Health industry trends for next year will include more payer and digital health consolidation, physician-led accountable care organizations and telehealth, according to Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts, partners at the venture capital firm Venrock. Expect more dialysis to be done in the home, cheaper DNA sequencing and fewer physicians unhappy with electronic health records and other technologies.
Paying for the development of expensive new treatments and cures could be made easier by creating a new financial instrument that would operate like a futures contract, with an option to purchase a therapy when it is ready and the ability to sell the option later if it is not needed, writes Maria Ferrante-Schepis, president of consulting firm Maddock Douglas. A cure futures contract could be a supplement to health insurance, but the funding raised would go toward participating pharma companies, Ferrante-Schepis writes.
Fitch Ratings' 2019 outlook for the US health insurance and managed care sectors is stable. The economy and jobs picture as well as moderate increases in health costs are expected to bring "strong operational performance," according to Fitch.
The prevalence of bloodstream infection-related hospitalizations among US youths younger than 19 didn't significantly drop between 2009 and 2016, while the rate of infections due to methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli significantly rose during the same period. The rate of infections due to Enterococcus species and Streptococcus pneumoniae declined, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
A final rule has been released by the FDA for the simplification of its medical device classification and reclassification procedures. The rule clarifies that the agency can reclassify any device from Class III to either Class II or Class I, makes convening a panel to consult on a device reclassification optional and removes the two-form requirement for reclassification petitions.
Guardant Health and AstraZeneca entered into a multiyear agreement that will allow them to jointly develop blood-based companion diagnostic assays to determine non-small cell lung cancer patients' response to Tagrisso, or osimertinib.
A federal appeals court has upheld a preliminary injunction that will allow New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and California to disregard a Trump administration rule meant to scale back the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate by permitting employers to stop covering contraceptives on moral and religious grounds. The rule is scheduled to take effect in other parts of the country next year.
A report published in The Lancet Public Health showed the average US hospital cost for outpatient visits is nearly $500, while average inpatient stay costs totaled more than $22,000. Inpatient spending was substantially higher than totals in other countries the researchers examined, the study found.
Researchers reviewed 135 studies and found a 19% and 22% higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, respectively, among adults who had a birth weight of more than 4.5 kg, compared with those whose birth weights were between 4 kg and 4.5 kg. The findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association revealed that birth weight had a J-shaped association with type 2 diabetes and CVD, with the link more pronounced in women, and was inversely associated with hypertension.
Researchers found that the number of individuals with dementia around the world rose from 20.2 million in 1990 to 43.8 million in 2016, and the number of dementia-related deaths jumped 148% during the same period. The findings in The Lancet Neurology, based on 2016 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study data, also showed that smoking, increased sugar-sweetened drink consumption, and elevated body mass index and fasting blood glucose increased the odds of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.