Industry News: Volume 3, Issue 20

Americans don’t need Biden to dictate their health care coverage

By Virginia Foxx – Over 150 million Americans get their health care coverage from their employer through employer-sponsored insurance. These plans provide employees with access to high-quality, low-cost health care. The plans also have the flexibility to include added benefits for workers and their families and serve as a crucial recruiting tool for employers.

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Mediterranean diet associated with 23% reduction in mortality, study finds

By Sara Moniuszko – The Mediterranean diet has long been regarded as a heart-healthy option, but a new study has found the diet may help lower the risk of death.

For the study, published in JAMA Network Open Friday, researchers examined 25,315 women over 25 years, finding a higher adherence to the diet was associated with a 23% reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Decreased risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality were also noted.

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Hospital ransomware attacks spike volumes at nearby EDs, study finds

By David Muoio -A new review of California patient volumes is the latest warning that hospital ransomware attacks have consequences that extend to other providers in their surrounding community.

Published Wednesday in JAMA, the research from William Paterson University and RAND researchers show that cyberattacks lead to reduced admissions and emergency department visits at the compromised hospital.

The volume reductions in both areas start at 8% in the week immediately following and peak at about 16% to 17% during the second week before returning to pre-attack levels within eight weeks of the incident, per the study.

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NIH documents show how $1.6 billion long Covid initiative has failed so far to meet its goals

By Betsy Ladyzhets – More than three years ago, the National Institutes of Health launched a $1 billion-plus initiative to find the root causes and potential treatments for long Covid, the chronic disease that has quickly changed the lives of millions of Americans.

But a lack of visible progress from the initiative, called RECOVER, has drawn months of criticism from patient advocates, researchers, and lawmakers, including at a Senate hearing last week on the NIH’s budget. “We gave [the NIH] a chance and they bungled it,” said John Bolecek, who has lived with long Covid for two years and has closely followed RECOVER.

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FDA Approves Biosimilars for Macular Degeneration Treatment

By Shawn Radcliffe – The Food and Drug Administration approved two interchangeable biosimilars to Eylea (aflibercept), a brand name drug used to treat age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions.

Biosimilars are generic copies of name-brand biologic drugs and get their name from their similarity in structure and function to their counterparts.

Biosimilars Yesafili (aflibercept-jbvf, from Biocon Biologics) and Opuviz (aflibercept-yszy, from Biogen and Samsung Bioepis) work the same way as Eylea — by inhibiting a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor. This prevents abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye.

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Cadence finds reduced cost and better outcomes for heart failure patients through remote monitoring program

By Emma Beavins – A new paper published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure shows that patients on Cadence’s remote physiologic monitoring program had better outcomes than patients eligible for the program who did not enroll, and, the program demonstrated a 52% cost savings per month for Medicare beneficiaries using RPM for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. 

Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65, the new study says. Some of the biggest costs to payers are emergency department visits, hospital stays and nursing facility stays for rehabilitation after a hospital stay.

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‘This is a huge crisis’: The system steadfast in expanding behavioral health access

By Erica Carbajal – By many measures, the nation’s mental health crisis is growing and with a lack of access to appropriate care, hospital emergency departments are often where patients seeking behavioral care show up. 

Over the past decade, the number of adult and pediatric emergency department visits involving mental health concerns has increased. From 2018 to 2020, the average rate of mental health-related ED visits among adults was 53.0 per 1,000 adults, according to CDC data. 

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