The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that the US COVID-19 death toll could reach 295,011 by Dec. 1, but that more than 66,000 of those lives could be saved if 95% of the public wore face coverings. COVID-19 has killed 159,990 people in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University, and the CDC estimates this number will reach 181,031 by Aug. 29 with Hawaii and Puerto Rico expected to report more deaths over the next four weeks.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients could be as contagious as those with symptoms of the disease, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers examined 303 COVID-19 patients isolated at a South Korean hospital and found that asymptomatic patients tested positive for the virus for as long as 18 days after their diagnosis compared with 20 days for symptomatic patients, and many who were asymptomatic had evidence of viral shedding for 30 days after diagnosis.
After meeting for the 10th time Thursday, Trump administration officials and congressional Democratic leaders said they are still far from resolving key differences on a fifth pandemic relief package. President Donald Trump has warned he will issue executive orders to address the economic crisis if negotiations continue to fail, and senior officials have said the orders could be issued as soon as today.
Companies are using biometrics in areas such as security and risk reduction, physical monitoring of employees, and wellness programs. Some health and wellness programs are through an employer's insurance provider, such as Humana's partnership with Fitbit, while others include devices and apps that track everything from diet and sleep to mental health.
Boston Medical Center has made student debt support a priority in its benefit package, offering resources to help employees understand repayment options and navigate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and Income-Driven Repayment Plans. Results show employees have been able to reduce monthly loan payments and are expected to have average projected loan forgiveness of more than $65,000.
Research published in the journal Neurology found taking vitamin D and calcium supplements may reduce the rate of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo by 24%, when compared with not taking the supplements. The findings, based on more than 900 patients with BPPV, showed people who had low vitamin D levels at baseline saw the greatest benefit.
American Indian and Alaska Native adults were more likely to be in fair or poor health, when compared with US adults overall, but no differences were seen among AIAN adults based on urbanization levels, according to data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. AIAN adults living in rural areas, however, had the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes.
AbbVie agreed to pay $24 million to settle allegations that it violated the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act related to the marketing of Humira to health care providers. The settlement resolves allegations that AbbVie failed to disclose important information to patients and health care providers with regards to its blockbuster immunology drug Humira.
Lakeisha Jones of North Carolina was sentenced to eight to 19 months in prison, was suspended for 36 months of supervised probation, and was ordered to pay $1,373 in restitution after pleading guilty to fraud by a medical assistance provider and obtaining property by false pretenses. Authorities said Jones, who worked for Xeon Home Health Care Services, submitted false timesheets to her employer indicating that she had given medical services to a Medicaid recipient, which resulted to Xeon submitting false claims to Medicaid and the health care program paying Jones for services that were not rendered from July 2018 to October 2018.
Dan Irvine, a pharmaceutical representative from Oceanport, N.J., entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Authorities said Irvine conspired with others in a scheme that targeted insurance health plans that paid thousands of dollars for specific prescription compound medications, acquiring more than $63,000 in commissions from October 2015 to March 2016.