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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The FDA has issued a letter to health care providers alerting them of an investigation into paclitaxel-coated and paclitaxel-eluting devices designed for treating peripheral artery disease in the legs after a review in the Journal of the American Heart Association linked use of these devices with increased all-cause mortality risk. Spokespeople for Boston Scientific and Medtronic both noted that the meta-analysis did not consider patient-level data and maintained that the companies' devices were safe.
Sandoz has launched its Symjepi, or epinephrine, injection for treating individuals with emergency allergic reactions who weigh at least 30 kg. The Symjepi syringe contains 0.3 mg epinephrine and can be administered either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted unanimously to recommend the consolidation of hospital quality initiatives into a single program linking Medicare payments to the quality of care, arguing the move would prevent confusion and overlapping requirements. The commission outlined recommendations for a program called the Hospital Value Incentive Program and said it should start in 2020 and increase the payment rate for acute care hospitals by 2% over this year.