News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/13/2018

A Black Book survey revealed that 92% of about 650 health care consumers said enhancing consumer experience should be a priority for health care providers and that patients have high expectations for digital health tools offered by providers. According to the survey, 93% of respondents want access to digital tools that facilitate interactions with providers, 85% want tools for virtual care access, 97% want online scheduling capabilities, 92% want to be able to make payments online and 94% want digital price transparency tools.

7/13/2018

The CMS' draft physician fee schedule includes new options for Medicare practitioners to document office/outpatient evaluation and management visits, which make up nearly 40% of allowed charges for physician fee schedule services, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said. Also included in the draft are provisions that would allow separate payment for remote evaluation of images and video provided by patients and for virtual check-ins; a revised payment model for new drugs; and updated direct practice expense input pricing for equipment and supplies.

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CMS, Medicare
7/13/2018

The House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would postpone a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans until 2022 and suspend employer-mandate penalties incurred from 2015 through 2019. The panel also advanced legislation that would permit anyone to buy a catastrophic plan and allow consumers to use the Affordable Care Act's tax credits for plans bought outside of ACA exchanges.

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The Hill
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ACA, Means Committee
7/13/2018

The employee wellness program at Illinois Valley Community Hospital includes challenges, email-based programs and incentives for participation. The program is run by a committee that includes dietitians, community outreach and infection control staff, and a personal trainer.

7/13/2018

Physicians are recommending that heart attack patients engage in exercise, including running, as part of their recovery. Cardiologist R. Kannan Mutharasan says running and other cardiovascular activities help the heart use oxygen more efficiently and regrow blood vessels and can help prevent heart attacks.

7/13/2018

Researchers evaluated 54,089 individuals from five cohort studies through 2017 and did not find an increased rate of mortality among those who were obese but otherwise healthy. The findings in the journal Clinical Obesity revealed that diabetes, dyslipidemia or hypertension were associated with increased mortality risk, but obesity alone was not.

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Obesity, dyslipidemia
7/13/2018

Data show 49% of US adults surveyed said they had tried to lose weight in the past year, with 63% of them using diet and exercise, CDC researchers reported in the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief. The survey showed half of the people trying to lose weight said they were eating more fruits, vegetables and salads.

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HealthDay News
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CDC
7/13/2018

Researchers found no clear evidence that vitamin D has a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative diseases, but they say exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, independent of vitamin D production, may have a neuroprotective benefit. The findings of the review, which included 73 studies, were reported in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

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Medical News Today
7/13/2018

The Charles Drew Health Center holds a weekly farmers market in an Omaha, Neb., food desert neighborhood and accepts payments from federal nutrition programs. Center dietitian Barbara Green said having fresh produce is better than eating empty calorie foods and is "super healthy" for children.

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KETV-TV (Omaha, Neb.)
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Barbara Green
7/13/2018

Only 5.9% of children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder received pharmacotherapy, compared with 59% who were given psychotherapy alone and 35.2% who didn't receive either treatment, researchers reported in the journal Psychiatric Services. The findings, based on 2012 data involving 7,726 youths with PTSD ages 6 to 18, also showed increased odds of pharmacotherapy among girls, those who were older, those in rural areas, those in the South and those treated by mental health providers.

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PTSD