Physician Practice Roundup—Lawsuit challenges FDA delay of review of e-cigarettes; Physician groups urge Supreme Court to block the Trump administration's travel ban

Doctors, health groups file lawsuit against FDA to challenge delay of e-cigarette review

Seven public health and medical groups along with several individual pediatricians filed suit Tuesday in federal court in Maryland to challenge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to allow electronic cigarettes and cigars to go unregulated for now.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Maryland chapter, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Truth Initiative and five individual pediatricians. It challenges the FDA’s decision last year to push back a deadline for makers of e-cigarettes to submit their products for review. The groups said the delay poses a threat to children’s health. (American Lung Association announcement)

35 healthcare industry groups urge Supreme Court to block the Trump administration's travel ban 

Some of the most influential medical and physician organizations in the country are urging the Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction on the Trump administration's travel ban. 

The 35 organizations, led by the Association of American Medical Colleges and including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) in the case, arguing that the healthcare workforce relies on immigrants. (FierceHealthcare)

Lawmakers working on opioid legislation

A draft bill, brought forward by Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, would allow the Food and Drug Administration to require drug manufacturers to package certain opioids in blister packs.

Packaging opioids in set doses would make it easier for a doctor to write a smaller prescription for the drugs and for pharmacists to fill it. Lawmakers hope to bring a legislative package to address the opioid crisis forward, and Alexander released discussion drafts this week. (The Hill)

3 reasons to let go of fee-for-service payment models

Physicians have defended status quo in healthcare based on the fear of straddling both fee-for-service and value-based payment models. But executives at Virginia Mason Health Care System say the foundation for that position has eroded significantly.

Virginia Mason CEO Gary S. Kaplan, M.D., and C. Craig Blackmore, M.D., director of the Center for Health Care Improvement Science at Virginia Mason, wrote in an op-ed for NEJM Catalyst that ethical, professional and business considerations have rendered most arguments for resisting payment change moot. (FierceHealthcare)

How the Mayo Clinic involves doctors in action learning-based leadership

Want to help your physicians become effective leaders who can help transform how your healthcare organization works?

The Mayo Clinic says it has one answer: Put them on a team, give them a problem to solve and a deadline.

It’s formally called action learning, a leadership-development process in which small groups work on real-world organizational business problems, write three of the advisers for the Mayo Clinic program in NEJM Catalyst. (FierceHealthcare)

Data breaches are drawing more scrutiny from both federal and state regulators

High-profile data breaches across multiple industries have prompted state and federal regulators to adopt a more aggressive investigative role in uncovering systemic failures.

Data breach inquiries by state attorneys general across all industries have nearly doubled in the last year, from 37 to 64, according to a new data security report (PDF) from the law firm BakerHostetler, which drew from their work with 560 incidents in 2017. Inquiries from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) increased from 13 to 22 over the last year. (Fierce Healthcare)

American Antitrust Institute urges DOJ to block CVS-Aetna merger, citing competition concerns

A proposed megamerger between two healthcare giants could trigger "a fundamental restructuring of the U.S. healthcare system" that would hurt both patients and competition, a Washington-based think tank warns.

In a letter (PDF) Monday to the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) urged regulators to block a proposed merger between Aetna and retail pharmacy giant CVS, arguing it would lead to higher service prices and decreased innovation. The group also raised concerns about the recently announced merger of Express Scripts and Cigna. (FierceHealthcare)