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John Gregory
Senior Writer
John joined TriMed in 2016, focusing on healthcare policy and regulation. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago, he worked at FM News Chicago and Rivet News Radio, and worked on the state government and politics beat for the Illinois Radio Network. Outside of work, you may find him adding to his never-ending graphic novel collection.

Prior authorization is often listed as one of the biggest hassles for many healthcare facilities, with plenty of calls for collaboration between major associations to streamline the onerous process. Those efforts have now led to a consensus statement from six groups on their shared goals for preapproving patients’ medical treatments.

 - Alex Azar

The Senate Finance Committee voted 15-12 to advance former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar’s nomination as HHS Secretary to the full Senate, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in support.

 - Tom Price, MD

Four months after resigning as HHS Secretary, Tom Price, MD, has a new gig: serving on the advisory board for Atlanta’s Jackson Healthcare.

Recently announced health system mergers like the Dignity Health-Catholic Health Initiatives and Ascension-Providence St. Joseph combinations aren’t about long-term growth, argues Permanente Medical Group CEO Robert Pearl, MD, but are rather signs of panic from systems which are banking on increased clout and higher prices to counteract financial struggles and waning influence.

 - Andrew Kolodny, MD

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, led a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee where he explored whether Medicaid expansion is at least partially to blame for the rise in opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Federal data, however, shows those problem began more than a decade earlier.

Care New England, the second-largest hospital system in Rhode Island, has been in negotiations since last April for a sale to Boston-based Partners HealthCare. Now it has some new potential suitors: Brown University and Prospect Medical Holdings.

 - diabetes blood sugar pills

Older diabetic patients are living longer as they and their physicians get better at managing the condition, but with longer lifespans comes additional years of incurring higher healthcare expenditures than non-diabetics.

 - Randy McCleese, MSIS, MBA

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) have chosen Randy McCleese, MSIS, MBA, former CHIME board chair and chief information officer at Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Ky., as the recipient of the 2017 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year award.

 - Insurance

The number of Americans without health insurance saw its biggest increase in nine years in 2017, rising 1.3 percentage points from the year prior, representing an estimated 3.2 million more people being uninsured.

Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have “widespread” issues with fatigue. So scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed guidelines to combat the problem in order to reduce medical errors and risk of injury.