An amendment to the American Health Care Act proposed by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., would retain the Affordable Care Act's essential health benefits at the federal level but allow states to request approval to replace the EHBs with their own list. States could also let insurers charge higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions if they create high-risk pools for those patients, according to the amendment, which has been billed as a tool for resurrecting the legislation for a vote the White House would like to see happen next week.
A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that bringing informal, unpaid caregivers into the discharge process for elderly patients helped reduce 90-day readmissions by 25% and 180-day readmissions by 24%. Most of the studies included in the paper also found that inclusion of informal caregivers in discharge processes was linked to lower post-discharge care costs, shorter time-to-readmission and shorter rehospitalization periods.
Danish researchers found type 2 diabetes patients who achieved A1C levels of less than 6.5% after six months of metformin initiation had the lowest risk for cardiovascular events or death, while those who had an A1C of at least 8% had the highest risk. The findings in Diabetes Care, based on 24,752 adults with a mean age of 62.5, showed that large A1C reductions among those with a baseline A1C of more than 9% were associated with the greatest outcome risk reductions.
Type 1 diabetes patients who had an average glycated hemoglobin level of 6% and mild retinopathy should be screened once every three years, while those with severe or moderate retinopathy should be screened every three to six months, respectively, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers used a cohort of 1,441 patients ages 13 to 39 and found those who had an average glycated hemoglobin level of 6% and no signs of retinopathy could undergo one eye exam every four years, while those with glycated hemoglobin levels of up to 10% should undergo screening more often.
Boston University School of Medicine researchers found that adults who drank one artificially sweetened soda daily were nearly three times as likely to develop dementia and ischemic stroke over 10 years, compared with those who didn't drink diet soda. The findings in the journal Stroke, based on data involving 4,372 adults ages 45 and older, also showed a 2.6 times increased odds of stroke but not dementia among those who drank six or fewer diet sodas a week.
Health insurers have filed for participation in Affordable Care Act exchanges in Virginia and Kentucky, which have some of the first filing deadlines in the US, providing an early indication of what the markets might look like for the 2018 plan year. Even after filing, insurers could still decide against participating in those states, and details such as rates and regions where plans will be offered were not disclosed.
A RAND study in Health Affairs found the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act could save Medicare $35 billion to $106 billion in spending on physician services, and $32 billion to $250 billion through 2030 on hospital services. Researchers said the impact will depend on participation in the Advanced Alternative Payment Models.
What began as a friendly competition between Terryberry and Grand Rapids Label has grown to include more than 50 companies competing in the West Michigan Walking Challenge. Terryberry workers are tracking steps on wearable devices or through apps and the total will be compared against other companies at the end of the challenge.
The breast cancer incidence rate is rising among women in six of seven Asian-American ethnic groups studied, according to a study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. The finding warrants additional attention and research to identify relevant risk factors for specific breast cancer subtypes, lead researcher Scarlett Lin Gomez said.
The FDA issued a warning against the use of codeine and tramadol in children younger than 12, in adolescents ages 12 to 18 who are obese or have conditions that cause problems with breathing, such as sleep apnea and lung disease, and breast-feeding mothers, as well as a warning against tramadol use in children ages 18 and younger who underwent tonsil and adenoid removal, after a recent review showed serious breathing difficulties among youths who received the drugs. The FDA is requiring drugmakers to update warning labels on the drugs to reflect the new contraindications.
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