Good morning. My condolences to all of the real Nats fans out there. But hey, this isn't over yet!
Today's word count is 912 words, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Hospital-based programs are working with employers and community organizations to tackle gun violence and suicide, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.
What's happening: Companies have pleaded with Congress to pass stronger gun control laws to help stop workplace shootings and suicides. But as bills from the House stall in the Senate, employers are turning to health care providers for help.
By the numbers: The suicide rate among adults ages 16 to 64 rose 34% from 2000 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Where it stands: Businesses don't want to get into partisan conversations about gun violence. Instead, they're working with clinicians on access to treatment, warning signs and safety measures for employees, per the Harvard Business Review.
Yes, but: Many employees still struggle to get their mental health treatment covered, NPR reports.
The bottom line: The American Psychological Association found the percentage of people dealing with suicidal thoughts increased by 47% from 2008 to 2017.
If you have any thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please pick up the phone right now and call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Private equity firms don't just own physician firms and air ambulances that would be most affected by eradicating surprise bills. They also hold stakes in the companies that help health insurers determine what they should pay for out-of-network care, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Why it matters: Private equity has its footprint all throughout health care, but these financial firms especially have a lot on the line in Congress.
By the numbers: Seven major companies — CareCentrix, MedRisk, MultiPlan, naviHealth, One Call, Paradigm and Zelis — are hired by insurers to handle "health care cost containment," which includes things like bill editing and renegotiating out-of-network claims, according to Moody's Investors Service.
The big picture: Everything hinges on Congress' leading solution, which would use a benchmark rate to pay out-of-network providers.
Yes, but: Because some of these companies already handle medical bill negotiating between providers and insurers, they "could play an active role in setting benchmark pricing for the industry and could even monetize their expertise," Moody's wrote.
Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Sen. Kamala Harris said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that she changed her approach to Medicare for All after understanding how many Americans feel strongly about keeping their private health insurance.
At first, she embraced Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan that would end private insurance, but then rolled out an alternative in July that would preserve a role for private insurance to compete inside a government-run system.
My thought bubble: Harris' swift evolution says volumes about the Democratic party's uneasiness with Medicare for All.
Methamphetamine led to more drug overdose deaths in 19 western states in 2017 than fentanyl, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Between the lines: This was the first time that the CDC has broken down regional differences in overdose deaths by drug, the Wall Street Journal writes.
What they're saying: "It has important implications around what we do for prevention and where resources need to go," Holly Hedegaard, an author of the CDC report, told the WSJ. "Clearly, not all drug problems are the same."
What we're watching: The meth overdose rate has risen from 0.6 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2011 to 2.9 in 2017 — a growth trajectory similar to what researchers saw with heroin and fentanyl.