News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/18/2018

The US Preventive Services Task Force updated guidance issued in 2012 to recommend against use of vitamin D supplements by community-dwelling adults over age 65 to prevent falls. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association said while there is insufficient evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements, evidence clearly supports exercise to reduce the risk of falls.

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HealthDay News
4/18/2018

Individuals who were identified as definite evening types -- or night owls -- were at a 10% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with those who were definite morning types, but the association was only significant among those ages 63 to 73, according to a study in Chronobiology International. UK researchers looked at a cohort of 433,268 participants ages 38 to 73 from the UK Biobank, and found no increased mortality risk among moderate morning or moderate evening chronotypes.

4/18/2018

Physician Organization of Michigan is the nation's largest accountable care organization with 303 hospitals, medical groups, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Advocate Physician Partners Accountable Care in Illinois is next with 264 facilities, followed by Healthcare Provider in New York with 199 facilities, according to IQVIA.

4/18/2018

Bundled payment models that include the costs of physician-administered drugs for advanced cancer care could be detrimental to patients with complex conditions, according to a study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice. Oncology practices' drug costs vary widely depending on the mix of patients they treat, and payment bundles could be financially burdensome or reward practices based on patient mix instead of treatment protocols.

4/18/2018

Senate Republicans, with support from President Donald Trump, are preparing to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal 2013 rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to discourage discrimination by auto lenders. Using the act on years-old rules, rather than recently adopted ones, raises concern decades of regulation might be at stake.

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Politico
4/18/2018

A telemedicine robot enabled Miramont Family Medicine in Fort Collins, Colo., to improve efficiency, job satisfaction and productivity, said Miramont CEO Dr. John Bender, and it enables physicians to more easily see patients at multiple offices. The robot can be controlled using a computer or a smartphone app.

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MobiHealthNews
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Miramont Family Medicine
4/18/2018

An Altarum report found that national health spending grew by nearly 5% year-over-year to $3.6 trillion in February, fueled in part by growth in hospital spending, which rose from 2.7% in November to 4.3% in February. All major categories saw year-over-year spending growth, with nursing home care growing the fastest at 7.9%, and prescription drugs growing the slowest at 4.2%.

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Healthcare Finance
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Altarum
4/18/2018

AHIP and 14 other insurance and business groups sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging the agency to address reports that patients with end-stage renal disease are being steered into commercial coverage even though they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. The groups said some dialysis providers are providing premium assistance to such patients through a "financially interested third party" to collect the higher reimbursements paid by commercial plans, and they urge the CMS to reissue a rule governing third-party premium assistance and steering patients away from government plans.

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HealthLeaders Media
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AHIP, Alex Azar, HHS, Medicare, Medicaid
4/18/2018

The bipartisan Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act of 2018 would allow hospice staff, including physicians and registered nurses, to dispose of expired medications or medications that remain unused following the death of a patient at home. The bill would require hospices to have a written policy and procedure for disposal that is distributed to a patient's family, hold conversations about drug disposal with family or representatives of the family, and document disposal in the clinical record.

4/18/2018

Researchers reviewed data for 145,551 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative from 1993 to 1998 and found that those who had ever used short-acting calcium channel blockers had a 66% greater risk of pancreatic cancer than those who used beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or diuretics to treat hypertension. The findings, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting, showed use of calcium channel blockers was associated with significantly lower levels of the soluble receptor for advanced glycation end product.