The CMS released a request for information last week seeking public input on whether the agency should require health care providers and suppliers to inform patients in advance how much care will cost out-of-pocket. "We are concerned that challenges continue to exist for patients due to insufficient price transparency," the CMS wrote.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that the Department of Justice is launching a program known as Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge to combat the synthetic opioid abuse epidemic by targeting illegal drug suppliers. The initiative will focus on 10 areas with high overdose mortality including Maine, New Hampshire and parts of California, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Intersecting epidemics of opioid abuse and infectious disease were the focus of discussions at the workshop of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Five action steps were proposed by participants, as reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, emphasizing screening for opioid use disorder, immediate treatment for opioid abuse, hospital promotion of community-based treatment, training for health care professionals, and access to addiction care.
A report from Senate Democrats suggests Novartis' relationship with attorney Michael Cohen was more extensive than the company has disclosed. The document also says Novartis provided Cohen with ideas for bringing down the cost of prescription drugs that later ended up in the Trump administration's plan for addressing drug prices.
A coalition made up of over 500,000 US doctors released a joint statement criticizing the Trump administration's decision to suspend risk adjustment payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act, arguing the move will hurt patients with chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions and push up premiums. "This decision contradicts the administration's pledge to provide individuals and families with more options to secure affordable health care coverage," according to the coalition whose members include the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Lifestyle factors, such as adequate exercise, healthy diet and smoking cessation, are often overlooked but key to reducing the risk of cardiometabolic disease, Dr. Christos Mantzoros said at the Heart in Diabetes Clinical Education Conference. Mantzoros urged clinicians to share practical advice with patients, such as encouraging them to follow Mediterranean or plant-based diets and limit sedentary activities.
Over 7,000 Arkansas residents who gained coverage under the state's Medicaid expansion didn't meet new work requirements in June and could lose coverage if they fail to comply with the rules before year's end, state officials said.
A team of researchers from Swansea University developed smart patches that could measure insulin levels and release insulin as needed in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The prototype device, which includes micro needles that would deliver the insulin and a monitoring system designed to send data to the user's smartphone, "would be a wearable patch system, probably replaced on a daily basis," said Owen Guy of Swansea University.
Foxconn, which is constructing a plant in Racine County, Wis., has agreed to work with Advocate Aurora Health to collect health data from future Foxconn workers. The goals include improving preventive care and employee wellness programs and streamlining patient information, such as dietary habits, on a digital platform to make it available for analysis.
While large companies may find it cost effective to have an on-site clinic, smaller and midsize companies can provide a similar employee benefit by contracting with a company to periodically bring in a physician or nurse. Tech company Yext brings in a health care professional once each quarter and then offers employees access to care at two nearby clinics throughout the year.
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