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.
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.
After more than 10 years, ICD-11 has been released by the World Health Organization and will be presented for adoption by member states at the World Health Assembly in May 2019. ICD-11 is fully electronic, contains 55,000 codes and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and also moves gender incongruence out of the mental health chapter.
Value-based reimbursement models are reducing unnecessary medical spending in the US by an average of 5.6% while improving care quality and patient engagement, according to a study by ORC International for Change Healthcare. However, many payers surveyed said they have struggled to attract health care providers to value-based models and launch new episodic care bundles.
Pediatricians should diagnose preterm infants with gastroesophageal reflux using GER-associated symptoms -- such as feeding intolerance, apnea, arching, inadequate growth, desaturation, pulmonary condition exacerbations, irritability and perceived feeding discomfort -- and the disorder is normal and often self-resolving among premature babies, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report in Pediatrics. The report does not recommend pharmacologic treatments.
The Oncology Nursing Society is preparing to update Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice this fall. The new book will be titled "Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice" and will contain a chapter on immunotherapeutics, including checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, cytokines, immunomodulators, monoclonal antibodies and oncolytic viral therapy.
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