News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/20/2018

A Milliman study commissioned by AHIP said lack of competition, not rebates, is driving rising prescription drug costs in Medicare Part D. The analysis of CMS data revealed that drugs with the highest rebates accounted for 10% of Part D prescriptions, yet comprised close to half of total Part D gross spending.

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AHIP
8/20/2018

A Vizient report predicts that health systems will face a 4.92% increase in medication prices next year due to lack of market competition from biosimilar and generic drugs and the continued growth of specialty drugs. "While the projected increase for 2019 is less than 2018, it is still growing quickly," said Vizient executive Dan Kistner, noting root causes such as high launch prices for new drugs, the opioid crisis and supply chain interruptions will continue to drive price inflation.

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Healthcare Finance
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Dan Kistner, Vizient
8/20/2018

CDC researchers found that referrals, laboratory results and medication lists were the most common types of patient health information sent by office-based physicians, while they most often received lab results, imaging reports and medication lists. The findings in National Health Statistics Reports, based on 2015 National Electronic Health Records Survey data, also showed that lab results were the most commonly electronically integrated data, while medication lists were the most commonly searched data in the EHR.

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Health Imaging online
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CDC
8/20/2018

A study in JAMA Network Open showed that increased body mass index was associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular-related events. Researchers analyzed data involving 1.7 million Chinese adults, ages 35 to 80, and found that the association between BMI and BP was weaker in subgroups of patients taking antihypertensive medication.

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BMI
8/20/2018

A study in JAMA Pediatrics showed that 27.8% of youths younger than 5 worldwide received rotavirus vaccination in 2016, preventing an estimated 28,000-plus diarrhea-related deaths due to rotavirus infection, but expanded vaccine usage could have curbed nearly 20% of all diarrhea-related deaths among young children. Another study in The Lancet Global Health found a 31% decline in diarrhea-associated mortality among infants after rotavirus vaccination began at 6 weeks and 10 weeks in Mchinji, Central Malawi.

8/20/2018

Medicaid could save over $4.8 billion per year if all of the program's claims processes were to become fully electronic, according to a report from the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare. The move could save payers $6.84 per transaction, the report estimates.

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Healthcare Dive
8/20/2018

If Amazon pursues plans to create employee health clinics, it will join a nationwide trend among large employers, according to Mercer data. David Keyt of Mercer said clinics that provide primary care potentially could be cost-effective ways to address larger health problems, such as inadequate access to routine care and pharmacy costs.

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Forbes
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Mercer, Amazon
8/20/2018

Pankration is an ancient Greek karate style that advocates say is associated with aging well. Studies show the physical and mental components of the exercise are important to health in aging.

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Pankration
8/20/2018

Children with greater conversational turn-taking with their parents had stronger connections between the Wernicke's area and Broca's area in the brain, which are involved in speech production and comprehension, researchers reported in The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings, based on data involving 40 youths ages 4 to 6 and their parents, also showed that families' socioeconomic background didn't affect the association between conversational turns and brain connections.