Healthcare Roundup—D.C. sues Ascension over hospital closure; California extends ACA enrollment

Legal and regulatory issues
The District of Columbia government filed suit against Ascension Health over its plans to shut down Providence hospital. (iStock/BCFC)

D.C. sues Ascension over hospital closure

The District of Columbia government filed suit against Ascension Health on Friday over its plans to shut down its hospital located in the District.

The suit came the same day Ascension's Providence Hospital ended its acute care services. The hospital recently agreed to keep its emergency room open until April 2019 after facing resistance from the community and local officials. According to the Washington Business Journal, the lawsuit alleges the health system did not get approval from the city to close and is violating its hospital license. 

The health system has said the hospital was struggling financially and previously announced plans to transition its campus into an outpatient "health village." (Washington Business Journal)

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California extends ACA enrollment period

Covered California extended the enrollment period for ACA plans until Jan. 1, officials announced, citing confusion caused by a Texas judge's ruling late Friday that struck down the constitutionality of the healthcare law.

Enrollment on the health insurance marketplace was originally set to end on Saturday. (The Sacramento Bee)

Picture of America's health features stark setbacks with a side of progress

Nearly one in three (31.3%) American adults now qualify as obese, a 5% increase from 2017, according to the report (PDF), released this week. The rate of cardiovascular deaths has increased by 2% over the last three years from 250.8 to 256.8 per 100,000 individuals. 

The mortality rate due to drug-related causes has increased as well, climbing from 13.5 to 16.9 per 100,000 individuals since 2015—a 25% rise. 

Despite these setbacks, the country has made progress as well. The number of children in poverty is down 19%, falling from 22.6% in 2013 to 18.4% this year. The child poverty rate is "a key indicator of socioeconomic status and health throughout the lifespan," UHF wrote. (FierceHealthcare)