The US Preventive Services Task Force has released updated guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommending an initial risk assessment for BRCA mutations in women with a personal or family history of ovarian, breast, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer and those with an ancestry linked to BRCA mutations. Women with positive results should receive genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing for the mutations, the panel said.
A Kaiser Family Foundation report found states expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act experienced improvements in coverage rates, access to care, utilization of services and quality of care. The findings, based on a review of 324 studies conducted from January 2014 through June 2019, showed expansion states also achieved some health care savings though a lessening of uncompensated care and reduced spending per enrollee.
Researchers examined data from more than 1.3 million people in Europe and found those with genetic variants linked to insomnia had increased risk for heart failure, heart disease and stroke. Insomnia problems may also lead to metabolic syndrome, including "high blood pressure, increased body weight and type 2 diabetes, which increase the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke," said Susanna Larsson, author of the study in Circulation.
A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found the number of Americans who misuse opioids dropped from 11.4 million to 10.3 million last year, while heroin and cocaine abuse rates both saw marginal declines. The overall rate of drug use and abuse, however, climbed from 19% to 19.4% across all age groups.
An HHS Office of Inspector General report found the CMS could have saved Medicare almost $3 million annually if it adopted a stricter policy for reimbursements for physician-administered drugs in Part B. The agency could lower reimbursements for Part B drugs by changing the basis for price substitution, the report said.
Financial literacy is understanding how money works and how to responsibly handle it, while financial wellness is implementing that knowledge, says Steff Chalk, executive director of The Retirement Advisor University. The two terms do work together, Chalk says, as employees can learn financial literacy and then be coached to use that knowledge to achieve financial wellness.
Stress scores decreased more for people who participated in outdoor sports, such as running, biking or playing football, than for people who did indoor sports such as aerobics, basketball or swimming, according to a study in the journal Mental Health and Prevention. Researchers said running was found to be the most effective at reducing stress.
A study published in Diabetes Care, based on data from 23,002 non-Hispanic white and black US adults, ages 45 or older, found that white women and black men with diabetes, aged 65 or older, had a higher risk for stroke compared with those without diabetes. The findings also revealed that among those younger than 65, white men and black and white women with diabetes had increased stroke risk.
Cardiovascular disease risks were elevated for 10 to 15 years after people who had smoked about a pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years stopped smoking, compared with those who never smoked, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. CVD risk began to decrease about five years after people stopped smoking.
The CMS said it will change the methodology used for hospital quality star ratings on the Hospital Compare website in early 2021 and it will use feedback from the public input request issued six months ago to guide the changes. The agency noted that it will update the star ratings early next year using the current methodology.
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