News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
10/16/2018

Half of 726 parents surveyed reported that their children ages 2 to 5 were afraid of going to the doctor, with fear of immunization and stranger anxiety being the most common reasons, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The findings also showed that child distress prompted 9% of parents to avoid asking questions or raising concerns during appointments, 4% to postpone vaccinations and 3% to cancel visits.

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HealthDay News
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C.S. Mott Children
10/16/2018

Orthopedics firm Zimmer Biomet, in collaboration with Apple, launched a multi-year study that will allow surgeons to use Apple Watches to monitor activities, including heart rate, steps taken and standing hours, of up to 100,000 patients who are due to undergo or are recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery in Massachusetts, California, Michigan and Colorado. Using the smartwatch, providers will be able to evaluate how well patients are following prescribed physiotherapy or regimes before and after surgery.

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Reuters
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Apple, Zimmer Biomet
10/16/2018

AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles praised the CMS' proposal to require pharmaceutical firms to disclose list prices for prescription drugs covered by Medicaid and Medicare in direct-to-consumer television advertisements. "Giving consumers pricing information in drug advertising will empower them to have more informed conversations with their doctor about the best approach to improve their health and manage their medical conditions," Eyles said.

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Matt Eyles, AHIP, Medicaid, Medicare
10/16/2018

AHIP is preparing for the upcoming debates in Washington as some Democrats push the idea of "Medicare for All." AHIP spokeswoman Kristine Grow said the group is "paying close attention to any conversation about Medicare for All and similar proposals," noting "there remains little detail" on how the proposal would work in practice.

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Forbes
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AHIP, Medicare, Kristine Grow
10/16/2018

Researchers analyzed data from 1,981 US Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older who responded to a 10-item Medication Attitudes questionnaire on the subject of patients' attitudes on deprescribing and found that 92% of the group were open to discontinuing at least one of their medications if their physician suggested it. Findings published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine also indicated that nearly 67% of respondents wanted to reduce the number of drugs being taken.

10/16/2018

The FDA on Monday unveiled two new draft guidance documents in an effort to improve the efficiency of the drug development process. The first document addresses the use of minimal residual disease as a biomarker for hematologic malignancy drug development in clinical trials, while the second focuses on regulatory framework pertinent to treatments, such as gene therapies, that address molecular changes that induce or contribute to disease progression.

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BioCentury, Seeking Alpha
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FDA
10/16/2018

Mary Mayhew, who served as Maine's health commissioner for six years under Gov. Paul LePage, has been appointed as the Deputy Administrator and Director of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Mayhew supported Gov. LePage as he rejected a state ballot measure designed to expand Medicaid.

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Gov. Paul LePage, Mary Mayhew
10/16/2018

The head of the drug industry's main lobbying group suggested that drugmakers should voluntarily direct consumers to pricing information, but HHS Secretary Alex Azar said drugmakers are "resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay."

10/16/2018

Drugmakers have donated more than $100,000 to each of 34 federal lawmakers since the beginning of 2017, according to a new Kaiser Health News database that tracks drug industry contributions to senators and representatives.

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Kaiser Health News
10/16/2018

Johnson & Johnson raised its profit forecast for the year after beating expectations for the quarter, driven in part by demand for cancer drugs Zytiga and Imbruvica.

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Reuters