U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is slated to help decide the fate of the healthcare reform law next year, reportedly was resting comfortably last Wednesday morning after having a stent placed in her heart. Ginsburg, 81, was expected to be discharged from MedStar Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center within 48 hours, according to a Supreme Court news release. Ginsburg plans to be back to the court on Monday, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. A number of upcoming high-profile cases are scheduled before the justices, including King v. Burwell.
The American Medical Informatics Association is asking Congress to amend a central federal healthcare privacy rule to give medical researchers access to patient records without their consent. A see-saw battle has been waged at the federal policy level for more than a decade over patient consent regarding medical records, with patient privacy advocates arguing that control over information about one’s self is the definition of privacy. So, not surprisingly, a leading privacy advocate reacted negatively to the AMIA request. “It’s shocking that they don’t have enough data yet, they’re going after more?” said Dr. Deborah Peel, a psychiatrist who heads the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation in Austin, Texas.
Healthcare stocks are attracting the big-money crowd, a sign that serious investors think there’s money to be made in the sector, according to one billionaire investment tracker. Direxion Investments, a mutual fund manager, created the iBillionaire Index in April 2013. The index tracks and updates where the world’s billionaire investors like Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn are putting their money. Healthcare companies became a much more popular investment during the third quarter of this year, the index shows. Six of the 30 companies on the iBillionaire Index at the end of Q3 were related to the industry: pharmaceutical giants AbbVie and Actavis, health insurers Aetna and Humana, hospital chain Tenet Healthcare Corp. and biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific.