News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/23/2019

States that expanded Medicaid coverage had 1.6 fewer maternal deaths per 100,000 women and a more than 50% decline in infant mortality from 2010 to 2016, compared with states that didn't expand Medicaid eligibility, according to a report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report also showed reduced racial disparities in health care, as well as a greater decline in the rate of uninsured women ages 18 to 44 in states that expanded Medicaid.

5/23/2019

Prohibiting balance billing when patients unknowingly receive treatment from an out-of-network health care provider and requiring hospitals to notify patients of providers' network status are some ways to protect patients from unexpected medical bills, AHIP's Jeanette Thornton told a House committee Wednesday. Thornton said AHIP favors a market-based approach instead of arbitration for deciding proper payments, as the latter would raise costs and delay the resolution of claims process, while failing to address the "exorbitant bills" AHIP says are the root cause of the problem.

Full Story:
HealthLeaders Media
More Summaries:
AHIP
5/23/2019

Hawaii, Utah and Connecticut are the healthiest states for seniors, while Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana are the unhealthiest for them, according to the 2019 America's Health Rankings Senior Report. Rates of depression and excessive drinking among seniors are up by 19% and 12%, respectively, while avoidance of care is up 5%, according to the report.

More Summaries:
depression
5/23/2019

US adults ages 45 to 64 were more likely to die from cancer than heart disease between 1999 and 2017, but cancer mortality among that group fell 19% during the study period, according to a study in the CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports. Meanwhile, the prevalence of heart disease-related deaths decreased by 22% from 1999 to 2011, then increased 4% from 2011 to 2017, with the greatest increase found among white women.

Full Story:
CNN
More Summaries:
CDC
5/23/2019

The former owner of a dental and vision claims processing business pleaded guilty to submitting nearly $1.5 million in fraudulent claims to the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties from 2007 through 2017, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

More Summaries:
fraud, U.S. Attorney's office
5/23/2019

Employers whose employees use their preventive dental benefits pay less in claims for extensive treatment than those whose employees do not regularly seek preventive care, a Guardian research brief says. Employees who used their preventive dental plan benefit at least annually saved money on check-ups and cleanings, needed less major dental care and had lower out-of-pocket costs over a three-year period, while those who did not seek preventive care had claims an average of $720 higher and were more likely to reach their plan's maximum coverage.

More Summaries:
Guardian
5/23/2019

Claims made by marketers of charcoal toothpastes and powders are not supported by scientific evidence, and although the products might whiten teeth, they also might damage dental enamel, according to a study in the British Dental Journal. Moreover, charcoal and bentonite clay, which was found in one-third of the products tested in a separate study, are recognized carcinogens, and dentists say toothpastes that contain fluoride are proven to prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Full Story:
Reuters
5/23/2019

Dentist Dr. Virginia Sharpe says she traded her dental drill for a laser because it causes less pain, reducing the need for operative anesthetics and postoperative analgesics. One of Sharpe's patients says the laser feels cold but doesn't hurt and isn't noisy like a drill.

5/23/2019

Dentist Dr. Dennis Abbott went from providing care for one cancer patient to specializing in oral health for cancer patients as part of multidisciplinary teams, preventing and mitigating negative effects of cancer treatment on oral health. Abbott uses data from salivary DNA diagnostics, blood panels, and biological and fungal profiles to prescribe not only oral health but also systemic antibiotics, and says more needs to be done to bridge the divide between dental and medical care.

More Summaries:
Dennis Abbott
5/23/2019

SmileDirectClub is investing in 49 HP 3D printing systems to make molds for dental aligners, expanding capacity to more than 50,000 molds daily. Excess material and processed molds will be recycled into feedstock for injection molding.

Full Story:
TechCrunch, VentureBeat
More Summaries:
SmileDirect Club, SmileDirect