A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that 18% of inpatient hospital admissions for people enrolled in large employer health plans include a bill from an out-of-network health care provider, which can result in higher out-of-pocket expenses. The study found that services requiring emergency department use and inpatient treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues have a higher chance of including a claim from an out-of-network provider.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency will make claims data accessible to the public through the Blue Button 2.0 application programming interface. Speaking at the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference, Verma urged health insurers to follow the CMS' lead and release their claims data in an API format.
Researchers who studied 953,906 patients with type 2 diabetes and a mean age of 51.8 found a higher risk of lower extremity amputation among new users of SGLT-2 inhibitors, compared with new users of GLP-1 agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors after propensity score weighting and adjusting for severity of diabetes, medications, demographics and comorbidities. The findings in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that new SGLT-2 inhibitor users were at a significant amputation risk compared with new users of metformin, sulfonylureas or thiazolidinediones.
Mayo Clinic has topped the U.S. News & World Report's 2018-2019 Best Hospitals Honor Roll rankings for the third straight year. Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine rounded out the top five.
Researchers followed children from 4th through 5th grade and found those with weak grips had a more than threefold increased likelihood of being in poor health or having declines in health compared with children with strong grips. Researchers said the findings in the Journal of Pediatrics could be used to predict cardiometabolic disease risk.
Amicus Therapeutics said its newly approved oral Fabry disease drug Galafold will have an average price of $315,000 annually. The drug will compete with Sanofi's Fabrazyme infusion treatment, which Amicus said has an average list price of $340,000 for adults. Sanofi pegs its price at $290,000, but that figure includes treatment for children, who generally use less of the medication.
Some public health advocates say the FDA isn't doing enough to rein in the electronic cigarette industry. A 2017 survey found close to 12% of high-school students and 3% of middle-school students had used an e-cigarette within the past 30 days, and though the agency has taken some steps and will launch a public information campaign next month, advocates say several new devices recently hit the market without approval.
A US district court judge rejected Johnson & Johnson's petition to dismiss Pfizer's lawsuit alleging that J&J used contracts with health insurers to hold market share of Remicade and thwart competition from Pfizer's biosimilar, Inflectra.
A Charles Schwab survey found the youngest adults in the US workforce have an average savings of $1,628 and average debt of $8,003. The report said many younger adults "seem to have a genuine lack of understanding about debt in general."
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