Legislation To Improve Mental Health Care For Millions Faces Congressional Vote

Efforts to strengthen the country’s tattered mental health system, and help millions of Americans suffering from mental illness, are getting a big boost this week, thanks to a massive health care package moving through Congress.

Key provisions from a mental health bill approved last summer by the House of Representatives have been folded into the $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act, which aims to speed up drug development and increase medical research. The act also would provide $1 billion in the next two years for prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.

Need Pricey Drugs From An Obamacare Plan? You’ll Shoulder More Of The Cost

Substantially more health plans on the federal insurance marketplaces require consumers next year to pay a hefty portion of the cost of the most expensive drugs, changes that analysts say are intended to deter persistently ill patients from choosing their policies.

The class of medicines known as specialty drugs often treat chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, hemophilia, some cancers and hepatitis C. Individual doses can be priced at more than $600. Many newer medicines cost $5,000 to $10,000 a month. That means patients with even a small cost-sharing requirement have to come up with thousands of dollars. For many patients there are no cheaper and equally effective alternatives.

Egypt reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in wild birds: OIE


Egypt reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in two wild birds in the northern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from the Egyptian farm ministry.

Two common coots were found dead in Damietta during routine epidemiological surveillance activity, the Egyptian authorities said in the report.


(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Gus Trompiz)

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Alzheimer's Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

News Picture: Alzheimer's Protein Plaques May Also Harm the HeartBy Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Alzheimers News

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Protein fragments that form plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients might also stiffen their heart muscle and increase their risk of heart failure, a new study reports.

The protein fragments are called amyloid beta. Tests of heart tissue samples revealed that the hearts of Alzheimer’s patients had increased levels of amyloid beta, the study showed.

Caregivers need help too

Are you caring for an aged, seriously ill or disabled family member? If so, you’re one of about 44 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness, disability, or frailty. Family caregivers provide an average of 20 hours of care per week – when you’re the caregiver, that can make it hard for you to care for yourself.

If you’re caring for someone, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Make sure your loved one’s Medicare coverage still meets their needs.  Medicare Open Enrollment is from now until December 7, and it’s important to take a few minutes to review coverage and pick a plan that works for your loved one.

Medicare Open Enrollment: time is running out

“To do” lists are very helpful during this hectic time of year. If something important isn’t written down, it’s easy to forget. If you still haven’t crossed off “Compare Medicare coverage” from your “to do” list, time is running out!

Medicare Open Enrollment ends next week on December 7. To help you sort through your choices, try using the Medicare Plan Finder. You can review the plan options in your area and decide the best mix of benefits and costs that meets your needs and budget.

TUM scientists uncover molecular mechanisms of inhibitors that can selectively thwart immunoproteasome

The immunoproteasome dismantles proteins and the resulting fragments are displayed on the surface of cells. This helps the immune system to recognize abnormal cells. However, in chronic inflammations and autoimmune diseases this “information channel” is overactive. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have determined the molecular mechanisms of inhibitors that can selectively thwart the human immunoproteasome – important insights for the targeted development of new drugs.

Structure of the immunoproteasome – colored: potential sites for selective blockade of the immunoproteasome – Image: Eva Huber / Michael Groll / TUM

Price’s Appointment Boosts GOP Plans To Overhaul Medicare And Medicaid

President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services signals that the new administration is all-in on both efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and restructure Medicare and Medicaid.

Price, a Georgia Republican who currently chairs the House Budget Committee, was among the first to suggest that not just the ACA but also Medicare are on the near-term agenda for newly empowered Republicans.

Deadly Infections Linked To Heart Surgery Device Highlight Holes In FDA Monitoring

At first, Vincent Karst, 55, was recovering well from his open-heart surgery in March 2015.

He resumed the activities he enjoyed, such as visiting car shows and eating out. But some months later, his condition mysteriously deteriorated. By fall he was so short of breath, nauseated and overwhelmed by fatigue that he needed to be rehospitalized in York, Pa.

There, doctors diagnosed a new problem: a serious mycobacterial infection that was acquired during his surgery, according to his subsequent lawsuit. Aggressive treatment with antibiotics left him with partial hearing and vision loss.