July 23-24: It’s going to be a tense couple of days for the Veterans Affairs Department. A House oversight committee on July 23 will hear from a number of whistleblowers who claim they were retaliated against when they raised concerns about quality and safety issues at VA facilities. Among the witnesses is Dr. Katherine Mitchell, who testified in 2014 about wait times at her VA facility in Phoenix being manipulated, as well as other major quality and safety issues. It was found that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for medical appointments at the center. On July 24 the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will examine what the department has been doing since then in a hearing titled “True Transparency? Assessing Wait Times Five Years after Phoenix.”
July 23: It’s not clear how much healthcare will come up, but a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will delve into enforcement of antitrust laws. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons and Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim are slated to testify. Healthcare megamergers are getting intense scrutiny these days from federal and state regulators.
July 24: A couple of industry heavyweights deliver their earnings reports: Anthem and Cerner Corp. Zacks Investment Research predicted that Anthem’s quarterly earnings will hit $24.8 billion, up 9.3% from the prior year. Cerner’s earnings are expected to be 5.1% higher, totaling $1.44 billion.
July 25-27: Hospital executives and some of their key lobbyists take a break from talking politics to talk shop. They’ll be gathered in San Diego at the American Hospital Association’s annual Leadership Summit. Educational sessions tackle everything from affordability and cost to workforce development and innovation. Modern Healthcare Editor Aurora Aguilar will be on-site to report on any breaking news.