Healthcare News November 10, 2012

  • Firm investigated amid meningitis outbreak cuts staff

    A drug compounder linked to the firm behind a national outbreak of meningitis has cut 90 percent of its staff.

    Ameridose is a sister company of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), whose tainted steroid injections appear to be responsible for 32 deaths in 19 states.

    Both firms have recalled their products, while the NECC also shuttered amid a range of investigations. Ameridose said its layoffs — expected to hit at least 650 employees — were a response to federal and state probes that have shut down operations temporarily. 

  • HHS offers states extra time on exchanges

    The Obama administration gave states extra time Friday to decide whether they’ll implement the key feature of the Affordable Care Act.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave states that aren’t ready to run their own exchanges an extra three months to decide whether they’ll split the task with HHS or leave it entirely up to the federal government.

    The ACA envisions each state running its own exchange, but authorizes a federal fallback in states that don’t move to set up their own marketplace. HHS had asked states to decide by Nov. 16 whether they intend to move ahead on an exchange, but extended that deadline to Feb. 15 for certain states.

    “This Administration is committed to providing significant flexibility for building a marketplace that best meets your state’s needs,” Sebelius wrote in a letter to governors Friday.

  • Groups to launch campaign to keep federal research funding

    A coalition of groups is launching a campaign to emphasize federal funding for medical research ahead of negotiations on the “fiscal cliff.”

    Research!America and several dozen patient, industry and other health organizations have planned a week of advocacy starting Monday to convince lawmakers to “champion medical innovation.”

    “With so much at stake, research advocates must join forces to fight for lifesaving research, which is also a fight for American innovation and American jobs,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, in a statement.

  • Conservatives press the states to keep
 fighting ‘ObamaCare’

    Groups like Americans for Prosperity are pressuring Republican governors to reject as much of the law as they can.

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