News for Insurers
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7/20/2018

Exercise scientists say any type of movement can be considered physical activity, and study data suggest dynamic sitting -- which can include under-desk bicycling or other movements while sitting -- may increase calorie burn and help deskbound workers. One study found even fidgeting while sitting can be beneficial.

7/20/2018

The use of complementary medicine by cancer patients was associated with poorer overall five-year survival and an increased mortality risk, compared with not using CM, researchers reported in JAMA Oncology. The increase in mortality was attributed to patients delaying or refusing potentially curative conventional treatments.

7/20/2018

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt raised questions regarding a potential change to the Medicare prescription drug benefit and highlighted a recent HHS Office of Inspector General study that found no correlation between prescription drug rebates and prices. "Before proceeding further with any proposed changes to the long-standing safe harbor protection for manufacturer rebates to pharmacy benefit managers, we would encourage the administration to review the extensive public comments PCMA and other payer-oriented groups submitted just a few days ago in response to HHS' blueprint request for information on this very issue," Merritt said.

7/20/2018

Madhu Aggarwal, a doctor from Coraopolis, Pa., has pleaded guilty to health care fraud, unlawfully distributing controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Aggarwal admitted he illegally distributed buprenorphine, a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction, and submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare to cover the costs of his illegal prescriptions while working at a Redirections Treatment Advocates drug treatment center in Washington, Pa.

7/20/2018

Adrian Morris, a psychiatrist from Clifton Park, N.Y., could face up to 20 years in prison after being charged with distributing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice. Morris, who specializes in addiction recovery, was accused of prescribing Xanax, Adderall and Suboxone to patients who didn't need them and to people he never treated, and, in at least one case, in exchange for sex, prosecutors said.

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Adderall
7/20/2018

Gerald Schaar, a former pharmaceutical sales representative from Mississippi who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for his involvement in a $2.3 million-plus Tricare fraud scheme, was recently arrested in connection with violating the conditions of his pretrial release. Schaar is set to appear in court next month.

7/20/2018

Brandi Malcook, the nursing supervisor of Rock County Jail in Janesville, Wis., was recently arrested and charged with obtaining controlled substance by fraud. Malcook was placed on administrative leave by her employer, Advanced Correctional Healthcare, after the arrest.

7/19/2018

The health care sector reported eight major data breaches in the first half of 2018, down from 19 major breaches during the same period in 2017, according to a report released by the cybersecurity firm Cryptonite. However, the number of patient records breached in the first half of this year was a little over 1.9 million, compared with approximately 1.67 million records in the first half of 2017, researchers found.

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Cryptonite
7/19/2018

Health insurers are leading the way to improve health care quality and affordability by promoting value-based care and investing in new business partnerships and technologies, writes AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles. Almost 300 million Americans now have insurance coverage, and out-of-pocket spending as a share of total costs has dropped, yet amid this progress health insurers continue to pursue innovation and collaboration with public sector leaders, health care providers and drugmakers to ensure that Americans get affordable and high-quality care when they need it, Eyles writes.

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Matt Eyles, AHIP
7/19/2018

Researchers followed 3,467 individuals in Finland for an average of 30 years and found that growing up in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and fatty liver in adulthood. The findings in The Lancet "support policies that increase resources and opportunities for those living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas," researchers said.

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Diabetes (UK)
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fatty liver