News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
6/28/2017

Close to 100 Americans are killed by opioids each day, a figure that could rise to 250 -- or more than 650,000 over the next decade -- if potent synthetic compounds such as fentanyl and carfentanil continue to proliferate while waiting time for treatment lengthens in the hardest-hit areas, according to this analysis. Experts predict that mortality will not stabilize until after 2020, because it will take several years to see if government interventions are effective.

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fentanyl, carfentanil
6/28/2017

Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides care for America's poor, has become a focus of debate as Congress weighs health care legislation because it affects the lives of millions of Americans. This story reviews the impact, noting that Medicaid spending accounts for nearly 10% of the federal budget, allocates nearly $200 billion annually to care for people with disabilities, provides access to opioid addiction treatment, pays for approximately half of all births in the US and shoulders the expenses of around 62% of seniors living in nursing homes.

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National Public Radio
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Medicaid, Congress
6/28/2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act will be postponed until after the July 4 recess amid opposition from several GOP senators and following the release of a Congressional Budget Office report showing that 22 million more Americans would become uninsured by 2026 if the bill becomes law. The plan is to develop compromise legislation by the end of this week and give senators the break to study the legislation before a vote, an aide said.

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CNN, The Hill
6/28/2017

Cancer treatments can be financially devastating, but many doctors hesitate to discuss costs, even when their patients ask, a recent study found. Among doctors who did acknowledge their patients' financial concerns, only about 25% took action, such as recommending a less-expensive drug, study leader Dr. Rahma Warsame said.

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HealthDay News
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cancer
6/28/2017

A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found adults aged 65 and older who were taking at least five medications had greater odds of having diabetes, high blood pressure, a history of heart attacks and congestive heart failure, compared with those who were using fewer medications. The findings, based on data for 482 participants in the Central Control of Mobility in Aging study, also showed polypharmacy among older adults was tied to having a slower walking speed, being more overweight and having an increased risk of falls.

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blood pressure
6/28/2017

A study in the Journal of Neurotrauma found that youth football players ages 13 and younger had significantly higher head impact exposure, compared with those ages 12 and younger and those ages 11 and younger. The findings, based on data involving 97 children ages 9 to 13, also showed that 2 in 3 head impacts were during practice, but impact force was stronger during games.

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HealthDay News
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football
6/28/2017

You'll be more productive if you get the least enjoyable tasks of your day out of the way first, said Drew Stevens. "Get the calls, the reports, the meeting with the nasty client all out of the way first and the remainder of the day is easier," Stevens said.

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Glassdoor
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Drew Stevens
6/28/2017

Survey data showed 37% of Americans said they were not very or not at all financially secure, while 52% wanted their employer to provide more financial planning resources and 51% wanted more employer-provided education on retirement savings. The MassMutual Middle America Financial Security Study found 22% of people said debt was their biggest financial problem.

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PlanAdviser online
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MassMutual
6/28/2017

The Worksite Wellness Consortium, made up of human resources and other professionals from employers in the Wilmington, N.C., area, seeks to share workplace wellness best practices and promote employee wellness programs. Jennifer Gallo of Liberty Healthcare said in many cases a company or organization may have just one person whose job is promoting wellness, so the consortium can offer support and planning assistance.

6/28/2017

Drugmakers set prices for their products as high as they believe the market will bear, writes managed care pharmacist John Jones. "To combat these massive price hikes, [pharmacy benefit managers] are hired by employers, unions, and health plans to negotiate lower drug costs," Jones writes.

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John Jones