Ahead of Affordable Care Act open enrollment, some markets are looking better than expected, with insurers working with states to ensure counties lacking plans have options for 2018. However, some state officials say they are uneasy as uncertainty reigns, many counties have just one insurer selling plans, and additional insurers may pull out of markets as risk becomes untenable.
Covered California is giving health insurers until Sept. 30 to add a surcharge of around 12.4% to silver health plans as part of efforts to stabilize the individual market, and the exchange is putting additional money toward marketing and outreach. Covered California has also modified contracts to allow health plans with unexpected losses due to federal policy changes to seek state aid from 2019 to 2021, while requiring those that receive unexpected profits to account for those earnings in future rates.
Integrating social determinants of health into EHR data can help in supporting care coordination with community resources, informing clinical decision-making and enabling targeted outreach efforts, according to a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, based on an analysis of the Epic EHR system at Oregon Community Health Information Network.
Danish researchers found that whole-body SPECT/CT, NaF-PET/CT and NaF-PET/MRI yielded similar sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and overall accuracy in detection and diagnosis of bone metastases in patients with breast or prostate cancer after excluding equivocal readings, compared with standard planar bone scintigraphy. The findings in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine suggest that studies with a larger patient population or patients with increased bone metastases prevalence are needed to establish possible significant differences in sensitivity between hybrid modalities and pBS, researchers said.
Registered dietitians say reverse dieting, which is easing back into a more normal, sustainable eating regimen after weight loss, may be a way to help people avoid regaining pounds. RD Jim White says one drawback is that returning to a normal eating pattern assumes a diet was restrictive, so the time to plan a reverse strategy is before a diet begins.
Red meat can be part of a balanced diet but shoppers should consider the cut of beef, because that will affect fat and calorie content, said registered dietitian Jill Koegel. There are only small nutrition differences between grass- and grain-fed cows, Koegel said, and beef is a good source of protein, zinc and iron.
Pediatricians should advise young athletes to practice appropriate weight loss and weight gain methods during health supervision visits, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report in Pediatrics. The report also urges pediatricians to discourage student athletes from using unsafe weight control techniques such as dehydration and potentially harmful medications and supplements, which may adversely affect their health and performance.
Controlled feeding studies can help researchers see the effects of dietary patterns on the gut microbiome and how that in turn affects disease-risk biomarkers, registered dietitian Johanna Lampe told The Human Microbiome: Emerging Themes at the Horizon of the 21st Century conference. Lampe said, however, this type of research is not for evaluating how a dietary intervention works under real-world conditions.
A study found the sugars in human breast milk may protect newborns from Group B Streptococcus infections, researchers told the American Chemical Society's annual meeting and wrote in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases. The sugars in some samples also destroyed biofilms of group B strep, the researchers found.
Prolonged sitting may not increase the risk of death among middle-age and older adults who are not frail and who get recommended levels of moderate physical activity each week, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. However, sitting time can increase mortality risks for inactive people who are vulnerable or frail, researchers found.