HHS announced several endeavors that would help advance interoperability within the health care sector, including releasing drafts of three documents that outline requirements for disparate health information networks, which are open for public comment until June 17. The agency also published additional information about HIPAA in connection with third-party apps, issued a request for applications for a nonprofit organization that would develop, implement and maintain health network requirements and granted a 30-day extension for public comments on two proposed interoperability rules.
Researchers found that light-smoking 25- to 29-year-old white women who stopped smoking at the beginning of pregnancy or during the start of the second trimester had a 20.3% and 8.9% reduced risk of preterm birth, respectively, compared with those who smoked throughout pregnancy. The findings in JAMA Network Open were based on data involving more than 25 million expectant mothers who had live births between 2011 and 2017.
NeuroSigma has secured permission from the FDA to market its Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation System, or eTNS, a prescription-only device indicated for treating children ages 7 to 12 who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder but are not on prescription medication for the disorder. The pocket-sized device, which is designed to be used at home during sleep with adult supervision, delivers low-level electrical stimulation to areas of the brain that regulate attention, behavior and emotion via a patch placed on the child's forehead.
A Families USA report found that enrollment in Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid dropped by around 1.6 million last year, with the largest declines seen in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and other states that have established tougher eligibility redetermination processes. The report attributed the decline to "flawed" renewal process in some states that "put undue burden on beneficiaries to verify their eligibility," and the failure of the federal and some state governments to effectively enforce the law.
Peter Waitzman, a financial coach with the MoneySteps financial well-being program, said there are four themes common with both physical well-being and financial well-being, beginning with education that informs decision-making. Long-term planning is important to both as well, Waitzman says, along with creating a process for achieving goals and having the discipline to stick with a plan.
Large employers are expected to spend an average of $3.6 million this year on employee wellness programs, with about 40% going toward incentive or reward programs that encourage participation, according to the Health and Well-Being Survey released by Fidelity and the National Business Group on Health. The survey found 33% of employers said they planned to continue investments in financial incentives for wellness programs over the next three to five years.
The CDC said this year's flu season has now lasted for 21 weeks due to a second viral wave, making it the longest reported flu season in a decade. Officials said flu activity is declining nationwide but has stayed "relatively high for this time of the year," with the illness remaining widespread in 11 states and the hospitalization rate up to 62.3 per 100,000 people for the week ending April 13.
Ninety percent of preschoolers with peanut allergy who received peanut oral immunotherapy successfully achieved maintenance stage, researchers reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. The findings also showed that maintenance stage was reached after 22 weeks of treatment on average.
Lawmakers this summer will likely introduce legislation to simplify the prior authorization process in health care. The bipartisan bill could have similarities to the Prior Authorization Process Improvement Act, which was introduced during the last Congress but did not get past the House Ways and Means Committee.
Reducing the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke by just 1% would reduce spending by $2.6 billion the following year, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open, and the savings would likely grow in subsequent years as related health risks declined, study author Stanton Glantz says.
- Page 1