Taking a bubble bath or binge-watching TV may be considered guilty pleasures or superficial by some, but they have a place in self-care, writes licensed clinical social worker Erlene Grise-Owens. Such activities are "often an entry point for more wholistic self-care," she writes.
HHS has announced proposed changes to federal regulations governing the confidentiality of patient records in substance use disorder treatment programs, with the goal of improving care coordination and reducing provider burden while maintaining patient privacy protections. Under the proposed rule, patient records of substance abuse disorder and treatment would no longer need to comply with privacy laws that pre-date HIPAA, allowing them to share information about a patient's addiction history.
An analysis of CMS data showed around 64% of 195 health plans on Affordable Care Act exchanges received at least a four-star rating for 2019, while the average star rating across all plans was 3.8 stars. The quality ratings were based on 38 different measures related to medical care quality management, plan administration and member experience, and America's Health Insurance Plans said the move to expand the quality measures "is a positive step to help consumers review and select a plan that fits their needs for the year."
A study in The BMJ of data for 36,000 adults ages 40 and older found those who had any amount of physical activity were at lower risk of dying early, with those who were physically inactive about five times more likely to die early than those who were most active. The analysis, based on eight studies in the US and Western Europe, found a steep decline in death risk as activity increased to a daily amount of 5 hours of light activity or 24 minutes of moderately intense activity, while 9.5 hours or more a day of sitting was associated with increased risk of early death.
A study in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases found that among 4,010 adults, those in the highest quartile of apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A-I ratio were at a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea and insulin resistance, compared with those in the lowest quartile. The findings also revealed that insulin resistance mediated roughly 10% of the effect of ApoB/ApoA-I ratio on hourly apnea and hypopnea events.
A systematic review commissioned by the World Health Organization found that consuming omega-3 fish oil supplements had little or no benefit in treating or preventing type 2 diabetes. The findings, published in The BMJ, were based on 83 studies involving a total of more than 58,000 participants.
Drawbridge Health has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its OneDraw A1C Test System, which consists of an A1C measurement and blood collection device for monitoring the long-term control of glucose in diabetes patients. The clearance follows a clinical data presentation at the American Diabetes Association 2019 Scientific Sessions showing positive results and patient preference for the device.
Researchers assessed 11 free medical sites with information about diabetic retinopathy using a 26-question survey and found significant variation in the accuracy and readability of the content, with all sites achieving a mean questionnaire score of 55.76 out of a possible 104 points. The findings, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, suggest that the information available online on diabetic retinopathy "typically is not sufficient to support the patient in making appropriate medical decisions," wrote researchers.
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, based on data from the ASIAN-HF Registry, found a higher incidence of all-cause mortality, hospitalization for heart failure and heart failure rehospitalization among patients with both heart failure and type 2 diabetes, compared with those who had heart failure alone. The patients with diabetes also had lower quality-of-life scores and smaller indexed left ventricular diastolic volumes.
Important lessons learned over decades of US health care quality improvement initiatives include not to focus efforts too narrowly, such as just on hospitals or specialty areas, at the expense of considering social determinants of health that can affect outcomes, according to three health policy experts. Other lessons include putting the focus on the consumer, emphasizing adaptability over strict adherence and being cautious using payment incentives.
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