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By Amanda Eisenberg and Nick Niedzwiadek | 06/21/2018 10:00 AM EDT
WHO WON, WHO LOST — In the waning days of this year's session, the Legislature again voted to expand the medical marijuana program and establish a way for people to dispose of their unwanted drugs, while leaving staffing ratios at health-care facilities and a health insurance guarantee fund by the wayside. With the slim GOP-majority in the state Senate further eroded by the absence of Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) due to military service, hopes of major legislation passing dimmed considerably and lawmakers were mostly content to bang out smaller deals and pass key local tax extenders. That left health care issues on the back burner, at least for the most part. Nick has more on what passed — and what didn't — this session here.
OPIOID DEPENDENCY — NYC Health + Hospitals says it is increasingly taking responsibility for patients with behavioral health problems like opioid addiction and mental health disorders as nonprofit hospitals scale back on beds for that vulnerable population. More from Amanda here.
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NOW WE KNOW — Materialistic people tend to spend more time on Facebook and view their "friends" as digital objects, according to a paper published in Heliyon. Those people also tend to compare themselves with others on Facebook more intensely.
LAWSUIT — NYU Hospitals won a partial victory Wednesday when a federal judge ruled that part of its lawsuit against the state's largest health care union may proceed. NYU Hospitals left the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes, a bargaining unit that represents four other major academic medical centers and negotiates labor contracts with 1199SEIU, in 2017. That decision sparked a protracted legal battle over how much NYU Hospitals was required to pay to the union's benefit fund. Read more from Dan here.
N.Y. DOCTORS PROTEST SEPARATION — More than 60 New York doctors and ethicists co-signed a petition with medical professionals across the country urging the Trump administration to stop its practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. More from Amanda here.
— "This situation is a threat to the long-term health of these children," Thomas Madejski, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, said in a statement. "Although we recognize the need to assure safe borders, the forced separation of children from their parents or other adult caregivers poses a great risk to these children."
WATER CONTAMINATION — The state filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against six companies that manufactured products with chemicals that have contaminated water supplies in several communities. The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, targets companies that made firefighting foam containing PFOA and PFOS. It aims to recoup $36 million spent on addressing water contamination crises near airports where the foam was used, including communities in Newburgh, Southampton, Plattsburgh and Rome. The manufacturers the state has sued are 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, National Foam, Inc., and Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. More from POLITICO's Marie J. French here.
— The Trump administration finally released a delayed report on toxic water contamination on Wednesday, months after White House officials expressed fears it would spark a "public relations nightmare" if released. As expected, the report by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that toxic nonstick chemicals that have leaked into communities' drinking water supplies endanger human health at levels the EPA had previously deemed safe. More from our D.C. colleagues here.
UNDERWOOD SUES TRUMP ADMIN — New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is one of two chief legal officers suing the Trump administration for undermining the ACA public exchanges through its expansion of association health plans. More from Dan here.
LEGAL AID — Hofstra University's law school is working with Northwell Health to provide legal services to certain patients free of charge, with the help of a $512,000 state grant. The program will help patients work through things like denial of coverage for needed medical care. Read more here.
DON'T DO THAT — The Buffalo News reports: "A 55-year-old patient at Sisters Hospital was charged Tuesday night with starting a fire in a garbage can in her room, according to a Buffalo police report."
SENIOR CARE — Walgreens and Humana will open new Partners in Primary Care centers in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, reports Healthcare Dive. Read more here.
LAYOFFS — Purdue Pharma laid off its entire sales team, Vice reports.
WHAT WE'RE READING:
HEADED TO ABUSE — Migrant children separated from their parents are likely to head to facilities where abuse is rampant, according to an investigative piece from the Texas Tribune. One 11-year-old Guatemalan boy was sexually abused in a shelter; his mother only received the police report and an $800 bill from his stay in a New York hospital. Read more here.
MY SHINY TEETH AND ME — An $80-a-month startup wants to fix patients teeth without having them see an orthodontist, Business Insider reports.
DETAINED — From Kaiser Health News: "The Trump administration has detained 2,322 children 12 years old or younger amid its border crackdown, a Department of Health and Human Services official told Kaiser Health News on Wednesday. They represent almost 20 percent of the immigrant children currently held by the U.S. government in the wake of its latest immigrant prosecution policy." Read more here.
NEW KID IN TOWN — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have chosen Atul Gawande to lead and lend cache to their joint health care venture, Read more here.
THE 24-HOUR TUMOR GOING AROUND — The New York Times breaks down how medical professionals can approach patients with health anxiety. Read more here.
HOW TO SAVE A LIFE — The Kate Spade fashion brand will donate $1 million to mental health awareness and suicide prevention causes in honor of its founder and namesake, who took her own life this month, according to Racked. A quarter of the donation will go to the Crisis Text Line, with an additional $100,000 match for donations received by June 29. Read more from Racked here.
THIS IS THE END — After a 12-year run, health care watchdog publication HealthNewsReview.org will cease its operations. Read more here.
TODAY'S TIP — Placing a child on their stomachs helps strengthen their neck, body, and shoulder muscles and provides other benefits, writes Dr. Perri Klass.
JUST AS GOOD — IV acetaminophen is no more effective than oral acetaminophen for patients undergoing colorectal procedures, according to a new study from Mount Sinai researchers. Check it out here.
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