Senate Finance Committee leaders are discussing ideas for reining in Medicare prescription drug spending, including requiring manufacturers to pay back rebates if price increases exceed the rate of inflation and requiring them to give money back to the program if they launch a new product at a high list price.
New Jersey paramedics can give patients buprenorphine after administering the overdose reversal drug naloxone, according to the state's health commissioner, once authorized by a qualified supervising physician. The state is the first to allow paramedics to give patients buprenorphine, which eases opioid withdrawal symptoms and may facilitate recovery, but experts say the change raises questions about patient consent.
More data is needed about the safety of fecal microbiota transplant in immunocompromised patients after the FDA reported two deaths and issued a warning, writes Sahil Khanna, MBBS, of the Mayo Clinic. FMT is still considered experimental, and the short- and long-term effects are still unknown, Khanna writes.
Losing weight and being male could be risk factors in developing colorectal cancer in patients under the age of 50, according to a study by Eric Low, MD, MPH, of the University of California at San Diego that was presented at Digestive Diseases Week. Smoker and nonaspirin users were also shown to have an increased risk.
New Hampshire high school football player Willem Federico was first diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was 14, but he didn't let the symptoms keep him from his dream of playing high school football. Federico, who credits his doctors and specialists with keeping him on the playing field, will continue his football career at Maine's Bowdoin College in the fall.
Kenneth Sun, a doctor from Easton, Pa., and former owner of pain management practice Progressive Pain Solutions, was indicted on several charges including receiving health care kickbacks for his alleged involvement in a pharmaceutical kickback and Medicare fraud scheme. According to the indictment, Sun received over $140,000 in bribes and kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics in exchange for prescribing the drugmaker's fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys, which resulted in over $847,000 worth of improper payments from Medicare for the medically unnecessary prescriptions.
John Wu, a physician and former operator of a west Denver medical clinic from 2011 to 2015, is scheduled to be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to distributing oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose. The guilty plea follows Wu's conviction earlier this year of obstruction of justice and mail fraud for improperly billing health insurers for unprovided or medically unnecessary services, and fabricating patient records.
Brenda Copeland, former owner and operator of the Counseling and Training Center in Warner Robins, Ga., is facing fraud charges for allegedly defrauding Medicaid. According to the indictment, Copeland submitted fraudulent claims to a care management organization for unprovided services from 2016 to 2017, which allowed her to collect over $500,000 in improper payments from Medicaid.
Members of Generation X, broadly defined as those between the ages of 35 and 60, are generally uncomfortable with managing their wealth, according to a survey commissioned by Harness Wealth Advisers. If they could find the right adviser, 87% of respondents said they would welcome his or her help.
The financial security of Americans in retirement could be improved by increasing the use of annuities, but employers may need to give their workers some help to reach that goal, according to a report from the Brookings Institution. "Employers that can give guidance and negotiate group rates for employees wanting to purchase annuities could dramatically change the take-up rate for these policies," the report says.
- Page 5