Healthcare Roundup—Tenet completes sale of U.K. provider group

Pile of money
Tenet Healthcare has closed the sale of its UK provider portfolio, plus more healthcare headlines. (Getty/urfinguss)

Tenet completes sale of U.K. health system

As part of its ongoing series of divestitures, Tenet Healthcare has completed the sale of United Kingdom-based Aspen Healthcare to NMC Healthcare UK Limited.

Aspen operates nine facilities in the U.K., and with the closure of the sale Tenet will no longer run any facilities there. The deal includes several hospitals and specialty clinics, including a cancer center and ophthalmology provider.

Tenet said during its second-quarter earnings call earlier this month that it had a “solid quarter” and is expecting several of its stateside divestitures to close by the end of 2018. (Announcement)

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OIG: VA improperly rejected hundreds of PTSD claims related to sexual trauma

The Department of Veterans Affairs last year denied nearly half of post-traumatic stress disorder claims linked to sexual trauma, according to a new report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The Veterans Benefits Administration fields about 12,000 cases and rejected the claims in 5,600 cases, or about 46%. OIG looked at a sample of 169 rejections that were reviewed between April and September 2017 and found that about half were improperly vetted through the administration’s protocols. This would deny treatment coverage to patients with military sexual trauma.

Based on that finding, OIG estimates that 1,300 of the 2,700, or 49%, of rejections recorded in that window were improperly processed. (Report [PDF])

FDA awards contract to develop opioid prescribing guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration has agreed to a contract with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine to build evidence-based guidelines on opioid prescribing.

NASEM will conduct a study to identify priority acute conditions for opioid prescribing and will identify guidance gaps in current protocols, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. The project will also include public workshops and meetings to gather feedback from a variety of stakeholders, Gottlieb said.

“We’re optimistic that this new effort will result in new, data-driven guidelines from medical professional societies that can be easily accessible to prescribers (and possibly inform product labeling),” Gottlieb said. “These evidence-based guidelines can help ensure that opioid analgesic prescribing more closely comports with clinical need.” (Statement)

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