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.
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.
Only three in 10 people revived in an emergency department or by an emergency medical technician after overdosing were given medication avoid another life-threatening event, researchers report in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Of those who did receive medication, those who took buprenorphine experienced 40% lower mortality after one year than those who did not take medication, and those who took methadone experienced 60% lower mortality than those who did not get treatment.
Town Hall Ventures, Socially Determined and Amazon are among the organizations using analytics and other tools to help stakeholders in health care improve outcomes and reduce costs for the Medicaid population by addressing social determinants of health. Socially Determined founder and CEO Dr. Trenor Williams will discuss the importance of investing in social determinants of health at AHIP's Institute and Expo this week.
A study in PLOS ONE found women with higher levels of vitamin D in their system had a lower risk of breast cancer. The findings, based on data from 5,038 women with an average age of 63, showed 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels of more than 60 nanograms per milliliter were associated with one-fifth the risk of breast cancer, compared with levels less than 20 nanograms per milliliter.
A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that type 2 diabetes patients with a low-risk lifestyle factor score of 3 or more were at reduced risk for cardiovascular disease mortality, coronary heart disease, stroke and total CVD, compared with those with a score of 0, which signified higher-risk behaviors. Researchers evaluated data from 11,527 patients, mean age of 63, calculating lifestyle scores based on diet, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol consumption, with higher scores signifiying healthier choices.
A study in The Lancet Psychiatry showed that 7.4% of infants whose mothers took lithium for bipolar disorder or serious depression during the first trimester of pregnancy developed major malformations, such as neural tube defects, heart defects and genital malformations, compared with 4.3% of those whose mothers had mood disorders but didn't receive the drug. Researchers also found a nearly twofold higher likelihood of hospital readmissions within the first 28 days of life among infants exposed to lithium during pregnancy.
Six of 18 commercially available blood glucose monitor systems met the predetermined accuracy standard in all of a set of three studies, while five BGMs met the accuracy standard in two studies and three BGMs in one study, according to findings published in Diabetes Care. Researchers recruited 1,035 individuals to monitor blood glucose via BGMs in three triple-blinded studies using differing systems and found that four of the cleared systems did not meet the accuracy standard in any of the three studies.
A bipartisan coalition of nine governors urged the Trump administration to reverse its decision not to defend in court the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions, noting the move "threatens health care coverage for many in our states with pre-existing conditions and adds uncertainty and higher costs for Americans who purchase their own health insurance." The governors said the administration should instead work with them and with Congress to develop "bipartisan solutions to protect coverage and lower health care costs for all Americans."
Utz Quality Foods contracted with an outside vendor to staff an onsite primary care clinic at its Hanover, Pa., plant, and 87% of workers, plus 67% of their family members, are patients. Nicole Fallowfield, director of health risk management for Indiana-based insurer Gibson, said clients with onsite or near-site clinics see a 20% to 30% reduction in emergency department visits, a 10% to 30% decrease in primary care costs, and lower drug costs.
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