Health Policy News
February 12, 2016

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February 12, 2016

Expert Opinion on How to Address the Skyrocketing Prices of Cancer Drugs

Feb. 12, 2016 — Many patients with cancer find themselves in great financial distress, in part because the costs of cancer-fighting drugs are skyrocketing. Is it possible to create public policy that will rein in ... read more

New Alcohol Guidelines Unlikely to Have a Direct Impact on Drinking

Feb. 11, 2016 — The UK's new alcohol guidelines are unlikely to have a direct impact on drinking, but they do raise awareness of harm and so may alter social attitudes towards alcohol, suggests an expert in a ... read more

Study Compares Outcomes at VA Hospitals Vs. Non-VA Hospitals

Feb. 9, 2016 — Among older men with heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, hospitalization at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, compared with hospitalization at non-VA hospitals, was associated with lower 30-day ... read more

Will More States Ban Nonmedical Exemptions for Childhood Vaccination?

Feb. 8, 2016 — For more than 30 years, Mississippi and West Virginia were the only states in the country that disallowed nonmedical exemptions to mandatory school vaccination laws for religious or philosophical ... read more

Veterans Affairs Health System Faces Significant Challenges, Studies Find

Feb. 8, 2016 — A series of reports prepared as part of a Congressionally mandated review of the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system finds that demands on the VA will continue to increase through the end of the ... read more

Study Evaluates Pay-for-Performance Program for Medicaid Children in an ACO

Feb. 5, 2016 — The first pay-for-performance (P4P) evaluation of pediatricians under a full-risk Medicaid accountable care organization (ACO) for children shows P4P incentives were partially responsible for higher ... read more

Study Measures Impact of Removing Planned Parenthood from Texas Women's Health Program

Feb. 4, 2016 — The public defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas may have led to a decrease in highly effective forms of contraceptive services and an increase in Medicaid-paid childbirths among women who ... read more

Don't Use Body Mass Index to Determine Whether People Are Healthy

Feb. 4, 2016 — Relying on body mass index (BMI), a numerical measure of a person's height and weight, as a proxy for health incorrectly labels more than 54 million heavy Americans unhealthy when they are not, ... read more

Feb. 4, 2016 — Clinics and hospitals across the country are adding physician's assistant (PA) positions to serve growing numbers of patients, and in underserved rural areas, practices are turning to PAs to ... read more

Have National Smoking Bans Worked in Reducing Harms in Passive Smoking?

Feb. 4, 2016 — The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart ... read more

Emergency Visits by Youth for Mental Health, Addiction Rise by 32 Percent Over 6 Years

Feb. 2, 2016 — Demand for child and youth mental health care has been steadily rising throughout the health care system in Ontario, Canada. The biggest growth is occurring in emergency departments, driven by youth ... read more

Extending Length of Surgical Trainees' Shifts Does Not Affect Surgical Patients' Safety

Feb. 2, 2016 — Allowing surgeons in training, otherwise known as residents, the flexibility to work longer shifts than currently allowed in the US and/or take less time off between shifts to provide continuity of ... read more

Rate of Office Visits, Cumulative Costs Prior to Colonoscopies for Colon Cancer Screening

Feb. 2, 2016 — Researchers analyzed billing data to determine the proportion of colonoscopies for colon cancer screening and polyp surveillance that were preceded by office visits and the associated payments for ... read more

Sparse Coverage Hinders Infertility Treatment Access

Feb. 1, 2016 — Use of infertility treatments in the United States, ranging from medicines to in vitro fertilization, is likely hindered by widespread gaps in insurance coverage of reproductive services and ... read more

Feb. 1, 2016 — New work on how news media coverage shapes perceptions of obesity, has been published by investigators. They examined how perspectives on obesity portrayed in news articles affect people's ... read more

Most Vaccine-Related Posts on Pinterest Are Anti-Vaccine, Reveals Research

Feb. 1, 2016 — 75 percent of the vaccine-related posts on Pinterest are negative towards vaccination, according to new ... read more

Teen Suicide: ADHD Medication as Prevention

Feb. 1, 2016 — Black-box warnings about the dangers of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications are confusing and could have serious consequences for the risk of youth suicide, according to ... read more

Awareness of Aspirin's Benefits Saves Lives

Jan. 29, 2016 — A new study has found that the University of Minnesota's "Ask About Aspirin" initiative, a statewide public health campaign, is likely a beneficial and cost-effective way to reduce the ... read more

United States Has Greater Link Between Low Birth Weight, Inequality, Study Shows

Jan. 29, 2016 — New research found that while low birth weight was linked to lower income and education levels in four comparable countries, that connection was most persistent in the United ... read more

Most Uninsured Texans Say Cost of Health Insurance Too High

Jan. 29, 2016 — Almost 70 percent of uninsured Texans said the high cost of health insurance is the reason they remain uninsured, according to a new report. The report found less than 20 percent of uninsured Texans ... read more

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