The number of uninsured Americans increased slightly in 2017 to 29.3 million, or 9.1% of the population, statistically unchanged from 28.6 million in 2016, but 19.3 million lower than in 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act became law. Among adults ages 18 to 64, 12.8% lacked coverage, 69.3% had a private plan, and 43.7% had a high-deductible plan, up from 39.4% in 2016, according to the CDC.
Health care organizations should listen to the needs and concerns of clinicians and allow doctors to personalize their EHR interface as part of efforts to reduce EHR-induced burnout, advises Rick Roesemeier, manager at ECG Management Consultants. Roesemeier also stressed the importance of adapting EHR workflows to clinical workflows and training physicians repeatedly on the systems.
A Research!America and American Society of Microbiology survey showed 77% of US adults expressed confidence in oversight of vaccine safety and recommendations this year, an 8-percentage-point decline from 2008, while the number who "strongly" believed they had derived personal benefit from vaccine development over the past 50 years dropped by 16 percentage points to 59%. Ninety percent of respondents said it was "very important" or "somewhat important" for parents to have their children vaccinated, down from 96%.
The Government Accountability Office released a report encouraging the CMS to continue its prior authorization demonstrations, which require providers and medical device suppliers to demonstrate compliance with payment and coverage rules before receiving payments for certain products and services. Estimates showed the CMS has saved up to $1.9 billion since the demonstrations started in 2012, but most of these programs have ended or will end soon.
Denying kidney failure treatment to undocumented immigrants in the US is harmful to the patients who need dialysis as well as to the nurses and doctors treating them, experts wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Undocumented immigrants tend to get the procedure only on an emergency basis when they are near death, a scenario that forces clinicians "to emotionally disassociate from their patients, and that's the opposite of what we're trying to teach," said one doctor.
Adults who consumed an average of 0.76 eggs daily had an 11% reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and an 18% reduced risk of CVD mortality, compared with those who never ate eggs, according to a Chinese study in the journal Heart. The findings were based on 461,213 adults without a history of heart disease, with a mean age of 51.
Researchers found that individuals who make it a lifelong habit to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, two or three times a week, had less stiff middle-sized arteries, while those who routinely exercised four to five times weekly had more youthful large, central arteries, compared with those who did not exercise. The findings in The Journal of Physiology were based on 102 adults older than 60.
A UK study in the journal ACS Applied Nano Materials showed that quantum dots, or nanoparticles derived from tea leaf extract combined with sodium sulfide and cadmium sulfate, were able to destroy up to 80% of lung cancer cells. The findings suggest the approach is "a very promising avenue to explore for developing new cancer treatments," said researcher Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu.
GlaxoSmithKline's Arnuity Ellipta, or fluticasone furoate, was approved by the FDA as a maintenance treatment for children with asthma who are at least 5 years old. The drug was previously approved for use among patients ages 12 and older.
AkaRx, a Dova Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, gained FDA approval for its Doptelet, or avatrombopag, as a treatment for adult patients with thrombocytopenia who have chronic liver disease. Doptelet is the first drug with this indication to get the agency's approval, and AkaRx plans to launch it in June.
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