Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado said they are close to finalizing a proposal aimed at stabilizing the health insurance market, and they hope to discuss their ideas at Senate health committee hearings planned for next month. They say the plan is built on concrete solutions, such as changing an Affordable Care Act mandate requiring employers with at least 50 workers to provide insurance coverage and using a reinsurance program to help cover the cost of the sickest people.
Many of 3,000 adults under age 65 surveyed in 2015 said they didn't compare prices for health care services ahead of time, and most didn't calculate in advance what their portion of expenses would be. The findings, published in Health Affairs, also found that three-quarters of the respondents said they didn't know of any resource that would let them compare health care costs, but half said they would use a website showing such information if available.
CDC microbiologist Claudia Molins and Colorado State University microbiology professor John Belisle led a team that developed a test that distinguishes between early-stage Lyme disease and Southern tick-associated rash illness with 85% to 98% accuracy. The approach, described in Science Translational Medicine, detects changes in metabolites caused by exposure to Lyme disease but not to STARI.
Scientists in eastern Brazil are studying local populations of monkeys, mosquitoes and people in an attempt to quell the current outbreak of yellow fever and predict the next one. Monkeys are at risk because they lack natural immunity to the disease and because many people mistakenly believe monkeys can transmit the virus to humans and sometimes kill the animals.
Zoos, national parks and science centers asked people across the US to report their observations of animal and insect behavior during this week's solar eclipse. Many reports involved normal behavior, but abnormal behavior included a swarm of bees hitting an office window after the eclipse, activity among zoo mammals and reptiles, and crabs emerging from the water's edge.
The CMS is rolling back mandatory bundled care programs, but it is likely to release more voluntary, outpatient-focused bundled programs, shifting power from hospitals to physicians, says Francois de Brantes, director of Altarum Institute's Center for Payment Innovation. Bundled reimbursement for outpatient care will encourage hospitals and physicians to collaborate on cost-saving measures, as well as give hospitals added incentive to prevent avoidable readmissions beyond the current 90-day window, de Brantes says.
Rita Fior, a biologist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal, and her colleagues reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they created so-called cancer avatars by implanting human colorectal tumor cells in zebrafish larvae. Then, the fish were treated with chemotherapy drug combinations, and in most cases, their response predicted human patient response, suggesting that zebrafish could be used to help select the right treatment for a given patient.
A study in Diabetes Care showed that adults with diabetes and compensated cirrhosis who visited both a primary care physician and a specialist had a 0.05 times lower risk of developing any decompensation event and a 0.03 times lower risk of experiencing any decompensation event or hospitalization, compared with other physician-mix categories. Researchers analyzed data from the Medicare Supplemental and MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters databases involving 18,359 patients.
A study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that adults who ate only one or two meals daily and those who ate a filling breakfast as their largest meal had a slight reduction in their body mass index, compared with an increase in BMI among those who had eaten more meals daily and ate snacks between meals. Researchers from California and the Czech Republic used a cohort of 50,660 healthy adults from the Seventh-day Adventist Church and also found an association between a reduced BMI and a longer daily night fast equal to or longer than 18 hours.
The ONC and the Research Action for Health Network, a clinical data research network based in New Orleans, will collaborate on a pilot program to create an electronically exchangeable patient consent form based on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification. The pilot program will use The Patient Choice Technical Project's use cases to test the exchange of patient consent and will investigate whether the FHIR specification can make it easier to exchange patient consent forms.
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