Texas Is Latest State To Attack Surprise Medical Bills

Texas is now among more than a dozen states that have cracked down on the practice of surprise medical billing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation Friday shielding patients from getting a huge bill when their insurance company and medical provider can’t agree on payment.

The bipartisan legislation removes patients from the middle of price disputes between a health insurance company and a hospital or other medical provider.

No provisions in USMCA to change U.S. pharmaceutical patent laws: Lighthizer

(Reuters) – The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has no provisions that would force changes to U.S. laws with respect to pharmaceutical companies, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday.

“To the extent that a member (of Congress) thinks anything in here will stop you from changing laws, then we have to correct that,” Lighthizer said at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.

Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Susan Thomas

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Bayer asks trial judge to reverse $2 billion Roundup jury verdict

(Reuters) – Bayer AG has asked a California judge to overrule a $2 billion verdict by jurors who found the company’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer responsible for a couple’s cancer, arguing the jury decision was not supported by evidence.

Monsanto Co’s Roundup is shown for sale in Encinitas, California, U.S., June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The German drugmaker and chemicals company in court filings on Monday in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland blamed the massive verdict on “inflammatory, fabricated and irrelevant evidence” from the couples’ lawyers.

A ‘health number’ that could tell about prostate disease

When it comes to staying on top of your health, doctors often tell you how important it is to “know your numbers.” Blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index can tell you a lot about your heart health, but if you’re a man, you need to know one more – your PSA, or prostate-specific antigen.

Doctors use the PSA test to check for any abnormalities within the prostate, a male reproductive gland located between the bladder and the penis. An elevated level of PSA in the blood can be a sign of non-cancerous, as well as cancerous, prostate issues.

Genetics research gets help from social media

(Reuters Health) – Researchers have harnessed the power of social media to build a genetic database, according to a new report.

The “Genes for Good” project, which turned to Facebook to recruit people to fill out surveys and send in saliva samples for DNA analysis, has thus far collected data from more than 27,000 volunteers.

Participants come from all 50 states and from diverse ancestral backgrounds, the researchers write in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

U.S. records 22 new measles cases, bringing year’s total to 1,044

(Reuters) – The United States recorded 22 new measles cases last week, bringing the year’s total number of cases to 1,044 in the worst outbreak of the disease since 1992, federal health officials said on Monday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said here the number of cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease rose 2.2% in the week ended June 13 from the prior week. The 2019 outbreak, which has spread to 28 states, is the worst since 1992, when 2,126 cases were recorded.

Cancer patients share survivorship story, celebrate strength and self-care

To survive in his struggle against an aggressive form of prostate cancer, Bin McLaurin didn’t only have to overcome the disease attacking his body. He said he also had to toss out his long-held image of masculinity.

For years, even after he came to work for Cedars-Sinai in 2011, McLaurin accepted the notion that real men didn’t go to the doctor unless it was a clearcut emergency. He finally relented after moving into a research assistant job at the Smidt Heart Institute. As McLaurin, 51, explained, he felt hypocritical about encouraging people to take care of their health while he hadn’t gone for a physical in years.

In Combating Surprise Bills, Lawmakers Miss Sky-High Air Ambulance Costs

In April 2018, 9-year-old Christian Bolling was hiking with his parents and sister in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, near their home in Roanoke. While climbing some boulders, he lost his footing and fell down a rocky 20-foot drop, fracturing both bones in his lower left leg, his wrist, both sides of his nose and his skull.

A rescue squad carried him out of the woods, and a helicopter flew him to a pediatric hospital trauma unit in Roanoke.

WHO likely to declare Ebola an international emergency: experts

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) should and is likely to declare an international emergency over the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has now spread to Uganda, experts said as a WHO advisory panel met on Friday.

A health worker wearing Ebola protection gear enters the Biosecure Emergency Care Unit (CUBE) at the ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) Ebola treatment centre in Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, April 1, 2019. Picture taken April 1, 2019.REUTERS/Baz Ratner

WHO panel decides not to declare international Ebola emergency

GENEVA (Reuters) – A World Health Organization panel decided on Friday not to declare an international emergency over Congo’s Ebola outbreak despite its spread to Uganda this week, concluding such a declaration could cause too much economic harm.

Congo’s epidemic is the second worst ever, with 2,108 cases of Ebola and 1,411 deaths since last August. This week, it reached Uganda, where three cases were recorded, all in people who had arrived from Congo. Two of them died.

In a statement, the panel of 13 independent medical experts on the WHO’s Emergency Committee urged neighboring “at risk” countries to improve their preparedness for detecting and managing imported cases, “as Uganda has done”.