A Commonwealth Fund report found racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care have narrowed since enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, especially in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, but improvements in coverage gaps have stalled among blacks and Hispanics since 2016. The percentage of black adults without health insurance fell to 14.4% in 2018 from 24.4% in 2013, while the percentage of uninsured Hispanic adults declined to 24.9% from 40.2%, the report found.
A report from the Urban Institute found premiums for the cheapest 2020 silver Affordable Care Act plans dropped by 3.5% to $426 on average, suggesting that ACA markets are stabilizing. Premiums for the lowest-cost silver plans fell in 31 states, but costs still vary among states, ranging from $298 in Minnesota to $871 in Wyoming.
An analysis of Medicare claims from 2008 to 2016 did not find the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program increased mortality rates, especially among patients seen in the emergency department or under observation, researchers reported in the British Medical Journal. "This study adds to the evidence that the readmission policy is safe and is not increasing the risk of death by turning away people who need to be re-hospitalized," said senior author Dr. Harlan Krumholz.
The number of sepsis cases around the world in 2017 was estimated at 48.9 million, and the infection killed 11 million people that year, accounting for 19.7% of all global deaths, researchers reported in The Lancet. The study also found that youths younger than 5 accounted for 20.3 million cases of sepsis in 2017 and 2.9 million sepsis-related deaths.
Research reported in Diabetes Care linked severe obesity in adults to a higher risk of cognitive decline and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, compared with normal weight. Researchers found central obesity may increase the risk and said shifting adipose storage to noncentral areas of the body may help reduce obesity-related complications.
GoodRx co-founder Stephen Buck worked with technology expert Omar Mehmood and oncologists to develop the Cancer Survival Rates website to make it easier for people with cancer and their families to find information about cancer prognoses. "We want this to be a conversation starter, for someone to take this information and ask their physician, 'What do you think about my prognosis?' " Buck said.
Only 38% of primary or specialty ambulatory care clinics reported having all 16 health IT functionalities considered core capabilities. Small ambulatory care clinics lag their large counterparts in adoption of ONC-certified EHRs, and physician-centered functions such as clinical data repositories and clinician charting were more likely to be adopted than patient-facing functionalities such as patient portals and patient health records.
Help members age in place with better Rx adherence Health plans know that aging in place can present a variety of challenges that threaten the health of their senior members. These include medication adherence, as data shows up to 50% of people may fail to take their medication as prescribed. Health plans looking to address this issue need a patient-centric approach that helps remind members to take the right medicines at the right time. Learn more.
BioMarin Pharmaceuticals' experimental gene therapy for an inherited form of hemophilia could be priced between $2 million and $3 million if it receives FDA approval, a price tag that would make it the world's priciest drug. BioMarin's CEO said the company has talked with insurers about the target price and said the company would consider alternative payment models for covering the drug.
A joint FDA advisory committee advised against approval of Intellipharmaceutics' Aximris, an extended-release opioid, the third pain drug rejected by the panel this week. Nektar Therapeutics' oxycodegol, and a drug combination of tramadol and celecoxib, also failed to gain the panel's support.
A study in Health Affairs found Medicaid coverage loss and disruptions dropped 4.3% among low-income adults in states that expanded the program following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Men, people of color and those who don't have chronic conditions who live in expansion states saw the biggest improvements in coverage disruption and loss rates, according to the study.
Our health and well-being are influenced by more than just the care we receive at the doctor's office. Access to healthy food, quality housing, safe neighborhoods, and education all have an impact on our health. Health insurance providers are confronting health disparities that stem from environmental and social factors and introducing innovative initiatives that build up their communities.
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