A look at the morning's top health industry news.
Hospitals asked to pay taxes: Some Boston hospitals and other nonprofits have been asked pay up to 25 percent of what they would owe the city if their properties were not tax exempt. Letters requesting payment were sent to 40 nonprofits who own $13.6 billion in property -- more than half of the city's commercial tax base. Among those who say they will pay are Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Partners HealthCare said it already pays more than other hospitals in the city, writes Globe reporter Michael Rezendes.
Blockbuster potential: Globe reporters Carolyn Johnson and Robert Weisman tell the story of the growth of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., as the Cambridge company waits on a decision from a Food and Drug Administration regarding its hepatitis C pill, telaprevir. If approved as expected, some estimate that annual sales could reach $2 billion.
The disappearing solo practice: The New York Times tells the story of Ronald Sroka, a family doctor who could not give away his Maryland practice. Sroka, who has treated some patients for 30 years, said he knows that doctors like him are a dying breed: "The business model for the small physician no longer works," he said.
Preventive care that's free until it's not: One of the least controversial pieces of the federal health care law is a provision that requires insurers to provide some preventative care, such as colonoscopies, at no cost. Kaiser Health News reports that the requirement is causing some confusion and some patients are getting stuck with a bill: Who pays when a preventative screening turns up a problem that requires treatment?
Pitching to doctors: The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday about whether a doctor's prescription history should be available to drug marketers. Pharmacies sell their records to data collection companies. But, the New York Times reports, some regulators and medical societies say the practice drives up the cost of health care because it allows marketers to target those doctors most likely to prescribe the latest, most costly drug.
About white coat notes
|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor
Elizabeth Comeau, Senior Health Producer