Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was admitted to the hospital after falling at a private dinner Wednesday night, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and the District of Columbia.
- California: On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) office announced that the state will not renew a $54 million contract with Walgreens after the company announced that it will not sell the abortion medication mifepristone in 21 states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action if the pharmacy chain were to do so. On Monday, Newsom said in a tweet that California was "done" with Walgreens. At the time, Newsom did not clarify what "business" with the chain the state was exiting. Brandon Richards, a spokesperson for Newsom's office, on Monday said that "California is reviewing all relationships between Walgreens and the state," noting that other actions could follow. According to Newsom, this is the first step in an "exhaustive review" of all ties the state has with Walgreens. "California is on track to be the fourth largest economy in the world and we will leverage our market power to defend the right to choose," Newsom said. (González, Axios, 3/8)
- District of Columbia: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was admitted to the hospital Wednesday night after falling at a private dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, D.C. "Leader McConnell tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion. He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days of observation and treatment," said David Popp, McConnell's spokesperson. "The Leader is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes." No additional details were provided, and the extent of his injuries have not been disclosed. (Jalonick/Mascaro, Associated Press, 3/9; Brown-Kaiser et al., NBC News, 3/9; Rimmer/Foran, CNN, 3/9; Pritchett, Fox News, 3/9; Goodwin/Pannett, Washington Post, 3/9)
- District of Columbia: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday extended the comment deadline for its proposal to prohibit companies from including noncompete clauses in employment agreements. Previously, several organizations, including the American Hospital Association (AHA), asked FTC to extend the original March 20 deadline by 60 days. The agency extended the deadline to April 19, but AHA is encouraging members to submit comments before the new deadline. Last month, AHA sent a letter urging FTC to withdraw the proposed rule or make the hospital field — or at least doctors and senior hospital executives — exempt from its ban. "The proposed regulation errs by seeking to create a one-size-fits-all rule for all employees across all industries, especially because Congress has not granted the FTC the authority to act in such a sweeping manner," AHA wrote. "Even if the FTC had the legal authority to issue this proposed rule, now is not the time to upend the health care labor markets with a rule like this." (AHA News, 3/7)