Though heart disease- and stroke-related deaths are now declining in the U.S., concerns remain that progress could be halted by the continuing increase in diabetes and obesity cases that contribute to cardiovascular disease risk, a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association revealed. Researchers found that 8% of adults in 2008 had diagnosed diabetes, 36.8% had prediabetes, and about two-thirds of those 20 years and older were overweight or obese.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act, which will stop an across-the-board 27% reduction to Medicare provider fees. The cuts would have otherwise been implemented based on the sustainable growth rate formula. The bill will also allow providers to get a 1% increase in Medicare fees for 2012 and 2013.
AHIP President Karen Ignagni also discussed the proposal in a Newsmaker session with USA TODAY. "This is a major step, and it changes everything about how the market works," she said. Read a live blog of the session.
A study of 23 Oregon hospital emergency departments found at least one-third of children diagnosed as being abused had been at the ER before. Researchers say 7% had made three or more ER visits before child abuse was diagnosed. The study also showed that once the abuse was determined, repeat ER visits were unlikely.