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Quick Fix

— Health care advocates, providers, plans and others subject to the state’s new 1 percent across-the-board reduction in Medicaid spending are urging the Cuomo administration to take a more targeted approach as it looks to close the $4 billion budget gap in the coming months.

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— New York Attorney General Tish James joined a coalition of Democratic-led states to call on the Supreme Court to resolve an Affordable Care Act repeal lawsuit. They allege that prolonged uncertainty over the ACA could damage the health care system.

— Two pharmaceutical companies spent about $56,000 to lobby state lawmakers and the executive chamber in supporting legislation that bars Medicaid from requiring prior authorization for medicine used to treat substance use disorders. The effort, however, failed to win the governor’s approval.

Policy and Politics

RING THE ALARM — POLITICO’s Shannon Young: Health care advocates, providers, insurance plans and others subject to the state’s new 1 percent across-the-board reduction in Medicaid spending are urging the Cuomo administration to take a more targeted approach as it looks to close a $4 billion budget gap in the coming months.

… Arguing that the uniform reduction that took effect on Jan. 1 affects providers who did not benefit from recent Medicaid payment increases, health industry officials cautioned that the cut — $124 million for the current fiscal year and $496 million in future fiscal years — would ultimately hurt patients.

ACA CHALLENGE — POLITICO’s Susannah Luthi: A coalition of Democratic-led states is asking the Supreme Court to immediately take up a challenge to Obamacare, calling on the justices to decide the law’s fate well ahead of November’s elections. Attorneys generals from 20 states in a legal brief argued the high court needed to quickly take up the case, contending that prolonged uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act would damage the nation’s health care system.

— Labor union SEIU supported the petition. “The Fifth Circuit’s ruling gave President Trump and his Republican allies a partisan path toward ripping affordable healthcare away from working people,” SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement. “The decision was legally and morally wrong.”

ICYMI — Shannon reports: Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed legislation late Wednesday that sought to prohibit Medicaid from requiring prior authorization for buprenorphine, methadone and other drugs used to treat substance use disorders, despite signing a similar bill for private insurers.

— POLITICO’s Amanda Eisenberg: In rejecting a bill that would bar Medicaid from requiring prior authorization for medicine used to treat substance use disorders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the legislation “would provide a statutorily-authorized unfair competitive advantage to one pharmaceutical manufacturer in particular.” Drug manufacturer Orexo, the company Cuomo cited in his veto message, spent $46,376 in 2019 on direct lobbying for bills including NY S5935 (19R), according to state filings.

DRUG GUIDELINES — Amanda reports: Hospitals are starting to apply for certificates of need with the state to expand their pharmacies. The Hospital for Special Surgery intends to spend $1,225,000 to comply with new federal quality standards for handling hazardous drugs, according to the request filed with the state this month. Interfaith Medical Center and Maimonides Medical Center have also applied for and began construction, respectively, on their new pharmacies.

Odds and Ends

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NOW WE KNOW — Brow serums don’t really work, but you may find more success with a little bit of Rogaine, according to The New York Times.

SHARE ME: Like this newsletter? Share it with your friends.

TODAY’S TIP — Don’t put butter on a burn! Use cold water instead, according to the state Department of Health.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Amanda @aeis17, Shannon @ShannonYoung413 and Dan @DanCGoldberg on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @samjsutton.

STUDY THIS — Air pollution may be linked to poor bone health, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Around New York

DELAY — The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has yet to release a study into Staten Island’s perceived health and environmental hazards. The city health department said it would release the report at the end of 2019.

HOT NURSE — Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick uses gay dating apps like Grindr to refer users to sexual health services, NBC News reports. It works: the center reported that 300 clients have received care through these referrals.

EAGER EXPANSION — NYC Care, the city’s effort to connect the uninsured to primary care at NYC Health + Hospitals, is expected to launch in Brooklyn and Staten Island this month. The program has enrolled more than 10,000 residents in the Bronx.

HEALTH CARE COSTS — New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans say four state taxes drove premium increases in a report published Monday. “The taxes, which amounted to an estimated $5.2 billion in 2019, include a covered lives assessment that varies by region, a surcharge (sales tax) on health services, the Section 206 assessment on insurers and a premium tax,” according to the report.

CARE COORDINATION — Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan will expand its patient care program to St. Peter’s Hospital, the health plan announced Friday.

Pharma Report

AUTOMATION — Stäubli and ARxIUM are collaborating to improve “the safety and accuracy of IV admixture compounding,” Pharmaceutical Processing World reports.

What We’re Reading

MY SO-CALLED VAPE LIFE — POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle: The Trump administration Thursday rolled out a limited ban on flavored e-cigarettes, enraging anti-tobacco advocates who called the measure a political capitulation that would cause more kids to become addicted to nicotine. The new plan will bar the sale of all sweet and fruity flavored vape pods and cartridges within 30 days but allow gas stations and convenience stores to continue selling menthol cartridges and vapes. It also lets vape shops sell a broad range of e-cigarette liquids in so-called open-tank vaping systems, which are commonly used by adults.

— Moving company U-Haul will not hire nicotine users in 21 states, CNN reports.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH ACCESS — The Associated Press reports: “Pope Francis called on governments Friday to ensure everyone has access to suitable health care.”

AN ALTERNATIVE — Bobby Jindal, a one-time presidential candidate and former governor of Louisiana, outlines how the GOP can win on health care in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

JUDGE SIDES WITH HOSPITAL — The Associated Press reports: “A Texas judge on Thursday sided with a hospital that plans to remove an 11-month-old girl from life support after her mother disagreed with the decision by doctors who say the infant is in pain and that her condition will never improve.”

AGING AMERICA — Geriatricians are becoming more necessary as the American population ages, but there is a shortage of those health care professionals, The New York Times reports.

ATHLETIC PEAK — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout are the highest compensated athletes in their respective leagues. They’ve also all been under the knife of Dr. Steven Shin, a surgeon who specializes in repairing ligament damage, according to this Wall Street Journal profile. “In the beginning, I thought: This finger is worth more than I’ll ever make in my lifetime,” Shin said.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up on the New York Health Care Morning Newsletter page.

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Health care professionals bemoan Medicaid reduction – Politico