Can’t see the audio participant? Click here to listen on Acast. You may also hear on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you hearken to podcasts.

The pandemic could also be exhibiting indicators of winding down, however well being care prices are usually not.

In Massachusetts, a struggle is shaping up over whether or not considered one of the most prestigious hospital methods wants to economize, whereas antitrust instances in opposition to different hospital methods have been filed in California, Connecticut, and North Carolina.

In the meantime, the Senate confirmed Dr. Robert Califf to go the FDA, lastly filling out the Biden administration’s well being management. Califf’s nomination was strongly opposed by anti-abortion teams, however, in the finish, he received the votes of a number of Republicans who are usually not working for reelection.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Amongst the takeaways from this week’s episode:

Califf’s slim affirmation vote was in marked distinction to seven years in the past when he additionally headed the FDA. Twenty-six Republicans who supported him then voted no this time. This week, 5 Democrats who had complained about the FDA’s stance on opioids additionally voted no.
With Califf confirmed, he could be a part of different administration public well being officers, similar to the Nationwide Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in changing into a spokesperson for the administration on covid and different medical points.
Amongst the main points dealing with the FDA are security and efficacy of covid vaccinations for younger youngsters, the pending utility by Novavax for authorization for a distinct kind of covid vaccine, and a assessment of how the company handles accelerated drug approvals. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) secured a promise by Califf earlier than he was confirmed to probe whether or not drugmakers live as much as their promise to report again on these medication.
Whereas the debate on chopping well being care prices usually facilities on pharmaceuticals, hospitals are a serious driver of spending. A Massachusetts regulatory panel has ordered Mass Common Brigham hospital to arrange a efficiency enchancment plan to curb the progress in well being care prices at the state’s premier hospital system.
The disruption of the well being care workforce brought on by the pandemic is creating main shifts, amongst them a transfer by many nurses to take high-paid journey nursing jobs. That has created issues for smaller, much less worthwhile hospitals to recruit full-time nurses. Non-public fairness corporations are exhibiting curiosity in the touring nurse business, which is prompting some officers to hunt extra transparency in how these corporations are paid and who will get the cash.
Federal well being officers reported this week that the U.S. has recorded 1 million “extra deaths” because of the pandemic.

Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Hannah Wesolowski of the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness about how the pandemic has worsened the nation’s psychological well being disaster and what might be carried out about it.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you need to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: KHN’s “Demand for Service Dogs Unleashes a ‘Wild West’ Market,” by Markian Hawryluk

Sarah Karlin-Smith: Scientific American’s “There Is Nothing Normal About One Million People Dead From COVID,” by Steven W. Thrasher

Tami Luhby: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “COVID-19 Has Even Ruined Our Feet,” by Sarah Gantz

Rachel Cohrs: Bloomberg’s “Nurses Who Faced Fines, Lawsuits for Quitting Are Fighting Back,” by Josh Eidelson

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

Stat’s “Private Equity Firms Are Cashing In on the Travel Nursing Business That Has Boomed During the Pandemic,” by Rachel Cohrs

The New York Instances’ “Vehicle Crashes, Surging,” by David Leonhardt

CNN’s “More Than 50 Million Households Have Received Free Government Covid-19 Tests,” by Tami Luhby and Naomi Thomas

To listen to all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KHN’s What the Health? on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you hearken to podcasts.