Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., warns that exclusion of a legislative package aimed at stabilizing Affordable Care Act markets from the omnibus spending legislation due Friday could have a lasting effect on the debate over health care. Alexander said the provisions, which would fund cost-sharing reduction payments for three years and provide states $30 billion to create reinsurance programs, will not pass on their own and must be included in the spending legislation.
AHIP Chief Operating Officer Matt Eyles, who will succeed Marilyn Tavenner as the organization's president and CEO effective June 1, said in an interview that one of his top priorities at the moment is a premium-reduction legislative package that funds cost-sharing reduction payments and a reinsurance program. Eyles said realizing the potential of biosimilars and passage of the Creates Act are key steps for boosting competition in the pharmaceutical market and bringing down prescription drug list prices.
Companies are dealing with a tight labor market by increasing efforts to hire older workers, who provide experience, stability and a wealth of knowledge in the workplace. Perks used to recruit older workers include flexible schedules, exercise classes, increased matches for 401(k) plans, and information on Social Security and financial wellness in retirement.
Employers can use voluntary benefits to help workers address financial wellness issues and should consider paying for them, according to Mercer benefits experts. Heather Coughlin said financial wellness issues can vary by age, so companies should ask employees if benefit strategies address their concerns.
Workout intensity affects how many calories are burned and the proportion of fat versus carbohydrates that the body is burning for energy, experts say. The safest, most sustainable way of burning fat, however, is to mix high-intensity workouts with more moderate exercise.
A study presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting showed that insulin resistance is tied to insufficient sleep, which may contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes among men. Researchers used a cohort of 34 healthy men and found that insulin resistance may result from even one night of restricted sleep but that controlling the levels of cortisol and testosterone may dampen the impact.
Researchers reviewed data gathered by the World Health Organization for 312,281 pregnancies from 29 countries and found that pregnant women with severe anemia had twice the risk of maternal mortality. The findings were published in The Lancet Global Health.
A study in Pediatrics showed that children living in areas with the highest poverty quintile and those in the quintile with the highest rate of homes without vehicle access were 60% and 77% more likely to have unfilled prescriptions, respectively, compared with those in the low poverty quintile and those in the quintile with the lowest rate of households without vehicle access. Researchers also found that poverty and vehicle access had significant, graded associations with primary medication nonadherence rates, with the gradients seen across all medication classes.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar says health care providers should talk with patients in advance of treatment about the cost of services and drugs as part of a strategy to reduce health care costs and improve value.
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