Data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics showed antidepressant use in the US was up by almost 65% over the last 15 years, increasing to 13% in 2011-2014 from approximately 8% in 1999-2002. Researchers said antidepressant use increased with age for both genders, but women were about twice as likely as men to report using the medications in the past month.
Discontinuing cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers would increase premiums for silver-tier plans, the most popular plan tier sold on Affordable Care Act exchanges, by 20% next year and by 25% by 2020, and would raise the federal deficit by $194 billion through 2026, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. The move would prompt insurers in some states to exit the market, leaving about 5% of Americans with no insurance options next year, although insurers are expected to rejoin the market in 2020.
Metabolically healthy adults who were overweight had a 26% higher risk of heart disease, compared with normal-weight adults, while those who were obese had a 28% higher risk, according to a study in the European Heart Journal. People with three or more heart risk factors had twice the likelihood of developing heart disease regardless of their weight, the study found.
A study of elderly adults with an average age of 80 found those who participated in a standing-exercise program walked faster and farther than those in a seated-exercise program, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. Exercise physiologist Samantha Heller commented that older adults who have trouble walking benefit from seated exercises, while programs that focus on endurance, strength, balance and flexibility are best for those who can walk.
State insurance commissioners are using all possible means to maintain stability in their insurance markets amid uncertainty on whether the Trump administration will continue enforcing the individual mandate and paying cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers. Some states are allowing insurers to submit multiple sets of rates to account for the uncertainty, while others such as California and Pennsylvania plan to increase the cost of silver health plans in case the government decides to end the insurance subsidies.
A WalletHub report found that Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., are the best places for health care based on factors such as health care cost, access and outcomes. Rounding out the top 10 were Connecticut, South Dakota, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, while North Carolina, Arkansas, Alaska, Mississippi and Louisiana were at the bottom of the list.
Wellness industry experts say data show employee wellness programs can deliver a return-on-investment and value-on-investment, which includes measures such as worker retention and job satisfaction. They caution, however, against using exaggerated numbers or overly simplistic models that link wellness to ROI dollars.
Health analytics can provide real-time data on employee health, from medical and pharmacy claims to biometric screening, that can help employers make wellness program decisions, writes Kadalyst founder Benjamin Prinzing. Data can be used to predict health care costs and specific risks, such as the need for hospitalization.
No price increases greater than 10% have been recorded this year for 92 specialty pharmacy drugs from 11 manufacturers. Other drugmakers may be following the lead of Allergan CEO Brent Saunders, who last year pledged not to raise drug prices more than 10%.
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