Healthcare Roundup—ACP urges Congress to hold hearings on health of children in family detention 

congress
The American College of Physicians wants Congress to hold hearings on the health of children held in family detention. (Pixabay)

Doctors push for congressional oversight of family detention 

The American College of Physicians called for congressional oversight into how family detention practices impact the health of children. 

Scott Allen, M.D., and Pamela McPherson, M.D., who serve as medical and psychiatric care experts, respectively, for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, penned a letter (PDF) to senators on July 17. In it, they detailed investigations they had conducted into 10 detention facilities where they found health risks to children. 

ACP President Ana Maria Lopez, M.D., said in the statement that it supports Allen and McPherson's letter, and urged legislators to investigate the health and safety of children in these facilities. 

Congress and the administration should focus on how to reunite families, how to keep them out of detention, and how to ensure their health and well-being, while still exercising appropriate and necessary control over who enters U.S. borders in accordance with current law, they said. (Statement

Cleveland family learns embryos harmed in fertility clinic temperature incident 

A Cleveland-area family that had been told by University Hospitals that their embryos were not harmed in a temperature malfunction at a fertility clinic were informed this week that the embryos had actually been rendered unviable by the incident. 

Temperature fluctuations in a fertility clinic storage tank at UH's Ahuja Medical Center led to about 4,000 ruined embryos and eggs, affecting 2,000 families. 

University Hospitals said in a statement that two families had been informed this week that their embryos or eggs had also been harmed in the incident. At least one of the two families notified is involved in a lawsuit against the health system. 

"Any characterization that additional eggs or embryos were impacted is inaccurate and further illustrates why we have asked the court to ensure communications from attorneys in this matter are limited to the courtroom and not through hastily called news conferences," University Hospitals said. (The Plain Dealer

NEJM: Hospitals offering bundled payment see similar Medicare payouts to other facilities 

Hospitals participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) did not see substantially lower Medicare payments or higher quality compared to others, according to a new study. 

Researchers led by a team at Washington University School of Medicine and commissioned by the Commonwealth Fund studied 492 hospitals participating in at least one of five common bundles between 2013 and 2015.  

BPCI hospitals earned an average of $23,993 per episode of care across the five types of bundles in 2015, while the control hospitals earned $23,503. The researchers also concluded that quality measures such as 30-day and 90-day readmission rates, length of stay and emergency department utilization did not change much between the BPCI facilities and the control hospitals. (New England Journal of Medicine

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