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As virus surges, critics say UK hasn’t learned from mistakes

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Britain bungled its response to the coronavirus the first time around. Now many scientists fear it's about to do it again.The virus is on the rise once more in the U.K., which has recorded almost 42,000 COVID-19 deaths, with confirmed daily infections hitting a record-high 6,634 on Thursday, though deaths remain far below their April peak.The surge has...

Trump to issue preexisting condition, surprise billing orders with little enforcement

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President Donald Trump on Thursday will announce executive orders on the topics of protecting people with preexisting conditions and surprise billing that will have little practical consequence as he works to bolster his healthcare record. Trump has faced criticism from Democrats for advocating that the entire Affordable Care Act be struck down in court, including the law's protections...

CMS chief Verma calls for action over declines in child health services during pandemic

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Newly released CMS data points to a troubling trend of stark declines in vaccinations and service use rates for primary and preventive care since the start of the pandemic among young Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, officials for the agency say.A preliminary data "snapshot" released by CMS on Wednesday shows a 22% drop in vaccinations received by children age...

Home care nurses account for most malpractice claims over five-year period

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Home care nurses were more vulnerable to professional liability claims than any other nursing specialty from 2015 to 2019, according to a new report. The findings, recently released by professional liability insurance providers Nurses Service Organization and CNA, signal the first time nurses in home care made up the most malpractice suits than other nurse specialty since the...

House passes government funding bill, including plan to extend Medicare loan repayments

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The House Tuesday night passed a bipartisan bill that will fund the federal government through Dec. 11 and relax Medicare loan terms for healthcare providers.Lawmakers passed the deal—359 to 57—after negotiating through the day to reach a consensus. The package is designed to avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1. While House Democrats and the White House decided to...

Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel Hilferty to retire

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Prominent health insurance executive Daniel Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Health Group, is retiring at the end of this year, the company said Tuesday. Philadelphia-based Independence, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliate Independence Blue Cross, chose Gregory Deavens, its executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, to take the helm starting Jan....

Rural hospitals say federal work rule leaves them vulnerable

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Franklin Hospital, a small critical access facility in southeastern Illinois, is used to having its 180 employees jump in to cover for each other, says Rhonda Boehne, the hospital's director of human resources.But changes made to new federal family and sick leave rules will make that harder and, some rural healthcare providers say, maybe even impossible.Providers initially weren't...

Federal funding bill relaxes Medicare loan repayment terms, delays DSH cuts

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House Democrats' bill to extend funding for the federal government through mid-December included a provision that would relax repayment terms for COVID-19 Medicare loans.CMS Administrator Seema Verma confirmed on Friday that the agency is delaying recoupment on the Medicare loans as lawmakers haggled over legislation to avoid a government shutdown weeks before an election. The bill would also...

COVID ‘long haulers’ suffer symptoms weeks, months later

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In the early hours of an April morning, at her home in Erie, Malea Anderson woke up with what felt like an explosion of ice water up her spine and into her head. She had a massive headache and tried to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, but her limbs wouldn't cooperate. She feared she...

A big-time health IT private-equity player is heading west as it grows

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The good news: Thoma Bravo, which has grown into a big-time private-equity tech investment firm, is about to close on the biggest fund ever raised by a Chicago firm—about $16.5 billion.The bad: It has quietly moved most of its key decision-makers and personnel to San Francisco.With the Chicago-based buyout firm generating nearly 50 percent returns on its software...