Late last week, MedStar Health was still trying to return to normal, five days after its health information technology systems were hit by a computer virus. According to an online statement posted at 5 p.m. Thursday, MedStar’s doors remained open, “with a few exceptions. In those unique exceptions, our protocols for treatment are conservative, and driven solely by what is in the best interest of patient care.” The latest report from the 10-hospital system with facilities in Maryland and Washington, D.C., insisted that no patient or “associate” data were compromised. Last Monday, the system disclosed that its clinical computer systems had been shut down to block the spread of the virus.
The Federal Trade Commission is, for the first time, suing a drugmaker for allegedly striking deals with other pharmaceutical companies to delay sales of cheaper generic drugs, by promising to not immediately compete with those generics by offering its own version. The FTC filed a complaint last week in federal court alleging that Endo Pharmaceuticals and several other drug companies violated antitrust laws by using pay-for-delay settlements to keep generic versions of opioid drug Opana ER and lidocaine patch Lipoderm off the market. The lawsuit alleges Endo enticed generic drugmakers to keep their drugs off the market longer, by promising not to market its own generic versions of the drugs for a certain period of time.
One-third of individuals who enrolled for coverage in the federal health insurance exchange during the 2016 open-enrollment period opted for the same plan they had in 2015, a recent analysis found. Of the 9.6 million people who chose coverage on the federal exchange, which is offered in the 38 states that declined to set up state exchanges authorized by the healthcare reform law, 3.2 million, or 33%, kept their previous plan, Washington-based consultant Avalere Health reported in a study released Thursday. In addition, 2.4 million enrollees, or 25%, selected a new plan, while 4 million or 42%, were new enrollees.