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July 30 – August 21, 2019

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to health care coverage in the United States that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

U.S. News and World Report: U.S. News Releases 30th Annual 2019-20 Best Hospitals Rankings

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings, today released the 2019-20 Best Hospitals rankings.

 

Kaiser Health News: Trump Administration Moves To Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Shopping around for the best deal on a medical X-ray or a new knee? The Trump administration has a plan for that.

 

The New York Times: Why Standing Often Feels Even Harder Than Running

Whether it’s waiting in line at amusement parks or airport security checkpoints, standing poses unique challenges to the human body.

 

STAT: Contrary To Some Public Health Advice, Fans May Be Safe To Use During Heat Waves

As heat waves occur more frequently around the world, many cities are coping with the heat by establishing cooling centers, urging residents to find air-conditioned public buildings, and handing out free bottles of water — but they caution people to avoid using fans when temperatures exceed the high 90s.

 

The Hill: Novartis CEO Says Organization Can 'Stand Proud' After Hiding Manipulated Data From FDA

Drug company Novartis is defending its decision to withhold information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about partially faulty data in its application for approval of a $2.1 million drug. 

 

WBUR: Despite Progress On Diabetes Treatments, Study Finds American Patient Health No Better

Recent progress on treatments for diabetes has not translated into better patient health nationwide, according to new research from Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

NPR: Air Pollution May Be As Harmful To Your Lungs As Smoking Cigarettes, Study Finds

Emphysema is considered a smoker's disease. But it turns out, exposure to air pollution may lead to the same changes in the lung that give rise to emphysema.

 

USA Today: Doctors Say Most Metrics Provided By Your Apple Watch, Fitbit Aren't Helpful To Them

It's clear that consumers love wearables and the information they provide – but do physicians?

 

 

The Associated Press: Million-Dollar Opioid Drug Ring Started Small, No. 2 Says

A man who prosecutors call the second-in-command of a multimillion-dollar online opioid drug ring said Thursday the operation started small, when he needed cash for student loans so he let his roommate sell his prescription Adderall.

 

CNN: CDC, State Health Officials Investigating Link Between Vaping And Severe Lung Disease

At least 15 states have identified more than 120 cases of lung disease or injury that could be linked to vaping, a CNN survey of state health departments has found.

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: UnitedHealthcare Awards $1.1 Million To Northeast Ohio Nonprofits

UnitedHealthcare is giving $1.1 million in grants to four Northeast Ohio nonprofits to improve access to health care, according to a news release.

 

The CT Mirror: State Launches Investigation Of E-Cigarette Manufacturer, Questions Health Claims

Connecticut will launch an investigation into the marketing practices of e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, state officials announced Wednesday.

 

MPR News: Data: Nearly 1 Billion Pain Pills Flooded Minnesota During Height Of Opioid Crisis

At the height of the opioid epidemic, enough prescription painkillers were distributed to Minnesota pharmacies for every state resident to have 156 pills, according to new government data made available by the Washington Post.

 

KCUR: Every Year, Half Of Missouri's Workers Who Care For The Developmentally Disabled Quit

Missouri workers providing care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities make less than a Walmart or Target worker, even after a pay increase that went into effect last month.

 

Georgia Health News: Health Plan Won’t Raise Rates Next Year For Teachers, State Employees

It’s the second straight time that these health benefit costs will remain the same from one year to the next for non-Medicare members.

 

Boston Globe: Tufts Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Are Combining

Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care shook up the state’s medical industry Wednesday, saying that they plan to merge to create an insurer serving 2.4 million people across New England.

 

Austin American-Statesman: Millions Of Texans Vulnerable To Surprise Medical Bills Despite Legislative Efforts

Millions of Texans will remain unprotected from surprise medical bills despite state lawmakers this year passing one of the nation’s most aggressive pieces of legislation to curb such bills.