Health Highlights: Oct. 9, 2019
Medicare Fraud-Prevention Rules to be Revised $8 Billion Award in Risperdal Lawsuit American Airlines Passengers May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis A
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Medicare Fraud-Prevention Rules to be Revised
Revision of decades-old Medicare rules meant to prevent fraud has been proposed by the Trump administration.
The rules targeted for overhaul were meant to deter self-dealing and financial kickbacks among hospitals, clinics and doctors but are now considered an obstacle to coordinating better patient care, according to the Associated Press.
The complex requirements of the rules make it difficult for hospitals and doctors to work together, according to government officials.
The changes to the rules could take months and will be closely monitored by the health care industry and patient advocates, the AP reported.
$8 Billion Award in Risperdal Lawsuit
A lawsuit over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal has led to an $8 billion punitive damages award against Johnson & Johnson and one if its subsidiaries.
The award was handed out Tuesday by a Philadelphia jury. The plaintiff's attorneys argued that the drug is linked to abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys, the Associated Press reported.
In a statement, attorneys Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said Johnson & Johnson used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug.
Johnson & Johnson said the award is "excessive and unfounded" and that it would take immediate action to overturn it, the AP reported.
American Airlines Passengers May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis A
Passengers on several American Airline flights in the U.S. may have been exposed to hepatitis A by a flight attendant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The CDC said the flight attendant had diarrhea on several flights during the period in which he was considered infectious, so it is investigating and notifying passengers who may have been affected.
One of those flights was between San Francisco and Charlotte on Sept. 21, according to the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department in North Carolina, which told ABC News that it's contacted 18 local passengers, all of whom received hepatitis A vaccinations.
American Airlines would not confirm that one of its flight attendants had hepatitis A or another disease, ABC News reported.
Hepatitis A -- which affects the liver -- is usually contracted by ingesting fecal matter or contaminated food or water.