A judge upheld an HHS order for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to pay a penalty of $4.3 million for HIPAA violations stemming from three data breach incidents in 2012 and 2013 and the center's failure to encrypt its electronic devices. "We are pleased that the judge upheld our imposition of penalties because it underscores the risks entities take if they fail to implement effective safeguards, such as data encryption, when required to protect sensitive patient information," said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
A bipartisan group of 31 senators sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb asking the agency to convene its Drug Shortages Task Force to find out the possible causes of nationwide drug shortages, particularly of local anesthetics, sterile IV fluids and other routinely used medications. The senators also asked the agency to come up with policy recommendations on how to address the shortages by the end of next year at the latest.
A decades-long campaign to eradicate Guinea worm is threatened by the worm's resurgence in dogs in Chad, and researchers are racing to identify the source. The country's government has launched an education campaign, is paying villagers to tether infected dogs until the worms emerge and is paying infected people who come forward for treatment to avoid having to euthanize all the country's dogs.
Only two wolves remain at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park after most of the population was wiped out in the 1980s by parvovirus transmitted by a fisherman's pet dog. The National Park Service is finalizing a wolf reintroduction initiative that could begin as early as September and could stabilize the island's ecosystem and moose population.
Hollywood legend Jane Fonda, 80, says plastic surgery has extended her longevity in the acting business by a decade. Fonda also credits a healthy lifestyle and a willingness to take leaps of faith.
The Department of Labor is poised to announce a sweeping rule that would make it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to join together to purchase association health plans that don't meet some Affordable Care Act requirements, sources say. The plans would cost less and could be sold across state lines, President Donald Trump has said, but critics say the move could drive up premiums and destabilize insurance markets by encouraging healthy people to leave ACA exchanges.
A report issued by health care services provider UpWell Health found that 45% of patients with diabetes have missed out on medical care due to costs, based on a survey of 5,255 patients with diabetes living in the US. Diabetes-related medical expenses can reach $7,900 per person each year, according to the American Diabetes Association, and the report found that 43% of patients spent up to $1,000 out of pocket for diabetes complications, 34% spent personal money to pay for trips to a clinician's office for diabetes management, and 37% disclosed that diabetes has caused stress in their family, social and work relationships.
Researchers used a cohort of 12,268 individuals without diagnosed diabetes at baseline from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study and found that the single-sample confirmatory testing had a 98.1% specificity, which increased to 99.6% by 15 years, and a 54.9% sensitivity in identifying patients with diabetes during the first five years. The findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that the single-sample confirmatory testing also had an 88.7% 15-year predictive value, compared with 71.1% for unconfirmed cases.
Researchers found that patients at high risk for type 2 diabetes who completed a 16-week program of two weekly soccer sessions and dietary advice lost more than 2 kg of body fat and built up their muscle mass by 1 kg, compared with those who only received healthy eating guidance. The findings in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, based on 50 adults aged 55 to 70, showed that playing soccer could help reduce cardiovascular disease risk by 50% if participants continued their training and diet regimes.
While text-only warning and calorie labels did not affect sales of sugary drinks, people are less inclined to purchase these drinks if they come with graphic health warning labels, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers used three different types of labels in a hospital cafeteria in Massachusetts and found a nearly 15% drop in the sales of sugary drinks after graphic warning labels were posted and consumers substituted the sugary beverages with bottled water.
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