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Health care must-reads: Trade wars, nonhospital health services and other threats

What’s trending? From staffing shortages to 23andMe, don’t miss these most-read stories.

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A look at how the US pharmaceutical companies could be vulnerable to a trade war with China and a survey that found health care execs see nonhospital health services as a threat were the most-read stories last week in the SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders. The other top stories: How a Colorado county is negotiating health care prices, health employers’ reliance on immigrants and the future of 23andMe.

How trade war with China could hit US pharmaceutical makers

The trade war with China could hit the pharmaceutical industry, due to US reliance on China for prescription drugs. Retired Brig. Gen. John Adams said China could weaponize its dominance in pharmaceuticals, and Rosemary Gibson, author of “ChinaRx — Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” said China’s goal is to disrupt and displace pharmaceutical manufacturing in the US.

Full Story: International Business Times

Survey: Most health execs view nonhospital health services as a threat

The 2019 State of Consumerism in Healthcare report by Kaufman Hall found that 88% of hospital and health system leaders feel threatened by nonhospital competitors. The executives named Amazon, CVS Health/Aetna and Optum as big threats.

Full Story: Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report

Colo. county negotiates lower prices with health care providers

With health care costs and insurance premiums rising in Summit County, Colo., residents and county leaders banded with businesses to create the Peak Health Alliance to negotiate directly with a local hospital and medical practices. As a result, prices for care and insurance premiums are expected to be up to 20% lower.

Full story: The Colorado Sun (Denver)

Staffing shortage in US health care mitigated by immigrants

The health care industry is experiencing a nationwide staffing shortage alleviated only by the influx of immigrant physicians and nurses. A study in Health Affairs found that immigrants made up 18.2% of the health care industry’s workforce in 2017.

Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model)

Wojcicki sets future direction for 23andMe

23andMe cofounder and CEO Anne Wojcicki is preparing to give birth to her third child and guide the company’s future as both a drug discovery partner and a personal health resource. The genetic testing firm has a drug-discovery deal with GSK, and Wojcicki is exploring avenues for providing customers health coaching services based on genetic profile.

Full Story: Forbes

Tom Parks is a health editor at SmartBrief who focuses on health care, leadership and nursing as well as care at the beginning and end of life. He launched and edits the SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders newsletter.


This “most read” feature reflects the most read items in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders from the previous week. Sign up for SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s health care newsletters, covering health IT, news for insurers, news for providers and more.