The CMS has proposed a rule that would increase per-discharge payments to inpatient rehabilitation facilities by 2.3%, or $195 million, for fiscal 2020. The agency is also proposing to change the wage index calculation method for inpatient rehab facilities to align with calculations for other post-acute care settings.
Vermont is the best state for pediatric health care, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut, while Alaska, Oklahoma and Mississippi ranked 49, 50 and 51, according to a Wallethub report. The report also found an 18% increase in out-of-pocket health costs among those ages 18 and younger between 2012 and 2016.
New Jersey needs to pursue a range of policy priorities to close health care gaps in the state and prevent 6,400 avoidable deaths per year, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Equitable access to safe, affordable and stable housing, improved access to healthy food in communities and schools, and expanded access to high-quality early education are among the recommendations to support better health.
Dentistry is not based on the same rigorous research and evidence as medical care, according to a Cochrane review and dentist Jane Gillette, who works with the American Dental Association's Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry. That lack of evidence puts patients at a disadvantage and facilitates deliberate and inadvertent overtreatment, say dentist Jeffrey Camm and former hygienist Trish Walraven.
Although opinions about the Affordable Care Act continue to be divided along political lines, approval has gradually grown as 25 million more Americans are insured now than before the law was passed. Even some politicians who campaigned against the law say it has had some positive effects.
Heartland Dental is the US' largest dental support organization, with more than 900 affiliates in 37 states, followed by Aspen Dental, Pacific Dental Services, Smile Brands and Western Dental. Western has added more than 50 practices since October and has moved from the eighth-largest to the fifth-largest DSO.
Nearly 48,000 Texans received inpatient treatment for nontraumatic dental conditions at a cost of $1.7 billion over a 10-year period, and 196 patients died, according to a study by the Texas Health Institute. Cellulitis of the face and periapical abscess without sinus involvement were the most frequently treated conditions, and a lack of access to preventive care was a factor, says THI Executive Director Ankit Sanghavi.
More than 1.4 million Tricare enrollees also enrolled in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program as of March 15, and nearly 1.2 million of those enrollees switched from the Tricare Retiree Dental Program, according to the Defense Department.
Acids from oral bacteria demineralize teeth, and enzymes released by neutrophils -- white blood cells that respond to oral infections -- weaken not only dentin in demineralized teeth but also resin composite fillings, according to a study published in Acta Biomaterialia. The findings could lead to the development of new filling materials or new treatments.
A Fitch Solutions analysis found that major chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis account for more than $1 trillion per year in health care costs due to expenses from physician visits, hospital care, medications, medical devices and home care. That cost burden could double within the next 30 years, driven by the aging of the US population and increasing incidence of noncommunicable diseases.
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