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Genetic testing, risk factor assessment could improve prevention strategies for breast cancer

Genetic testing, risk factor assessment could improve prevention strategies for breast cancer

Scientists used mathematical models to show that analysing genetic data, alongside a range of other risk factors, could substantially improve the ability to flag up women at highest risk of developing breast cancer. [More]
Mylan announces U.S. launch of generic Loestrin 24 Fe

Mylan announces U.S. launch of generic Loestrin 24 Fe

Mylan Inc. today announced the U.S. launch of its Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, 1 mg/0.02 mg and Ferrous Fumarate, which is the generic version of Warner Chilcott's Loestrin 24 Fe. [More]
UMass Amherst epidemiologist investigates risk of early menopause

UMass Amherst epidemiologist investigates risk of early menopause

The estimated 10 percent of women in Western nations who enter menopause before age 45 have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as lower fertility. Now epidemiologist Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is conducting the first large study to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency, inflammatory factors, hormones and other factors are associated with risk of early menopause, funded by NIH. [More]
Population Council to present research on novel approaches to HIV prevention at HIV R4P 2014

Population Council to present research on novel approaches to HIV prevention at HIV R4P 2014

The Population Council will present new research on novel approaches to HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy prevention at the HIV Research for Prevention Conference, (HIV R4P) in Cape Town, South Africa. HIV R4P, which runs 28–31 October, is the first global scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to research on biomedical HIV prevention. [More]
New book offers advice on how to meet contraceptive needs of women with chronic medical problems

New book offers advice on how to meet contraceptive needs of women with chronic medical problems

Women with chronic medical conditions can be at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and therefore require specialized preconception and contraceptive care and counseling. However, many medical providers are hesitant to prescribe contraception to these women due to concerns about the safety of various contraceptives with co-existing medical disorders. [More]
State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

Health insurance policies in California will have to cover all federally approved contraceptives for women by 2016 without charging co-payments under legislation signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, countering trends in other states and the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill, SB1053 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, expands state laws that required coverage for most birth-control drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new law mandates coverage for all FDA-approved contraception, prohibits co-payments and includes managed-care Medi-Cal plans, which are not expressly covered by current laws (Egelko, 9/27). [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

In a blow to tens of thousands of low-income Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have limited the state's seizure of assets from their estates after they die -- a legal wrinkle that most only discovered after they had signed up for the health care plan for the poor (Seipel, 9/25). [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

States around the country are taking advantage of a once little-used policy that allows them to bill Medicaid for the healthcare expenses of prisoners who leave a correctional institution for treatment. Since 1997, states have been allowed to bill Medicaid for the care of inmates who required treatment at a hospital or nursing facility for longer than 24 hours. The provision has drawn new attention this year as millions of Americans, including those serving time in correctional institutions, have become newly eligible for Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Dickson, 9/23). [More]
Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Federal officials warned in April that the tool, called a morcellator, can spread undetected cancer. [More]
Many see health law coverage as affordable, survey finds

Many see health law coverage as affordable, survey finds

That's most true among low-income consumers who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums, according to the Commonwealth Fund survey. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]
Missouri sets 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions

Missouri sets 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions

The Republican-controlled legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto to enact one of the most stringent waiting periods in the nation that includes no exception for cases of rape or incest. [More]
USFDA clears Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States

USFDA clears Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has cleared the Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States, bringing women one step closer to a new option for safe and effective non-hormonal contraception. [More]
State highlights: Officials say Medi-Cal autism coverage details still emerging; Ill. Attorney General presses for video cameras in nursing homes

State highlights: Officials say Medi-Cal autism coverage details still emerging; Ill. Attorney General presses for video cameras in nursing homes

At the first stakeholder meeting last week to review California's new autism Medi-Cal coverage, state health officials said many details have yet to be worked out. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. [More]

Over-the-counter birth control issue finds its way into midterm election debates

Some Republican Senate candidates have expressed support for allowing certain types of contraception to be sold without a prescription. Critics say it is part of a strategy to "muddy the waters" regarding the Hobby Lobby case. [More]
First Edition: September 3, 2014

First Edition: September 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how insurers and consumers are bracing for round two as the health law's online insurance marketplaces prepare for open enrollment season. [More]
Who is exempt from health law's mandate to have insurance?

Who is exempt from health law's mandate to have insurance?

The Miami Herald looks at the religious groups that pool their money to pay medical expenses and whose members are therefore exempt from the law's requirement to carry insurance. [More]

Some nonprofits opposing contraceptive coverage appear unswayed by new rule

Catholic bishops and other conservative groups suggest the accommodations do not satisfy their concerns. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [More]

Religious employers are offered fix on birth control coverage

News outlets report that the regulations, expected to be published later today, will allow religious nonprofits -- and perhaps later religious business owners -- to notify the government that they object to providing contraception coverage. Federal officials would then arrange for the workers' insurance. [More]