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Top stories summarized by our editors
5/21/2019

A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that social and behavioral factors account for 16% to 65% of premature deaths in the US, while health care accounts for 5% to 15%. The findings suggest the US needs "more than medicine" to align the country's health outcomes with those of other wealthy nations, co-author Robert Kaplan said.

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FierceHealthcare
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Robert Kaplan
5/21/2019

A Fair Health analysis of 28 billion private health insurance claims showed behavioral health cases jumped 108% from 2007 to 2017, increasing from 1.3% to 2.7% of total medical claim lines, as the number of youths dealing with substance and mental health issues continues to increase. The most common diagnosis was major depressive disorder, and the share of claims for this diagnosis among patients up to age 22 rose from 15% to 23%.

5/21/2019

The number of confirmed measles cases in the US increased by 41 to 880 cases as of May 17, the CDC reported. The outbreak has now reached 24 states after one case was confirmed in Oklahoma, but most of the new cases occurred in New York.

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Reuters
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CDC
5/21/2019

AHIP urged the CMS to proceed with caution on a national coverage determination for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies, noting that there is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of the pricey cancer treatments. AHIP said data is needed on long-term efficacy and safety as well as nonmedical costs, and more clarity is needed around patient registries for patients treated with CAR T-cell therapies.

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FierceHealthcare
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AHIP
5/21/2019

Early onset of diabetes was associated with depressive symptoms, smoking, high stress, concentrated neighborhood poverty, intimate partner violence, financial worries, being separated or single, and having less than a high school diploma, with a 1.53 hazard ratio among those with more than three risk factors, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. Researchers also found that infrequent exercise, having less than a high school diploma, concentrated neighborhood poverty, smoking and being widowed were tied to early onset of hypertension, with a hazard ratio of 1.41 for those with more than three risk factors.

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diabetes, hypertension
5/21/2019

UCB's Nayzilam, or midazolam, nasal spray has been approved by the FDA for the acute treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity that differ from usual seizure patterns in patients with epilepsy who are at least 12 years old. A late-stage study demonstrated treatment was associated with higher likelihood of seizure termination within 10 minutes of dosing and the absence of recurrence within six hours of initial dosing, compared with placebo.

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eMPR
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UCB, FDA, midazolam
5/21/2019

A Transamerica Center for Health Studies report found 63% of millennials said health care costs are a source of stress and 1 in 5 said they cannot afford routine health care expenses. The survey found 30% of millennials were extremely or very aware of changes in federal health care policy.

5/21/2019

Evidence suggests there is still value in US health care despite the high costs, writes Austin Frakt of the Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Frakt says there is waste in the system, however, and money spent on health care procedures may not be better for health than money spent on diet and exercise.

5/21/2019

URAC was renewed by the CMS as an accreditation body for Medicare Advantage plans for Medicare Part C. The National Committee for Quality Assurance also provides accreditation for Medicare Advantage plans.

5/21/2019

Thomas Mays, a doctor from Southfield, Mich., is scheduled to be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for his role in an approximately $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme. Mays admitted to improperly billing Medicare for physician and home health services that were never provided, not medically necessary and procured through paying illegal kickbacks, resulting in about $2.5 million worth of improper payments from the program from 2012 to 2018.

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Medicare