News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/24/2018

Americans spent nearly $50 billion on cancer drugs last year -- nearly double the amount spent in 2012 -- and spending is on track to reach $100 billion by 2022, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. The prices for the drugs are driving the spending growth, says IQVIA Senior Vice President Murray Aitken.

5/24/2018

The CMS is expected to request proposals from third parties to buy drugs covered by Medicare Part B on behalf of physicians, reviving the Competitive Acquisition Program as part of a strategy to reduce drug prices.

5/24/2018

Arizona is the seventh state to authorize dental therapists as a licensed profession, allowing specially trained and certified midlevel providers to offer dental fillings, some extractions and crowns at tribal sites, federally qualified health centers and other nonprofit community health centers that handle low-income patients. Dental therapists must have a written agreement with a state-licensed dentist, through whom all billing must go.

5/24/2018

One-third of physician assistant programs responding to a survey in 2008 delivered oral health instruction, with that number rising to 78% in 2017, and 32% of PAs reported handling oral health cases in 2015, according to research presented at the American Academy of Physician Assistants' 2018 conference. The results demonstrate that oral health is becoming a focus area for PAs, but there is room to improve, the study authors reported.

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Clinical Advisor
5/24/2018

The American Association of Orthodontists warned the public not to attempt to straighten their own teeth as shown in online videos showing teenagers and young adults using household items to straighten their teeth. The teeth might move, but they will move out of the bone, and the damage can be irreversible, says dentist Richard Gesker.

5/24/2018

Nearly 500 Aspen Dental offices will provide free care to veterans June 9 during the fifth-annual Day of Service. Relatively few veterans are eligible for dental care from the veterans' health care system.

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Parade
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Aspen Dental, Aspen Dental
5/24/2018

An Accenture report said 48% of Americans plan to delay Medicare enrollment past the age of 65, so health plans may miss out on revenues if they fail to market products to adults after they turn 65. The report said plans should focus on digital engagement, as 70% of people approaching Medicare age have done at least one health activity online in the past year and 53% said they would shop for a Medicare plan online.

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HealthLeaders Media
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Accenture
5/24/2018

Studies suggest that adults over age 65 have on average more than 12 years of good cognitive health, a number that has been expanding over the past decade. Researchers said even when seniors develop cognitive problems, many still maintain an overall sense of well-being.

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Kaiser Health News
5/24/2018

Meeting the needs of employer wellness clients means regular in-person visits and getting to know employees by name, said Sapoznik Insurance wellness manager Rodica Charles. More listening than talking ensures employer-clients get the best wellness programs and strategies, and analyzing general health data leads to customized initiatives that meet employer needs, Charles said.

5/24/2018

The IRS said it will take action to prevent states and local governments from developing ways to help people get around the new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deduction, or SALT, which was included in the tax overhaul bill. New York was the first state to come up with a plan to protect residents, by allowing local property taxes to be turned into charitable contributions, and other states have similar plans in the works.

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IRS