News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
11/22/2017

Data on 85 middle-aged triathletes showed 18% of the men but none of the women had signs of myocardial fibrosis or scarring of the heart, according to a study that is to be presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting. Earlier studies have shown myocardial fibrosis in elite athletes, and researchers said while they do not know the exact cause, factors could include increased blood pressure during exercise and the duration of races.

Full Story:
HealthDay News
11/22/2017

Massachusetts submitted a Medicaid waiver request that could allow the state to negotiate drug prices and discounts by letting it choose which drugs to cover based on cost-effectiveness and the medical needs of its population. Medicaid spending on prescription drugs rose almost 14% in 2015 and about 25% the year before, and experts say other states could follow suit if the request is approved, but a pharmaceutical industry group warns that the move could make it harder for low-income people to obtain medications.

11/22/2017

An analysis of national vital statistics found that since 2010, baby boomers -- Americans born between 1946 and 1964 -- had up to 27% higher odds of dying from a prescription opioid overdose and up to 33% increased odds of dying from heroin overdose compared with people born in the late 1970s. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, also showed that those born in 1989 or 1990 had a 23% higher likelihood of dying from heroin overdose than people born in the 1970s.

Full Story:
HealthDay News
11/22/2017

A study in the American Journal of Managed Care showed that physicians who used EHR-driven clinical reminders were more likely to administer the human papillomavirus vaccine to younger patients than those who did not use a clinical alert for the vaccine. Researchers analyzed adolescents' visits to office-based physicians from 2007 to 2012.

More Summaries:
HPV vaccine
11/22/2017

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in an opinion piece that she would support repealing the Affordable Care Act's requirement that Americans purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Murkowski was one of three Republicans to vote against legislation that would have repealed major portions of the ACA, and her support for repealing the mandate could indicate she will support a GOP tax plan that includes that provision, but she also reiterated her support for measures to stabilize the ACA.

11/22/2017

Keep employees engaged during the holiday season by showing gratitude and keep them healthy by offering flu shots and keeping work areas clean, says TotalWellness founder Alan Kohll. Encourage workers to take paid time off, offer opportunities for stress relief and start a wellness challenge linked to gratitude that offers fun incentives.

Full Story:
Forbes
More Summaries:
flu shots, Alan Kohll, TotalWellness
11/22/2017

An American Cancer Society study showed 42% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014, along with more than 45% of cancer deaths, were associated with 17 modifiable risk factors, with the top three being smoking, excessive weight and alcohol use. The study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians found 85.8% of lung cancer cases, more than 70% of liver cancer cases, nearly 55% of colorectal cancer cases and almost 29% of breast cancer instances were linked to modifiable risk factors.

Full Story:
Medical News Today
11/22/2017

Canadian researchers found that women with gestational diabetes, hypertension or both conditions during pregnancy were at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, as well as increased CVD mortality risk, later in life, compared with those without any of the conditions. The findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology, based on 63,438 couples, revealed that the average time to the outcome of CVD among women with a history of both gestational diabetes and hypertension was 10.8 years, compared with 11.4 years among those with a history of either condition and 11.5 years for those without any of the conditions.

11/22/2017

Applying discounts and rebates at the point of sale in Medicare Part D would result in higher insurance premiums for subscribers while boosting drugmakers' profits, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said in response to a proposed CMS rule. Proposed requirements "could put at risk the choice and affordability of preferred pharmacy plans," PCMA states.

Full Story:
AIS Health
11/22/2017

Attorneys general of 45 states and Washington, D.C., allege that some makers of generic drugs colluded with each other to keep profits high.

Full Story:
NBC News