Missouri Minute: Workplace arbitration bill dies; Ascension reportedly planning shift

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Workplace arbitration bill dies in Missouri House

A bill that would have strengthened employment contracts that require misconduct complaints to be settled through arbitration died an unusually early death in the Missouri House, the Associated Press reports. The bill would have made it easier for businesses to require employees to settle sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct lawsuits through private companies instead of in court. Read more

Report: Ascension plans strategic shift, cost cuts

St. Louis-based health system Ascension plans to restructure and to shift its focus away from hospital-oriented care toward outpatient care and telemedicine, Modern Healthcare reports. The world’s largest Catholic health system, which employs some 165,000 people, delivered that message to its employees in a video featuring Ascension CEO Anthony Tersigni, according to Modern Healthcare. Read more

Missouri’s ‘right-to-work’ fight draws millions in dark money

Both sides of the “right-to-work” debate in Missouri have raised millions in dark money and out-of-state donations. The law, which would keep unions from requiring workers to pay union dues, will be voted on in a referendum this November. Political organizations are stepping up fundraising ahead of the vote. Two campaign committees have raised $4.3 million in opposition and $1.7 million in support of the right-to-work law this year alone. Read more

Mercy Health to open 10 new clinics in south St. Louis area

Mercy Health plans to open 10 new primary care facilities in the south St. Louis area over the next two years. Those are in addition to about 20 urgent care centers the health system already plans to open throughout the St. Louis region in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care. Read more

McCaskill calls for fix to drug price trends addressed in new report

Brand name drugs most commonly used by older adults have seen consistent increases over the last five years, according to a new report from the office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. The report identified the 20 most commonly prescribed drugs in the Medicare Part D program, which offers prescription drug coverage to older adults. The report found that drug prices rose at an average of 12 percent each year from 2012 to 2017. Read more

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