The CMS announced Friday that Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles for 2018 will be the same as last year, but monthly premiums for Medicare Part A will rise by $9 to $422, while the deductible for hospitalization will increase by $24 to $1,340. The standard monthly Part B premium for seniors earning $85,000 or below will remain at $134 with a $183 deductible, but some beneficiaries have been paying less because of several years of little or no Social Security cost-of-living raise, so those seniors will pay more as Social Security checks rise.
More than 40% of health care professionals go to work when they have symptoms of influenza, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Pharmacists and physicians were the most likely to work while sick, and hospital-based HCPs were more likely than those in other settings to work while ill.
A report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics showed that 28.8 million Americans had no health insurance in the first half of 2017, statistically unchanged from 28.6 million in the same period a year before, but 19.8 million lower than in 2010. The percentage of people under the age of 65 who enrolled in high-deductible plans rose to 42.9% this year from 39.4% a year before, according to the report.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the Trump administration won't object if senators remove a provision that would repeal the Affordable Care Act's requirement that Americans purchase health insurance from their tax bill. Legislation that passed the House last week does not include the repeal, and as the Senate prepares to consider its legislation, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, expressed opposition to the repeal provision, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said market stabilization legislation would become critical if the repeal provision is enacted.
A survey of people with desk jobs showed an average of 73% of their work day was spent sitting, 10% standing, 13% walking and 4% doing physically demanding tasks, according to a study in BMC Research Notes. Workers said they wanted to spend 54% of their day sitting, 15% standing, 23% walking and about 8% doing demanding tasks.
The 2017 Financial Mindset study from Alight Solutions found many employees would rather discuss all sorts of controversial and personal topics instead of their financial well-being, with just 26% saying they would be willing to talk about their finances. Employees have a high level of insecurity about money management but just 37% said their company had a financial wellness program beyond retirement benefits.
Youths with at least four risk factors for obesity, including maternal and paternal overweight or obesity, excessive pregnancy weight gain, increased maternal glucose levels, shorter breast-feeding duration and early solid food introduction, had an 11 times higher likelihood of being overweight or obese, compared with those who didn't have any risk factors, according to a Singaporean study in the International Journal of Obesity. The findings also showed that parental weight was the strongest risk factor, with maternal and paternal weight contributing equally to the risk of childhood obesity.
Grandparents who regularly give grandchildren treats or too much food, allow them to avoid physical activity or smoke around them may influence their lifestyle behaviors and increase their risk of cancer, according to a research review published in PLOS ONE. Researchers said such actions may negatively affect weight and dietary patterns in children and expose them to passive smoke or influence their decision on whether to smoke.
Applying discounts and rebates at the point of sale in Medicare Part D would result in higher insurance premiums for beneficiaries while boosting drugmakers' profits, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said in response to a proposed CMS rule. Such a requirement "would create a windfall for drugmakers, who would pay up to $29 billion less in donut-hole discounts," the group said.
With no prior announcement, the FDA started appending meaningless, four-letter suffixes to newly approved biologics' nonproprietary names last week. Adding the suffixes represents an expansion of the FDA's practice of using them for the nonproprietary names of biosimilars.
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