Reflex: December 12, 2011

Mandy Locke with the second of a four-part series on the remaking of Wake County’s (N.C.) health care landscape. The series focuses on the competition between hospital systems to lure providers to affiliate with them, and what that is doing to remake the landscape of the local health care market. Don’s comment: Interesting series so far (here is part 1 on the blurring of the public/private line; and preview on reporting approach). The piece today on the negotiation between physician practices and hospitals and why both sides sought a merger is good, though I think the degree to which health reform is said to drive such deals is overstated; it was happening long before 2010 and will continue no matter what. The WSJ also has a big story this morning by Anna Wilde Matthews on aggregation in the health care industry. What does competition look like in health care delivery is an important question?

Susan Wood, former FDA assistant commissioner, wonders what happened to Obama’s pledge of scientific integrity. “I was excited to have been invited to watch President Obama sign a memorandum on scientific integrity. The directive signaled that decisions about public health would no longer be blocked for reasons beyond scientific and medical evidence. Agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration would no longer have their decisions overturned by leadership that disregarded the science. That promise was betrayed this past week when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA commissioner [on Plan B.]” Austin’s comment: If you haven’t read Aaron’s post on this, I recommend and agree with it.

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