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12/11/2019

Health insurers should provide reimbursements for usage of PET imaging, which has proven its value in improving patient outcomes, and focus its cost-saving measures on pharmaceuticals and administrative costs instead, according to an editorial published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. "Consistently covering Food and Drug Administration-approved diagnostic tests, such as fluciclovine-PET, would go a long way toward improved patient care (precision oncology)," the authors wrote.

12/11/2019

Researchers developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to spot cell types on lung cancer pathology images that yielded an overall accuracy of 92.9% when used in training data sets and 90.1% in independent testing data sets, a study published in EBioMedicine found. The algorithm can help clinicians design appropriate treatment plans for each patient and predict patient response to therapies, researchers said.

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Health IT Analytics
12/11/2019

A visit with an older family member at home is a good time to check for signs of dementia, such as poor personal hygiene, says licensed clinical social worker Peter Lally. Families should also watch for safety problems such as scratches on their car or for possible financial issues, including unopened bills, Lally says.

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WFTS-TV (Tampa, Fla.)
12/11/2019

Street medicine programs such Madison Area Care for the Homeless OneHealth in Madison, Wis., are focused on making basic health care accessible for people who don't have housing while also building relationships. "I'm a friendly face in the community who tries to get them into the clinic," says social worker Matt Julian.

12/11/2019

The Kentucky Mental Health First Aid training program would be created under a bill prefiled by Republican state Rep. Kim Moser. The program would teach participants how to identify and help people in a mental health crisis, among other measures.

12/11/2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has reached a deal with Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to prevent clashes on the House floor Thursday when her signature drug pricing bill will be up for a vote. The deal includes two changes that progressives want to include in the bill, including raising the minimum number of drugs subject to negotiation from 35 to 50 and extending protection against price increases to people on employer-sponsored health insurance plans, not just on Medicare.

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The Hill
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Pramila Jayapal
12/11/2019

Supreme Court justices who heard oral arguments in a case on whether the US government owes insurers about $12 billion in risk corridor program payments under the Affordable Care Act appeared sympathetic to health insurers, and their questions suggest they might rule in their favor. During the hearing, Justice Stephen Breyer questioned why the federal government can't "pay its contracts just like everybody else."

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Reuters
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Supreme Court
12/11/2019

Gregory Adams was appointed the new chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, following the death of Bernard Tyson last month. Adams, who started working at Kaiser in 1999, previously served as the insurer's group president and executive vice president.

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Reuters
12/11/2019

The FDA admitted that it continues to face difficulties in hiring 50 new inspectors as it struggles to complete foreign drug inspections, which declined by about 10% in 2018 from 2016. "Even if the Agency succeeds in hiring a new investigator, it can take 1.5 to 2 years of training to bring them to a fully proficient level," Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock said in her written testimony to the House oversight subcommittee, noting that 90% of foreign reviews are done by US-based inspectors with only 12 foreign-based drug investigators at present.

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Regulatory Focus
12/11/2019

A Congressional Budget Office analysis found the drug pricing bill introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for at least 35 brand-name drugs annually would save the federal government $456 billion in a decade. The legislation, which will see a vote this week, would cut the deficit by $5 billion in 10 years, according to CBO estimates.

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The Hill