Ann Giles and Lu Wallace, operators of various Kentucky-based health care-related companies, were sentenced to 30 months and 33 months, respectively, and were ordered to pay almost $1.6 million in restitution after both pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the US. According to the plea, the defendants deliberately failed to pay IRS-mandated trust fund taxes after the taxes were withheld from the paychecks of their employees.
Mikayla Tolbert of Montgomery, Ala., was charged with four counts of financial exploitation of elderly and six counts of criminal impersonation. Authorities said Tolbert pretended to be a nurse employed by Baptist South, and then financially exploited elderly individuals.
A study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that type 2 diabetes patients who were evening chronotypes -- or those who go to sleep and wake up later -- were more likely to have higher sedentary time and lower levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, both of which put their health at greater risk, compared with those who were morning chronotypes. Lead researcher Joseph Henson also said evening chronotypes exercise 56% less than their morning counterparts.
Johnson & Johnson launched Phase III of a clinical trial on a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine and expects to report results by the end of the year, according to chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels. The company also posted a detailed clinical trial protocol on its website.
A bipartisan group of 29 lawmakers sent a letter to House leaders urging them to include a provision in the next pandemic relief package that would lower the qualifying thresholds for getting bonus payments under the advanced alternative payment models. According to the lawmakers, the pandemic will make it difficult for accountable care organizations and other APM participants to meet the current 50% threshold, which will increase to 75% under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
The FDA is poised to release a more stringent set of emergency use authorization standards for potential COVID-19 vaccines, and the rules suggest a vaccine won't be approved under the framework until after the election. Sources say EUA applicants will need to follow participants in Phase III trials for a median of two months or more after they receive a second vaccine shot, and placebo groups will need to include at least five severe COVID-19 cases plus some infections in older adults.
The number of Americans who lacked health insurance climbed by about 2 million, and 3.3 million people lost employer-based coverage between April 23 and July 21, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Hispanic people accounted for almost half of job-based coverage losses, while states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act reported slightly higher uninsurance rates than states that expanded their programs.
AHIP and other health care policy stakeholders are calling on Congress to adopt short-term measures such as enhanced federal funding for Medicaid, COBRA subsidies and special enrollment periods to help boost health insurance coverage as Americans continue to feel the effects of pandemic-related job losses. Experts said the loss of employer-based coverage as people lose work could exacerbate the pandemic if Americans are forced to forgo care.
The Core Quality Measure Collaborative -- which includes AHIP, the CMS and the National Quality Forum -- has developed four new quality measure sets designed to promote value-based care, and health insurance providers can use them to guide data collection on health care quality. The measures cover pediatrics; gastroenterology; gynecology and obstetrics; and hepatitis C and HIV.
The US death toll from COVID-19 passed 200,000 on Tuesday, the highest reported by any country, while nationwide cases surpassed 6.8 million, and reported new infections were rising by at least 5% in 29 states and Washington, D.C. The number of new COVID-19 cases averaged 43,300 per day over the last seven days, up nearly 20% from a week ago.
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