Weekend update

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Congress is on a State / District work break until after Labor Day.

The Change Healthcare antitrust trial is ongoing. The judge Hon. Carl J. Nichols will be deciding the case without a jury. He was heard evidence for ten days already. The case is U.S. v UnitedHealth Group et al., 22-cv-481, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

From the Omicron and siblings front, Bloomberg Prognosis informs us

Scientists fear that the omicron shots coming this fall won’t be all that much better at keeping people from getting Covid than the shots we already have. That’s pushing drugmakers to start working on next-generation vaccines that don’t have to be updated that often, if at all, writes Bloomberg’s Madison Muller, Riley Griffin and Fiona Rutherford. 

“Even with the highly flexible platform of mRNA, which is more flexible than virtually anything we’ve had before, it’s going to be very difficult to keep up with the pace of newly evolving variants,” Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser told Bloomberg. “Which gets us to the question: What about a pan-coronavirus vaccine?”

Aim high.

From the monkeypox front, the World Health Organization has renamed the disease that is quite bland.

Consensus was reached to now refer to the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II). Additionally, it was agreed that the Clade II consists of two subclades. 

A clade means “a group of organisms believed to have evolved from a common ancestor, according to the principles of cladistics, e.g., “the great ape and human clade.” How will WHO distinguish between the monkeypox clade and the chickenpox clade? Time will tell.

From the U.S. healthcare business front, Fierce Healthcare tells us

Humana will acquire a Wisconsin managed care plan in a bid to bulk up its Medicaid services, the insurer announced Friday.

Inclusa, Inc. offers long-term care coverage as well as supporting 16,600 older adults and adults with disabilities in Wisconsin’s Family Care program. The managed care organization has worked with local providers and community resources for more than 20 years to connect members with necessary support and services.

Inclusa partners with more than 6,000 service providers across about 40 service categories, as well as contracts with the state to provide family care services in 68 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, according to the announcement.

The Wall Street Journal offers two expert interviews on mental health issues:

Check them out.

Speaking of eating, Forbes offers the five best diets for people with diabetes in 2022.

NPR reports on initial experience with the 988 lifelines.

The 988 hotline is the nation’s most comprehensive mental health crisis service and can provide crucial help to those in emotional distress. If you’re thinking about suicide but not taking steps to act on it, 988 is unlikely to call law enforcement without your consent. Instead, 988 counselors can provide resources, referrals and a kind ear. However, if you’re at imminent risk and could act on a plan to kill yourself, police may be called, and you could be taken to a hospital involuntarily.

Sonyia Richardson, a licensed clinical social worker who owns a counseling agency that serves mostly Black and brown clients in Charlotte, N.C., said she didn’t immediately tell her clients about 988 when it launched. Even though she’s a member of her state’s 988 planning committee, she said she needed time to develop trust in the service herself. When she learned at a recent committee meeting that fewer than 5% of 988 calls in North Carolina led to a law enforcement response, she felt reassured.

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