Physician Practice Roundup—Sister embezzles $570K from medical practice and more news

justice scales and gavel
A Colorado woman who worked as office manager at her sister's medical practice stole over $500,000. (Getty/BrianAJackson)

Sister embezzles $570K from medical practice

An Aspen, Colorado, woman who stole more than $570,000 from her sister’s medical practice was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail.

A judge sentenced Shannon Nagle to 90 days in a county jail, 48 days of community service and six years of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution, although the judge said there is no likelihood that will happen.

Nagle, who worked as office manager and bookkeeper for the All Valley Women’s Care medical practice where her sister Mindy Nagle, M.D., was co-owner, pleaded guilty last month to felony theft. She used the practice’s credit cards to pay for plastic surgery, airline flights, hotel stays, jewelry and other items. (Aspen Daily News article)

AMA calls on regulators to block CVS-Aetna merger

The American Medical Association has come out against the planned merger between CVS Health and Aetna, warning that the deal could hurt patients by reducing competition. 

AMA President Barbara McAneny, M.D., said at a hearing before the California Department of Insurance that regulators should block the deal, as it could lead to anticompetitive effects in Medicare Part D, health insurance, pharmacy benefit management, retail pharmacy and specialty pharmacy.

"After very careful consideration over the past months, the AMA has come to the conclusion that this merger would likely substantially lessen competition in many health markets, to the detriment of patients," McAneny said. "The AMA is now convinced that the proposed CVS-Aetna merger should be blocked." (Fierce Healthcare)

What the Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway venture's CEO pick says about their plans—and the industry

Atul Gawande, M.D., famously explored how hospitals might run better if they copied some of The Cheesecake Factory's tricks.

The New York Times bestselling author wrote a manifesto on checklists, pondered the expensive healthcare costs of a border town in Texas and examined how Americans might finally get better at dying.

So there were plenty of reasons for speculation on Wednesday after Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, was announced as the CEO of the high-profile healthcare venture started by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.

Namely, chatter in healthcare circles centered around what big ideas the well-known surgeon might actually bring to healthcare once he has the chance. (Fierce Healthcare)

Survey finds 45% of diabetes patients go without care due to cost

A survey finds that almost half of diabetes patients say they have gone without care at times because they could not afford it.

With insulin prices spiking, the survey of 5,000 patients by UpWell Health found 45% of diabetics said they have gone without treatment because of cost and 43% said they paid up to $1,000 out-of-pocket in the past year for treating diabetes complications.

At its annual meeting last week, the American Medical Association urged the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to monitor insulin pricing and market competition to protect patients. “It is shocking and unconscionable that our patients struggle to secure a basic medicine like insulin. The federal government needs to step in and help make sure patients aren’t being exploited with exorbitant costs,” said AMA board member William A. McDade, M.D., in a statement. (UpWell Health survey, AMA statement)