News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/18/2018

Kristen Khanna, a nurse practitioner and operator of Total Pain Care and Wellness in Salem, N.H., agreed to pay $127,264.98 in restitution after entering a guilty plea to health care and prescription fraud for her involvement in a Medicare fraud scheme. Authorities said Khanna submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for services and prescription drugs provided by an unlicensed employee in 2014 and 2015.

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Medicare
9/17/2018

About 65% of health care executives have changed their definition of patient-centered care to include providing educational resources and access to coordinated care, according to a survey by Modern Healthcare. More than 94% of executives surveyed said they are investing in technology to provide better care.

9/17/2018

Honolulu-based Fetal Diagnostic Institute of the Pacific notified 40,800 patients about a possible data breach after a June ransomware attack enabled hackers to access former and current patients' names, diagnoses, home addresses, dates of birth, account numbers or other types of information. The provider sought the help of a cybersecurity firm to remove the ransomware and restore its data and advised patients to inform it immediately if they discover other activities that may be related to the incident or receive suspicious communications.

9/17/2018

Figures from the HHS' National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed the number of people who misused or were addicted to opioid painkillers dropped to 11.4 million last year from 11.8 million in 2016 and 12.7 million in 2015. Hydrocodone and oxycodone were the most commonly abused opioid drugs, and most opioid users got their drugs free from friends or relatives, but 34.6% got them from a physician, the survey found.

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HHS, hydrocodone, painkillers, oxycodone
9/17/2018

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called for new funding mechanisms to support the battle against antimicrobial resistance, while also disclosing the agency's 2019 strategic plan that focuses on AMR. Gottlieb spoke of four crucial areas to address, including the development of products and surveillance tools for antimicrobial use and resistance, promotion of antimicrobial stewardship and support for research initiatives to discover alternative treatment approaches.

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BioCentury
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Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, FDA
9/17/2018

Hospitals are acquiring or opening urgent care clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices and other nonacute care facilities, adding to their portfolios as the nation's health care system continues to move beyond fee-for-service, according to a report from L.E.K. and the American Hospital Association. The moves allow hospitals to expand their patient base and capture revenue from outpatient care, as well as better manage patients across the care continuum, report co-author Jonas Funk says.

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RevCycle Intelligence
9/17/2018

House lawmakers voted to advance legislation that would modify the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers offer health insurance, setting the stage for debate this week. H.R. 3798 would change the definition of "full-time" from 30 to 40 hours per week for the employer mandate, delay the implementation of the ACA excise tax on high-cost health benefits to Dec. 31, 2022, and require employers to provide Form 1095 coverage statements only upon request, among other measures.

9/17/2018

Minnesota-based insurer Medica and the Mayo Clinic agreed to jointly develop health insurance products for customers nationwide that would link local health care providers with Mayo Clinic specialists.

9/17/2018

Youths who were regularly given acetaminophen before age 2 were more likely to develop asthma by age 18, and those with a particular form of the GSTP1 gene and regular acetaminophen use had 1.8 times increased odds of asthma, researchers reported at a meeting of the European Respiratory Society. The findings were based on data involving 620 children.

9/17/2018

Children with selective eating behaviors were nearly twice as prone to depression, generalized anxiety or social anxiety compared with those who weren't picky eaters, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers said more than 20% of youths ages 2 to 6 are picky eaters, with most of those moderately selective eaters.

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HealthDay News