Health care adds 503000 jobs in just one year – Politico

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503,000 NEW JOBS HAVE BEEN CREATED IN HEALTH CARE IN JUST ONE YEAR — That number, an apparent record, emerged from a PULSE analysis of Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. (The apparent previous high of 486,200 jobs was set in the period from March 2015 through February 2016).

Hospitals drove the lion’s share of new hiring, adding more than 183,000 jobs in the past year, but the uptick of Obamacare patients and investment appears to be fueling opportunities across the sector, from home health to physicians’ offices. Even jobs in dentists’ offices are growing about twice as fast as they had in recent years.

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What bothers researchers: What do all these new jobs mean for bending the cost curve? “Is this good news … or are we making the current healthcare infrastructure too big to be disrupted?” Yale’s Harlan Krumholz asked. “The more jobs in healthcare, the less money we have for education, infrastructure, etc.” Harvard’s Ashish Jha added.

Health care’s on pace to become the nation’s biggest industry in three years. More than 15.4 million people now work in health care, up about 3 million in the past decade. The growth has been constant — total health care jobs outpaced manufacturing jobs seven years ago — and if current trendscontinue, the health care industry should overtake retail by 2019.

WELCOME TO MONDAY PULSE — Where your author enjoys breaking down the BLS data like it’s his job. Tips to or@ddiamond on Twitter.

With help today from Paul Demko (@PaulDemko).

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE RATES DROP TODAY — The final 2017 Medicare Advantage payment notice is due out from CMS after markets close today. The rates have been the target of a furious lobbying campaign by insurers since the initial proposal was released in February. It’s not hard to understand why: roughly $170 billion in federal funds are at stake.

The biggest question … is whether the Obama administration will back off plans to cut payments to employer-based MA plans, Pro’s Paul Demko tells us. That’s been a major focus of insurers’ ire, with some business groups and labor unions joining in the fight.

Two other items worth watching: whether CMS a) goes forward with formula changes designed to more accurately compensate plans with chronically ill customers and b) significantly increases the use of medical claims data in determining payments.

WHAT TRUMP SAYS NOW ABOUT ABORTION — The Sunday shows were dominated by fallout from Donald Trump’s comment that a woman should be punished for having an abortion, and his multiple attempts to walk the statement back last week. “He had five different positions that we’ve counted up this week on abortion,” Chuck Todd said on Meet the Press.

“You did something pretty remarkable,” Chris Wallace told Trump on Fox News Sunday. “You offended both the pro-life and the pro-choice movements with one statement.”

Trump tries to defend himself. “The bottom line is that it [is] the doctor’s fault,” Trump said on Face the Nation. But he added that the original question “was asked as a hypothetical” where the procedure was viewed as illegal.

The hosts also grilled Trump on how to interpret his shifting position on abortion — and many other policy issues.

“People are so confused,” John Dickerson told Trump on Face the Nation.

“I know they’re confused,” Trump replied. But “they shouldn’t be, because all they have to do is watch.”

Hillary tries to separate herself. The Democratic front-runner continued to seize on Trump’s misstep to portray herself as a leading — and consistent — defender of abortion rights.

“Women have a constitutional right to make these most intimate and personal and difficult decisions,” Hillary Clinton said on Meet the Press. “And when you have candidates running for president who say that there should be no exceptions, not for rape, not for incest, not for health, then I think you’ve gotten pretty extreme.”

“My view has always been this is a choice. It is not a mandate.”

WHAT TRUMP’s COMMENTS REVEALED: ‘MORAL INCOHERENCE OF PRO-LIFERS’ — So says bioethicist Arthur Caplan, writing in Forbes. He argues that anti-abortion-rights supporters who say abortion is murder refuse to grapple with the consequences for women — and Trump unintentionally pinpointed that disconnect.

“Demonizing abortion providers has been a popular option for pro-lifers since they do not engage women about their actions but rather beat up on the small number of abortion providers,” Caplan writes.

But he thinks the strategy has backfired: The scrutiny of abortion clinics has led to their shuttering and the hastening of alternate approaches. “The future of elective abortion is pharmaceutical not surgical,” Caplan writes, and “trying to demonize those who write prescriptions means demonizing plain old everyday doctors and nurses who are both popular and who won’t put up with it.”

— Katha Pollitt concurs: Trump spoke the truth. Writing in the New York Times, the feminist critic claims Trump showed the hypocrisy at the heart of the abortion debate. “In his blundering way, he revealed the true logic of the case against legal abortion: If it’s murder, then murder has consequences,” Pollitt argues. “Too bad the moment of clarity couldn’t last.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL DOCS — Modern Healthcare’s annual list of most influential physicians is out, and new FDA commissioner Robert Califf took the top spot this year. CMS Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway is third overall, VA Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin was 12th and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was 22nd.

Other well-known names: Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy and Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove were ranked in the top five; doctor-writers Bob Wachter, Atul Gawande and Eric Topol were among the top 25; and the NIH’s Francis Collins, the CDC’s Tom Frieden and HHS’s Karen DeSalvo also made the list.

Does ‘influence’ have a gender bias? Just one woman — Brigham and Women’s Hospital CEO Elizabeth Nabel — was ranked among the top 20.

See the list:

STATE WEEK: FUTURE OF ARKANSAS EXPANSION IN THE SPOTLIGHT — The state legislature’s special session on Medicaid starts this week, when lawmakers will consider extending coverage for the Medicaid expansion population among other reforms, Pro’s Rachana Pradhan and Brianna Ehley report. Meanwhile, New York’s new budget deal has an interesting provision on Medicaid coverage for inmates. More:

DEFENDING TRADE SECRETS — Writing in POLITICO, Senators Orrin Hatch and Chris Coons stump for The Defend Trade Secrets Act — a bill that they say will help U.S. businesses protect their trade secrets under federal civil law, and which the Senate will vote on tonight.

“Trade secrets are the lifeblood of the American economy,” the senators argue. “The medical device industry, for example, dedicates enormous resources to the research and development of life-saving products; much of that investment is shielded as trade secrets.” Without their bill, Hatch and Coons say, companies don’t have sufficient recourse in case of intellectual-property theft. Read their POLITICO essay:

HOSPICES ARE MILKING MEDICARE FOR MONEY — That’s according to a new OIG report that determined one-third of hospices’ stays for general inpatient care were “inappropriate,” costing Medicare $268 million in 2012.

In an accompanying podcast, Deputy Regional Inspector General Nancy Harrison said that for-profit hospices were disproportionately likely to engage in inappropriate billing. She also called on CMS to “hold hospices accountable for inappropriate billing, poor quality care, and the misuse of general inpatient care.”

WHY YOUR CITY WANTS TO BOOST THE COST OF COKE — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is pitching a 3 cents per ounce soda tax, less to fix public health and more to fill the public coffers. “Governments are starting to think of soda taxes as the next sin tax — an untapped source of revenue that could help with other things,” Margot Sanger-Katz writes in the New York Times.

Given the failure of soda-tax proposals in New York City and elsewhere — including two abandoned attempts in Philadelphia — other cities are eyeing Kenney’s campaign with interest. “I think Philadelphia may change the whole conversation about soda taxes,” consultant Larry Tramutola says. Read the story:

WHAT DOCTORS GET PAID — Medscape’s new physician compensation survey is packed with interesting nuggets, including:

Top-earning specialties
· Orthopedists ($443,000)
· Cardiologists ($410,000)
· Dermatologists ($381,000).

Top-earning states
· North Dakota ($348,000)
· New Hampshire ($322,000)
· Nebraska ($317,000)

Lowest-earning states
· Rhode Island ($224,000)
· District of Columbia ($226,000)
· Maryland ($231,000)

See the report:

EVEN A MODEL PROGRAM TO FIGHT OPIOID OVERDOSE FELL FLAT — North Carolina’s “Project Lazarus” reduced opioid drug misuse in one county and was touted as a national model. But overdoses and deaths quickly rose again— and now the county’s problem is just as bad as before. Paige Winfield Cunningham on the lessons for the nation’s opioid epidemic:

MAKING MOVES — Erhardt Preitauer, president of Horizon NJ Health, New Jersey’s largest Medicaid plan, has been named the new chair of the Medicaid Health Plans of America.

“It’s an exciting time for Medicaid,” Preitauer said in a statement. “With several states still considering Medicaid expansion and the changes in the upcoming managed care regulations, not to mention the innovative practices that MHPA plans are doing on the ground to improve the health of the underserved, we look forward to shepherding the industry through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

ON TAP THIS WEEK — The Senate HELP Committee on Wednesday will vote on at least five bipartisan biomedical innovation bills, including its companion legislation to the House’s 21st Century Cures Act.

Hospitals want lucrative VIP patients — and Boston’s Brigham bent the rules, again and again, to keep one happy. Great Liz Kowalczyk story on what went wrong:

Indiana’s new abortion law “forces me to ignore my medical training and stand idly by while my patients suffer,” Indianapolis-based OB-GYN Katherine McHugh writes in the Washington Post:

People addicted to heroin or other drugs can wait weeks or months to get into rehab in New Hampshire — and that can be the difference between life and death, Rachel Gotbaum writes:

A parade of health care professionals and caregivers explain why North Carolina’s plan to privatize Medicaid is a bad idea:

“Vaxxed” got dropped from Tribeca but it’s still playing in New York City, and Rebecca Robbins took a critical peek at the controversial documentary:

An earlier version of this alert misidentified the mayor of Philadelphia. It is Jim Kenney.

Health care adds 503000 jobs in just one year – Politico