- Hospitals and the rest of the healthcare industry posted another month of robust job growth in February even as a looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act hangs over the sector. The healthcare sector created 26,800 jobs in February, far surpassing the 12,100 new positions in January, according to the February jobs report issued last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare was among the sectors that drove total national jobs creation in February to a better-than-expected 235,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate stands at 4.7%.
- Two counties in West Virginia have sued drug distributors and pharmacies in federal court asking for compensation to help fund the fight against the opioid epidemic. They say the crisis has been exacerbated by lax monitoring of suspicious drug orders. Defendants in the suit include Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen Corp. and McKesson Corp., along with other local distributors and the nation's largest consumer pharmacies. The federal government finalized a $150 million settlement with McKesson in January over its alleged failure to detect and report suspicious controlled substance orders, and Cardinal Health paid $20 million to the state of West Virginia earlier that month in a similar suit.
- Hospital residency programs also can be sued under Title IX if they fail to protect residents from gender discrimination, a federal appeals court ruled last week. In a unanimous decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Title IX applies to medical residents, reversing a lower court decision that the residency programs aren't educational programs through “schooling.” Instead, the three-judge panel said Title IX applies to institutions that broadly offer education even if that isn't their sole purpose. This case will have “reverberating effects” across the healthcare industry, said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois.
Healthcare sees robust job growth in February and other late news briefs
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