Kidney disease risk tied to common heartburn drugs, research finds | Study finds declining mortality inequality among US youths | Costs rise with competition in air ambulance industry
April 25, 2016
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Kidney disease risk tied to common heartburn drugs, research finds
A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that use of proton pump inhibitors, commonly taken for heartburn, may be linked to a higher likelihood of severe kidney problems. Patients who took PPIs were 32% more likely to experience a decline in kidney function, 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 96% more likely to develop kidney failure than patients who took H2 blockers. The five-year study looked at over 190,000 patients who initially did not have any kidney trouble.
Reuters (4/22) 
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Study finds declining mortality inequality among US youths
Researchers found that the life expectancy gap between rich and poor US youths aged 20 and below shrank significantly between 1990 and 2010, especially in poorer counties. The findings in Science, based on census data, linked the decrease in mortality inequality to better health care, food and nutrition programs and lower pollution rates.
HealthDay News (4/21) 
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The Future of Care Management: What's Your Game Plan?
The shift from volume- to value-based healthcare is forcing organizations to rethink traditional care management models. This paper highlights five use-cases of payers and providers who are evolving their models to align with shifting reimbursement, and discusses how they are taking a mobile-enabled approach to patient engagement. Click here to get the white paper.
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Providers & Suppliers
Costs rise with competition in air ambulance industry
A federal judge recently upheld air ambulance companies' assertions that they are subject to the federal Airline Deregulation Act, which preempts state laws, leaving state officials with few options to help consumers control spending. Insurance companies and benefits managers say they cannot determine fair reimbursement rates because air ambulance companies keep actual costs secret. "Affordability has a huge role in patient access to health care services," said AHIP spokeswoman Clare Krusing. "There needs to be much greater focus on whether the charges for these services are fair and appropriate."
Billings Gazette (Mont.)/The Associated Press (4/20) 
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Medical Update
Study: Resolving hepatitis B infection doesn't cut liver cancer risk
Patients whose infection with hepatitis B virus resolved with treatment had almost the same level of liver cancer risk as patients who were unable to resolve the infection, according to a CDC study in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Researchers found similar risk levels between 238 patients cured of hepatitis B and 435 patients who still had the disease between 1982 and 2013.
United Press International (4/22) 
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Alliance offers updated US physical activity plan
Runner
(Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
A group of health organizations, including the CDC, HHS, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, this week issued a new National Physical Activity Plan for getting people to be more physically active. National Physical Activity Plan Alliance Chairman Russell Pate, a professor at the University of South Carolina, said the group wants to spread the message that any movement, even walking around the house, can be beneficial and people just need to get moving more often.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/20) 
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Emerging Trends
CDC reports on increase in US suicide rate
The rate of suicide in the US rose 24% from 1999 to 2014, resulting in 42,773 deaths in 2014, according to a report from the CDC. Researchers found major increases in suicide rates for white women and Native Americans.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/21) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
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Hot Topics
Pharma News
Decision in speedometer patent case could slow generic-drug market
AHIP and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association are encouraging the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling regarding patents on speedometer technology. The issue hinges on the inter partes review procedure for patent challenges. AHIP and the GPhA say the process prevents makers of branded drugs from making small changes to extend patents and prevent generic-drug competition.
STAT (4/22) 
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Epilepsy treatment from GW Pharmaceuticals wins FDA orphan status
GW Pharmaceuticals' cannabis-derived drug Epidiolex secured orphan drug status from the FDA as a treatment for patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disorder associated with epilepsy. Four late-stage trials are underway, and results could be released this year.
Reuters (4/21) 
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Policy Watch
Ark. to continue funding Medicaid expansion
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed an amendment that would have defunded the state's expanded Medicaid program and approved the remainder of the bill that continues funding.
Kaiser Health News (4/21) 
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Mich. Senate committee OKs $149M in funding for Flint water crisis
The Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation that would provide Flint with $148.8 million in additional funding for nutrition and child care assistance and development, infrastructure, and lead pipe replacements and improvements, as well as Medicaid expansion for Flint women and children, amid the ongoing water crisis. The bill will now move to the Senate floor.
Detroit Free Press (4/20) 
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AHIP News
Topics that matter most. Institute & Expo
Take a look at Institute & Expo's concurrent sessions and you'll find the most important topics shaping our health care system. Choose from a single track or mix/match from sessions on the new health care economy, the consumer, federal programs, value-based partnerships, prevention and wellness, data analytics and business intelligence, health care in the digital age, and more. Join us June 15-17.
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Don’t miss out – customer service webinar 4/27
Clients come from diverse backgrounds requiring responses that are sensitive to ethnic, cultural, and age differences. Register for this complimentary webinar on Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, to learn ways to take on these challenges and turn them into opportunities to grow your business and your career. Register for this complimentary webinar today!
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Great talent, great tools. Now 25% off
Now through May 31, 2016 take 25% off job postings at AHIP’s Career Center. While you're at it, extend your reach by posting your job and searching resumes on the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN), a collection of hundreds of top health care associations and professional organizations. Use discount code SpringSale2016.
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