Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Within the last 5 years, California has failed to inspect more than a dozen hospitals with high rates of infection, reported the Los Angeles Times. The Consumers Union has filed a petition citing the state’s lack of compliance to California laws, which require hospitals to be inspected every 3 years. The lack of inspection has stretched to a minimum of 5 years for 131 hospitals, 80 of which reported infection rates that are significantly higher than other facilities, according to the LA Times. Among the hospitals are Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. In a brief statement, the California public health departed said it plans to respond to the petition within 30 days.
One day after meeting with President Donald Trump, Johnson & Johnson’s chief executive officer said the company plans to make responsible drug pricing a priority, and discussed changes he would like to see on the US tax code and health care policy, reported The New York Times. J&J is already faced with challenges this year, forecasting 2017 sales and profit below Wall Street estimates. Additionally, the company saw 2016 fourth-quarter sales fall short of expectations. J&J shares have fallen 2.1% to $111.52, according to the Times.
The Trump Administration plans to revive a Reagan-era policy banning American assistance to organizations that offer abortion services, including counseling and referrals, which is set to affect places such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, according to The Washington Post. Although the United States does not fund any abortion services overseas, many health groups receive American assistance to provide other women’s services, while using different funding sources for abortion procedures and counseling. If the organizations want to continue to receive aid for their programs, they will have to stop providing abortion services altogether, the Post reported. Experts say that the policy will freeze millions of dollars in funding to critical health treatment, including HIV testing and neonatal care. The policy is being referred to as the global gag rule, because it restricts references to abortion in counseling sessions, according to the Post.