News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/23/2019

A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed that the rate of US adolescents who participated in substance use prevention programs decreased from 48% in 2002-03 to 40% in 2015-16, with reduced participation found particularly among Latinos, youths from socioeconomically disadvantaged households and those from rural areas. The drop in teen SUPP participation may be partly due to the nearly 50% decline in federal SUPP funding between 2005 and 2015, researcher Christopher Salas-Wright said.

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Reuters
8/23/2019

HHS has announced proposed changes to federal regulations governing the confidentiality of patient records in substance use disorder treatment programs, with the goal of improving care coordination and reducing provider burden while maintaining patient privacy protections. Under the proposed rule, patient records of substance abuse disorder and treatment would no longer need to comply with privacy laws that pre-date HIPAA, allowing them to share information about a patient's addiction history.

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HHS
8/23/2019

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is linked with an increase in prescriptions of buprenorphine, a study at the Urban Institute found. "Expanding Medicaid is probably the most important thing states can do to increase treatment rates," said Lisa Clemans-Cope, the study's lead author.

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buprenorphine, Urban Institute
8/23/2019

A study of more than 24,500 Medicare claims found that 15.7% of lung surgery patients and 12.5% of heart surgery patients began using opioids perioperatively and continued to use them long after surgery. Prescriptions of more than 60 opioid pills were associated with a nearly twofold higher risk of persistent use compared with prescriptions of 27 or fewer pills, researchers reported in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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HealthDay News
8/23/2019

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued updated influenza vaccine guidelines in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, continuing its recommendation of annual flu vaccinations among people ages 6 months and older without contraindications. It also recommends early first flu vaccine dosing among children ages 6 months to 8 years who require two vaccine doses during the 2019-20 flu season.

8/23/2019

CDC researchers found that the rate of US youths ages 13 to 17 who received complete human papillomavirus vaccinations rose from 48.6% in 2017 to 51% in 2018, with a 4.4 percentage point increase among boys but only a 0.6 percentage point gain among girls during the same period. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that about 75% of those with parent-reported doctor recommendation of HPV vaccines were vaccinated, compared with only 46.7% of those whose doctors didn't recommend HPV vaccination.

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HealthDay News
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CDC, HPV
8/23/2019

A Commonwealth survey showed 74% of people earning less than $60,000 annually said the best way for their company to help reduce their stress and give them more financial confidence is to offer savings options at the time raises are given out. The survey found 80% of employees were in debt and 67% said paying off their debt was a top priority.

8/23/2019

Researchers found that the rate of US children and teens with tuberculosis dropped by 47.8% between 2007 and 2017, but compared with whites, all other racial or ethnic groups had a 14 times or higher prevalence of new TB cases. The findings in The Lancet Public Health also showed the highest TB incidence rate among youths born outside the US based on child and parental birthplace, while those living in US-associated islands, especially in the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands, had higher TB rates, compared with those living in US states.

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Tuberculosis
8/23/2019

The number of in-network doctors in California climbed 16% after the state passed a bill in 2016 designed to end unexpected medical bills, according to an AHIP study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. AHIP's Jeanette Thornton said the study, based on data from 11 health plans representing 96% of covered people in California's commercial insurance market, "shows that we can protect patients, improve affordability and ensure strong provider networks with the right legislation to stop surprise medical bills."

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AHIP, Jeanette Thornton
8/23/2019

Critically ill children and teens brought to hospital emergency departments with the highest pediatric readiness scores had a 3.4% mortality rate, compared with an 11.1% mortality rate among those in hospital EDs with the lowest pediatric readiness scores, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers also found that low pediatric emergency readiness scores were more prevalent among nonteaching hospitals, small hospitals, those in smaller communities and those without dedicated pediatric EDs, intensive care units or inpatient units.