CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the Trump administration will push ahead with a proposal to align Medicare drug prices with those paid in other countries despite resistance from many Republicans, who warn the plan involves a form of price controls. Verma said the proposal is a "top priority" for the administration, but she declined to reveal any timetable for when the plan might move forward.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is continuing a multiyear field test of an oral wildlife rabies vaccine and will distribute more than 2.7 million vaccine baits in parts of New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Vermont and West Virginia. Researchers want to know whether the ONRAB vaccine is more effective than other vaccines for control of the virus in raccoons and skunks.
Plague is killing off a prairie dog colony on private property in rural Weld County, Colo., according to county public health officials. "Residents should protect themselves by keeping fleas off pets and using an insect repellent when working, playing or camping in areas where fleas may be present," said Mark Wallace, executive director of the county Department of Public Health and Environment.
Youths whose mothers or primary caregivers smoked had 30% and 31% increased odds of being overweight or obese by ages 3 and 5, respectively, compared with those with nonsmoking mothers or caregivers, according to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The findings were based on data involving more than 11,100 children in Ireland.
A study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion found that hypoglycemia positively correlated with non-long-acting insulin, recent hypoglycemia, infection and dementia, while negatively associated factors included age 75 or older and long-acting insulin with sulfonylurea. The research was based on 38,780 adults prescribed a diabetes drug between 2004 and 2013, mean age of 57 years, 8,128 of whom developed hypoglycemia.
A study in JAMA Network Open found a shift in the obesity-associated cancer burden from 2000 to 2016, with increases seen among younger age groups. Some of the biggest increases were for liver and thyroid cancers across the spectrum, gallbladder and other biliary cancers among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic men, and uterine cancer in Hispanic women ages 50 to 64.
A study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research involving 839 community-dwelling adults, ages 65 or older, found that men with low muscle mass and visceral adipose tissue had increased risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, while low muscle mass was the only predictor of mortality risk in women. The findings emphasized the significance of body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry "as a promising tool for the evaluation of sarcopenia, body fat, and mortality risk in older adults," researchers wrote.
Medical devices and other health care technologies can languish in the marketplace if approved by the FDA but not covered by Medicare, writes SonaCare Medical CEO Mark Carol. One solution, Carol says, would be for the CMS to issue provisional coverage for two years upon FDA approval to give companies time to show the product is effective and needed and to determine final reimbursement and coverage levels.
Retiring Tennessee Hospital Association CEO Craig Becker started the Agenda 21 Internship Program to increase health care C-suite diversity through paid internships with hospital executives. Applications for the program increased 56% this year and some program participants have gone on to become CEOs.
Researchers who used PET with F-18 FDG and F-18 NaF found that individuals with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease who developed restenosis by 12 months had significantly elevated microcalcification and inflammation before undergoing percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, compared with those who didn't develop restenosis. The approach, described in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, "has the potential to select patients for intervention and to serve as a biomarker to test novel interventions to prevent restenosis," researchers wrote.
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