Healthcare Roundup—Hospital-acquired infections can impact patients’ mental, social health

Hospital entance
Hospital-acquired infections can impact patients' mental health, too, according to a new study. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Study: Hospital-acquired infections can impact patients’ mental, social health

Hospital-acquired infections do more than just harm patients physically, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers at Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University examined 17 studies from five different countries to gather a more complete picture of how these infections can impact patients. They found that hospital-acquired infections can lead to strained relationships between patients and their doctors, who may feel shame and guilt about the infection.

The infections can also cause fear and anxiety, especially if their doctors pull away, according to the study.

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“Understanding the patient experience can help [healthcare providers] to interact and respond in a positive way, providing more effective support during this challenging time in a patient’s healthcare experience,” lead author Kay Currie, Ph.D., said. (Announcement)

HHS Secretary Azar meets with specialty, patient groups to talk drug price reform

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with several specialty care and patient groups to discuss the agency’s efforts to bring down drug prices.

The meeting centered specifically on recently announced tools that Medicare Advantage plans can use to negotiate lower prices, including allowing for step therapy. Most of the groups present—which included the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, the American College of Rheumatology and Patients for Affordable Drugs—have been skeptical of the plan.

Some in attendance expressed concern about how step therapy could make it harder to prescribe the drugs patients need, while others commended the Trump administration for its focus on the drug pricing issue. (Announcement)

Best Buy to buy health device company GreatCall for $800M

Best Buy announced that it would purchase GreatCall, a company that provides emergency response devices to the elderly, for $800 million in cash.

GreatCall, which is based in California, has more than 900,000 users of its products. Best Buy has already dipped a toe into the healthcare space, as it sells a variety of wellness devices and also runs an activity monitoring service that is available in 21 regions.

The deal falls under the electronics retailer’s Best Buy 2020 plan, a project that seeks to use technology to meet the needs of aging people. (FierceWireless)

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