News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/18/2019

Replacing 30 minutes of sitting per day with physical activity lowers the risk of premature death by up to 35% in older adults, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Moderate to vigorous activity was most effective, but even light-intensity activity was associated with a 17% lower risk of premature mortality.

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CNN, Bustle
1/18/2019

A study by Harvard University researchers found almost 75% of US workers have caregiving responsibilities, 32% have left a job due to problems with work-life balance, and more than 80% said caregiving duties at home prevent them from giving their best performance at work. The study found more than half of employers said they did not track workers' responsibilities outside of work.

1/18/2019

Nearly 43.4% of adolescents ages 13 to 17 were given complete human papillomavirus vaccination, but only 15.8% and about 34.8% had received all recommended HPV vaccine doses by ages 13 and 15, respectively, according to a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Researchers also found higher odds of up-to-date HPV vaccination at ages 13 and 15 among those who had one health provider, compared with those with two or more providers.

1/18/2019

Traverse City, Mich., may be an exception to statistics showing fewer people are commuting to work by bike, and the annual "Smart Commute Week," held by TART Trails, may be one reason. Businesses and residents form teams for the Smart Commute Challenge, which includes biking, walking, carpooling, riding the bus, or using other smart transportation modes.

1/18/2019

Oregon lawmakers are considering ways to ensure all students have access to free breakfast and lunch at school. Options include having universal school meals and expanding the Community Eligibility Provisions and Breakfast After the Bell programs, but funding could be an issue.

1/18/2019

The CMS unveiled its proposed notice of benefit and payment standards for Affordable Care Act plans for the 2020 coverage year and it includes proposals to lower ACA user fees, allow insurers to adopt midyear prescription formulary changes and increase the annual cost-sharing limit to $8,200 for self-only coverage and $16,400 for family coverage. The agency also asked for comments on how it might address the practice of silver-loading -- concentration of premium increases in silver plans -- and indicated support for a legislative fix enabling cost-sharing reduction payments to resume.

1/18/2019

Counties with high and medium opioid prescribing rates had 1.6 times and 1.4 times higher prevalence of babies with gastroschisis, respectively, compared with counties with low opioid prescribing rates, CDC researchers reported in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The findings, based on data from 2006 to 2015 across 20 states, also showed a 30% increase in infant gastroschisis rates from 2006 to 2012, and while babies born to mothers younger than 20 remained most likely to develop gastroschisis, the greatest gain in prevalence was found among those born to older mothers.

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CNN, HealthDay News
1/18/2019

A new genetic risk score known as T1DGRS2 appears twice as efficient in predicting risk of developing type 1 diabetes compared with current methods, according to a study in Diabetes Care, and it could be used to predict risk in babies. Researchers analyzed gene interactions and genetic variation in more than 6,500 patients with type 1 diabetes and found that the new test was more accurate and was able to help distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

1/18/2019

Researchers found that 69.9% of children younger than 2 who were given antibiotics in emergency departments for bronchiolitis didn't have any documented concomitant bacterial infection, with penicillins and macrolides being the most commonly prescribed antibiotics. The findings in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society should prompt the implementation of quality improvement interventions, especially in nonpediatric and nonteaching hospitals, researchers wrote.

1/18/2019

An analysis of data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014 found a sharp increase in the number of Americans using a combination of opioids and sedatives, which researchers say poses serious health risks, including death. The study, published in the journal Sleep, showed combination use of opioids and sedatives known as benzodiazepines, climbed by 250%, while combination use of benzodiazepines and a similar class of medications called Z-drugs increased by 850% during the period.

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HealthDay News