News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
12/5/2019

Children born to mothers with diabetes had a 29% higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, especially deep vein thrombosis, hypertensive disease and pulmonary embolism, during 40 years of follow-up, compared with those whose mothers didn't have diabetes, researchers reported in The BMJ. The study found the highest increase in risk of early CVD among those whose mothers both had diabetes and CVD.

More Summaries:
pulmonary embolism
12/5/2019

AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association sent a letter to the departments of Treasury, Labor and HHS, urging agency officials to extend from January to April the comment period for a proposal that would require health insurers to provide real-time, personalized out-of-pocket spending estimates for members. The rule will cause major disruptions and "development of thoughtful, constructive comments will not be possible under the current 60-day timeframe," the groups wrote.

Full Story:
FierceHealthcare
12/5/2019

AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against the health insurance tax and its impact on Medicaid managed care organizations. The tax, which states do not have to include in capitation payments, could force Medicaid MCOs to cut reimbursement to health care providers or exit markets entirely, the groups argued in the brief.

Full Story:
Healthcare Finance
12/5/2019

Researchers found that older adults who took aspirin at least three times weekly had 15% lower odds of cancer-related death and 19% reduced likelihood of all-cause mortality, compared with those who didn't take aspirin. The findings in JAMA Network Open also linked aspirin use to 34% and 28% lower risk of colon and gastrointestinal cancer-related mortality, respectively, among those who were overweight.

Full Story:
HealthDay News
12/5/2019

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found children whose families relocated to low-poverty neighborhoods after receiving housing vouchers were almost 16% less likely to be hospitalized than those who stayed in high-poverty areas. The study, based on claims data and information from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program, found average annual hospital spending for children who moved was $633 versus $785 for children who remained in impoverished neighborhoods.

12/5/2019

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has directed the state's Medicaid director to halt negotiations with the Trump administration on implementation of work requirements in the program, and the state has asked the CMS to stop the approval process. The requirements enabled Northam to gain enough Republican support for expanding eligibility in the state, but the Legislature has since been taken over by Democrats.

Full Story:
The Hill
12/5/2019

Dental benefits would become effective immediately for children of new subscribers or subscribers who change plans in Maine under a state bill. Dental plans would be barred from imposing a waiting period on children, but waiting periods for adults would be allowed, and orthodontic care would be excluded from the law.

12/5/2019

A bill passed by the Ohio House would require that mobile dental clinics and the dentists who run them be registered with the state dental board and make patient records available through a state database. Medicaid beneficiaries are among those who have been unable to retrieve their dental records from mobile clinics and have been unable to file claims, says Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Miamisburg, who co-sponsored the bill.

Full Story:
WVXU-FM (Cincinnati)
12/5/2019

No pediatric dentists in Kootenai County, Idaho, are accepting new Medicaid patients, but some in neighboring Spokane, Wash., do take new Medicaid patients and accept Idaho Medicaid. Idaho is expanding its Medicaid program, potentially opening access to care for 91,000 residents, and Your Health Idaho administrators believe an estimated 18,000 people enrolled in exchange plans will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in January.

12/5/2019

Oral surgeon Joseph Best says he was dismayed to learn that a teenage patient to whom he had prescribed an opioid later overdosed on heroin, and he now works to educate dentists and oral surgeons on opioid risks and non-addictive alternatives. Studies showing that adolescents are the most susceptible to opioid addiction have changed the way Best teaches pain control, he says.