Week in review: 12 biggest healthcare stories this week

Stay in the know with Becker's Hospital Review's weekly roundup of the nation's biggest healthcare news. Here's what you need to know this week.

1. MedStar Health shuts down computer system after detecting virus
Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health temporarily disabled its computer networks Monday after discovering a virus that prevented certain users from logging in to the system. As of March 30, the health system was still working on putting all its IT systems back online.

2. Supreme Court to explore compromise in ACA contraceptive case
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order March 29 asking for supplemental briefs from lawyers on both sides of the Zubik v. Burwell case to propose how religious nonprofit organizations can avoid providing birth control for employees, but still ensure employee access to those services.

3. FBI unlocks iPhone without Apple's help
After a nearly six-week court battle, the FBI successfully unlocked the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino gunmen and no longer requires Apple's help in the matter, ending the courtroom battle. A March 28 court filing from prosecutors states the government accessed the data stored on the phone and does not need Apple's assistance as mandated by an original Feb. 16 court order.

4. Johns Hopkins performs world's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore  performed the world's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant and the nation's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive kidney transplant.

5. Denver Health CEO resigns amid major health system initiatives, physician exodus
Arthur Gonzalez, CEO of Denver Health said March 30 he will step down from his post in June, according to the Denver Business Journal. Mr. Gonzalez's departure comes amid several major health system initiatives, such as the implementation of a $175 million Epic EHR, and follows the resignation of several leaders and physicians.

6. Donald Trump, abortion and women voters
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump thrice changed his position on punishing women for abortions if they became outlawed following a MSNBC town hall meeting in Wisconsin March 30. Although he purportedly changed his stance on the issue over the course of a day, Mr. Trump's initial comment that women should be punished for obtaining illegal abortions has incensed members from both political parties and both sides of the abortion debate.  

7. Patient dies after fall from 6th floor window at Maine hospital
Authorities are investigating the death of a Maine Medical Center patient who died after falling or jumping from a sixth floor window of the Portland-based hospital Tuesday evening, according to The Portland Press Herald.

8. Southcoast cuts 95 more jobs after $100M Epic EHR installation
New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health is laying off 95 employees, and the three-hospital system cites its $100 million Epic EHR rollout as a contributing factor, according to the Boston Business Journal.

9. Barnabas Health, Robert Wood Johnson complete merger
Robert Wood Johnson Health System, which has flagship hospital campuses in New Brunswick, N.J., and Somerset, N.J., and Barnabas Health, based in Orange, N.J., completed their planned merger, creating the largest health system in the state.

10. WHO says Ebola no longer a world health emergency  
On March 29, the World Health Organization announced the ongoing Ebola situation in West Africa is no longer an international health emergency. Margaret Chan, MD, director general of the WHO, made the announcement after the ninth meeting of the Emergency Committee concerning Ebola.

11. FDA approves new test to screen for Zika in blood donations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration March 30 announced approval for the use of an investigational test to screen blood donations for the Zika virus.

12. Medical helicopter crash kills crew and patient in Alabama
One patient and three crew members died in a medical helicopter crash March 26 in Coffee County, Ala., according to the Dothan Eagle. A Haynes Life Flight helicopter that departed from Troy (Ala.) RegionalMedicalCenter crashed while airlifting an unconscious patient with a broken leg sustained in a single-vehicle car accident. The team was attempting to transport the patient to BaptistMedicalCenter in Montgomery, Ala.

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