Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
A record number of Americans signed up for health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace within the first few days of open enrollment, according to The Hill. The high surge in enrollment occurred despite significant cuts to funding for outreach efforts and advertising. On November 1 alone, more than 200,000 individuals signed up for coverage, which was double the amount for 2017 open enrollment, according to the article; however, it is unclear what the final numbers will be.
A new defense policy bill would grant the Department of Defense the ability to approve drugs and medical devices, not the FDA, according to Politico. While the Department of Health and Human Services and congressional health staff say this bill would threaten safety and put soldiers at risk, lawmakers said the legislation is crucial. Proponents cited the example that the FDA has denied military access to freeze-dried plasma, but FDA officials counter that the product will be approved by 2018, according to the article. The FDA also said that developing a new approval pathway could be dangerous to military personnel.
Although the number of hepatitis A virus infections continues to increase in San Diego, CA, the rate is slowing, the Los Angeles Times reported. In October, there were 31 cases of hepatitis A, which is significantly lower than the 94 cases reported in August. The slowed rate and stagnant number of deaths suggests that efforts to curb the outbreak are working, despite new cases, according to the LA Times.