Children born to mothers who took metformin for polycystic ovary syndrome while pregnant had significantly increased body mass index z-scores at ages 5 to 10 compared with those whose mothers didn't receive metformin, according to a Norwegian study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Researchers also found higher waist-to-height ratio z-scores and waist-circumference z-scores among those in the metformin-exposed group.
A study in Pediatrics showed that children who used a telehealth-based referral system had more than three times increased odds of completing an initial screening visit with community mental health systems, compared with those who used the traditional phone call referral process. Researchers also found higher parent-reported satisfaction with the telehealth referral process and with overall care compared with the traditional system.
Researchers found that states that legalized medical marijuana had 1.1% fewer adolescents that used marijuana, compared with states without medical marijuana laws. The findings in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, based on 1999 to 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data involving 861,082 students in 45 states, also associated earlier adoption of medical marijuana laws to reduced odds of teen use.
Hospitals are feeling pressure to increase quality of care to ensure access to health plan networks as Medicare Advantage numbers increase, experts said. "MA plans will continue to encourage a higher quantity of value-based care reimbursement arrangements that align their provider partners to MA plans' quality, revenue, and cost incentives," said Andrew Kadar of L.E.K. Consulting.
Short-term health plans should provide more detailed coverage information to consumers, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman told a House Committee on Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing. AHIP said it supports sales of short-term health plans with the adoption of better disclosure standards.
A series of witnesses, including advocacy groups and patients with chronic pain, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the effects of recent measures to stop the opioid overdose epidemic. Cindy Steinberg, national director of policy and advocacy for the US Pain Foundation, said efforts to stop overprescribing have created a "climate of fear" among doctors, and that the CDC's opioid guidelines should be rewritten.
Vitas Healthcare and AT&T are collaborating on a study to see if virtual reality and augmented reality can help reduce pain and anxiety for some hospice patients. AT&T is investigating health care uses for its 5G network.
Almost 25% of antibiotic prescriptions filled in 2016 were for inappropriate use of the drugs, according to a study in The BMJ, with an additional 35% considered potentially appropriate. The most common diagnoses associated with inappropriate prescription fills were acute bronchitis, acute upper respiratory tract infections, and respiratory symptoms such as cough, and almost 71% of inappropriate prescription fills originated from an office setting.
An AAFP letter to three US senators said a bill they sponsored, the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act of 2019, would provide "invaluable new federal support" for rural residency training that could reduce physician shortages in rural areas. The Academy said evidence suggests providing rural residency experiences is a promising way to recruit physicians, but Medicare provisions discourage hospitals from offering opportunities.
Researchers wrote in the Annals of Family Medicine that a survey of 740 primary care clinicians and staff at two health systems showed 53% reported burnout. Burnout was a predicting factor for turnover, and there was a trend toward low clinician engagement that also predicted turnover.
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