Health and Human Services News and Research RSS Feed - Health and Human Services News and Research

NIH challenges innovators to compete for prizes by developing new ways to track a single cell

NIH challenges innovators to compete for prizes by developing new ways to track a single cell

The National Institutes of Health is challenging science innovators to compete for prizes totaling up to $500,000, by developing new ways to track the health status of a single cell in complex tissue over time. [More]
NIH-funded study explores how thalamic reticular nucleus influences consciousness

NIH-funded study explores how thalamic reticular nucleus influences consciousness

Ever wonder why it's hard to focus after a bad night's sleep? Using mice and flashes of light, scientists show that just a few nerve cells in the brain may control the switch between internal thoughts and external distractions. [More]
State highlights: TB outbreak in Alabama prisons; court order could force Wash. hospitals to release many psychiatric patients

State highlights: TB outbreak in Alabama prisons; court order could force Wash. hospitals to release many psychiatric patients

Alabama's prison system, badly overcrowded and facing a lawsuit over medical treatment of inmates, is facing its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years, a health official said Thursday. Pam Barrett, director of tuberculosis control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said medical officials have diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons so far this year (8/14). [More]
Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the Department of Health and Human Services has taken steps to prevent its contractors from conducting certain duplicative postpayment claims reviews-;reviews of the same claims that are not permitted by the agency-;but CMS neither has reliable data nor provides sufficient oversight and guidance to measure and fully prevent duplication. [More]
Cops, computer analysts hunt for Medicare fraud

Cops, computer analysts hunt for Medicare fraud

The Wall Street Journal looks closely at the work of the Medicare Strike Force, which includes FBI agents and CMS workers. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office finds Medicare audit contractors may hammer hospitals with multiple reviews of the same payment claims. [More]

Calif.'s Medicaid expansion brings renewed concerns about pay for doctors

Some advocates fear that state efforts to cut payments to doctors and other providers will make it hard for new enrollees to get care. Also, committees in Texas and Idaho look at ways to expand care for low-income residents. [More]
First Edition: August 15, 2014

First Edition: August 15, 2014

Today's headlines include a variety of updates regarding health policy and the health care marketplace. [More]
The rush is on: Process immigrant paperwork to keep them insured

The rush is on: Process immigrant paperwork to keep them insured

The Wall Street Journal reports on reaction to the Obama administration's announcement that coverage would be cut off for as many as 310,000 people if they don't prove they are citizens or legal residents by Sept. 5. Other news outlets offer local takes on the issue. [More]
Longer looks: A sugar cube pyramid; Obamacare's successes; the suicide checklist

Longer looks: A sugar cube pyramid; Obamacare's successes; the suicide checklist

Dean Angstadt, a 57-year-old, self-employed logger, said that the Affordable Care Act saved his life. ... Kathy Bentozi, a 58-year-old Pennsylvanian, is also thankful for Obamacare. ... Joshua Haymore, a 27-year-old Coloradan, could not get a specialist to see him for weeks last year ... Now that he has Medicaid, his prescriptions cost $3 and his health has improved significantly. Those are just three of thousands of good-news stories coming from the insurance expansion in the Affordable Care Act. ... But there is scant evidence that Americans have started to take notice, or care (Annie Lowrey, 8/13). [More]
Texas lawmakers explore market-based alternatives to Medicaid

Texas lawmakers explore market-based alternatives to Medicaid

A legislative committee is examining market-based alternatives to providing low-income Texans with health care since the state has rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Members of the state Senate Health and Human Services committee plan Thursday to discuss alternatives to the law critics call "Obamacare" (Weissert, 8/14). [More]
Ebola virus disease poses new challenges for healthcare professionals

Ebola virus disease poses new challenges for healthcare professionals

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in West Africa this year poses a serious, ongoing threat to that region: the spread to capital cities and Nigeria-Africa's most populous nation-presents new challenges for healthcare professionals. [More]
State highlights: Fed. judge in Ore. rules health plan wrongly denied autism coverage; new rules could disrupt care for disabled Kansans

State highlights: Fed. judge in Ore. rules health plan wrongly denied autism coverage; new rules could disrupt care for disabled Kansans

In a potentially far-reaching opinion, a federal judge in Portland has ruled that Providence Health Plan wrongfully denied insurance coverage for groundbreaking autism therapy for two Portland boys. [More]

Unresolved citizenship, immigration status threaten health law coverage for 310,000 people

The federal government has mailed notification to the people in three dozen states. These people have until Sept. 5 to present green cards, citizenship documents or other information to prove their eligibility for health insurance purchased through the online insurance marketplace. [More]
Healthy men participating in Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial are most likely to undergo biopsy

Healthy men participating in Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial are most likely to undergo biopsy

Healthy men participating in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial who actively participate in all steps of the clinical trial are most likely to undergo a biopsy, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention - a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. [More]
Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign improves high blood pressure control in 205,000 patients

Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign improves high blood pressure control in 205,000 patients

Medical groups participating in Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a national hypertension campaign, improved detection or control of high blood pressure for 205,000 Americans living with the disease in the first 12 months of the campaign, the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) announced today. [More]

Feds say Texas responsible for unnecessary Medicaid spending

Texas is "ultimately responsible" for millions of misspent Medicaid dollars, according to a new federal audit, because a state agency failed to properly oversee the contractor that reviewed the medical necessity of Medicaid claims. [More]
State highlights: Mo. drops many from Medicaid; Mich. Medicaid shift savings

State highlights: Mo. drops many from Medicaid; Mich. Medicaid shift savings

A selection of health policy stories from Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Minnesota. [More]
Bioengineers create 3D brain-like tissue to study chemical and electrical changes

Bioengineers create 3D brain-like tissue to study chemical and electrical changes

Bioengineers have created three-dimensional brain-like tissue that functions like and has structural features similar to tissue in the rat brain and that can be kept alive in the lab for more than two months. [More]

Medicaid, CHIP enrollments top 7 million

The Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that 7.2 million people gained insurance through these programs since the health law's eligibility changes began last October. In addition, Arkansas and New Hampshire offer snapshots of their states' enrollment pictures, while Kansas and Missouri hospitals brace for the price of state decisions not to expand the low-income health insurance program. [More]

Health law funds new search for health care improvements

News outlets report on aspects of the health law designed to foster and test innovation in the nation's health care delivery system. [More]