News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Medicare weighs whether to pay for acupuncture
The Washington Post

Seeking ways to address chronic pain without narcotics, Medicare is exploring whether to pay for acupuncture, a move that would thrust the government health insurance program into the long-standing controversy over whether the therapy is any better than placebo.

Coverage would be for chronic low-back pain only, a malady that afflicts millions of people. Low-back pain, acute and chronic, ranks as the third-greatest cause of poor health or mortality in the United States, behind only heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In its request for comments on acupuncture, the Department of Health and Human Services said that “in response to the U.S. opioid crisis, HHS is focused on preventing opioid use disorder and providing more evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatment options for chronic pain.”

News Headlines Article

Many older adults feel positive about their health. Here’s why.
The Washington Post

A common myth about aging is that older adults are burdened by illness and feel lousy much of the time.

In fact, the opposite is usually true. Most seniors report feeling distinctly positive about their health. Consider data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (the most recent available), administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When asked to rate their overall health, 82 percent of adults ages 65 to 74 described it as excellent (18 percent), very good (32 percent) or good (32 percent) — on the positive side of the ledger. By contrast, 18 percent of this age group had a negative perspective, describing their health as fair (14 percent) or poor (4 percent).

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