News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/24/2017

Senate Republicans are looking to reach consensus on coverage of pre-existing conditions, with some conservatives preferring to repeal Affordable Care Act provisions governing pre-existing conditions and institute an opt-in approach for states that want to keep the provisions. Other ideas include an opt-out approach, requiring automatic coverage enrollment before states can obtain waivers or leaving many of the ACA provisions in place.

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The Hill
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Senate
5/24/2017

Preliminary data from the CDC's 2016 National Health Interview Survey show 51.7% of Americans reported getting the recommended amount of physical activity, an increase from 49% in 2015. The report found women were less likely than men to meet the guidelines for leisure time aerobic activity.

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Quartz
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CDC
5/24/2017

A retrospective cohort analysis presented at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting found that antibiotics prescribed as first-line monotherapy for community-acquired pneumonia failed in 22.1% of cases. The findings, based on more than 250,000 patients aged 18 and older who were treated with antibiotic for CAP from 2011 to 2015, showed being female, older age and having pneumococcal pneumonia were predictors of antibiotic failure.

5/24/2017

Study data presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology show sleep loss or poor sleep may be tied to weight gain due to changes in the body's hormonal balance. Researchers said sleep loss can shift the hormonal balance from hormones that promote satiety to those that increase hunger, can increase levels of endocannabinoids that are linked to appetite and can affect gut bacteria that influence how food is processed into energy.

5/24/2017

More than 18,000 US youths younger than 15 were involved in fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2014, 20% of whom didn't wear seat belts or were improperly buckled, and 43% of youths who died were improperly buckled or not buckled at all, according to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The findings, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, suggest that improving appropriate child restraint use in vehicles by 10% across the US would reduce the national child crash mortality rate from 0.94 per 100,000 to 0.56 per 100,000.

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National Public Radio
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mortality rate
5/24/2017

The Republican Senate working group on health care met Tuesday with Blue Cross Blue Shield to discuss what's needed in Senate health care legislation to ensure insurer participation and affordable plans, and one point of discussion was cost-sharing reduction payments. Senators have not reached consensus on the payments, but Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., acknowledged time is short to ensure stability for 2018.

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The Hill
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Senate, Blue Cross Blue Shield
5/24/2017

Corporate executives at a recent Fitbit Captivate conference made recommendations for successful wellness programs, such as having clear motivational messages that help encourage employees to consider how exercise might positively affect their lives. Debra Wasserman of TransUnion said it is important that wellness programs have top-level executive support, and Springbuk CEO Rod Reasen suggested buying easy-to-use software tools to help determine wellness return-on-investment.

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CIO online
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TransUnion, Springbuk
5/24/2017

Registered dietitian and health coach Victoria Emmitt says companies can use health risk assessments, incentives, recognition, rewards and education to help employees improve their health. Emmitt says onsite health centers offer a convenient and cost-effective way for workers to get health care.

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Employee Benefit News
5/24/2017

House Republicans want to add language easing restrictions on off-label marketing to legislation extending the FDA's authority to collect user fees from drug and device makers.

5/24/2017

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget request may signal the administration's intent to shield from anti-kickback laws preapproval communications between payers and the makers of medical devices and drugs.