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Top stories summarized by our editors
3/21/2019

Adults who drank more than two large cups of tea daily at temperatures higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit were 90% more likely to develop esophageal cancer than those who consumed less tea at lower temperatures, researchers reported in the International Journal of Cancer. The findings were based on data involving 50,045 individuals ages 40 to 75 in Iran.

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CNN
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esophageal cancer
3/21/2019

An analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests that the majority of the Arkansas residents who lost Medicaid coverage last year as work requirements took effect have not found new jobs and are uninsured. The center looked at the state's new-hire database and found that only 1,981 of the 18,164 people who were dropped from Medicaid have gotten jobs.

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Medicaid, Arkansas
3/21/2019

The number of colon cancer screenings among Medicaid patients rose 230% and the risk of death from the disease fell 27% in Kentucky after the state expanded eligibility for its Medicaid program, according to a study from the University of Kentucky. Separate research from the Kentucky Voices for Health found a significant increase in cholesterol and cervical cancer screenings and improved participation in other preventive health care services after the expansion.

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Medicaid, University of Kentucky
3/21/2019

A study in Health Services Research found a strong link between social determinants of health and high rates of readmission to safety-net hospitals, which often serve the most vulnerable patients. The study suggests that if the CMS were to adjust for social health factors such as disability and housing instability in hospital readmission rates, safety-net hospitals would see lower penalties under Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, resulting in $17 million in savings for these hospitals.

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RevCycle Intelligence
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Health Services Research
3/21/2019

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., developed a program to help accelerate the recovery of patients who were diagnosed with malnutrition and food insecurity during their hospital stay by hiring a dietitian to visit their homes and giving them enough food for a 2,000-calorie daily diet for two weeks. "We can't expect our patients to bounce back from a trauma, stroke, fall, surgery or any other medical condition if their nutrition is inadequate. Nutrition is connected to everything," said Angela Lago, the center's clinical nutrition manager.

3/21/2019

Three advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging New Hampshire's Medicaid waiver allowing the state to impose work requirements on beneficiaries. The groups argued that the administration is attempting to "bypass the legislative process and act unilaterally to fundamentally transform Medicaid ... threatening irreparable harm to the health and welfare of the poorest and most vulnerable in our country."

3/21/2019

Workplace wellness programs do not change employees' behavior, improve health outcomes or reduce health care spending in the first year, according to a large randomized, controlled trial. Most participants in workplace wellness programs are likely to be healthy, active high earners, study leaders write.

3/21/2019

Three-year-olds who received fluoride varnish at 6, 12 and 18 months and whose mothers received prenatal guidance on pediatric dental care had fewer decayed, missing or filled teeth and lower rates of untreated tooth decay than children who received fluoride varnish beginning when they were 2 years old, researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. However, the delayed care group had less untreated tooth decay by age 3 than would have been expected without any interventions.

3/21/2019

Thomas Alms Jr., a dentist from Missouri, agreed to pay $200,000 and surrender his dental license for five years after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud. Alms submitted fraudulent claims for office visits, pre-orthodontic visits, bone replacement grafts and restorations, according to the Missouri attorney general's office.

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Thomas Alms, Medicaid
3/21/2019

The Idaho House and Senate passed a bill that would allow dental therapists to offer care on Native American reservations. Providers would have to graduate from an accredited dental therapy school and be directly supervised by a dentist for their first 500 hours of clinical practice.

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Idaho