Pediatric COVID-19 cases in the US increased by 90% between early July and early August, with nearly 180,000 new cases, according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. The researchers said youths make up 9% of COVID-19 cases and 0.4% of virus-related deaths in the US.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talked on the phone Wednesday but got no closer to agreement on the next coronavirus relief bill. This was the first time they had spoken since negotiations ended Friday.
The US has posted an average of 52,875 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last seven days, a 19% decline compared with average daily cases on July 28, but the country's testing rate has dropped as well, putting the accuracy of the data into question and raising doubts about whether the outbreak is really slowing. Figures from the COVID Tracking Project showed COVID-19 fatalities climbed to 1,300 on Tuesday after averaging around 500 over the last two days, bringing the total number of deaths to 164,500 since the pandemic started.
Researchers examined 1990 to 1997 UK Breast Screening Age Trial data involving over 160,000 women and found that mammogram screening between ages 40 to 49 correlated with a 25% reduction in breast cancer mortality over the next decade, compared with screening beginning at age 50. The findings are published in The Lancet Oncology.
People with a history of periodontal disease were 17% more likely than those with healthy gums to have a serrated polyp and 11% more likely to have a conventional adenoma found during colonoscopy, according to the results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research. Further studies are needed to determine how the oral and gut microbiomes interact to affect cancer risk, said senior author Mingyang Song.
CareSource, an Ohio-based Medicaid managed care provider, said it will invest $50 million in affordable housing projects across the US, including its existing markets in Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia and Kentucky. The company will focus on locations with high numbers of CareSource members, underserved populations or difficult-to-serve geographies.
Pharmacy benefit managers have been monitoring the nation's drug supply throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and working closely with partners throughout the supply chain to ensure patients continue to have access to needed medications, writes Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Pa. "PBMs are working across the supply chain to keep patients safe, including through partnerships with pharmacists to waive signature requirements for delivery and pick-up of prescriptions, and by closely monitoring and reporting prescribing spikes," Mihalek writes.
The CMS has made no progress toward ensuring that drugs covered under Medicare Part A's hospice benefit are not paid for by Part D plans, according to the HHS Office of Inspector General.
Arkadiy Khaimov of New York entered a guilty plea to conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud. Authorities said Khaimov, who ran New York-based pharmacies, and his alleged co-conspirators used a drug manufacturer's copay coupon program and submitted claims for $6.9 million in reimbursements for expensive medications that were never dispensed by his pharmacies between February 2017 and July 2018.
Hayley Taff, CEO of Central Rexall Drugs, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Authorities said the Louisiana-based pharmacy, which allegedly manipulated the ingredients of compounded medications to determine the highest reimbursement rate, was involved in a scheme used by multiple individuals to defraud health benefits programs and other insurers out of over $50 million and that Taff admitted the company wasn't concerned about the impact of the compounded medications but focused on making money during the scheme.