Heart device linked to 14 deaths and 12 more supply chain updates

Here are the supply chain updates ASC leaders need to know this week.

Thirteen supply chain updates from the week of April 9-16:

1. Abbott and its subsidiary Thoratec Corp. warned customers of 13,883 heart devices after receiving reports of 273 injuries and 14 deaths related to blood flow obstructions. 

2. A Mississippi man who managed multiple durable medical equipment companies faces up to 25 years in prison for his alleged role in a Medicare fraud scheme exceeding $70 million. Joel Rufus French, 46, of Amory, Miss., allegedly failed to disclose his role with the equipment companies to Medicare. 

3. The FDA said U.S. healthcare workers should avoid all plastic syringes manufactured by Jiangsu Shenli Medical Production as the agency investigates multiple syringe suppliers. In two import alerts, the FDA said all of Jiangsu Shenli's piston syringes are subject to detention without physical examination. 

4. A full return to "prepandemic normalcy remains unlikely in 2024," but turbulence from supply chain disruptions is weakening, according to a new stability index. 

5. Providence-based Rhode Island Hospital saw an increase in external ventricular drain infections after switching to a Medtronic device that has since been recalled. Rhode Island Hospital's rate of EVD-related infections jumped from 0.7 per 1,000 EVD days before using Medtronic's system to 6.5 per 1,000 after. Positive cultures of cerebrospinal fluid also increased threefold. 

6. Here are eight recent hospital and supplier deals. 

7. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule it predicts will slash more than 6,200 tons of chloroprene and ethylene oxide emissions, which are used by chemical and medical sterilization plants. 

8. Business Group on Health honored five health systems and three medical supply companies with its Best Employers: Excellence in Health & Well-being Award.

9. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, Vizient and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council partnered to pass the Collective Healthcare Action to Reduce MedTech Emissions, which aims to reduce emissions in the medtech industry. 

10. An Iowa advanced registered nurse practitioner has been accused of prescribing $1 million worth of unneeded medical devices to Medicare patients.

11. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania restricted Philips Respironics from producing and selling new respiratory devices from several facilities in the U.S.

12. After the FDA handed down a sterility warning to Nurse Assist in relation to its saline and sterile water products in November, Medline recalled an unspecified number of convenience kits. 

13. Global Healthcare Exchange named 89 healthcare providers and supplier organizations to its 2023 Millennium Club, which recognizes healthcare organizations that have automated more than 1 million transactions annually through the GHX Exchange.

Six supply chain updates from the week of April 2-9:

1. Aruba Aloe Balm has issued a voluntary recall of 40 lots of Aruba Aloe hand sanitizer gel alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada gel due to a risk of methanol presence. So far, no adverse reactions have been reported. 

2. Construction has begun in Columbus, Ohio, for Cardinal Health's 350,000-square-foot facility, which will distribute over-the-counter consumer products and medications. The centralized replenishment center will create 100 jobs in Central Ohio, where Cardinal Health already has three distribution sites.

3. Johnson & Johnson has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the cardiovascular medical device company Shockwave Medical. Under the agreement, J&J will acquire Shockwave for $335 per share in cash, which represents approximately $13.1 billion.

4. Here are three things to know about Advocate Health's supply chain strategy. 

5. Medos International Sàrl is recalling 1,343 catheter devices because of fractures in the far end of the product, where different parts are joined together in brain vessels. 

6. Teleflex and its subsidiary Arrow International recalled 334,995 catheter kits after receiving reports of increased resistance in the guidewire handle and chamber during use. To date, the agency has received reports of 10 injuries and one death related to the issue. 

Seven supply chain updates from the week of March 26-April 2:

1. Medline's 800,000-square-foot distribution center in Wilmer, Texas, installed AutoStore robotic order fulfillment technology. 

2. Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2042, employing a multipronged effort to reduce waste by revamping unused medical devices. 

3. Hospitals and health systems may see short-term supply chain disruptions, such as delayed deliveries, in the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore. Jim Monkmeyer, president of transportation at DHL Supply Chain, said the port could reopen as soon as May, while rebuilding the bridge is expected to take at least a year. The incident could cause significant ripples in the U.S. supply chain, as Baltimore is a major exporter of coal and the top port for automobile shipments.

4. Medline is recalling certain procedure kits, trays and packs that include saline from Nurse Assist. The affected products contain 0.9% sodium chloride irrigation USP from Nurse Assist, which recalled more than 70 solutions of saline and sterile water products in early November due to the potential for a lack of sterility assurance.

5. Loma Linda (Calif.) University Health tapped Vizient on March 25 for an expansive agreement to access the healthcare performance company's cost-saving and quality improvement offerings. 

6. Medical supply company Masimo is considering a joint venture as it looks to split off its consumer business. The company is deliberating separating its consumer business in a traditional spinoff, which could take about a year, or with a faster joint venture.

7. Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System secured two partnerships March 25 for its planned warehouse in Meridian, Idaho. St. Luke's selected Equipment Depot, a material handling and equipment rental company, and Hai Robotics, an automated storage and retrieval systems business, "to streamline order picking and fulfillment of medical surgical products" in the future warehouse. 

Ten supply chain updates from the week of March 5-12:

1. Cardinal Health has revised its product correction to include more than 27 million syringes and the FDA has upgraded the notice to a Class I recall, the most serious type. 

2. The largest health system in Maryland, Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System, is constructing a logistics operations center to centralize its medical supply storage. To stock the necessary items for that many patients, the system signed a lease to build a 400,000-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore. 

3. An affiliate of PruittHealth, a post-acute services system, acquired medical supply company Allied Health Resources on March 6. PruittHealth, which has more than 180 locations across the Southeast, is the parent company of PruittHealth Medical Supply. 

4. Medtronic Neurosurgery recalled 45,176 drainage systems because catheters might disconnect from patient line stopcock connectors. There have been 26 reported injuries.

5. Smiths Medical has warned customers of more than 135,000 Medfusion syringe pumps about problems associated with earlier software versions.

6. More than four dozen health systems have pledged to adopt the Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative's resiliency badge, which seeks to improve trust between medical suppliers and providers. The HIRC is composed of health systems, medical suppliers and health system supply chain associations. Its new resiliency badge program evaluates medical supply manufacturers on their capabilities for demand planning, inventory management, supply chain visibility, risk management and contingency, and other resiliency factors. 

7. Lehigh Valley Health Network signed a yearslong agreement for Medline to exclusively service medical supplies to the system's 13 hospital campuses. 

8. A jury recently convicted the former CEO of a medical device company in connection to the company's creation and sale of a dummy medical device part that was implanted in patients. Federal investigators claim Stimwave CEO Laura Perryman helped design, manufacture and market a nonfunctional part for a chronic pain device from about 2017 to 2020. 

9. Stryker recalled 143 units of its Triathlon total knee system. The recalls were initiated because of issues affecting the inner blister and outside sterile blisters of the implant packaging.

10. Best Buy now supplies care-at-home technology to eight of the largest U.S. health systems.

Ten supply chain updates from the week of Feb. 27-March 5:

1. Three health systems — Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente; Minneapolis-based Allina Health; and Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health — are all doubling down on environmental initiatives within the supply chain as climate change threatens the healthcare industry. 

2. A Florida man pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme that defrauded Medicare and other benefit programs of at least $3.6 million through the receipt of kickbacks and bribes in exchange for providing durable medical equipment companies with completed physician's orders for medically unnecessary medical equipment.

3. As hospitals and health systems worry over the unsteady supply of helium, a necessary element for MRI machines, Royal Philips installed its thousandth "virtually helium-free MRI." The BlueSeal 1.5T MR scanner requires 0.5% of the helium needed for a conventional Philips MR system that uses 1,500 liters of helium.

4. The FDA has issued an alert on higher-than-expected device failure rates with the Hintermann Series H3 Total Ankle Replacement system, manufactured by DT MedTech. The rate of additional surgery for patients with the Hintermann system is at least 28.5%. 

5. U.S. supply chain leaders often underestimate the risk of labor-related issues, both domestically and with foreign suppliers, according to Kevin Kolben, a supply chain labor expert and professor of business law at Newark, N.J.-based Rutgers Business School.

6. A physician pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks in a fraudulent telemarketing and medical supply scheme. A telemarketing company accessed Medicare and Tricare beneficiary information to contact patients and access their health information. The company then created false medical records with fraudulent orders for durable medical equipment. Medicare and Tricare paid for at least $13.7 million in medical supplies. 

7. AdventHealth, in partnership with Medline, has opened a new 375,000-square-foot supply facility in Central Florida.

8. Here are six recent FDA device recalls and issues to know. 

9. The CDC is anticipating a shortage of Td vaccines — which protect against tetanus and diphtheria — as the maker of one shot has discontinued production. As a result, the CDC has updated guidance for providers and is recommending that they switch to administering Tdap vaccines, which protect against pertussis in addition to tetanus and diphtheria, whenever possible.  

10. Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center appointed William Obremskey, MD, as its executive medical director of supply chain services. 

Nine supply chain updates from the week of Feb. 20-27: 

1. Brassica Pharma is voluntarily recalling some of its eye ointment products due to a lack of sterility assurance at the facility where they were produced. 

2. The FDA is recalling additional saline and sterile water products made by Nurse Assist after receiving reports of adverse events. On Nov. 6, Nurse Assist, a Texas manufacturer of water-based medical products, voluntarily recalled some products that were found to not be sterile.

3. Medical device companies and medical suppliers are investing in recycling and waste-management initiatives. Currently, many single-use medical products were not made to be broken down and recycled. 

4. Philadelphia police are searching for a man who stole approximately $100,000 worth of spinal implants from a vehicle in a parking garage on Feb. 19. 

5. A former vice president of Mazor Robotics was convicted by a federal jury of insider trading ahead of Mazor's $1.6 billion acquisition by medical device company Medtronic.  

6. Walmart has achieved an environmental sustainability milestone. The retailer's suppliers have removed 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain, a target the company originally aimed to achieve by 2030. 

7. IMBiotechnologies has signed a supply agreement with Embol Experts, one of the largest group purchasing organizations for ASCs and office-based laboratories in the U.S. IMBiotechnologies produces Ekboi Embolization Microspheres, a biodegradable embolic agent that is detectable by ultrasound. 

8. Third-party test labs are increasingly generating false results for medical device studies, and manufacturers are responsible for validating the data, according to the FDA. Medical device companies should "carefully evaluate the third parties" they use for performance tests submitted to the FDA, the agency said. In recent years, there has been an uptick in unreliable data, including fabricated information and duplicated results from other device submissions. 

9. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare and six other hospitals and health systems are advocating for a central platform in which medical devicemakers report supply disruptions, including recalls. 

Eight supply chain updates from the week of Feb. 13-20: 

1. Four ASCs and health systems have secured partnerships with major supplier Medline in 2024. 

2. Medical devicemaker Medtronic saw nearly $8.1 billion in revenue in its third quarter of fiscal year 2024. In the three months ending Jan. 26, Medtronic recorded $8.09 billion in net sales.

3. Philips told users of its BrightView imaging machines the detector might fall because of a component failure. No injuries or deaths have been reported. 

4. Whittier, Calif.-based PIH Health and Medline expanded their yearslong partnership Feb. 14 to include the system's laboratories, physician offices and post-acute facilities.

5. Smiths Medical notified customers of 50,743 syringe pumps of a software issue that can cause serious injury or death. 

6. Here are three international events affecting the global supply chain. 

7. By the end of 2024, DHL Supply Chain plans to expand its network of warehouse facilities from 35 to 40 and invest $200 million into its life sciences and healthcare capabilities. 

8. Here are five moves from medical product distribution company Cardinal Health in the last three months.

Three supply chain updates from the week of Feb. 6-13

1. In 2021, medical devicemaker Philips recalled 3.5 million ventilation devices after finding a defect that could cause cancer. Now, more than 500 deaths have been linked to the devices recalled less than three years ago. Here is a timeline of events. 

2. Children's Nebraska, a pediatric hospital in Omaha, extended its decadelong partnership with Medline on Feb. 6. The hospital and the medical supplier have been partners since 2013. 

3. A respiratory care devicemaker in Idaho pulled more than 2,000 breathing circuit kits in a Class I recall. 

Seven supply chain updates from the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6:

1. A year and a half after Kaiser Permanente pledged to slice its carbon emissions in half by 2030, its supply chain department is making headway through operational changes and new contract clauses with suppliers. 

2. About 70% of the startup N95 and surgical mask companies created during the COVID-19 pandemic's shortage of personal protective equipment are now closed, and U.S. production of maks has fallen 90% as hospitals return to buying cheaper products abroad. 

3. Timothy Miller, vice president of supply chain shared services at Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health, told Becker's how his system jumped nine spots in Gartner's 2023 supply chain rankings in just one year. 

4. The FDA has received more than 500 reports of death tied to Philips' recalled sleep apnea devices since 2021. 

5. Duluth, Minn.-based St. Luke's signed a five-year contract with Medline. The partnership is a primary supplier vendor agreement for the St. Luke's network, which includes two hospitals, three regional centers, three surgery centers and 40 clinics. 

6. Novo Nordisk has started increasing supplies of lower doses of Wegovy, a weight loss drug, which the drug maker says will enable more new patients to start taking the medication. The company restricted supply of the lowest doses, or starter doses, of Wegovy in May to ensure people already taking the drug were able to get their doses. 

7. Global manufacturer and distributor Cardinal Health acquired Specialty Networks, a technology-enabled group purchasing and practice enhancement organization, for $1.2 billion. 

Four supply chain updates from the week of Jan. 23-Jan. 30:

1. Philips will stop selling sleep apnea devices in the U.S. under a consent decree agreement with the FDA. Under the agreement, Philips will not sell new sleep apnea machines and ventilators through its Respironics division. The Dutch company will continue to serve existing customers with supply accessories and replacement parts. 

2. Lake Regional Health System appointed Robert Ambrose, the current director of dining services, as its supply chain director. Mr. Ambrose has been at the Osage Beach, Mo.-based system since 2016, when he transitioned from an executive chef position at Aramark Healthcare to a nutrition services leadership job at Lake Regional.

3. Hospital supply chain leaders are concerned that the nation's sale of its helium stockpile could worsen an existing supply shortage. On Jan. 25, the government sold the Federal Helium Reserve, which supplies around 30% of the nation's helium. The deal has not yet been finalized, though the sale will likely go to industrial gas company Messer, which is the highest bidder. 

4. Careismatic, a medical scrubs maker and distributor in California, filed for bankruptcy Jan. 23 as it logs $833 million in debt. 

Ten supply chain updates from the week of Jan. 16-Jan. 23:

1. An American Hospital Association report has identified the service lines facing the worst supply strains, with hospital surgery and anesthesia departments seeing the largest impacts. 

2. Global geopolitical factors including ongoing conflict in the Middle East and weather in the Panama Canal are impacting the U.S. medical supply chain. 

3. Tom Lubotsky, supply chain vice president of Minneapolis-based Allina Health, spoke with Becker's about how Allina achieved a 12-spot leap, the biggest improvement on the 2023 list, on Gartner's annual ranking of 25 healthcare supply chain teams. 

4. Primordial Ventures, a minority- and veteran-owned startup medical device supplier, is setting up shop in Birmingham, Ala.

5. The FDA has flagged 345 Regard Operative Lap P&S Surgical Kits made by ROi CPS for possible sterility issues that pose a risk of serious harm. The single-use surgical kits were built with a previously recalled product, 0.9% sodium chloride irrigation USP and sterile water for irrigation USP from Nurse Assist, which was recalled over potential sterility issues. 

6. The Government Accountability Office is launching a probe into the FDA's oversight of medical device recalls. 

7. In 2023, medical supply company Medline sealed nine agreements with health systems, including primary vendor partnerships and a collaboration to co-develop a new supply center in Florida.

8. Here are nine women supply leaders in the healthcare industry to know.

9. Becker's identified five supply chain issues to monitor in 2024.  

10. More physicians understand the FDA's approval process for drugs than they do for medical devices, according to findings from a January survey. 

Six supply chain updates from the week of Jan. 9-Jan. 16:

1. There is a risk of serious injury or death related to more than 20 million CPAP masks made by ResMed. The continuous positive airway pressure masks, branded as AirFit and AirTouch, have magnets on the headgear to make the device comfortable. If a magnet is less than 2 inches away from the CPAP mask, the proximity can disrupt the functions of other medical implants and devices.

2. The FDA has issued temporary authorization for the importation of a syphilis drug that's been in short supply since last April. Last April, the CDC said syphilis rates are at their highest since 1950, with nearly 177,000 cases reported in 2021. Pfizer is working to ramp up its production of the drug domestically. 

3. Medtronic has ended contracts with 200 suppliers, and the medical device company plans to close five manufacturing plants and six distribution centers. Medtronic has more than 95,000 employees and operates 78 plants around the world. 

4. Medline acquired United Medco, a national provider of supplemental benefits and member engagement solutions. 

5. Thirty-two million Cardinal Health syringes are facing compatibility issues with syringe pumps among an FDA investigation of China-made plastic syringes. As of Jan. 5, there have been 15 reports of delayed therapy because syringe infusion pumps are not recognizing the syringes. There have also been 13 reports of inaccurate volume or rate dispensing, including some injuries, and zero reports of deaths. 

6. The American Red Cross said the U.S. is experiencing an "emergency" blood shortage as the number of donors has hit a 20-year low.

Four supply chain updates from the week of Jan. 2-Jan. 9:

1. HCA Healthcare's group purchasing organization, HealthTrust Performance Group, signed 20 new health system and hospital partners in 2023, increasing its roster of exclusive partnerships to 58. 

2. According to a new report from KFF Health News, most medical devices, including many implants, are being cleared for sale by the FDA without tests for safety or effectiveness. 

3. Northwell Health plans to annually treat more than 500,000 pounds of regulated medical waste in its core laboratory, which processes samples from more than 20,000 patients every day. 

4. The federal government paid $123 million to build the nation's first plant to reproduce synthetic rubber into nitrile gloves, but after medical supply shortages ebbed, the Virginia facility has sat unused. "It would be a shame not to finish," said Victor Galati, CFO of Blue Star NBR, the company contracted to build the plants. "It's a vital product that we need, and we're putting our country at risk, not having something so important."

Three supply chain updates from the week of Dec. 26-Jan. 2:

1. Becker's identified eight notable supply chain shortages from 2023, from saline to syringes. 

2. NYC Health + Hospitals' Danielle DiBari, PharmD, and the system's supply team are working to establish a Diverse Supplier Council to cement equity throughout the hospital supply chain. 

3. The federal government paid $123 million to build the nation's first plant to reproduce synthetic rubber into nitrile gloves, but after medical supply shortages ebbed, the Virginia facility sits unused. Now, the plant is being called a "waste of money" as it sits empty amid a push to bring the healthcare supply chain back to the U.S.

Four supply chain updates from the week of Dec. 19-26:

1. Philips North America recalled 150 MRI machines in the U.S. due to explosion risks in a Class I recall. Two models of the Panorama 1.0T HFO MRI scanners were affected by the recall. The risk of explosion is related to a blockage issue with the machine that can cause an excessive pressure buildup of helium gas during what's known as a quench procedure. In the past 22 years, Philips has received one report of an explosion event and no reports of injury or death. 

2. Olympus, a Japan-based medical devicemaker, warned customers of more than 17,000 airway products that might burn patients or catch fire. Olympus has received 192 complaints, four reports of injury and zero reports of death related to the issue. 

3. The Associated Press determined that states have disposed of millions of dollars in PPE since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The AP sent inquiries to all 50 states regarding PPE stockpiles and learned at least 15 have had to toss tens of millions of products with product expiration dates approaching. At least 18 million masks, 22 million gowns and 500,000 gloves have been tossed. These figures are likely a significant undercount as some states did not give the publication exact figures. Maryland said it disposed of more than $93 million in supplies. Expiring PPE in Ohio had cost about $29 million in federal funds.

4. McKesson Medical-Surgical filed suit against former account executive Robert Combs, alleging he used confidential information to attract clients to his new employer. Mr. Combs resigned from McKesson Medical-Surgical in August before joining Atlantic Medical Solutions.

Six supply chain updates from the week of Dec. 12-19:

1. Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health joined the Medical Device Information Analysis and Sharing partnership, which aims to inject transparency into the medical supply industry. 

2. Manufacturers have confirmed they will make an additional 230,000 doses of respiratory syncytial virus immunizations available for infants in January, alleviating a nationwide shortage. 

3. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, practices have faced a myriad of supply challenges. One administrator told Becker's the four things her facility is having the largest problems keeping stocked. 

4. Gartner released its 15th annual ranking of the nation's best health supply chains, with Cleveland Clinic securing the top spot for the third year in a row. 

5. Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine has recycled more than 12,000 pounds of IV bag waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills as part of a new initiative led by medical equipment manufacturer Baxter. The company now plans to scale the recycling program and make it available to more U.S. hospitals.

6. Here are the top five moves from Northfield, Ill.-based medical supplier Medline in 2023. 

Seven supply chain updates from the week of Dec. 5-12:

1. Getinge recalled 41 of its Cardiohelp Emergency Drive life support machines due to the risk of the device's emergency drive becoming stuck when clinicians attempt to activate the function. The FDA classified it as a Class 1 recall, the most serious type. 

2. Cardinal Health issued a recall Dec. 5 for certain urology and operating room-specific kits and trays that include saline and sterile water from Nurse Assist. Nurse Assist recalled more than 70 solutions of its saline and sterile water products in early November due to the potential for a lack of sterility assurance. There have been no reports of patient harm. 

3. Medtronic has canceled a $738 million deal to acquire the wearable insulin pump maker EOFlow Co. Medtronic entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the South Korea-based company in May and, at the time, expected the deal to close by the end of the year. The scrapped deal comes as EOFlow faces several legal issues, including a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts-based device company Insulet Corp., accusing the company of stealing trade secrets.

4. Mike Schiller, senior director of supply chain at the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management, told Becker's about the importance of the supply chain following emergency events. 

5. Phoenix-based Banner Health was honored for its supplier diversity program for the second time by the Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council.

6. Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth has picked Medline for both its physician office and post-acute care vendor agreements. Medline will provide a portfolio of medical surgical supplies, equipment and devices to over 400 PeaceHealth clinics in Oregon and Washington, with expansion plans for Alaska.

7. Here are the five most significant ways that the healthcare supply chain industry has evolved over the last 15 years. 

Four supply chain updates from the week of Nov. 28 to Dec. 5:

1. At least 60 million syringes and infusion pumps are in turmoil as the FDA investigates China-made plastic syringes. In the two weeks prior to the FDA's warning, U.S. medical devicemakers issued warnings about their syringe infusion pumps having compatibility issues with modified syringes. Thirty-two million Cardinal Health syringes have different dimensions than older brands, and B. Braun Medical is reporting a similar issue for 33.8 million syringe pump sets.

2. On Nov. 30, the FDA issued a warning for practices to avoid syringes made in China, adding that it "may prevent syringes made in China from entering the United States."

3. Biden administration officials met with drug suppliers to address shortages of Beyfortus, the first respiratory syncytial virus drug for children, to discuss how to move forward heading into winter, when RSV tends to increase.

4. Ronald Silverman, MD, the former chief of plastic surgery at Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical Center, became the chief medical officer of Becton Dickinson on Dec. 4. 

Four supply chain updates from the week of Nov. 21-28:

1. Novartis has recalled two lots of its organ rejection drug Sandimmune because crystallization was discovered in some bottles. 

2. Unomedical A/S, a maker of single-use medical devices, is pulling about 130,000 insulin infusion products from the market because it might detach mid-infusion. Nearly 130,700 VariSoft Infusion Sets are being recalled. 

3. The Biden administration plans to broaden the capabilities of the HHS to allow it to make further investments in domestic production of critical medicines and medical supplies. The policy the administration is enacting falls under Title III of the Defense Production Act, which was enacted in 1950, during the Cold War, to bolster research, development, production and scaling of essential supplies.

4. In 2023, 13 different supply leaders and supply companies have been caught in fraud and kickback schemes. 

Eight supply chain updates from the week of Nov. 14-21:

1. B. Braun Medical is warning customers of an issue with about 10,000 pumps after receiving 51 complaints and reports of one injury and one death. The medical devicemaker's Infusomat Space Volumetric Infusion Pump System might have faulty occlusion alarms and suddenly stop delivering medications.

2. The owner of two durable medical equipment companies pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in a kickback scheme that resulted in more than $20 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare. 

3. An 81-year-old in Elsmere, Ky., has filed a lawsuit against Global Pharma Healthcare, claiming that its product, EzriCare Artificial Tears, caused an infection in her eye that led to countless medical appointments, multiple surgeries and an eight-day hospital stay.

4. Biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific will be closing its plant in Auburn, Ala., and laying off 97 employees.

5. Cardinal Health is warning customers of potential problems with more than 32 million syringes because they have different dimensions than older brands, resulting in compatibility issues with syringe pumps.

6. Fresenius Medical Care increased its Class I recall of syringes from about 370,000 to more than 12 million. 

7. Robert Califf, MD, the 25th commissioner of the FDA, mapped out a new plan for medical supply chain tactics in the wake of nationwide drug and medical supply shortages. 

8. Burlington, Mass.-based Tufts Medicine signed a contract with Premier to extend its supply chain partnership over the next 10 years.

Seven supply chain updates from the week of Nov. 7-14: 

1. Laryngoscopes have been stolen from two medical supply companies, Medtronic and Covidien, spurring a recall of more than 5,000 illegally sold, defective devices.

2. Nurses at a CHI Health hospital in North Dakota are calling on executives to stock emergency crash carts, which they say has been a monthslong issue. In a letter penned by hospital nursing staff, employees allege that over the last six months, hospital leaders have changed the process for stocking critical care crash carts, resulting in "inconsistencies" in supply management, the letter alleges. 

3. Hospitals that use the SxanPro app to monitor their medical device inventories will now receive a personalized report each month for recalled products sitting on their shelves through a partnership with medical recall software company NotiSphere. 

4. Medline and Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health clinched a yearslong, exclusive partnership deal. Apart from exclusively supplying medical products for University of Utah Health, Medline will also help monitor the system's item utilization, contract compliance, price accuracy and spend by product categories. 

5. Two legislators in charge of influential House committees are urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to rapidly onshore medical supply manufacturing and end its dependence on China. Rep. Mike Gallagher, chair of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and Rep. Mike Bost, chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, shared worries that the nation's plan to strengthen its medical supply chain is "gathering dust on a shelf."

6. Cardinal Health now sells the nation's first surgical gown with chest pockets designed to hold a surgical instrument in operating rooms, which the medical supply company invented with physicians at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.

7. The FDA is alerting healthcare providers to not use saline and sterile water products made by Nurse Assist after the company recalled more than 70 solutions distributed by companies including Cardinal Health and McKesson.  

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of Oct. 31-Nov. 7: 

1. Construction of the largest ambulatory care center in the country is underway in Sacramento, Calif., and the builder, DPR Construction, has managed to keep the project moving forward on time despite supply chain and weather challenges. 

2. A label issue for 1,905 catheter kits is prompting a recall as the device's maker, Teleflex, and its subsidiary Arrow International, report 16 incidents related to the mislabeling. 

3. House Republicans wrote a letter to the FDA seeking an explanation for ongoing supply chain issues and drug shortages. 

4. B. Braun Medical, a Pennsylvania-based medical devicemaker, is recalling nearly 290,000 drug delivery products.

5. Bringing the manufacturing of more medical supplies into the U.S. to reduce the healthcare supply chain's reliance on foreign-made items has been a goal set by the HHS, but executing it is challenging. 

6. Medline recently doubled the square footage of its facility in Redmond, Ore., that reprocesses medical devices slated for landfills. The site increased by nearly 52,000 square feet. 

7. Cleveland Clinic is the latest health system to invest in drones that deliver prescription medications to patients' homes. 

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of Oct. 24-31: 

1. Olympus Corporation has issued a Class I recall for its high-flow insufflation unit UHI-4 used to facilitate laparoscopic and endoscopic observation, diagnosis and treatment, due to complaints of over insufflation. The device malfunction has led to one patient death. 

2. Medline has opened a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution site in Mebane, N.C. The facility cost $103.5 million and is one of the "largest medical-grade distribution centers" in the Southeast. 

3. Cardinal Health is notifying customers of incompatibility between syringe pumps and more than 16.6 million of its Luer-Lock Tip Soft Pack syringes. In mid-October, it sent a correction letter concerning more than 3.9 million of its syringes because of the same issue.

4. Medtronic sent an alert concerning stolen video laryngoscopes, which are being illegally resold to providers. Hundreds of serial numbers for McGrath MAC video laryngoscopes are part of the notice. No adverse effects were reported. 

5. Since Oct. 9, seven drugs have been listed as in shortage by the FDA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

6. Virginia medical equipment company owner Julian Latty pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare as part of a $2 million scheme. 

7. Joplin, Mo.-based Freeman Health System is adding two 24-foot-long box trailers equipped for mass casualties to its three-hospital system. 

Here are five supply chain updates from the week of Oct. 17-24: 

1. A survey of 200 healthcare professionals has shown that ongoing drug and equipment shortages have affected surgery quality. Drug shortages are causing patient treatment delays across pain management, cardiology, oncology and more. 

2. Demand for the first FDA-approved respiratory syncytial virus drug for children is surpassing what the drugmaker expected, and the CDC has paused orders as demand is outpacing supply. 

3. The FDA has pulled about 1,460 Hamilton Medical ventilators in a Class I recall, part of a voluntary correction, because electrolyte fluid might leak onto the device's control board. 

4. Savannah, Ga.-based St. Joseph's/Candler Health System has tapped Medline as its primary laboratory supplier. 

5. Cardinal Health, one of the largest medical device distributors in the U.S., plans to cut some operations and lay off 24 workers in Nebraska. 

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of Oct. 10-17: 

1. The FDA sent a warning letter to Abiomed, Johnson & Johnson's heart device company, for marketing the Impella Connect app, which remotely monitors Impella heart pumps, without premarket approval. 

2. Cardinal Health is recalling more than 3.9 million units of syringes because of a compatibility issue. The recall impacts the Monoject 1 milliliter Tuberculin Syringe Luer-Lock Tip Soft Pack. 

3. Three hospital executives spoke with Becker's about how they are preparing for future pandemics by re-evaluating supply chain exposure and eliminating supply chain redundancies. 

4. More than 1,100 patients are suing medical device company Exactech, which began recalling artificial knees, hips and ankles in 2021. So far, 200,000 implants have been recalled. 

5. Healthcare executives are worried about the potential impact of the escalating Hamas-Israel conflict on health cybersecurity, IT and supply chain. 

6. Medline has committed to a yearslong partnership with Ridgewood, N.J.-based Valley Health System. 

7. Nearly two-thirds of healthcare organizations suffered an attack on their supply chain over the last 12 months. Supply chain attacks typically involve someone impersonating a medical supplier and compromising an employee's email.

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of Oct. 3-10:

1. A subsidiary of Fresenius Kabi recalled more than 374,000 syringes in a Class I recall because there might be "blood backfill leakage and foreign material."

2. A New Jersey drugmaker removed 17,376 cartons of an antifungal drug from the market because of a cross-contamination risk. The possible cross-contamination risk is with ezetimibe, a non-antibacterial beta-lactam compound that could lead to swelling, rash, hives, anaphylaxis and a life-threatening reaction.

3. Smiths Medical recalled more than 108,000 syringe pumps because a false alarm may sound. The recall includes 108,816 Medfusion Syringe Pumps.

4. Louisville, Ky.-based Baptist Health is centralizing its supply chain operations to establish a consolidated pharmacy service center.

5. Here are six recent moves from major healthcare supply company Medline. 

6. The newest COVID-19 vaccine has continued to hit supply chain snags, from stocking issues to short supplies of formulations.

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 3:

1. Hospira, a New York City-based Pfizer company, recalled two lots of lidocaine and one lot of sodium bicarbonate because vials could contain glass particles. The recalled medications are 4.2% sodium bicarbonate injection, 5 milliequivalents per 10 milliliters; 1% lidocaine hydrochloride injection, 50 milligrams per 5 milliliters; and 2% lidocaine hydrochloride injection, 100 milligrams per 5 milliliters. 

2. Apellis Pharmaceuticals, a biotech drug company based in Waltham, Mass., recalled more than 61,000 injection needle kits after eight retinal vasculitis cases were reported. 

3. B. Braun Medical, a medical supply and pharmaceuticals company, is voluntarily recalling about 1.1 million syringes because of a possible sterility issue. 

4. Avera Health is teaming up with Owens & Minor, a healthcare solutions company, to build a 330,000-square-foot supply distribution and service center. The facility will include centralized pharmacy and medical supply chain distribution services, the biomedical engineering department, courier operations and a print shop. 

5. Medline's 710,000-square-foot distribution center in Salt Lake City is now fully operational.The manufacturer and distributor previously operated a distribution facility, but the new one is three times larger.

6. After a big push from the CDC encouraging everyone older than 12 to get the updated COVID-19 shot this fall, some pharmacies are having difficulties getting the vaccine. Commercial pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are allowing patients to schedule appointments but may not necessarily have the supply in.

7. Less than half of hospitals are using cloud technology for supply chain management, but by 2026, that figure is expected to increase to nearly 70 percent, according to a new survey. 

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of Sept. 19-26:

1. Medical equipment provider AZ Diabetic Supply was ordered to pay $12 million in damages and penalties after being found liable in a Medicare fraud scheme. Medicare paid AZ more than $600,000 in reimbursement claims for medical braces for prescriptions the company illegally purchased from marketing companies.

2. DePre, a medical supply company that DeRoyal, Premier and S2S Global formed in 2021, plans to invest $10.3 million in an isolation gown manufacturing facility in Powell, Tenn. The new production site is the result of a joint venture between DePre, its three founding companies and 34 Premier member health systems.

3. Pfizer's Rocky Mount, N.C.-based 1.4 million-square-foot manufacturing plant has resumed production after it was damaged by a tornado in July. 

4. Terri Lyle Wilson, the vice president of pharmacy for Lenexa, Kan.-based Children's Hospital Association, has been named to the Healthcare Supply Chain Association's board.

5. Five hospital supply chain leaders discussed how they expect artificial intelligence and new technologies to change the field over the next 50 years. 

6. Medline is voluntarily recalling about 324,000 medical scissors used to cut sutures, bandages, gauze and excess skin around a wound. The tip protector on the scissors might fall off, the recall warns. 

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of Sept. 12-19:

1. Six drugs have been listed as in shortage since the beginning of September, according to data from the FDA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

2. Medline Industries is voluntarily recalling about 324,000 medical scissors used to cut sutures, bandages, gauze and excess skin around a wound.

3. Medline Industries is recalling 18,000 units of saline solution because they didn't meet sterility standards but were "inadvertently shipped to customers," according to an FDA database. 

4. Abbott received reports of 73 injuries concerning its Abbott Proclaim and Infinity neurostimulation systems, which deliver low-intensity electrical impulses and are used for chronic pain, the FDA said Sept. 13.

5. Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland-based University Hospitals have selected five local medical and supply chain companies with diverse ownership to take part in the health systems' second annual supplier accelerator program.

6. The American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage Sept. 11, saying blood and platelet supplies have fallen to "critically low levels."  

Here are nine supply chain updates from the week of Sept. 5-Sept. 12:

1. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente health system has been ordered to pay the state $49 million to settle allegations of illegally dumping hazardous waste, medical supplies and patient information in dumpsters across 16 Kaiser facilities. 

2. The Red Cross' blood supply has dropped nearly 25 percent since early August, leading the organization to declare a national shortage on Sept. 11, saying blood and platelet supplies have fallen to "critically low levels."

3. Madison, Wis.-based Mallinckrodt Manufacturing recalled about 13,600 one-way valves made for ventilators. The valves might stick and prevent or reduce the flow of oxygen, a risk that defines the recall as a Class I type because of the risk of serious injury or death. 

4. A man has been sentenced to three years of probation for stealing medical equipment from Washington hospitals he worked at and selling it on eBay. He was also ordered to pay $169,806 in restitution to the hospitals.

5. Jackson Health System's Chief Procurement Officer Rosa Costanzo sat down with Becker's to discuss tips for supply chain success. 

6. More than three years after recalling millions of respirators because foam used to muffle noise entered the machines and patients' lungs, Philips Respironics submitted a decision in federal court Sept. 7 to settle litigation related to the recall for $479 million. The FDA has reported more than 105,000 injuries and 385 deaths related to the recall. 

7. Minneapolis-based Allina Health partnered with Vizient's Community Contracting Program to support diverse suppliers and small businesses in its community.

8. Premier and Dignity Health Global Education, a Phoenix-based workforce development service part of San Francisco-based Dignity Health, entered a collaboration.  

9. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the ECRI Institute named the 12 hospital departments facing the biggest supply shortages.

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 5:

1. An abruptly closed Indiana nursing home is tied up in a lawsuit with a medical supply company, GeriMedix, which sold supplies to the facility for decades. The nursing home closed with outstanding debt of $272,000 owed to the supply company. 

2. As hospitals in a handful of states have reinstated mask mandates following an uptick in COVID-19 cases, supply leaders believe that mask costs are not on the rise. 

3. Medline has opened a new $75 million, 800,000-square-foot distribution center in St. Peters, Mo. Additionally, the supplier is closely following changing trends and demands in the healthcare space, paying attention to growing demand from ASCs. 

4. Sterilization Services announced plans to close its flagship site in Memphis, Tenn., which sterilizes medical equipment, by April 30, 2024.

5. Switzerland-based Hamilton Medical issued a Class I recall for 21,429 ventilators distributed in the U.S. because they might power off unexpectedly. If the company's C1, C2, C3 and T1 ventilators are used for more than 91 days without restarting, they pose a risk of switching to an "ambient state."

Here are five supply chain updates from the week of Aug. 22-Aug. 29:

1. Physicians in every specialty, including orthopedic surgeons, are nervous about supply chain issues and disruptions

2. Six healthcare leaders told Becker's why supply chain issues and cost containment burdens are among the top trends they are monitoring. 

3. Inmar Supply Chain Solutions on Aug. 23 issued a voluntary recall of over-the-counter medical device and drug products stored at a Texas facility that experienced a pest control issue in May and June. "The FDA Recalled Products were stored in this facility during a time when there may have been a pest control problem at the facility. In addition, because of recent unusually hot weather, the FDA Recalled Products may have been subjected to temperatures in excess of the storage condition instructions on the product labeling," the recall said. 

4. The FDA warned customers Aug. 23 that 703 Draeger hospital ventilators pose a risk of contaminants in the airpath and emissions of a potential carcinogen. No deaths, injuries or complaints have been reported. 

5. Here are six statistics on the cost of medical care and supply chain costs that leaders should know. 

Here are five supply chain updates from the week of Aug. 15-Aug. 22:

1. The HHS Office of Inspector General has issued an advisory opinion rejecting a proposed joint venture between a group of surgeons and an entity that supplies those same surgeons with intraoperative neuromonitoring services, claiming a violation of federal anti-kickback laws. 

2. Pennsylvania firefighters spent more than seven hours fighting a fire that broke out at a Medline manufacturing plant. The cause of the fire has not been reported. 

3. At least two deaths have been linked to bone grafts from Aziyo Biologics. Aziyo recalled its viable bone matrix in July and the grafts are currently under investigation by the CDC. 

4. The FDA has issued a fifth recall for Getinge's Cardiosave Hybrid and Rescue Intra-aortic Balloon Pumps. About 16,000 have been recalled in 2023. The most recent case involved about 4,500 devices because of a risk of sudden power failure. 

5. Philips Respironics recalled 73,000 ventilators because of a risk of dirt and dust clogging the device, which can block the air path and lead to serious injury or death. Philips has received 542 reports about the issue, and no injuries or deaths have been reported as of Aug. 14. 

Here are three supply chain updates from the week of Aug. 8-Aug. 15:

1. The FDA has greenlighted the first device to sterilize 3D-printed products used in healthcare, including personalized surgical guides and anatomical models. The product is Steris' V-PRO maX 2 Low Temperature Sterilization System.

2. Datascope has recalled thousands of Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps in 2023 as the FDA has issued a Class I recall. On Aug. 10, the FDA recalled 4,586 devices because of sudden power failures, which can cause inadequate blood supply and death. Twenty-six complaints, zero injuries and zero deaths have been reported in the newest recall. 

3. Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth has expanded its years-long partnership with supply vendor Medline. AdventHealth and Medline are co-developing a 300,000-square-foot facility in Central Florida that will have supplies for the health system's hospitals and care sites throughout the state. The center is expected to be complete by 2024. 

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of Aug. 1-Aug. 8:

1. The Emergency Care Research Institute recently named 12 health systems as recipients of its supply chain award. Meet some of the leaders at the 12 winning systems. 

2. Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health is taking inspiration from NASA to solve problems in its supply chain. Sutter Health created its own NASA-inspired "tiger team" to make improvements focused on sourcing alternative products in the event of shortages, removing redundant processes and more. 

3. Shelon Anderson, BSN, RN, made the switch from clinical care to supply chain leadership after 21 years as a nurse. Now, she is director of supply chain clinical transformation at Cincinnati-based Advantus Health Partners. She spoke with Becker's about the transition from nursing to supply chain management. 

4. Here are the 12 systems that were honored for supply chain excellence in 2023. 

5. Medical device company Steris completed its acquisition of medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Co.'s surgical instrumentation platform in a $540 million deal.

6. A new study shows that medical device companies with CEOs who have a high financial stake in their business are more likely to delay recalls. Researchers collected data on 2,144 medical device recalls and used "accelerated failure time models" to see how CEO stock ownership could affect time of recalls. The study found a positive correlation between higher CEO shares and slower recall notices. 

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of July 25-Aug. 1:

1. The FDA has labeled 22,769 Baxter drug infusion devices as a Class I recall after receiving reports of false upstream occlusion alarms, which can delay therapy. The two infusion pumps, SIGMA Spectrum Infusion Pump with Master Drug Library and Spectrum IQ Infusion System with Dose IQ Safety Software, deliver pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, and other therapies. 

2. Abiomed has issued clarification to its users following four patient deaths caused by its Impella Left Sided Blood Pumps. Abiomed has clarified that the device could break a distal stent's blade in transcatheter aortic valve replacement patients. The pumps' original instructions "do not adequately address precautions" clinicians should bear in mind when using the device in patients who have had TAVRs, the FDA said. If the distal stent's motor impeller blades are damaged, broken blades can enter a patient's bloodstream, or the pump can stop or delay.

3. Here are eight recent drug and device recalls that the FDA has reported, including oxygen monitors and defibrillators. 

4. The Health 3rd Party Trust Initiative, an industry group of major healthcare providers, has published a list of best practices for assessing the cybersecurity of potential supply chain partners. 

5. IBM is collaborating with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to build a new digital platform that can bring visibility to the drug supply chain. Launching in summer 2023, the platform, dubbed Pulse by NABP, will help manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies and regulators "identify counterfeit or substandard prescription medications."

6. Abbott has recalled 672 cardiac catheters due to an increased risk of air bubbles that can affect a patient's heartbeat and blood pressure. The product, the Amplatzer Steerable Delivery Sheath, delivers Abbott's Amplatzer Amulet Left Atrial Appendage Occluder. The devicemaker has reported 26 incidents and 16 injuries. 

7. The FDA, CDC and several states are investigating an outbreak of tuberculosis connected to recalled human bone tissue products that were sold to hospitals, surgical centers and dental clinics. Silver Spring, Md.-based Aziyo Biologics recalled all lots of its human bone tissue products July 13 after two patients contracted tuberculosis. One patient died. 

Here are four supply chain updates from the week of July 18-July 25:

1. Peter Stoll III, a regulatory affairs specialist at a medical device manufacturer in Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to distributing medical devices without FDA clearance. He admitted that, in 2017, he created two false letters purporting the FDA granted clearance to sell two separate medical devices, which resulted in the company illegally selling thousands of dollars' worth of medical devices.

2. A tornado ripped through a Pfizer plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., damaging its warehouse. The facility makes about 25 percent of the company's injectable medications used by hospitals. As many as 500,000 pallets of medicine were destroyed in the disaster. 

3. Meet seven supply chain leaders from the nation's top hospitals, including Cleveland Clinic and Chicago-based Northwestern University. 

4. Medical devicemaker Getinge saw its core profit cut in half in its second quarter as quality and supply problems overshadowed its monetary growth. While net sales increased 1.3 percent during the quarter, the number of orders fell 4.5 percent. 

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of July 11-July 18:

1. Nearly 8,000 cardiac panel blood tests were recalled after 41 reports of inaccurate tests that pose a risk of missing a heart attack diagnosis. No injuries or deaths have been reported, but the company received complaints of inaccurate tests showing lower than expected troponin levels. 

2. Researchers from NYU Langone Health and University of New York in New York City found discrepancies in the marketing of artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled medical devices compared with FDA approval summaries. The study analyzed FDA approval summaries between November 2021 and March 2022. 

3. In 2021, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, parent organization of United Surgical Partners International, renewed its longtime supply partnership with national group purchasing organization HealthTrust. There are eight key things to know about HealthTrust. 

4. McKinsey has four tips for health systems looking to strengthen their supply chains, including attaining a clear picture of the supply chain, creating a web of collaboration to determine critical items, forming a resilience team and investing in supply resilience. 

5. Detroit-based Henry Ford Health tapped HPC International to manage its expenses process. The collaboration will "significantly reduce costs," according to the supplier. 

6. Four years after the FDA said there could be a higher risk of death with paclitaxel-coated devices used for peripheral arterial disease, the agency determined that evidence does not actually support that possibility. Among three trials of 1,090 patients with the disease, the mortality rate five years after diagnosis was 19.8 percent for those treated with paclitaxel-coated devices and 12.7 percent in people treated with uncoated products. After reviewing more data and analyses, the FDA said paclitaxel-coated devices do not increase the risk of death.

7. More than 60 burn injuries have been reported in connection to electrosurgical pads made by Megadyne, a medical device company owned by Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon division. No products have been pulled from the market. The safety notification includes 21,000 MEGA 2000 and seven MEGA SOFT products, which are pads used during electrosurgery to return an electric current from a patient's skin to a generator. 

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of July 4-July 11:

1. Guilford, Maine-based medical swab supplier Puritan Medical Products has issued a notice that it plans to close manufacturing plants in Portland, Tenn., and Pittsfield, Maine. The closures will affect 74 and 254 workers, respectively. The company has three manufacturing plants total, with the third one also located in Pittsfield. 

2. Lumos Diagnostics received FDA clearance to market a rapid diagnostic test that determines when to prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infections. FebriDx will be marketed to healthcare providers in urgent and emergency care settings. 

3. The top supply stories for the first half of the year include device recalls, geopolitical concerns and hospital supply awards. 

4. The FDA has approved the nation's first dual-chamber leadless pacemaker from Abbott. The Abbott Aveir system regulates contractions in both the right ventricle and right atrium. 

5. Parkview Health, a 10-hospital system based in Fort Wayne, Ind., won the Top Supply Chain Projects Award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive for synchronizing its pharmacy and supply chain processes.

6. More than a quarter of C-suite and executive-level supply chain roles are now held by women, up from 19 percent a year ago. Women also make up about 41 percent of the supply chain workforce. 

Here are four supply chain updates from the week of June 27-July 4:

1. The American Hospital Association asked the Environmental Protection Agency to delay a proposed deadline that would reduce the use of ethylene oxide in sterilizing medical devices. Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize about 50 percent of the nation's medical supplies, according to the AHA. The AHA is requesting that the EPA explain its proposed requirement that sterilization facilities reduce their EtO emissions to 10 parts per billion. 

2. A young medical supply distributor startup, Bttn, is struggling to break into the supply market as older supply companies have yearslong customer loyalty and contracts. While Bttn was originally seen as an industry disruptor following a $20 million funding round, its outlook has since fallen. 

3. Medline's top three executives, including its CEO, COO and president, will leave their roles and join the board of directors in October. 

4. Teleflex, a global medical supplier with its U.S. operations based in Morrisville, N.C., recalled more than a quarter of a million catheter systems after 83 complaints, 18 injuries and zero deaths were reported. The recall includes 262,016 Arrow Endurance Extended Dwell Peripheral Catheter Systems made by Teleflex and its subsidiary Arrow International. 

Here are seven supply chain updates from the week of June 20-27 

1. Private investment group Vontobel Holdings has increased its position in health supplier and services company Cardinal Health by 98.1 percent since the start of the year, bringing its total number of shares to 96,042. Cardinal Health now has a market capitalization of $23.35 billion. 

2. A former medical device sales representative, Matthew Capobianco, was arrested June 26 for allegedly defrauding an unnamed Boston-area hospital out of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of spine products. Prosecutors allege that from January 2016 to June 2017, Mr. Capobianco represented on usage forms that more, and more expensive, DePuy Synthes spine products were used than in fact were used, resulting in fraudulent billing and higher commissions for Mr. Capobianco. He faces eight counts of wire fraud and one count of making material false statements. 

3. A Missouri agency planned to auction off personal protective equipment it bought with federal funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, including 50,000 protective masks, 18,000 hospital gowns, 11,000 shoe covers, and about 2,000 goggles and 2,000 face shields. The auction was abruptly canceled after the agency learned it could not resell those items. 

4. Health technology company Royal Philips has partnered with Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Biotronik, a medical device business, to "expand care for out-of-hospital cardiology labs." 

5. The American Hospital Association says that hospitals and health systems need to invest in advancing their supply leaders' professional development, calling supply chains "the backbone of healthcare systems." 

6. McKesson Medical-Surgical plans to close a Rochester, N.Y.-based plant and lay off 26 of the 38 employees who work there by Nov. 3. The Irving, Texas-based medical supply company cited the reason for the layoffs as "relocation of business." 

7. Medical supply companies Medline and Advantus have signed a 10-year deal worth $2.9 billion to improve resiliency and enhance clinical integration among healthcare workers and Medline's products. 

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of June 13-June 20

1. HCA Midwest Health, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, has appointed Jeremy Owens as its new supply chain CEO. Mr. Owens previously held roles at LeeSar and Cooperative Services, IASIS Healthcare and Cardinal Health. 

2. Becton Dickinson plans to sell its surgical devices business and three manufacturing plants as part of a divestment planned for the end of 2023. Ireland-based medical device company Steris will buy BD's surgical products business for $450 million. 

3. Cardinal Health plans to build a new distribution center in Greenville, S.C., that, at 350,000 square feet, will be the biggest site dedicated to its at-Home Solutions business. The facility is expected to be completed between late 2024 and mid-2025. 

4. At AHIP's conference, AHIP president and CEO Matt Eyles asked Cost Plus Drugs CEO and co-founder Alex Oshmyansky, MD, PhD, where Mark Cuban's pharmacy fits into the national supply chain. 

5. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Children's Hospital of Richmond (Va.) at VCU and Virginia Children's Care Network recently joined Premier's pediatric-focused purchasing group. 

6. The first half of 2023 saw 19 major device recalls. Becker's listed the 10 largest recalls so far this year. 

Here are 8 supply chain updates from the week of June 6-June 13: 

1. Osage Beach, Mo.-based Lake Regional Health System has tapped Medline as its sole supplier of medical and surgical supplies. 

2. The Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative awarded transparency partner badges to nine companies for their continuous efforts and commitment to supply chain transparency and resiliency. Winners included B. Braun, BD and Cardinal Health. 

3. Getinge recalled all lots of 20 oxygenators and cardiotomy reservoirs because of a potential sterility issue in the packaging. If Quadrox Oxygenator or specified Venous Hardshell Cardiotomy Reservoir devices are already in use, patients should be monitored for signs of infection. 

4. Labor disagreements between West Coast port operators and workers could potentially create waves of supply disruptions and delays. 

5. The top concerns for supply and logistics professionals include fuel costs, inflation, delays and unpredictability, according to a new survey. 

6. While COVID-19 may have exacerbated supply chain challenges, several major issues have been around since before the pandemic and will continue to be around in its wake. Two supply chain leaders told Becker's about some of the major ongoing disruptions. 

7. Here are the 20 most prescribed medications from GoodRX. 

8. Hospital economic activity has begun to contract for the first time in 35 months, impacted by declines in supply orders, a backlog of orders and employment issues. 

Here are 10 supply chain updates from the week of May 30-June 6:

1. Abiomed has removed 466 heart pumps from the market following customer complaints of leaking fluid from the purge sidearm. Three customers reported injuries. The recall is labeled Class I, the most serious type, because leaking fluid can lead to halted therapy and serious injury or death in critical patients.

2. The FDA has confirmed an ongoing tourniquet shortage, urging healthcare facilities to ration their supply, use alternative products and reuse sterilized devices. The product in shortage is the nonsterile, single-use pneumatic tourniquet cuff. Manufacturers are aware of the shortage and are working to increase supply. 

3. The average supply chain and logistics leader saw a pay drop of about $5,000 from 2022. Vice presidents/general managers are the highest paid supply leaders in 2023. 

4. London-based conglomerate Johnson Matthey plans to divest its medical supply unit. The company has worked with more than 500 million medical components. The deal could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

5. The FDA issued a warning letter to iRhythm Technologies after inspectors found faults with how one of its facilities makes its heart monitors. iRhythm attempted to correct the issue, but as of May the FDA was still unsatisfied. The warning does not restrict manufacturing and sales from iRhythm, and it does not require a recall. 

6. Kaiser Permanente's supply chain unit is focused on managing inflation through better understanding and tracking, its senior vice president and chief supply chain and procurement officer, Steven Chyung, told Becker's. 

7. The U.S. is experiencing the highest number of drug shortages in 10 years, with 17 new shortages reported in May. 

8. The FDA is considering allowing the importation of chemotherapy drugs from unapproved manufacturers outside of the U.S. as the country struggles with ongoing shortages. Last year, the FDA took a similar action to address baby formula shortages. 

9. Home-based care technology company Tomorrow Health has shuttered its home medical equipment supply company. The company plans to shift its main focus to providing technology for its supplier partners. 

10. The second quarter of 2022 saw the highest number of recalled medical devices since 2020. Recalls increased 34 percent from the first to the second quarter of the year, reaching 268. 

Here are nine supply chain updates from the week of May 23-30:

1. Drugmakers said they expect their supply of cisplatin, a cancer drug, to return to normal levels in June. The drug shortage began in early February, momentarily ended in mid-March, and bounced back into short supply throughout April and May

2. The Center for U.S. Policy asked the FDA to deem Bamboo Health's pharmaceutical software NarxCare a misbranded product. The organization filed the petition in late April with allegations of Bamboo violating federal law by not complying with FDA requirements for medical devices. Read the petition here.

3. HHS and CMS proposed a policy intended to increase transparency in prescription drug pricing for Medicaid recipients and hold drug manufacturers accountable for costs. The proposed rule will reduce drug costs for states and the government alike.

4. The ongoing amoxicillin shortage is projected to continue into June. The shortage of the antibiotic began in October and was most recently expected to resolve in late April. 

5. FDA officials anticipate that medical device shortages could worsen now that the public health emergency has expired because with its end a requirement for medical device companies to notify the agency of shortages also ceased. 

6. Some hospitals reported scraping vials to offer enough cancer drugs for their patients as the U.S. faces about two dozen chemotherapy shortages. About 300 drugs are in short supply, with some shortages expected to last for months and some resupply dates delayed.

7. Draeger Medical, or Dräger US, recalled more than 570,400 airway devices because of a manufacturing error that can lead to hypoxia and death. The Class I recall includes Seattle-Positive Airway Pressure Plus systems and 21 other breathing circuits and anesthesia kits.

8. Minneapolis-based Allina Health formed a partnership with Elmhurst, Ill.-based MedSpeed to transport physical materials including pharmaceuticals and specimens. MedSpeed now provides last-mile movement of physical materials for the 12-hospital system.

9. There is a shortage of ribavirin inhalation solutions, a drug for severe pediatric pneumonia cases caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Bausch Health has one solution on long-term back order and another discontinued in October, Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA has one solution with a short expiration backordered, and Cameron Pharmaceuticals could not provide information on expected resupply dates or statuses.

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of May 16-23:

1. In an increasingly consolidating industry, ASCs must remain sharply focused on cost containment. Three administrators — Barbara Clancy-Sweeney, Donald Greener and Raghu Reddy — joined Becker's to share their most helpful tips to controlling costs. 

2. United Hospital Supply Corp., a hospital mental product manufacturer, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 21 violations of varying severity. The proposed penalty is $498,464, and the company has been placed on OSHA's severe violator enforcement program.

3. Here are 10 drug shortages to watch in May. 

4. Revivicor, the company behind a pig-to-human heart transplant in 2022, is building a research and development center in Christiansburg, Va. Once completed, employees will begin developing pig populations for experimental surgeries.

Here are six supply chain updates from the week of May 9-16:

1. Although the national public health emergency expired May 11, free COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be available for uninsured Americans with support from programs developed by vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna and the HHS.

2. Becker's asked C-suite executives from hospitals and health systems across the U.S. to share their plan for weathering the financial challenges of today and setting their organizations up for success in the future. Here is what they said

3. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said quality issues at drug manufacturing sites are triggering more drug shortages. Although drugmakers are not required to tell the FDA or the ASHP why a drug is in shortage, an ASHP study reviewed by the FDA revealed more than 60 percent of drug shortages from 2013 to 2017 were because of quality problems.

4. The Biden administration formed a team to address the prescription drug supply shortage, which has caused upheaval for patients and providers. The committee working to find solutions has met with FDA officials and pharmaceutical company leaders from Teva and other large players.

5. The FDA ended a ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships from donating blood. Under the new policy, blood banks will ask all prospective donors — regardless of their gender or sexual orientation — the same set of questions about behaviors that pose a higher risk of contracting and transmitting HIV.

6. Leslie Jebson, regional administrator at Prisma Health in Greenville, S.C., spoke with Becker's about the biggest supply chain challenges ASCs are facing this year and how ASCs can improve supply chain resiliency and costs.

Here are eight supply chain updates from the week of May 2-9:

1. The FDA issued a warning about more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests made by SD Biosensor and distributed by Roche Diagnostics because of "significant concerns of bacterial contamination." Get more information on the recall here

2. While COVID-19 caused the largest disruption to supply chains across industries, officials at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health said some of the issues within the healthcare supply chain existed before the pandemic — and will continue. Here is how the CDRH is working to tackle the issue. 

3. UPS Healthcare plans to open seven new locations in addition to its existing 70 facilities in the coming months.

4. Demand for Wegovy and other weight-loss drugs has been high for months. Because of this trend, the drug's maker, Novo Nordisk, said it will decrease its output. The company's leaders did not specify how long they would halt selling Novo Nordisk's products.

5. Hospitals and health systems are recovering from pandemic-induced supply issues, according to the World Health Organization. There are "major signs" of recovery among hospitals across 84 countries, as the amount of disrupted services decreased from 56 percent between July 2020 and September 2020 to 23 percent between November 2022 and January 2023. 

6. Here is why Jeremy Riley, CEO of Titusville, Fla.-based GML Healthcare Consulting, believes supply chain costs for ASCs are "out of control."

7. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reported some gabapentin oral solutions, a medication for seizures, restless legs syndrome and shingles, are in shortage. The organization said capsules are not affected by this shortage.

8. Supply chain disruptions are one of the top three challenges small businesses are facing. Here are seven other issues affecting them.

Ten updates from the week of April 25 to May 2:

1. Cepheid, a medical device and biotech company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., plans to lay off 686 workers by June 20.

2. Florida Rep. Cory Mills and California Rep. Sara Jacobs filed a bill that, if passed, would require drugmakers to tell the FDA if they experience a six-week-long demand increase for a product. The bill aims to minimize drug shortages and improve the FDA's predictive ability and responsiveness.

3. As the U.S. grapples with a 10-year high of ongoing drug shortages, there are three pressing drug supply issues for hospitals, according to Erin Fox, PharmD, associate chief pharmacy officer for shared services at Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health. 

4. The FDA added penicillin G benzathine to its drug shortages list. The drug is the standard treatment for syphilis and is also used to treat strep throat. Pfizer has a limited supply of the antibiotic amid increased demand, with shortages expected to last into September.

5. Remdesivir was nonfederal hospitals' costliest drug expense two years in a row. Here are the top 25 drugs ranked by nonfederal hospital expenditure in 2022.

6. The American Hospital Association argued that the healthcare supply chain is not going to be back to "normal" anytime soon despite estimates that project growth. Here are four strategy recommendations from the Health Industry Distributors Association.

7. Nonfederal hospitals' costs have hovered around $35 billion to $40 billion since 2018, and in 2023, overall prescription drug spending is expected to be about $38 billion, or an increase of 1 percent to 3 percent from the previous year. 

8. About 1 in 2 albuterol solutions were in shortage two months after Akorn Operating Co., a Gurnee, Ill.-based drugmaker, closed. As of April 23, 18 albuterol products were unavailable and 15 remained in stock.

9. Following its spinoff, GE HealthCare reported 8 percent year-over-year revenue growth and organic revenue growth of 12 percent in the first quarter.

10. Avanos Medical recalled 1,000 catheters April 21 with a Class I warning, the most serious type, because of cracked parts that can increase the risk of delayed or prevented ventilation. One death and four injuries have been reported.

Seven updates from the week of April 18 to 25:

1. AdaptHealth, formerly known as QMES and Tri-County Medical Equipment and Supply, a medical equipment company based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., agreed to pay $5.3 million to settle allegations of submitting false claims. The settlement resolves allegations of billing payers for noninvasive ventilators "when a patient was instead prescribed and used a BiPAP machine."

2. Supply chain issues, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are still hurting ASCs' bottom line. Michelle Eilander, RN, administrative director of Ankeny (Iowa) Medical Park Surgery Center, joined Becker's to discuss smart ASC leadership and financial issues. 

3. The American Hospital Association released a report in April examining the costs that drove 2022 to be a financial low point for hospitals and health systems. Here are some key figures from the report. 

4. Since 2015, at least 20 drugs have been in and out of shortage, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' drug supply database. Here is a list of the 20 medications and their shortage histories.

5. An investigation by ProPublica found that in 2022, the FDA inspected only 6 percent of overseas drugmaker facilities. More information from the case can be found here

6. Wellstar and Medline entered a yearslong laboratory prime vendor agreement in an expansion of their existing partnership.

7. Fresenius Kabi USA recalled 1,546 large infusion pumps in a Class I recall, the most serious type, because of a risk of leaking products entering the electrical system and shutting down the device. More details on the recall here.

Seven updates from the week of April 11 to 18:

1. Seven leaders joined Becker's to discuss the factors that are losing money for ASCs, touching on issues from supply issues to staffing costs.  

2. Martha Stewart has teamed up with Medline to feature the "Martha Stewart Custom Collection," which includes bed, bath, and home safety and mobility products. The designs include a gingham walking cane and a rollator covered in light blue plaid. 

3. Six healthcare professionals joined Becker's to comment on what the ASC industry needs most, from training and retaining staff to technological upgrades and other necessities.

4. Global Healthcare Exchange signed a definitive agreement to acquire Prodigo Solutions, a supply chain and data enablement technology company based in Pittsburgh.

5. So far in April, seven more drugs are in short supply and six are discontinued. Here is a list of the 13 pharmaceutical supply updates.

6. Global Healthcare Exchange named 87 healthcare supplier and provider organizations to the 2022 GHX Millennium Club based on an evaluation of supply chain automation levels in 2022 across more than 4,100 North American organizations. Here are the companies that made the cut. 

7. According to a comprehensive National Council of State Boards of Nursing and National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers study, about 800,000 nurses say they intend to leave the workforce by 2027. Here is what to know about what leaders are calling a looming national crisis.

Eight updates from April 4 - April 10:

1. Philips recalled 1,088 reworked DreamStations sleep apnea devices that have incorrect or duplicate serial numbers, which the FDA said can cause therapy to be delivered using the wrong prescription or factory default settings. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

2. Statesville, N.C.-based Iredell Health System will increase pay for most of its 1,800-person workforce over the next few months. Iredell's minimum wage is now $15.50 per hour, and starting nurse salaries have increased to $30 per hour.

3. As private equity increasingly invests in the ASC industry, many leaders are wondering how it will affect practice growth. Two ASC leaders joined Becker's to discuss their thoughts.

4. The FDA published a recall note for Abbott glucose monitoring devices, stating that more than 4 million of the company's FreeStyle Libre readers may be prone to an issue with the lithium-ion battery that can cause extreme cases of overheating.

5. The FDA drafted guidance asking manufacturers to alert the agency on drug supply disruptions. If the guidance is approved, drug manufacturers would be legally required to immediately notify the FDA of permanently discontinued products and interruptions likely to lead to a meaningful disruption in supply.

6. A representative from the Texas Hospital Association spoke out against a state bill that would require providers to send patients an itemized bill when billing for medical services, claiming  the proposed requirements would cost the system upward of $3 million to $5 million per year.

7. The FDA found sterilization issues at a Global Pharma facility, which manufactured eye drops contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Here are more details on the inspection.

8. Emerge Manufacturing, a Cincinnati-based hospital manufacturing company, broke ground on its 50,000-square-foot, personal protective equipment manufacturing plant.

9. As the DEA continues to propose stricter regulations on telehealth-based opioid prescribing, telehealth companies are worried the crackdown will not allow them to prescribe lifesaving medications that can help prevent opioid overdoses.

Seven updates from March 28 - April 4:

1. It has been about a month since Akorn, a U.S. drugmaker, closed all operations, and since then at least 13 drugs have gone into shortage and four are discontinued. Here is a timeline of the company's closure. 

2. Medline opened its 650,000-square-foot distribution center in Hammond, La., after investing $72 million into the facility.

3. Carlos Maceda, chief supply chain officer for Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, spoke with Becker's about his passion for the healthcare supply chain and how leaders can prepare their organizations for what is to come.

4. Inflation has disturbed every industry and wallet. Here is how it is affecting ASCs.

5. The National Association for Biomedical Research and other medical groups urged federal officials to help amid a shortage of monkeys they say is disrupting research for lifesaving medications. 

6. Experts predict rural hospitals will be disproportionately affected by lingering supply chain issues. Here is why

7. Medical supply company Medline made a distribution agreement with national purchasing organization MMCAP Infuse to provide its products to up to 26,000 state agencies, counties, cities and school districts.

Eleven updates from March 21-28:

1. With the COVID-19 public health emergency set to expire May 11, the FDA released two final guidelines: one for emergency use authorizations related to COVID-19 and another for other devices linked to the public health emergency. More details here.

2. Pharmedica and Apotex voluntarily recalled several lots of their eye drops due to contamination risks.

3. The FDA greenlit SafeSource Direct's new nitrile exam gloves that are designed to weigh less "to offer a cost-effective solution" for "low-risk, high-volume environments." New Orleans-based Ochsner Health helped form SafeSource Direct during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the supply company said it could become the largest manufacturer of nitrile gloves in the U.S. in 2023. 

4. For about an hour and a half on March 22, four pharmaceutical supply experts outlined ideas to lawmakers to reform the nation's slippery access to critical drugs. Read more from their testimonies here

5. Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, Md., has paused its $25 million emergency department redesign and $20 million space for obstetrics and medical-surgical care at its Germantown, Md., medical center because of labor costs, inflation, supply chain issues and other factors affecting the health system's margins.

6. The monthslong shortage of Ozempic — a type 2 diabetes drug popularized by TikTok trends and celebrity use for its off-label use for weight loss — has seen a reprieve. Here are more details on the dosages available.

7. A new report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs said drug shortages, which increased nearly 30 percent from 2021 to 2022, pose health and national security risks. Read more from the report here.

8. Medtronic partnered with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals and Nvidia to create a platform for third-party developers to build artificial intelligence models that can be used with Medtronic's GI Genius endoscopy modules. 

9. Global Pharma Healthcare recalled its Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, in February after they were linked to a rare strain of bacteria that has caused dozens of infections, eight cases of vision loss, four eye removals and three patient deaths.

10. The FDA revised its list of medical device shortages spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic to update more than a dozen products returning to normal supply levels in 2023. Shortages of radiological devices, general plastic surgery devices, cardiac diagnostic and monitoring products, general intensive care unit and hospital products, testing supplies and equipment for specimen collection, and ventilation-related products are expected to end in a few months.

11. As the U.S. reports a rise in Candida auris cases, which spreads rapidly in healthcare sites, the CDC has recommended five drugs to treat the fungus infections. Here is the list of recommended treatments. 

Seven updates from March 8-21:

1. Injectable methotrexate, cisplatin, fluorouracil and Pluvicto (injectable lutetium vipivotide tetraxetan), four oncology drugs, are in shortage, and some drugmakers do not expect supply levels to recover until mid-2023. 

2. Amid the ongoing shortage of local anesthetic drugs, the FDA drafted new guidance for drugmakers intended to assist developers in generating the data necessary to support different indications and labeling claims for these drugs, which could eventually help curb the supply issues.

3. The shutdown of Gurnee, Ill.-based Akorn Operating Co. has led to key shortages of methotrexate, albuterol, lorazepam and physostigmine. Here is a list of more drugs that are also now at risk.

4. Here is the Global Healthcare Exchange's list of the top 50 supply chains among hospitals and health systems. 

5. About half the nation's hospitals are eyeing more control of the medical supply chain, according to a survey sample involving 250 hospital and health system leaders. Here are more of the survey's findings

6. The ongoing shortage of local anesthetics, including bupivacaine and lidocaine solutions, has been extended. Here is a list of the new estimated resupply dates. 

7. The FDA narrowed its umbrella emergency use authorization for disposable, single-use surgical masks used in healthcare. The updated EUA only allows specific surgical masks already authorized, meaning the FDA will not add other surgical masks to the authorization.

Four updates from the week of Feb. 27-March 8:

1. Human cases of deadly H5N1 avian flu are appearing globally, with the latest human cases detected in China — prompting scientists to begin work on a vaccine. The U.S. government is developing an H5N1 vaccine in case it is needed on a large scale and also has a small stockpile of egg-based vaccines for the strain.

2. GE HealthCare reached a 10-year, $760 million partnership with healthcare supply chain company Advantus Health Partners to provide GE HealthCare's technology management services to Advantus clients.

3. After Gurnee, Ill.-based Akorn Operating Co. closed its operations in late February, hospitals are left with only one domestic supplier of liquid albuterol, an asthma treatment already in shortage. Nephron Pharmaceuticals, the last U.S.-based supplier of the drug, has seven albuterol solutions on back order and said it expects supply to return to normal levels in March.

4. The Drug Enforcement Agency has proposed new rules for prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency expires. The new rules are intended to bridge the gap between the DEA's current PHE waivers and a post-PHE telehealth environment. Here are more details

Six updates from the week of Feb. 21-28:

1. Medline was tapped as the exclusive provider of medical and surgical supplies for Boston-based Mass General Brigham's healthcare network, including for its ASCs. Medline and Mass General have entered into a multiyear agreement after Mass General spent the last 25 years partnered with a different vendor. 

2. A little over a year since the online pharmacy launched in January 2022, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. has served 2 million customers. 

3. GE Healthcare said it expects its contrast media products, which are used in CT scans and fell into shortage in May, will return to normal supply levels in the next few weeks. 

4. The FDA warned that neonatal incubators may be exposing people to "volatile chemicals." The agency recommends providers continue to use the neonatal incubators because they are "critical" for "infants less than 4 weeks old who cannot maintain their body temperature" while it investigates the potential risk.

5. Memphis, Tenn.-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and eight more health systems and hospitals are hiring for supply chain positions as of Feb. 23.

6. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health partnered with Quest Diagnostics to strengthen its laboratory supply chain. 

Eight updates from the week of Feb. 15-21:

1. Philips Respironics recalled 13,811 ventilators the company reworked or replaced after it pulled millions of them off the market in summer 2021. The devices — Trilogy 100, Trilogy 200, and Garbin Plus ventilators — were recalled because foam could break away from the plastic backing and block a patient's airpath or cause them to ingest the foam. 

2. GE HealthCare issued a Class I recall of 688 of its Nuclear Medicine 600/800 Series Systems after identifying an issue that could lead to the machine's detector falling and trapping or crushing a patient. 

3. Two medical equipment suppliers were convicted of healthcare fraud with a scheme worth $3.8 million. Leaders at Meik Medical Equipment and Supply billed Medicaid and Medicare "for hundreds of expensive patient support systems that were never provided to patients or caregivers," which let them pocket $2.4 million from 2010 to 2014.

4. Joe Peluso, administrator at Aestique Surgery Center in Greensburg, Pa., recently connected with Becker's to discuss seven ways to address healthcare costs while still focusing on patient care.  

5. Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems posted $179 million in net income in 2022. During the group's fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Hingtgens shared four tips — including expense reduction tactics — for hospitals, health systems and medical clinics to improve financial performance in 2023. 

6. Though the pandemic's most imminent threats have waned, heightened patient volumes, workforce shortages, inflation and supply chain disruptions are still urgent issues for hospitals — and these challenges are even more significant for rural facilities, according to Joanne Conroy, MD, president and CEO of Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth Health. More of Dr. Conroy's statement can be found here.  

7. The Biden administration is weighing a tentative plan that would ensure COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests remain free for uninsured individuals into 2024. Here are more details on the White House's plan.

8. Inflation continues to be a pain point for ASCs, causing a rise in supply and energy costs making operations all the more difficult. Three healthcare leaders weighed in to discuss where inflation is hitting ASCs the hardest this year compared to 2022.

10 supply chain updates for ASC leaders from the week of Feb. 3-15:

1. From staffing difficulties to ongoing supply chain issues, nine industry leaders connected with Becker's to discuss the healthcare trends of which they are wary.

2. New Orleans-based Ochsner Health and its supply company, SafeSource Direct, teamed up with seven U.S.-based medical device manufacturers to form the American Medical Manufacturers Association. The group aims to represent domestic companies that make personal protective equipment.

3. After the U.S. shot down a "high-altitude object" above Alaska's waters on Feb. 10 and a confirmed Chinese spy balloon the previous week, some healthcare leaders fear what effect the incident will have on the U.S.-China medical supply chain.

4. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, Phoenix-based Banner Health and eight more health systems and hospitals are hiring for supply chain positions as of Feb. 9. 

5. The Healthcare Supply Chain Association applauded President Joe Biden's recent State of the Union speech for his comments on boosting domestic manufacturing. Here is the association's full statement.

6. ASC case volumes returned or exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Here are three more things to know about the biggest challenges the industry is still facing.

7. The new Veterans Affairs Corpus Christi (Texas) Outpatient Clinic is now aiming for a summer 2023 opening following vendor delays due to a backed up supply chain. While the clinic is about 90 percent finished, the facility reports the cause of the setback is delays on receiving needed technology.2/6

8. About 90 percent of Lidocaine, the nation's local anesthetic supply, is out of stock. Here are three other shortages to watch.2/6

9. University of Miami Health System partnered with artificial intelligence company Darvis to streamline its supply chain operations. Cameras that will gather data, identify inefficiencies and track insights in real time will be installed.2/6 

10. In a survey of more than 100 healthcare CFOs, 74 percent mentioned supply chain disruption as one of healthcare's top financial threats. The other most-mentioned threats can be found here

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