News for Providers
Top stories summarized by our editors
6/24/2019

Growth in spending on five low-value health care services fell by 1.7% on average annually from 2014 to 2016, while spending on five high-value services climbed an annual average of 5.6% over the same period, according to an Altarum report. Average annual commercial insurance spending climbed by 6.6% during the study period.

6/24/2019

Children's social worker Roseanna Freiburghaus struggled with long hours and a heavy workload, which eventually led to burnout. She quit that job and focused on her recovery and building resilience, using cycling to work as a method to process difficult cases and ease stress.

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Community Care (UK)
6/24/2019

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization is calling on Asian nations to make stopping the spread of African swine fever a top priority. More than 3.7 million pigs have been culled in the region, yet the disease continues to spread, having reached at least six countries, and some experts say it is the largest animal disease outbreak in history.

6/24/2019

Instagrammers are inspiring cat owners to leash their feline friends and take them hiking, canoeing and on other unexpected adventures, but the activities may not be the right fit for all cats, according to cat behavior researcher Mikel Delgado of the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Delgado said cats generally like routine and are territorial, and cat psychologist Dennis Turner says owners should watch cats carefully for signs of stress.

6/24/2019

Researchers recruited 210 patients with severe obesity and found that those who underwent bariatric surgery had an up to $80 reduction in diabetes medication costs and an up to $54 reduction in hypertension drug costs over three to six months after surgery. Presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery national clinical symposium, findings also revealed that adult and adolescent patients lost 29% and 26% of their body mass after undergoing weight-loss surgery, respectively.

6/24/2019

Researchers reviewed data from the Danish National Birth Cohort involving the mothers of 55,061 children and found that 11-year-old girls whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at a 10% increased risk of being overweight, compared with those whose mothers did not use the drug. The findings in the journal Obesity also showed that acetaminophen use during each trimester was tied to increased odds of being overweight among girls at age 11.

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Obesity
6/24/2019

The American Hospital Association Trustee Services 2019 National Health Care Governance Survey found 49% of hospital and health system boards do not have a formal CEO succession plan, which Jamie Orlikoff of Orlikoff & Associates called a "fundamental and inexcusable abrogation of a basic governance responsibility." Not having a plan could disrupt the organization and may signal an unhealthy relationship between the CEO and the board, but Orlikoff said the board should not defer to a CEO's choice of successor and a CEO should not insist the board do so.

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HealthLeaders Media
6/24/2019

Control, convenience, comfort and confidence are needed to achieve patient-centered care, but the term is user-dependent, so if targeting these four elements still does not make patients feel they are the focus of their care experience then they are not, said Reflexion Health CEO Joseph Smith. "Unfortunately, and despite best intentions, the phrase represents an aspiration that is chronically unrealized in practice," Smith said.

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Forbes
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Joseph Smith, Reflexion Health
6/24/2019

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the agency sent to the White House for review a proposal that would align prices paid by Medicare for certain drugs with those paid in other countries. The international pricing index was proposed in October by President Donald Trump as part of the administration's broader efforts to lower prescription drug prices.

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The Hill
6/24/2019

German researchers who used PET with the tau radiotracer F-18 PI-2620 found that compared with healthy controls, people with progressive supranuclear palsy had significantly elevated mean tracer standardized uptake value ratios in the globus pallidus and susbtantia nigra, while those with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or multisystem atrophy had similar mean SUVr in the globus pallidus and slightly higher SUVr in the susbtantia nigra. The findings, presented at the SNMMI Annual Meeting, indicate that the radiotracer "may show potential as a biomarker to assess tau pathology in PSP patients and that it may be helpful to establish earlier and more reliable diagnosis of PSP," researchers said.