Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects 422 million people worldwide. For decades, doctors have treated it with medications designed to keep blood sugar levels down.
But in a paper published in the Lancet, researchers in the UK describe a landmark study in which people with diabetes went into remission—just by losing weight.
Nearly half of people in the study who were given a six-month diet plan and lost an average of 30 pounds went into remission and no longer had diabetes. None took any medications during that time to control their disease and relied on weight loss alone.
Patricia Alexander knew she needed a mammogram but just couldn’t find the time.
“Every time I made an appointment, something would come up,” said Alexander, 53, who lives in Moreno Valley, Calif.
Over the summer, her doctor’s office, part of Vantage Medical Group, promised her a $25 Target gift card if she got the exam. Alexander, who’s insured through Medi-Cal, California’s version of the Medicaid program for lower-income people, said that helped motivate her to make a new appointment — and keep it.
Nobody likes the feeling of being left out, and when it happens, we tend to describe these experiences with the same words we use to talk about the physical pain of, say, a toothache.
“People say, ‘Oh, that hurts,’ ” says Nathan DeWall, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.
DeWall and his colleagues were curious about the crossover between physical pain and emotional pain, so they began a series of experiments several years back. In one study, they found that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) seemed to reduce the sting of rejection that people experienced after they were excluded from a virtual ball-tossing game.
More than half of Americans said the U.S. healthcare system doesn’t work well for them, while 73 percent say the system is in need of reform. On the other hand, 69 percent said it’s too politicized, according to a national survey released by CVS Health.
Of those frustrated by the current state of healthcare, 65 percent say it is too expensive; in fact, the affordability of healthcare, health insurance and prescription drugs top the list of Americans’ most urgent concerns.
One clear effect of the GOP tax bill is the provision that medical groups object to most: the repeal of the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
Both the House and the Senate versions of the bill include a repeal of the mandate, which calls for a tax on people who don’t buy health coverage to help make up the cost of care for the uninsured. While the mandate is unpopular among voters, it was a must-have for health insurance companies.
After several attempts to pass healthcare reform failed earlier this year in Congress, Republicans in the Senate passed a tax bill early Saturday that includes significant changes to the existing healthcare system.
The most prominent change to healthcare is the repeal of the individual mandate that Americans obtain health insurance or face a penalty. Currently, those without insurance must pay a $695 fine or 2.5% of their income, whichever is larger. The provision is one of the most crucial and controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called “Obamacare.”
When Monica Spalding got the renewal letter from her health insurance company with premium details for the upcoming year, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The insurer estimated that the share of the monthly premium that she and her husband would owe for their marketplace silver plan would go up from the current $28 a month to $545.
She immediately called Sharon Barker, a health insurance navigator with Family and Children’s Service in Nashville, Tenn., with whom she and her husband had worked this year to buy a marketplace plan after relocating from California to take care of her husband’s ailing parents. They sat down with Barker at their local library and showed her the letter.
Health insurers—and hospitals—soon may be socked by a double whammy that could drive away insurers’ healthier customers, induce them to spike premiums and unravel the individual market.
First, the Senate Republican tax cut bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that nearly everyone get insurance. That provision, which House Republicans support, is projected to reduce the number of insured Americans, particularly healthier people, by 13 million in 2027 and boost premiums each year by an average of 10%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Congressional leaders have bought themselves time in case they can’t come to a deal on the Children’s Health Insurance Program before the end of the year. A draft provision for the Dec. 8 continuing budget resolution to keep the government open would retroactively permit the CMS to redistribute CHIP funds to states that have run out of money.”It appears that Congress is planning to kick the can further down the road rather than finally approve the bipartisan plan to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program this week,” says Joan Alker of Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families.
A congressional advisory panel said hospitals and the trade groups that represent them disagree whether a rule requiring a physician to aid and direct other hospital staff on certain procedures would be harmful if enforced.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Friday released a report that revealed the discord. The 21st Century Cures Act required the advisory group to examine the impact of the so-called direct supervision requirement. The rule was first introduced in 2009 but its enforcement has been delayed several times.
Hospital associations told the CMS that small rural hospitals don’t have enough staff to comply. But while conducting surveys, MedPAC revealed a divide between trade groups and on-the-ground hospital officials.
CVS Health says that its $69-billion takeover of insurance giant Aetna will be good for consumers. That, of course, is unlikely.
For the deal to benefit consumers, it would have to result in lower drug prices or lower insurance costs. If past mergers are anything to go by, this won’t happen.
“You don’t need a crystal ball to predict the future here,” said David Balto, a healthcare advocate and former policy director for the Federal Trade Commission.
“Mergers like these have a dismal history,” he told me. “They lead to less consumer choice and more exclusionary conduct. Consumers suffer by paying more and getting less choice for the vital drugs they need.”
If the pharmacy giant CVS Health CVS -4.57% is successful buying health insurer Aetna AET -1.44%, it will further narrow U.S. choices of where they pick up their prescriptions and receive their healthcare services.
Even before reports surfaced more than a month ago that CVS would purchase Aetna, the trend to narrow health plan networks was on the rise. Health insurers and employers say they need to cull lists of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies so they can more closely monitor costs and quality, making sure health plan subscribers get a provider that helps them meet certain health outcomes and measures.
Infection rates for the deadly AIDS virus in the South today look like national figures from the 1980s, but a Gilead-backed program hopes to change the underlying factors involved in people not seeking out prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Continued inaction by Congress to re-authorize crucial funding for the country’s community health centers could result in the loss of more than 60,000 healthcare jobs, according to a new report.
It’s been 64 days since the Community Health Center Fund’s authorization lapsed, and Congress failed to renew its $3.6 billion in funding. The fund accounts for more than 70% of federal funding for more than 1,400 community health centers and a fifth of their overall revenue.
Some community health centers started to feel the effects of the funding loss as early as one month after the Sept. 30 expiration, and many providers are starting to plan what services and personnel they will need to cut without seriously jeopardizing access to care.