While we wait for the details on a long-term budget deal, we’re reading the latest on wellness, how our commute is (literally) killing us, the steps being taken to curb prescription drug costs, and much more.
- The Commonwealth Fund released a comprehensive roundup of ongoing efforts by states to address balance billing issues.
- The White House held a surprise medical billing round table this week as part of an initiative to investigate the issue for possible administrative action.
- After falling to the lowest levels ever measured, the U.S. uninsured rate has ticked up again to 13.7%, according to the latest estimates by Gallup’s National Health and Well-Being Index.
- The new Democratic House is slated to hold its first hearing on healthcare next week, with the Ways and Means committee looking into pre-existing conditions.
- The ongoing partial government shutdown could lead to higher health insurance premiums for some consumers and greater instability in the healthcare markets, according to Democrats.
- Recent polling shows that 56% of Americans support Medicare-for-All, with 67% in favor of it if it eliminated premiums and reduced out-of-pocket costs. But support plunges when the poll lays out other consequences of the program, including delayed treatment and higher taxes.
- While the White House’s prescription drug initiative has been slow to lower costs, there has been growing bipartisan support in Congress to tackle the issue, with Senate Republicans putting it high on their 2019 agenda.
- The New York Times looks at Medicare’s observation status requirement meant to deter hospital readmissions. NAHU is working with Congress on forthcoming bipartisan legislation that would help fix this issue for seniors impacted by unexpected costs.
- Adding to the growing list of wellness trackers available for smart devices, a tool in development may soon be able to track your sweat to measure if you’re properly hydrated, or potentially if there is a more serious underlying health concern.
- Your long commute might be slowly killing you, according to research that looks at the link of stress and being stuck in traffic.
- The Atlantic’s Gastropodcast looks at the limited scientific conclusions of the impact of artificial sweeteners and why it is so difficult to draw any conclusions on their effect on humans.