Healthcare News April 3, 2012

  • Dems wage pressure campaign on Supreme Court over health ruling

    Democrats are warning Chief Justice John Roberts that a ruling against the healthcare law would smash precedent and threaten Medicare.

  • Medicare agency drops proposed pharmacy restrictions at nursing homes

    The Medicare agency announced Monday that it has dropped a proposed requirement that nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities work with independent pharmacists in an effort to tamp down on overprescribing of antipsychotics and other drugs.

    The agency has decided to “further study the issue” after stakeholders raised concerns that doctors’ prescription patterns, rather than consultant pharmacists, were driving overuse, said Jonathan Blum, the director for the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    “Our policy goal is to ensure that individuals who are in long-term-care settings have access to appropriate medication and are treated according to the best clinical [guidelines],” Blum told reporters on a conference call.

  • Poll: Supreme Court arguments on health law reinforced partisan divide

    Last week’s Supreme Court arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law had little effect on public opinion of the law or the court, according to a new poll.

    The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press found that most attitudes were unchanged but the arguments had reinforced some partisan opinions about the law.

    Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said the arguments did not change their opinion of the healthcare law, and 65 percent said their opinion of the Supreme Court did not change.

    But when attitudes did shift, they followed a partisan division. According to the Pew poll, 35 percent of Republicans said they came away with a less favorable impression of the health law, and 32 percent of Democrats reported a more negative view of the Supreme Court.

  • Obama administration revamps anti-bullying effort with tips and advice

    The Health and Human Services Department has revamped its StopBullying.gov web site to focus on providing information the public can use to prevent and stop bullying rather than just raising awareness.

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