The Health News USA October 17 2017

  • NowRX developed a skill for its users to order medications through Amazon, Alexa and Google Home. The company is expecting to get a green-light to market its application this month. NowRx wants to make standing in line at the pharmacy a thing of the past.
  • Napa County officials proclaimed a local health emergency late Friday due to hazardous waste and materials from the Atlas Complex Fire. According to the California Health and Safety Code, local health officers can proclaim a local health emergency when they determine hazardous waste is present in an area.
  • California and seventeen other states filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back cost-sharing subsidies that help reduce the price of healthcare for millions of Americans. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the decision to cease federal payments to health insurers that provide coverage undermines the Affordable Care Act and could result in up to twenty percent increases in costs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/13/nowrx-order-prescription-drugs-through-amazon-alexa-google-home.html

NowRX developed a skill for its users to order medications through Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The company is expecting to get a green-light to market its application this month.
Users in Silicon Valley will have their medication delivered within a few hours. NowRx wants to make standing in line at the pharmacy a thing of the past. This month, its users will have the option to order prescription medications via a virtual home assistant, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. A robot then registers to the request and dispenses the medication within minutes, and a car will deliver it within hours. The Silicon Valley startup claims that this is the first voice application for medication ordering.

It works when a user downloads the NowRX skill, and activates it with a voice command (for example “Alexa, open NowRX’). From there, the skill will prompt the user to request, refill or renew a medication by sharing the last four digits of their prescription number. The company is still waiting on approval from Google and Amazon, but expects to get a green-light within a few weeks. NowRX is one of a handful of startups that are taking on the brick and mortar pharmacy. Founder Cary Breese said the company is dispensing one hundred twenty five prescriptions per day from its Mountain View-based retail pharmacy. It targets its marketing to consumers through Facebook ads, who can request that their doctor use NowRX. Currently, it has four hundred Bay Area doctors in its network. Amazon Alexa is not yet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability compliant, meaning it doesn’t meet the federal rules and requirements that are designed to protect patient’s sensitive health information. That limits health developers from developing certain kinds of medical apps, which involve health information being shared with hospitals, clinics and their business associates.
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The company currently serves patients in Silicon Valley, but expects to expand in the coming year.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Local-health-emergency-declared-in-Napa-County-12277846.php

Napa County officials proclaimed a local health emergency late Friday due to hazardous waste and materials from the Atlas Complex Fire, the county announced via Twitter about one A.M. Saturday. According to the California Health and Safety Code, local health officers can proclaim a local health emergency when they determine hazardous waste is present in an area.

Wineries, schools, hotels and neighborhoods have been destroyed in the recent Bay Area fires.
It went on to say that with the advent of the rainy season quickly approaching, action must be taken quickly to prevent hazardous waste from contaminating the watershed. Waste disposal is a concern in Mendocino County as well. County officials issued a statement Friday evening saying they were working with the state to remove hazardous materials from burned buildings, and cautioning people to avoid exposing themselves to the materials.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-california-other-states-will-sue-1507917250-htmlstory.html

California and seventeen other states filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back cost-sharing subsidies that help reduce the price of healthcare for millions of Americans. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the decision to cease federal payments to health insurers that provide coverage undermines the Affordable Care Act and could result in up to twenty percent increases in costs, putting healthcare out of reach for millions of families.
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The legal challenge says the subsidies are lawful, that the Trump administration action conflicts with federal law and that the president failed to follow proper procedure to change the subsidies that benefit six million people, including seven hundred thousand Californians. “The president can’t pick and choose which laws he wishes to follow,” Becerra said. He added: “The federal action is “essentially a seven-billion dollar tax increase for working families trying to hold onto their health insurance.” The impact will be blunted somewhat in this state because of adjustments made this week by California’s state-based individual healthcare marketplace, Covered California. The states also say they are harmed financially by the Trump administration’s decision, which will undermine state budgets by costing states more to provide emergency healthcare to people who lose health insurance, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

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