The Rundown | Week of 3.26.2018

Est. Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Busy provider looking for healthcare news? Check out The Rundown.

Flu Season, Be Gone!

It has been a long and bumpy ride but medical experts have said that the worst of the flu season this year is over. There has been a 21 percent decrease in flu-like symptoms across America. This flu season started off with an early hit of the H3N2 strain in November of 2017 and the Center for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) noted a sharp increase in the months between December 2017 and February 2018.
“It was a very busy flu season, no doubt about that. We’re hoping to move on with the worst of it behind us,” said Brandon Greiner, a physician assistant with MedExpress. Greiner also noted how almost every day they were dealing with patients showing a fever, chills, and body aches. It took about a week on average for a patient to recover from the flu.
>> Read more: Physician, CDC: Worst of flu season behind us

High Costs are Making Baby Boomers and Gen X Miss Out On Healthcare

America’s high healthcare costs are resulting in many skipping their doctor’s appointments. According to a new survey from the West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, there is a troubling amount of older Americans who went without healthcare last year due to the cost. Around 50 percent of Americans who are 45 to 59 did not seek healthcare in fear of the high costs. Dr. Zia Agha, the Chief Medical Officer at the West Health Institute said, “80 percent of the people we surveyed had health insurance, so just having insurance does not make you immune to healthcare costs.”
The West Health Institute is a non-profit applied medical research organization in California and NORC at the University of Chicago is a nonpartisan research institution. The two interviewed 1,302 adults for this survey.
>> Read more:  Boomers and Gen Xers Skipping Health Care Due to Cost

Health Insurance Premiums to Spike before November Midterm Election

It is likely we will see health insurance premiums jump before the midterm elections in November, as Congress has not provided the right amount of federal funding to support the insurance exchanges. Unable to agree on details, the push for $1.3 trillion in funding was signed on Friday but never made it past that. The two have failed to come to a compromise as Republicans and Democrats continue to debate over restrictions around abortion.
>> Read more: Health-Insurance Premiums Loom as Election Issue

Study Suggests Teenage Boys Are Not Being Offered HPV Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that it is best for all those ages 11 to 12 receive the human papillomavirus (HPV)  vaccine in order to reduce risk of infection. HPV is known to be associated with cervical, vaginal, anal, and throat cancers. According to a new study, healthcare professionals may be potentially putting teenage boys  at risk of cancer, by not routinely offering the vaccine.
In 2016, around 65 percent of girls were given the vaccine while their counterpart had only 56 percent. The survey aimed to find the reason why by asking parents as to why their child did not receive the vaccine. Around 20 percent of parents who have a boy stated that their health care provider never recommended the vaccine compared to the 10 percent of girls’ parents.
>> Read more: Health care providers less likely to offer HPV vaccination to teenage boys, study suggests

Prisons in America Are a Big Player in the Opioid Epidemic

Rhode Island has implemented a new method of treating opioid addiction in prisons, through providing three new medications, buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone, for the addiction to inmates within the facilities. Research has shown that these three medications reduce the mortality rate among opioid addiction patients by half or more.
Most states do not offer any program that would provide assistance to those with an opioid addiction and this can often result in overdose deaths. One of the biggest concerns is when someone is released from prison, facing so many stressors and having a large burden of going back to their normal environment, can result in cravings and relapses.
>> Read more: How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic

Are you interested in finding out more about Privia+?