Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ See You In Court!

A federal district court judge in Texas has set Sept. 10 as the date for oral arguments in a case filed by Republican state attorneys general and governors from 20 states. Their lawsuit charges that the Affordable Care Act should be found unconstitutional following Congress’ elimination of the tax penalty for failing to have insurance. That date is less than two months before the critical midterm election that will determine which party controls Congress.

Energy-Hog Hospitals: When They Start Thinking Green, They See Green

Hospitals are energy hogs.

With their 24/7 lighting, heating and water needs, they use up to five times more energy than a fancy hotel.

Executives at some systems view their facilities like hotel managers, adding amenities, upscale new lobbies and larger parking garages in an effort to attract patients and increase revenue. But some hospitals are revamping with a different goal in mind: becoming more energy-efficient, which can also boost the bottom line.

Trump administration proposes production quota cuts for six opioids

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday proposed that U.S. drugmakers cut production quotas of the six most abused opioids by 10 percent next year to fight a nationwide addiction crisis.

In a statement, the U.S. Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said the proposed cut would be in keeping with President Donald Trump’s effort to cut opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years.

Trump on Thursday also pressed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to sue drug manufacturers over the opioid crisis.

Diet guidance could slow kidney disease, cut costs

(Reuters Health) – Patients with chronic kidney disease could slow the progression of their illness and delay dialysis through nutrition therapy, according to a new article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For a host of reasons, however, only 10 percent of non-dialysis kidney disease patients in the U.S. ever meet with a dietician, the authors write in a review of the evidence for nutrition therapy, obstacles to getting it and possible solutions.

Dialysis Linked to Dementia in Seniors

News Picture: Dialysis Linked to Dementia in Seniors

Latest Alzheimer’s News

TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Older kidney failure patients on hemodialysis have high rates of dementia, which is associated with an increased risk of early death, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 357,000 dialysis patients aged 66 and older and found their risk of being diagnosed with dementia one and five years after starting dialysis was 4.6 percent and 16 percent among women, and 3.7 percent and 13 percent among men.

Their respective risks of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease were 0.6 percent and 2.6 percent among women, and 0.4 percent and 2 percent among men.

Financial Ties That Bind: Studies Often Fall Short On Conflict-Of-Interest Disclosures

Papers in medical journals go through rigorous peer review and meticulous data analysis.

Yet many of these articles are missing a key piece of information: the financial ties of the authors.

Nearly two-thirds of the 100 physicians who rake in the most money from 10 device manufacturers failed to disclose a conflict of interest in their academic writing in 2016, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

The omission can have real-life impact for patients when their doctors rely on such research to make medical decisions, potentially without knowing the authors’ potential conflicts of interest.

States Leverage Federal Funds To Help Insurers Lower Premiums

When Tracy Deis decided in 2016 to transition from a full-time job to part-time contract work, the loss of her employer’s health insurance was not a major worry because she knew she could get coverage through the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act.

But price was a big concern.

“The ACA made it possible to make the switch in my life,” said Deis, 48, who lives in Minneapolis. But she quickly added, “I was really worried about the cost.”

Express Scripts staking out million dollar gene therapies

(Reuters) – Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O) built a multi-billion enterprise pressuring drug companies to lower their prices for U.S. patients. Now it is quietly building a side business: getting paid to help drug companies dispense a new generation of high-priced drugs.

FILE PHOTO: Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller poses for a portrait in the Manhattan borough of New York January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Express Scripts is in talks with biotechnology companies Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc (BMRN.O), Spark Therapeutics Inc (ONCE.O) and Bluebird Bio Inc (BLUE.O) to have its specialty pharmaceutical business exclusively distribute their new gene therapies when they are expected to become available in 2019 and 2020, Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller told Reuters in an interview.

South Africa’s parliament considers tougher anti-smoking bill

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A bill that would toughen anti-smoking legislation in South Africa has been submitted to parliament for review by lawmakers, a health ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, as a campaign against the proposed changes intensifies.

The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill would restrict smoking in public places, introduce plain packaging, ban point-of-sale advertising and displays, and scrap the sale of single cigarettes.

It is opposed by some businesses, including Japan Tobacco International (JTI), which paid for a radio advert aired this month that encouraged the public to protest against the proposals, published by the Department of Health in May.

More Alzheimer’s Gene Links Found

News Picture: More Alzheimer's Gene Links Found

Latest Alzheimer’s News

TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) — U.S. researchers say they’ve identified more genes that may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

They studied nearly 6,000 people with Alzheimer’s and 5,000 people with healthy brains and pinpointed rare variations in genes that may play a role in the mind-degenerating disease.

The newly identified genes suggest that an inflammatory response and changes in the production of certain proteins contribute to brain deterioration in Alzheimer’s patients.

This and related genetic research improves understanding of Alzheimer’s and could lead to new treatments for the disease, according to the authors of the study.