An analysis of billing records from over 3,000 US hospitals in 2014 revealed outpatient cancer treatment costs vary widely and were often two to six times higher than the Medicare allowable amount, according to a report from the American Journal of Managed Care. Pathology had the highest price markup ratio at 4.1:1, followed by radiology at 3.7:1 and radiation oncology at 3.6:1, and estimated cancer treatment expenses ranged from $50,000 to $500,000.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said he's open to state experimentation on Affordable Care Act and Medicaid rules so states can provide more affordable health care coverage. Azar said that without legislation to repeal and replace the ACA, the administration may lack the flexibility to support states' ideas, but he intends to work with CMS Administrator Seema Verma to explore the options under current law.
More states are seeking to fundamentally change their Medicaid programs through waivers, and their requests involve more than just work requirements for enrollees. Among the ideas are lifetime limits, temporary lockouts if beneficiaries fail to report income changes or renew enrollment on time, charges for missed appointments, cost-sharing requirements and moving more recipients to private coverage.
Habitats at San Diego and other zoos are much more realistic than they were decades ago, as keepers create environments that stimulate animals' natural instincts. Enrichment not only keeps the animals' brains sharp, it plays a role in breeding and might boost zoos' and aquariums' species conservation efforts.
Attending the recent Iowa Veterinary Medical Association conference highlighted for veterinarian Jennifer Ewoldt how far the field has advanced since she was in veterinary school. These include new treatments for cancer that extend longevity, drugs for humans that have been found to work for animals, new molecular tests help diagnose diseases, and advances in the management of chronic kidney and liver disease, Dr. Ewoldt writes.
Over 88% of companies were targeted by email phishing scams in 2017, up from 75% in 2016, per a Proofpoint report. Spoofed identities were on the rise in 2017, and social media-themed attacks also were significant, the report shows.
Swedish researchers evaluated data on 2,699,334 patients with and without type 2 diabetes and found a 47% relative risk reduction of hospitalization for aortic dissection and a 28% relative risk reduction of hospitalization for aortic aneurysm among those with diabetes, compared with control subjects. The findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association revealed that patients with type 2 diabetes also had 12% lower adjusted mortality rates after hospitalization for aortic aneurysm than controls.
Patients with type 2 diabetes who initiated canagliflozin treatment had a lower rate of heart failure events and a lower risk for hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke or ischemic stroke, compared with those who received a DPP-4 inhibitor, sulfonylurea or GLP-1 receptor agonist, according to a study in The BMJ. Researchers used a cohort of 55,560 adult diabetes patients and found that the canagliflozin group had a lower number of composite cardiovascular endpoint events than the DPP-4 inhibitor and sulfonylurea groups, but had a higher rate than the GLP-1 receptor agonist group.
A study presented at the Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes conference showed that type 1 diabetes patients who used the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal-IQ technology, a predictive low glucose suspend feature, experienced a significant reduction in hypoglycemic events, an improved time in range and reported a high level of confidence in using the device, compared with those who used a standard continuous glucose monitoring-integrated t:slim X2 pump that was not fitted with the automated insulin suspension. Researchers included 103 patients, ages 6 to 72, in the PROLOG trial.
Research in the European Respiratory Journal found the use of short-acting asthma medications among women led to fecundability odds ratios 15% lower than for women who did not have asthma. The effect was not seen among women who took inhaled corticosteroids plus a long-acting agonist or women who used to have asthma.
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