News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/27/2020

CDC officials said Sunday that five people in the US who all recently traveled from Wuhan, China, have contracted the new coronavirus, and at least 100 more possible cases are under investigation. The virus has infected thousands in China, and the country's health minister Ma Xiaowei said the disease could spread before symptoms show, but Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said there's no clear evidence that is the case, though the agency is investigating the possibility.

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Dr. Nancy Messonnier
1/27/2020

Asking for help at work, whether you're the CEO or a new hire, shows courage and vulnerability, argues Wayne Baker of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in a new book. "You have to be clear on why you are making the request, the goal you are trying to achieve, and use SMART criteria," he says, with SMART being defined as specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related.

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SmartBrief/Leadership
1/27/2020

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., urged the Trump administration to declare the new coronavirus that is spreading from China a public health emergency. Scott made the call after CDC and NIH officials briefed senators last week on their efforts to stop the virus from spreading.

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The Hill
1/27/2020

The CDC said the number of US flu cases this season reached 15 million as of the week ending Jan. 18, with widespread flu activity reported in 48 states and high flu activity in 35 states. The agency estimates that there have been 140,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 8,200 flu-related fatalities, including 54 pediatric deaths, so far this season.

1/27/2020

Tufts Health Plan said it has expanded its virtual care program, allowing all its commercial members to access general medical care from US-based, board-certified health care providers with no copay via the Teladoc app. "For members seeking more convenient and immediate access to medical care, we are removing all of the barriers to assure our members seek and receive care when they need it," Jim Gallagher, a vice president at Tufts Health Plan.

1/27/2020

Three new biosimilars have been launched by Pfizer: Ruxience, a biosimilar to Genentech and Biogen's leukemia and lymphoma treatment Rituxan, or rituximab; Zirabev, a biosimilar to Genentech's cancer drug Avastin, or bevacizumab; and Trazimera, a biosimilar of Genentech's breast cancer drug Herceptin, or trastuzumab.

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eMPR
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Rituximab, trastuzumab
1/27/2020

Municipal employees in La Crosse, Wis., are receiving training to help them identify mental health and substance abuse issues through a partnership between the La Crosse police department, the city's employee wellness and La Crosse County's "Better Together" project. "We may be in a position to help them, and so this education really provides some good information for everyone to understand so that they can seek those resources and help somebody that is in need," says police chief Shawn Kudron.

1/27/2020

Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services has launched an overall well-being initiative, the Wellness and Resiliency Program, for state troopers, which will be in addition to the successful State Troopers Offering Peer Support program. "Really opening up things like financial wellness, spiritual wellness, not just looking at the critical incident stress management piece, which is huge, but really looking at an overall wellness umbrella," said Sgt. Troy Anderson, who developed the program.

1/27/2020

Exercise for eldercare community residents was associated with a 36% decrease in the number of people having a fall and a 41% in the number of people with recurrent falls, researchers reported in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Exercises usually included gait, balance and functional training, along with strength and resistance training.

1/27/2020

Researchers found an association between inadequate sleep and mild to severe physical and mental health problems, loss of productivity, injury, and premature mortality, according to the Journal of Community Health. Findings showed health care workers were second only to police and military personnel who had the highest poor sleep levels based on data from more than 150,000 employed adults.

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HealthDay News