Retreat Centers out of business. — The Des Moines Register

After a lifesaving liver transplant at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a former Procter & Gamble executive is donating $1 million to the hospital. — Cincinnati Business Courier

TECHNOLOGY

Based on a $2 billion first quarter, VC funding for digital health is on pace to break the annual record set last year. — CB Insights

Dr. Emad Rizk has unexpectedly stepped down from his post as CEO of revenue-cycle management company Accretive Health. COO  Joseph Flanagan has been elevated to to the top spot. — St. Louis Business Journal

Dell Services has hired Dan Allison as VP and global GM of Dell’s Healthcare and Life Sciences division. — DOTmed

The Medical Device Innovation Consortium is circulating draft best practices for early feasibility studies. — Business Wire

Apple is hiring a healthcare lawyer who knows HIPAA. — MobiHealthNews

POLITICS

Ohio nursing license plate

Ohio lawmakers have voted to create a special license plate to fund nursing scholarships and research grants. — PR Newswire

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

Are frat boys immune to anti-alcoholism programs? — Reuters

Photo: Bigstock