The CMS announced Friday that Medicare Part B monthly premiums will increase from $134 this year to $135.50 in 2019 for those with annual income of $85,000 or less, while those with higher incomes will pay more. The annual deductible will increase by $2 to $185 for Part B recipients and by $24 to $1,364 for Part A beneficiaries. Open enrollment starts today.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar today is set to deliver a speech addressing the administration's efforts to reduce drug prices, and sources say a rule requiring pharmaceutical firms to include drug pricing information in advertisements could be part of the plan. Drugmakers are opposed to the idea, saying it would deter patients from obtaining necessary care and raise legal issues.
More small businesses in Long Island, N.Y., are following the national trend of offering employee health benefits as a way to recruit and retain talent in a tight labor market. K&M Truck Repair was able to recruit workers after offering company-paid long-term disability and life insurance, as well as fully paid health and dental insurance for employees.
Companies can make health insurance more valuable to their employees by ensuring plans match up with current medical practices and considering the stages or severity of patients' medical conditions, writes Pam Handmaker of Trustmark. Companies should have plans that cover routine testing and procedures, reward good behaviors, and pay claims quickly.
People can have different ideas about fitness based on their personal goals, such as running a marathon, or how they want to look, says Shawn Arent, director of the Center for Health and Human Performance at Rutgers University. Arent says some important measures of fitness include aerobic fitness, muscular strength, body composition, power and flexibility.
Finnish researchers used a cohort of more than 400,000 patients with and without diabetes and found an increased risk of death caused by accidents, alcohol consumption and suicide among those with any form of diabetes, especially among insulin users, compared with those without the condition. The findings in the European Journal of Endocrinology revealed the importance of assessing mental health and providing support to diabetes patients.
Researchers found an 11% increased risk for type 2 diabetes among people who lived near ready-to-eat food outlets, compared with those who lived in areas more than 1 kilometer away from fast-food outlets. The findings, based on nearly 350,000 individuals across the UK, were published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
A study published in JAMA Network Open found that from 2007 to 2016, the FDA identified 776 dietary supplements that contained pharmaceuticals, but only 46.4% were linked to a voluntary recall. The most common adulterated supplements were those for sexual enhancement, weight loss and muscle building.
A study in Hepatology showed an association between consuming 0.5 to 1.5 alcoholic drinks daily and a reduced risk of overall mortality among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, compared with those who did not drink. The findings, based on 4,568 NAFLD patients from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, showed that consuming at 1.5 or more alcoholic drinks daily had a significant harmful effect after adjusting for age, smoking history and sex.
The Harris Poll surveyed 2,006 US adults and found that 75% reported researching their condition before visiting a hospital, while 59% feel more empowered about their personal health by using new technology and self-diagnosing tools such as online chats, wearables and websites. Sixty-one percent of respondents reported using an online patient/health care provider portal to communicate or interact, while 50% use a wearable fitness tracker.
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