Poll Shows Americans Have High Trust In Doctors, Nurses

The poll from the University of Chicago and the Associated Press showed 7 in 10 Americans trust doctors to do the right thing either most, or all the time. Also in the news: N95 staff fit tests, real world health data, sleep tracking, anti-trust, telemedicine fraud and more.

High Trust In Doctors, Nurses In US, AP-NORC Poll Finds

Most Americans have high trust in doctors, nurses and pharmacists, a new poll finds. Researchers say that trust could become important in the push to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, as long as unvaccinated people have care providers they know and are open to hearing new information about the vaccines. At least 7 in 10 Americans trust doctors, nurses and pharmacists to do what’s right for them and their families either most or all of the time, according to the poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (Swanson and Murphy, 8/10)

Modern Healthcare:
OSHA Cracking Down On N95 Staff Fit Tests

Healthcare employers need to be on top of making sure they follow the rules when making new employees – even temporary employees – wear N95 respirator masks. OSHA issued two citations to federally qualified health center Center for Health, Education, Medicine and Dentistry in Lakewood, N.J. and a temporary staffing agency that supplied nurses, Homecare Therapies for administering flu shots and COVID-19 tests. Both organizations failed to administer medical evaluations for employees, or provide fit tests before making them wear the masks. (Gillespie, 8/10)

What The Pandemic Has Taught Regulators About Real-World Data

During the pandemic, regulatory agencies deployed emergency measures left and right to speed care to patients. Today, that’s leaving the health care industry, and especially younger digital startups, in a tricky spot. Companies have benefited from the reduced regulatory burden of the pandemic — but it’s unclear how long they’ll get to ride the gravy train. “What’s going to happen is the regulatory agencies are required to essentially go back to the way it was before,” said Amy Abernethy, former deputy principal commissioner and acting CIO at the FDA. “But we don’t unlearn.” (Palmer, 8/10)

As Tech Giants Double Down On Sleep Tracking, Providers Want More Proof

Wearable sleep tracking has been an alluring target for tech giants for nearly a decade. But this year, Amazon and Google have poured money into another kind of technology: passive sleep monitors that keep tabs on rest from the bedside. Last month, Amazon received federal clearance to use radar for sleep monitoring, following on the heels of rival Google, which in March debuted sleep sensing in the latest iteration of its Nest device. The companies’ renewed interest in sleep tracking — and corresponding investment in less invasive forms of tracking — suggests a widening strategy aimed at making the devices more clinically and practically useful. (Brodwin, 8/11)

In legal news —

HCA Hospital Gets Hit With A Data-Driven Antitrust Lawsuit 

A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday against HCA’s health system in western North Carolina — which was known until recently as Mission Health — lays out a textbook case against hospital consolidation and monopoly pricing power. Neither hospital monopolies nor antitrust lawsuits are anything new, but the new federal regulation requiring hospitals to post their prices — including negotiated rates — could make such lawsuits more common going forward. (Owens, 8/11)

Modern Healthcare:
Telemedicine Operator Charged In $784M Fraud Scheme

A Newark, N.J. grand jury charged a Florida telemedicine company owner of filing $784 million in false and fraudulent Medicare claims, according to federal prosecutors. Creaghan Harry, 53, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and four counts of income tax evasion, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday. Harry and his alleged co-conspirators, Lester Stockett and Elliot Loewenstern, paid physicians to write orders for braces and medications, which were given to medical equipment suppliers for bribes and kickbacks, federal prosecutors said. (Gellman, 8/10)

Modern Healthcare:
HCA Sought Monopoly Market Power With Mission Health Deal, Lawsuit Alleges

HCA Healthcare acquired Mission Health to secure monopoly market power and inflate prices, according to the plaintiffs behind a new lawsuit. HCA allegedly used “all-or-nothing” negotiation tactics with insurers, leading to higher care prices and insurance premiums in lopsided acute-care markets in North Carolina’s Buncombe and Madison counties, according to a lawsuit filed in state court Tuesday. Mission Health used the same tactics prior to the acquisition, among other anticompetitive schemes, the North Carolina patients claim in their suit. (Kacik, 8/10)

Bay Area News Group:
Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes’ Mental Health Records Could Be Made Public

More details about the mental state and legal maneuverings of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes could emerge in coming weeks, as a federal judge on Tuesday asked lawyers in her criminal fraud case to begin reviewing files that should be released to the public. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila did not make a final decision on a motion by lawyers for Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, to unseal documents concerning independent psychological evaluations of Holmes and efforts to have separate trials for the startup founder and former company president Sunny Balwani. (Hansen, 8/10)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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