Good morning ... Dustin Theoharis was addicted to opioids at the time police officers shot him 16 times. So, the miracle of surviving 16 gunshot wounds may have extended his life. But it has still exacted a heavy physical and emotional toll. This story is worth your time.
Workers who get health care coverage through their jobs are bearing the brunt of rising health care costs. And that’s mainly because health care prices keep going up, not because we’re using more health care services.
The big picture: Per-person spending is growing faster for private insurance than it is for Medicare or Medicaid, according to a new analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
By the numbers: Costs are rising for people who get coverage through their employers, but those people aren’t using more health care services, according to HCCI, which collects its data directly from insurance claims.
The bottom line: These 2 reports cement a lot of conventional wisdom about the health care system: Prices, not utilization, are driving up spending; and public programs control their costs more tightly than private plans, overall.
CMS administrator Seema Verma. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Utah lawmakers have answered the big questions about how they would seek to overturn a popular vote in favor of adopting the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Now the question is whether the Trump administration will let it happen.
Driving the news: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed off on a bill yesterday to adopt only a partial Medicaid expansion — something the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has never before approved.
Details: Utah wants to only expand Medicaid to people whose incomes are at or below the poverty line, as opposed to the full expansion, which goes up to 138% of the poverty line.
And the cuts could get bigger: Two officials from Herbert's administration told the Washington Post that CMS signaled the partial expansion would be on stronger footing if Utah also sought a per-person cap on Medicaid spending.
What's next: If CMS approves the partial expansion, expect lawsuits to follow immediately.
China is a long way from having a vibrant pharmaceutical industry, but is still pressing toward that goal.
Driving the news: My colleague Caitlin Owens flags a new report from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about China's "Made in China 2025" policy.
Where it stands: China has been trying to build up its own pharmaceutical industry for a while now.
Yes, but: China is a long way away from being able to seriously compete with the U.S. high-end drug industry, or to even be able to meet its own domestic demand.
New federal proposals aim to tear down barriers among hospitals, doctors, insurers, health IT companies and patients that prevent the free, secure exchange of patient records and data.
Why it matters: It's 2019. And yet, patients still can’t easily obtain all of their medical information, and doctors still can’t always receive or share important patient data with other clinicians.
The big picture: The public subsidized the multi-billion-dollar nationwide effort for hospitals, doctors and other providers to move from paper documents to electronic health records.
Go deeper: Ben Moscovitch, a health IT policy analyst at Pew Charitable Trusts, explained many other parts of the rules.
The Food and Drug Administration is looking to shake up the regulation of dietary supplements, which are not drugs but often make big — and false — clinical claims.
Driving the news: The agency sent warning letters to 12 companies yesterday that marketed their supplements as cures or treatments for Alzheimer’s. No cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s exists.
"I'm concerned that changes in the supplement market may have outpaced the evolution of our own policies and our capacity to manage emerging risks," FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told The Washington Post, previewing a broader review of the FDA's supplement regulations.
How it works: Dietary supplements are regulated as food products, not drugs, which means they don't receive FDA approval, and they're not allowed to claim that their products treat specific conditions.