September 10, 2021

Around the nation: DOJ sues Texas over new abortion law

Daily Briefing

    The Department of Justice is suing Texas over its new law banning abortions after six weeks, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, and Minnesota.

    • California/Minnesota: Google and Mayo Clinic have collaborated on an artificial intelligence algorithm to help treat patients with direct brain injuries and psychiatric illnesses. According to Becker's Hospital Review, the algorithm, which is called "basis profile curve identification," may help researchers understand interactions between brain regions. "Our findings show that this new type of algorithm may help us understand which brain regions directly interact with one another, which in turn may help guide placement for electrodes for stimulating devices to treat network brain diseases," Kai Miller, a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic, said. Specifically, the algorithm may help providers treat patients with depression, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, and more. (Mitchell, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/8; IANS/Onmanorama, 9/6)
    • District of Columbia: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday filed suit in the Western District of Texas against Texas over its new abortion law, the New York Times reports. Under Texas's new law, SB 8, women are banned from seeking abortions after a "fetal heartbeat" is detected, or around six weeks of pregnancy. In addition, private citizens are allowed to enforce the law, which will award them at minimum $10,000 if they win a case against an individual accused of performing or assisting with an abortion. According to the Times, DOJ's lawsuit argues that the Texas law is unconstitutional because it essentially bans abortion and asked the court for an injunction to bar the law's enforcement. (Ward/Gerstein, Politico, 9/8; Vakil, The Hill, 9/8; Benner, New York Times, 9/9)
    • Illinois: NorthShore University HealthSystem and Edward-Elmhurst Health on Wednesday announced plans to merge under a new parent organization. According to Becker's Hospital Review, the merger would result in a nine-hospital system with more than 300 ambulatory facilities and 25,000 employees. The new organization overseeing the hospitals will be led by J.P. Gallagher, NorthShore's president and CEO, while Mary Lou Mastro, president and CEO of Edward-Elmhurst Health, will be part of the organization's new executive team. In addition, both health systems will create two community investment funds and each donate $100 million to their communities as part of the merger. (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/8)
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