President Donald Trump reportedly plans to announce a new plan to address the country's opioid abuse epidemic, and the proposal is expected to include a mix of prevention and treatment measures and stricter law enforcement penalties, including possible capital punishment for drug traffickers. A draft version of the plan, which could be released in final form as soon as Monday, also calls on lawmakers to make it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing addiction to get inpatient care.
The FDA is seeking public input as it develops a plan to reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. The agency is specifically looking for comments on how to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes, the impact of doing so and what the unintended consequences might be, with comments being accepted through mid-June. After that, the FDA will decide whether to move forward with more formal rule-making, said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.
Two faith-based foster care agencies that were found to discriminate against LGBTQ applicants will no longer be allowed to make placements, the city of Philadelphia has decided. Meanwhile, the City Council voted to investigate contracting practices by the city Department of Human Services.
Registered nurse Amanda Shelapinsky at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center trained her mother to be a volunteer cuddler in the NICU, and now she's training an entire class of cuddlers. Shelapinsky says there are many circumstances that would prevent a mother from staying with her infant, and the volunteer cuddlers fill in and help improve care.
If team members are not willing to help each other, it may indicate discontent caused by management, writes William Vanderbloemen. Leaders need to exemplify a culture of collaboration and be willing to dismiss a toxic employee or executive, he writes.
A study in PLOS ONE showed that 31.6% of veterans with type 2 diabetes had symptoms of chronic kidney disease before receiving a diabetes diagnosis. Researchers analyzed data from 36,764 US veterans and found that an increased CKD risk is associated with higher A1C, blood pressure and body mass index, older age and peripheral artery disease.
Centene recently acquired a stake in pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance, and CEO Michael Neidorff said the PBM's "transparency, disruptive technology, and unique approach to partnership" will allow Centene to better manage health care costs and improve health outcomes for its members. Centene is also acquiring Florida-based Community Medical Group, which provides medical care to more than 70,000 Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Affordable Care Act consumers, as it and other health plans continue to invest in provider organizations to improve value.
US and French researchers who used F-18 FDG-PET/CT found that nine of 16 patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma responded to anti-programmed death 1 antibodies, such as nivolumab or pembrolizumab, at three months, with F-18 FDG-PET/CT identifying all treatment responders and reclassifying best overall response in five individuals, compared with CT only. The findings in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine also showed five patients had new anti-PD1-related imaging patterns, prompting researchers to call for larger studies and collaboration between oncology and imaging specialists.
Employee fitness trackers are provided by 8% of employer-sponsored wellness plans, but issues over incentives for using them and how the data they provide are used can raise concerns for workers. Some data that trackers collect go beyond health and can affect areas such as productivity and employment decisions.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has a free toolkit that companies can use to address opioid abuse and develop employee assistance programs. TimkenSteel, which plans to use the toolkit, also holds safety talks and lunch-and-learn sessions to inform employees about resources available locally and through its employee assistance program.
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