Elizabeth Putulin from Coconut Creek, Fla., and Jessica Jones from Louisville, Colo., have agreed to enter guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Authorities said the defendants conspired and worked with another individual in a scheme to submit over $109 million in fraudulent and false claims to Medicare for durable medical equipment.
National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker said the Trump administration is exploring changes to the implementation and compliance dates for final interoperability and information blocking rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though Rucker didn't provide details, the Office of Management and Budget recently received an interim final rule called "Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT Certification Program: Extension of Compliance Dates and Timeframes in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency."
A CDC report showed weekly reported cases of COVID-19 among young adults ages 18 to 22 jumped 55.1% between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5 across the US, and researchers attributed the increase to reopening of some universities and increased testing. The agency urged schools to implement precautionary measures such as physical distancing and use of face coverings to reduce the spread of disease in this age group.
A study published in Health Affairs showed non-COVID-19 hospital admissions had partly rebounded across the US in late June and early July after hitting a low point in April, but admissions continued to lag for certain patient groups. Researchers analyzed admissions data from over 200 US hospitals for 20 acute medical conditions, and they found that non-COVID-19-admissions remained significantly lower for majority-Hispanic neighborhoods and below baseline for patients with pneumonia, sepsis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma.
A study published in Gut found that individuals who regularly use proton pump inhibitors had a 24% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with nonusers. The findings, based on data from 204,689 individuals, also revealed that an increased duration of PPI use was tied to a greater diabetes risk, and researchers advised that those who have taken the drugs for more than two years should receive regular blood glucose screenings.
Phillip Krause, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the agency may not tighten standards for emergency use authorization guidelines of COVID-10 vaccines following objections from the White House. The FDA will insist on completion of clinical trials for any vaccine that is awarded emergency authorization, Krause said.
A bill that will allow California to manufacture cheaper versions of generic drugs including insulin has been signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law requires the state's Health and Human Services Agency to seek partnerships with drugmakers to make medicines cheaper and more accessible.
Handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, drug prices and overturning the Affordable Care Act were key topics during the first presidential debate Tuesday night between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Trump touted his handling of COVID-19 and efforts to reduce drug prices, and Biden said protections for people with preexisting conditions would end if the ACA is overturned by the US Supreme Court.
Older adults who took 15-minute weekly "awe" walks, where they took a fresh look at nature and the vistas around them, were more upbeat and hopeful, compared with general walkers, researchers reported in the journal Emotion. Researcher Virginia Sturm said it's a simple thing to look for small wonders while exercising, and there's no downside to it.
An Insights report showed the majority of private and public health insurers believe that value-based care reimbursement models would have a positive impact on their organization's financial health. The survey found private insurers are more likely than their public counterparts to participate in value-based care models and riskier models, such as accountable care organizations, bunded payment models, and shared loss agreements.
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