August 10, 2016 496 Views Share Morgan Stanley has begun to fulfill its consumer relief obligations under a settlement with federal and state regulators in connection with mortgage-backed securities practices, according to a report from independent monitor Professor Eric D. Green.On February 11, 2016, Morgan Stanley entered into a $3.2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and New York State in connection with the creation, packaging, marketing, underwriting, sale, structuring, arrangement, and issuance of mortgage-based securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.The penalty from the DOJ amounted to $2.6 billion, while Morgan Stanley agreed to provide New York State with $550 million—including $400 million in consumer relief by the end of September 2019.Green said in his first report on the settlement that Morgan Stanley has submitted credit under the settlement of debt that is owed on 19 first-lien mortgage loans totaling approximately $10.4 million in reportable credit. While that total represents less than 3 percent of the overall consumer credit Morgan Stanley agreed to provide, it provided a “test drive” for the monitor and his team to assess Morgan Stanley’s plan for delivering the consumer relief and methodology for calculating how the assistance qualifies for credit under the settlement.Based on the initial review, Green said that Morgan Stanley is “employing a logical and appropriate approach to seeking credit for its consumer-relief efforts” and that “In the coming months, we should get a clearer picture of how quickly Morgan Stanley is delivering on its consumer-relief obligations and how much of what kind of relief is being delivered.”According to the monitor, 11 of the 19 loans were located in Hardest Hit Areas, which are areas identified by the U.S. Census Bureau has having a high concentration of foreclosure and distressed properties. All but one of the 19 homes were underwater on their mortgages. The average principal forgiven on these loans was more than $430,000, according to Green, and after the forgiveness, all 19 of the homes had an LTV ratio of 100 percent or lower—meaning either they were in positive equity or the owners did not owe more than the homes were worth.The February 2016 settlement was not the first for Morgan Stanley over mortgage-backed securities practices. In February 2014, Morgan Stanley entered into a settlement with the Justice Department for $2.6 billion to resolve claims that the investment firm packaged and sold toxic MBS in the run-up to the crisis.Click here to view the monitor’s complete report. Morgan Stanley Starts Paying Off RMBS Settlement Debt Morgan Stanley Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlements 2016-08-10 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Featured, News
Source:https://news.yale.edu/2018/08/20/study-finds-racial-disparities-prescribing-opioids-chronic-pain Aug 20 2018Yale researchers have identified racial disparities in the treatment of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain. Black patients who receive opioids long-term are more likely than whites to be tested for illicit drug use. Of those who test positive, blacks are more likely to have their opioid prescriptions discontinued, said the researchers.More than 40% of opioid overdose deaths in the United States are attributed to prescription opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and Percocet. Efforts to curb the crisis have focused in part on limiting opioid overprescribing. Less attention has been paid to how providers monitor and treat patients once opioids are initiated.The Yale-led research team analyzed data from the electronic health records of more than 15,000 patients who received opioids from the Veterans Administration between 2000 and 2010. The researchers reviewed whether patients were screened for illicit drug use after starting opioids, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also looked at whether opioids were discontinued in those who tested positive for either marijuana or cocaine.Related StoriesBirth, child outcomes linked with maternal opioid use during pregnancyResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesPDFNJ campaign emphasizes the hazards of prescription opioidsThe research team found that very few patients prescribed opioids were tested for illicit drug use, but blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to undergo testing at one, three, and six months after starting opioid therapy.When patients tested positive for either marijuana or cocaine, the vast majority, 90%, continued to receive their opioid prescriptions. However, black patients were more likely to have opioids discontinued. “If they were black and tested positive for marijuana, they were twice as likely to have opioids discontinued, and for cocaine, they were three times more likely,” said first author Julie Gaither.These findings are consistent with research showing healthcare disparities in how blacks and whites are treated in general, and in regards to opioids in particular. The study also points to a lack of guidance for clinicians who treat patients who suffer from chronic pain in the context of a substance use disorder, the researchers noted.”There is no mandate to immediately stop a patient from taking prescription opioids if they test positive for illicit drugs,” Gaither explained. “It’s our feeling that without clear guidance, physicians are falling back on ingrained stereotypes, including racial stereotyping. When faced with evidence of illicit drug use, clinicians are more likely to discontinue opioids when a patient is black, even though research has shown that whites are the group at highest risk for overdose and death.”The researchers hope that their study encourages providers to follow current recommendations for testing patients for illicit drugs when they are first prescribed opioids for chronic pain, and annually thereafter. “This study underscores the urgent need for a more universal approach to monitoring patients prescribed opioids for the concurrent use of sedatives and other substances that may increase the risk of overdose,” said Gaither.