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

Dentifrice makers began adding mint oils to their products early in the twentieth century, and toothpaste now contains a combination of flavorings to cover the taste of fluoride, tetra-sodium pyrophosphate and other compounds. Flavorists precisely blend ingredients and must be familiar with the different flavors of mint, which vary by plant type and growing region.

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Forbes
12/5/2019

Treatments for oral cancer change the patient's saliva and sense of taste, demineralize teeth, cause pain and may be toxic, and the effects can persist after treatment ends. Dentists should thoroughly examine the mouths of patients undergoing oral cancer treatment, be aware of subtle abnormalities, and consider prescribing fluoride treatments, chlorhexidine rinses and photobiomodulation therapy, dentists Joel Epstein and Mark Lingen said at the World Dental Congress.

12/5/2019

Kroger and Kroger Pharmacy agreed to a $225,000 settlement to resolve a civil suit involving at least 16 alleged violations of the Controlled Substances Act from May 2, 2015, to May 30, 2016. The deal clears up allegations that Kroger's Rio Hill pharmacy in Charlottesville, Va., improperly filled "office use only" prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances and failed to protect against the diversion of prescription drugs, among other violations.

12/5/2019

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan says the company is on track to submit more than 80 drug approval applications to regulators in the US, Europe, Japan and China as part of its plans through 2022, and sales of more than 25 of those drugs could surpass $1 billion.

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Reuters
12/5/2019

Acadia Pharmaceuticals' Nuplazid, or pimavanserin, reduced delusions in people with dementia, including dementia related to Alzheimer's disease, researchers reported at a conference. The drug is already approved for delusions related to Parkinson's disease and costs about $3,000 a month.

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The Associated Press
12/5/2019

Blue Shield of California collaborated with the California Department of Education and nonprofit groups to launch Blue Sky, which will provide online and other mental health resources to students in middle and high school. The program will also provide one-on-one therapy for student and youth mental health first aid training.

12/5/2019

Timothy Forester, a suspended pharmacist and former owner of four pharmacies in Pittsburgh, was charged with health care fraud, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and misbranding of drugs as part of a 12-count superseding indictment. According to the indictment, Forester conspired with others to perform health care fraud and deliberately obtained hydrocodone and oxycodone by deception, fraud and misrepresentation, among other offenses.

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Department of Justice
12/5/2019

Morris Starkman, a former doctor from New Jersey, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of illegal drug distribution and health care claims and insurance fraud on allegations he prescribed almost 1.4 million doses of oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and other highly addictive opioids from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2018. Authorities also accused Starkman of submitting over $50,000 worth of inflated claims to private insurers for medical exams and tests that were medically unnecessary or unprovided, and medical services he was either not licensed or certified to provide.

12/5/2019

WorkWell Consultants CEO Kathy Worden says more employers are interested in providing financial and mental health wellness resources for employees, and those that incentivize participation in community service, team sports, mental health and financial wellness tend to gain more worker trust. Elizabeth Giles of Numerica Credit Union says the company finds an association between having debt and the risk of anxiety and depression, so the company makes financial well-being a priority.

12/5/2019

Indiana state Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, drafted the Short Term Limited Duration Insurance Model Act for the National Council of Insurance Legislators, which calls for setting the minimum annual policy limit for short-term health coverage at $2 million or higher. The draft is similar to a bill Carbaugh sponsored that became law in Indiana.

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Wayne