Healthcare Roundup—Worldwide C-section rates skyrocket; HCA, nurses reach tentative labor agreement

C-section rates worldwide have nearly doubled over the past decade, plus more healthcare headlines. (Getty/AleMoraes244)

C-section rates nearly doubled worldwide between 2000 and 2015

Cesarean section rates increased from 12% to 21% worldwide between 2000 and 2015, according to a new study.

The report, which was published in The Lancet, also suggests that most regions fail to follow recommended use guidelines. About 60% of countries, especially wealthy nations, overuse C-sections, while 25%, in particular, poor countries where it’s an expensive procedure, underuse them.

Researchers estimate that between 10% and 15% of births require a C-section due to complications. The study found that rates rose by 3.7% each year over the course of the 15-year window. (Reuters)

HCA Healthcare, nurses' union reach tentative labor agreement

National Nurses United announced that it and HCA Healthcare have reached tentative agreement for salaries and benefits that will impact more than 7,000 nurses across five states.

The contracts extend to 10 HCA hospitals, according to the announcement. The agreement includes “fair and equitable raises” and provisions that allow nurses to keep their insurance benefits and take advantage of improved tuition reimbursements.

The agreements, if approved by membership votes, would run through May 2021.

“These new pacts clearly demonstrate what nurses can accomplish when we are persistent and unified, including in environments that are hostile to collective bargaining rights,” Bonnie Castillo, R.N., National Nurses United director, said. (Announcement)

Planned Parenthood launches campaign to protect abortion rights following Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS confirmation

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund have launched a multimillion dollar campaign aimed at protecting abortion rights in response to Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

The plan is a three-part initiative: expanding services and access in states where abortion is likely to remain legal, working with policymakers on the state level to build “good laws” and fighting the stigma against abortion.

“We began working on this plan before Trump and Pence took office, and we’re kicking it into high gear today,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the federation and action fund, said. “We demand a world where who you are or how much money you make doesn’t determine your access to healthcare or access to safe, legal abortion.” (Announcement)

Pfizer settles investigation into use of ‘deceptive’ coupons

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has agreed to settle a New York state investigation into its use of “deceptive” copay coupons.

The company will pay out $500,000 in fines and $200,000 in restitution as part of the settlement. Customers received coupons for certain products, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, that promised low copays of between $15 and $25, but savings limits were hidden in fine print, leading thousands of customers to pay far more than promised.

The settlement resolves a string of claims from between 2014 and 2017. (Reuters)