Association Insurance Pushes On Despite Court Ruling

When the Trump administration in June issued rules making it easier for small employers to band together to buy health insurance, “we started looking immediately,” recalled Scott Lyon, a top executive at the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Although he offered traditional small-group health insurance to his association’s employees and members, Lyon liked adding a new option for both: potentially less expensive coverage through an association health plan, which doesn’t have to meet all the rules of the Affordable Care Act.

Bausch Health’s lotion for plaque psoriasis wins FDA approval

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Bausch Health Companies Inc’s topical plaque psoriasis treatment, which is expected to be a key revenue driver for the company.

Duobrii, which is priced at $825 for a 100-gram tube, is 50 percent lower than other branded topical treatments, the company said. It is expected to be available in the United States in June.

U.S.-listed shares of the company, formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, rose 3.5 percent to $23.82.

Burdened at home, some physician mothers consider career change

(Reuters Health) – Like many working mothers, female physicians with kids often handle most housework and childcare duties, and the high burden of domestic duties prompts some to consider a career change, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data from an online survey of 1,712 female physicians with children who were working in U.S. hospitals in April and May of 2015. All of the women were members of the web-based Physician Moms Group.

Most participants were partnered or married, and most reported having sole responsibility for the majority of domestic tasks regardless of the type of medicine they practiced.

Americans Overwhelmingly Want Federal Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

Three-quarters of the public — including a majority of Republicans — want the federal government to protect patients from being stuck with surprise medical invoices after they are unwittingly treated by doctors or medical facilities that are out of their insurance network, a poll released Wednesday found.

These unexpected bills, which can be financially crippling, may arise when a patient is taken to the emergency room by an out-of-network ambulance; when the emergency room is not in their insurer’s network; or when their hospital is in their network, but a doctor or specialist within that facility who treats them is not.

In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care

In 10 years, more than half of middle-income Americans age 75 or older will not be able to afford to pay for yearly assisted living rent or medical expenses, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

The researchers used demographic and income data to project estimates of a portion of the senior population, those who will be 75 or older in 2029, with a focus on those in the middle-income range — currently $25,001 to $74,298 per year for those ages 75 to 84.

Medically-tailored meal delivery tied to lower health spending

(Reuters Health) – Low-income people with chronic diseases who get free meals delivered that are tailored to their medical needs are less likely to be admitted to hospitals or nursing homes, a study in Massachusetts suggests.

Researchers followed 499 patients who had at least one year of weekly deliveries of 10 ready-to-eat meals customized to their specific health conditions. The study team also followed 521 individuals who had similar medical issues and other characteristics but didn’t receive the meals.

Overall, there were 1,242 inpatient hospital admissions and 1,213 skilled-nursing facility admissions during the study period.

Trump says he is holding big Pharma accountable in opioid fight

ATLANTA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump touted progress in the fight against opioid abuse on Wednesday and promised to hold drugmakers accountable for their part in the crisis, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

America’s opioid epidemic, especially damaging in rural areas where Trump is popular, has been a focus for the Republican president.

Cancer Is Especially Dangerous For Immigrants In South Texas. Here’s Why.

McALLEN, Texas — Edgar carries a red folder bulging with paperwork, bills and medical records. Before his lung cancer diagnosis in September, he had about $11,000, he said, money he was saving to purchase a used truck and to pay an immigration attorney to pursue legal residency.

By February, it was gone, and Edgar was relying on friends and family to cover doctor appointments, food and other basics. His treatment had been complicated by a collapsed lung.

U.S. brings first criminal case against major drug distributor over opioids

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Tuesday filed its first criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives over their alleged roles in fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic by putting profits ahead of patients’ safety.

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Department of Justice building is seen ahead of the release of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc (RDC), one of the 10 largest U.S. drug distributors, agreed to pay a $20 million fine and enter a five-year deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges it turned a blind eye to thousands of suspicious orders for opioids.

Walgreens to restrict tobacco product sales to customers under 21 years

FILE PHOTO: A sign rests on a counter at a Walgreens pharmacy store in Austin, TX, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

(Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Tuesday its drugstores will sell tobacco products to customers who are at least 21 years old under a new policy, effective September.

In the face of an “epidemic” rise in tobacco products use among middle and high school students, the U.S. health regulator has been introducing new policies to restrict teen access to such products.