THE OUTLOOK FOR HEALTH CARE IN 2023:

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July 20, 2022

Around the nation: West Virginia judge blocks pre-Roe v. Wade abortion ban

Daily Briefing

    Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tera Salango on Monday blocked a pre-Roe v. Wade abortion ban, allowing West Virginia's only abortion clinic to resume services, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Minnesota, and West Virginia.

    • California: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) earlier this month announced that the state will produce its own "low cost" insulin, adding that "People should not go into debt to get lifesaving medication." According to Newsom, the state budget includes $100 million to "contract and make (its) own insulin at a cheaper price, close to at cost, and to make it available to all." While $50 million of the available budget will go to the development of the low-cost insulin, an additional $50 million will go toward a local manufacturing plant for the drug. "Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin," Newsom stated, going on to say that "many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs ranging anywhere from $300 to $500 per month for this lifesaving drug." (Breslin, The Hill, 7/7)
    • Minnesota: Optum announced a partnership with media company Red Ventures that will pair health care news and information with telehealth and online pharmacy services. The joint venture, RVO Health, combines Optum's drug discount card, online pharmacy, and virtual coaching platforms with Red Ventures' health and wellness websites and its provider review and scheduling platforms, according to the company's LinkedIn page. According to Rick Kes, a health care partner at RSM, the joint venture supports Optum parent company UnitedHealth Group's (UHG) effort to increase brand awareness for Optum. UHG CEO Andrew Witty in December said the firm plans to expand beyond health insurance, making Optum the "front door" of the organization. "It's definitely going to be another tool that [UHG] and Optum are going to push to their members to engage on their own," Kes said. "It just furthers (the) whole consumerism-driven movement in health care, whether it be among providers or health plans." (Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 7/11)

      Advisory Board is a subsidiary of Optum. All Advisory Board research, expert perspectives, and recommendations remain independent.

    • West Virginia: Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tera Salango on Monday blocked a pre-Roe v. Wade abortion ban, allowing the state's only abortion clinic to resume services. The state's pre-Roe criminal abortion ban made performing or obtaining an abortion a felony punishable by up to a decade in prison. Women's Health Center of West Virginia suspended services due to concerns of prosecution following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but the clinic's lawyers argued that modern laws conflict with the ban. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Monday criticized the ruling, saying it was "a dark day for West Virginia." In addition, he said his office will appeal the decision with the state Supreme Court. (Alund, USA Today, 7/18)

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