The grueling presidential campaign disrupted the patterns of patients and physicians, at least for those at Bon Secours Health System.

Bon Secours — a $3 billion not-for-profit Catholic system that operates in six states — told bondholders earlier this week that its operating margin fell by almost half in the first quarter of its fiscal year, from 2.4% to 1.3%, due in part to "the uncertainties of the presidential election" and the mass shift toward more outpatient procedures. The system's quarter ended Nov. 30, three weeks after Trump and Republicans swept the field.

Other big factors: the pending changes to Medicare physician payments through MACRA and higher pharmaceutical costs, especially for oncology drugs.

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Uncertainty can be hard for humans. It drives anxiety, an emotion neuroscientists are trying to understand and psychologists are trying to better treat.

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Trump pushes back on changes to upcoming presidential debates

Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump suggested Thursday that he'll resist any moves that could cut off candidates' microphones in the next debate if he continues to talk over his opponent and the moderator.

  • "Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?" he tweeted.

The big picture: White House and campaign officials insist Trump is still committed to two remaining debates, despite fallout from Tuesday including poor reviews and discussions of new guardrails.