Situational awareness: Between 2006 and 2012, 15% of pharmacies purchased 48% of total opioid pills, the Washington Post found.
Today's word count is 750, or ~3 minutes.
Surprise medical bills have gotten more common and more expensive, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
These bills can be devastating to patients, even those who have some savings and a steady source of income.
The big picture: The study used an Optum database to look at patients covered by a large commercial insurer who received either inpatient or emergency care at hospitals covered by their insurance, and got a bill for out-of-network care.
Yes, but: Most hospitals don't produce out-of-network bills this often. The results are skewed by serial offenders.
What we're watching: Congress has vowed to prohibit surprise medical bills, but its leading approach is under attack from hospital and doctors' groups.
California's law, which mirrored the approach pending in Congress, shifted contract negotiations in insurers' favor, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.
Go deeper: We all pay for surprise emergency room bills
The Trump administration's newly finalized “public charge” rule extends a series of policy changes that could negatively affect the health of both legal and undocumented immigrants in the U.S., Dave Chokshi of NYC Health + Hospitals writes for Axios Expert Voices.
The administration's policy affects Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps and public housing.
What to watch: The Homeland Security Department's “public charge” rule is likely to be challenged in court before Oct. 15, when it's scheduled to take effect.
Chokshi is the chief population health officer at New York City Health + Hospitals and a primary care physician at Bellevue Hospital.
The universe of people covered by the Affordable Care Act keeps narrowing, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
Between the lines: People who make too much money to qualify for help paying their premiums are fleeing the ACA’s insurance exchanges. But the exchanges are still pretty stable for people who receive premium subsidies, according to new federal data.
You can see two clear trends in these data.
Sam's thought bubble: This is the continuation of a somewhat ironic trend. As the ACA’s coverage expansion has shrunk, the law has evolved to look more like a traditionally liberal health care program.
Drugmakers are striking deals with hospital systems for access to patients' genetic information, the WSJ reports.
But the gene-sequencing deals are raising some concerns with legal experts and patient advocates, who say that patients may not know how their data is being used or profited from.
Public health officials announced Monday they had gathered enough preliminary data to determine that 2 of the 4 investigational treatments for Ebola performed better than the others, my colleague Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
Why it matters: There are no FDA-approved treatments for Ebola. Researchers testing drugs during the DRC's largest outbreak found a cocktail of 3 antibodies called REGN-EB3 was most effective, followed closely by monoclonal antibody 114.