Current Affordable Care Act News and Events

Current Affordable Care Act News and Events, Affordable Care Act News Articles.
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Material hardship taking a mental and physical toll on young adults during pandemic
Material hardship, such as not being able to pay bills, negatively affects both physical and mental health. This research brief examines how different types of material hardship (difficulty paying for food, bills, and health care) are associated with self-rated health, depression, sleep problems, and suicidal thoughts among U.S. young adults (ages 24-32). (2021-02-22)

Transit-oriented development causing displacement: study
Transit-oriented development--which concentrates high-density housing, commercial activities and public spaces around a rapid transit station--can both be a boon and a bane for communities, suggests a new UBC study. (2021-02-18)

Antibiotic could be repurposed and added to tuberculosis treatment arsenal
Research has found fidaxomicin, an antibiotic usually used to treat bowel infections, prevents growth of resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) in the lab. (2021-02-17)

Hide-and-seek can lead to higher drug prices
Pharmaceutical manufacturers and national authorities often negotiate secret rebates when determining drug prices. A UZH study shows that these rebate systems may hamper patient access to drugs. In the medium term, this practice can even lead to increasing drug prices. (2021-02-17)

Ophiura from Russky Island might make photodynamic therapy more affordable
An unusual biologically active porphyrin compound was isolated from seabed dweller Ophiura sarsii. The substance might be used as an affordable light-sensitive drug for innovative photodynamic therapy and for targeted treatment of triple-negative breast cancer and some other cancers. Researchers from the School of Biomedicine of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the University of Geneva reported the findings in Marine Drugs. (2021-02-08)

Cleaning Up the Mississippi River
Professor R. Eugene Turner reconstructed a 100-year record chronicling water quality trends in the lower Mississippi River by compiling water quality data collected from 1901 to 2019. The Mississippi River is the largest river in North America with about 30 million people living within its watershed. He tracked pH levels and concentrations of bacteria, oxygen, lead and sulphate in this new study. (2021-02-08)

CU offers plan for improving mental health care for resident physicians
A pilot program to offer mental health services offered resident physicians at the University of Colorado School of Medicine provides a model for confidential and affordable help, according to an article published today by the journal Academic Medicine. (2021-02-04)

Pioneering technique paves way for fast and cheap fabrication of rapid medical diagnostic tools
New technology developed by the University of Bristol has the potential to accelerate uptake and development of on-chip diagnostic techniques in parts of the world where rapid diagnoses are desperately needed to improve public health, mortality and morbidity. (2021-02-03)

Heightened immigration enforcement has troubling impact on US citizen children
Harsher immigration law enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement leads to decreased use of prenatal care for immigrant mothers and declines in birth weight, according to new Duke University research. In the study, published in PLoS ONE, researchers examine the effects of the federal 287(g) immigration program. (2021-02-03)

Focusing on field analysis
One potential approach to developing a low-cost portable microscopy system is to use transparent microspheres in combination with affordable low-magnification objective lenses to increase image resolution and sensitivity. (2021-01-27)

Medicaid expansion helps uncover undiagnosed HIV infections
Expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income individuals, was associated with a 13.9% increase in HIV diagnoses, says new research co-written by Dolores AlbarracĂ­n, a professor of psychology and of business administration at Illinois, and Bita Fayaz Farkhad, pictured, an economist and a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Illinois. (2021-01-26)

COVID-19 cases, deaths in US increase with higher income inequality
US counties with higher income inequality faced higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the first 200 days of the pandemic, according to a new study. Counties with higher proportions of Black or Hispanic residents also had higher rates. The findings, published by JAMA Network Open, were based on county-level data for all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lead author was Tim Liao, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. (2021-01-25)

NUST MISIS scientists develop fastest-ever quantum random number generator
An international research team has developed a fast and affordable quantum random number generator. The device created by scientists from NUST MISIS, Russian Quantum Center, University of Oxford, Goldsmiths, University of London and Freie Universität Berlin produces randomness at a rate of 8.05 gigabits per second, which makes it the fastest random number generator of its kind. The study has been published in Physical Review X. (2021-01-20)

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound
Although magnesium diboride (MgB2) is an interesting superconductor made from abundant materials, increasing its critical current density through easily accessible means has proven challenging. In a recent study, scientists form Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, used ultrasonication to turn cheap commercial boron into a fine powder. With it, bulk MgB2 with enhanced superconducting properties can be produced, paving the way to affordable superconducting magnets for medical and transportation applications. (2021-01-14)

New studies support blood test for early detection of Alzheimer's disease
In three recent publications in Molecular Psychiatry, Brain and JAMA Neurology researchers from the University of Gothenburg provide convincing evidence that an in-house developed blood test for Alzheimer's disease can detect the disease early and track its course, which has major implications for a potential use in clinical practice and treatment trials. (2021-01-13)

Endocrine Society recommends government negotiation and other policies to lower out-of-pocket costs
The Endocrine Society is calling on policymakers to include government negotiation as part of an overall strategy to reduce insulin prices in its updated position statement published today in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (2021-01-12)

North Carolina simplifies medicaid enrollment, improves coverage for pregnant women
North Carolina did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, which continued to put many low-income women at risk for losing health care coverage post partum. The state did comply with ACA standards for simplifying Medicaid enrollment. By automating the process and removing a stringent and often cumbersome financial assessment process, more low-income women qualified for full Medicaid and reduced the number of women who instead qualified for more limited benefits under the state's Medicaid for Pregnant Women program. (2021-01-12)

Primary care plays key role in managing COVID-19 in three Asian cities
Despite having some of the densest living spaces and the highest number of international visitors, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beijing have utilized their respective primary health care systems to keep their COVID-19 cases and deaths relatively low. (2021-01-12)

Fewer patient encounters drive decline in total primary care office visits
Despite seeing gains in insurance coverage for preventive health services under the Affordable Care Act, the US has seen a declining rate of primary care visits over the past fifteen years. Are fewer individuals seeing primary care physicians? (2021-01-12)

Astronomers agree: Universe is nearly 14 billion years old
From an observatory high above Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers have taken a new look at the oldest light in the universe. Their observations, plus a bit of cosmic geometry, suggest that the universe is 13.77 billion years old - give or take 40 million years. (2021-01-04)

OSU studies find Oregon's Medicaid expansion improved prenatal care access, birth outcomes
A pair of recent studies from Oregon State University found that Oregon's Medicaid expansion in 2014 has led to increased prenatal care among low-income women, as well as improved health outcomes for newborn babies. (2020-12-31)

Chest pain risk assessment may reduce treatment disparities
The use of a standardized tool for assessing the risk of serious outcomes in patients with chest pain was associated with women at high risk receiving comparable care to men, according to new research published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Care received by women at low and intermediate risk was consistent with current clinical recommendations. Men received more stress testing and were more likely to be hospitalized than women. (2020-12-23)

Child care facilities can be safe and are essential: new Case Western Reserve study
Child care programs can be safe within the context of low community transmission of COVID-19, according to research from Case Western Reserve University, based on data from child care programs throughout Ohio. The study took place from Aug. 15 to Nov. 20, during a timeframe of relatively low community transmission of COVID-19. The team found COVID-19 infection rates at child care programs have been low. (2020-12-21)

Just what the doctor ordered: Mental health and wellness apps
Kaiser Permanente physicians and therapists now have the ability to refer their patients to evidenced-based mental health and wellness apps through the organization's electronic health record system. With a simple referral to an app, Kaiser Permanente patients can begin using it on their own or under the guidance of a clinician -- at no cost. (2020-12-16)

Report identifies critical gaps and research opportunities for improved cancer care
A new report finds that despite progress in the decline of cancer mortality, there are still critical gaps including the need to develop better tools and explore research opportunities that would lead to limiting cancer as a major health concern. (2020-12-16)

Nanoengineered cement shows promise for sealing leaky gas wells
Leaking natural gas wells are considered a potential source of methane emissions, and a new nanomaterial cement mixture could provide an effective, affordable solution for sealing these wells, according to a team of Penn State scientists. (2020-12-14)

Racial disparities in stage of breast cancer diagnosis
Minority women and women in general aged 50-64 in Pennsylvania showed an increased proportion of early-stage breast cancer diagnosis since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, more women are able to get early breast health screening. (2020-12-09)

Survey: COVID-19 prevention top concern of home-care agencies
Tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents depend on home care to support their health as they age or cope with physical challenges. That care often requires close personal contact, increasing the risk of contracting COVID-19 among both home-care clients and the aides who provide their care. (2020-12-08)

Integrated anemia-SCD test demonstrates accurate results in study at 2020 ASH meeting
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University presented research today in which Hemex Health's affordable Gazelle platform diagnostic technology successfully tested 46 patients with 100% sensitivity and over 92.3% specificity for anemia and with 100% accuracy for hemoglobin variants. The preliminary study included blood samples collected from Cleveland-area patients studied for anemia and sickle cell disease. (2020-12-05)

Secukinumab in children with plaque psoriasis: Study unsuitable for benefit assessment
Secukinumab in children with plaque psoriasis: study unsuitable for benefit assessment The comparator group was not treated appropriately. Firstly, therapy in this group remained unchanged despite non-response, and secondly, it was continued for longer than approved. (2020-12-04)

For people with diabetes, medicaid expansion helps, but can't do it all: BU study
Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act has insured millions of low-income people in the United States, improving outcomes for patients with many different diseases. But expansion alone has not been enough to improve outcomes for patients with diabetes, according to a new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study. (2020-11-24)

Medicaid expansion may result in earlier diagnosis of colon cancer
The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion for low-income people appears to lead to earlier diagnosis of colon cancer, enhanced access to care, and improved surgical care for patients with this common cancer. (2020-11-23)

U.S. should look at how other high-income countries regulate health care costs
Structuring negotiations between insurers and providers, standardizing fee-for-service payments and negotiating prices can lower the United States' health care spending by slowing the rate at which healthcare prices increase, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-11-22)

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth. In a study published in Birth, researchers evaluated the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of the new Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers in six countries. (2020-11-20)

New tool helps predict outcomes for COVID-19
A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine this month reports on an assessment tool developed by Kaiser Permanente researchers and physicians that helps ensure patients get the right care, when they need it, by accurately predicting the probability that patients with COVID-19 symptoms will experience severe disease or even death. (2020-11-20)

More than 1.1 million deaths among Medicare recipients due to high cost of drugs
WASHINGTON, DC and SAN DIEGO, CA - Nov. 19, 2020 - More than 1.1 million Medicare patients could die over the next decade because they cannot afford to pay for their prescription medications, according to a new study released today by the West Health Policy Center, a nonprofit and nonpartisan policy research group and Xcenda, the research arm of the drug distributor AmerisourceBergen. (2020-11-19)

Engineered immune cells elicit broad response to HIV in mice, offering hope for vaccine
Unlike so many other deadly viruses, HIV still lacks a vaccine. The virus has proven especially tricky to prevent with conventional antibodies, in part because it evolves so rapidly in the body. A solution would require coaxing the body into producing a special type of antibody that can act broadly to defeat multiple strains of the virus at once. Scientists at Scripps Research moved closer to attaining that goal with an approach that would rely on genetically engineered immune cells from the patient's body. (2020-11-19)

Most Medicare beneficiaries say they don't receive cognitive assessments
In a survey of Medicare beneficiaries, approximately one-half reported having an annual wellness visit, but only about a quarter of total respondents reported receiving a structured cognitive assessment at an annual wellness visit, even though, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), detection of cognitive impairment is a required component of the visit. (2020-11-13)

Increased early-stage cancer diagnoses tied to ACA's Medicaid expansion, Pitt study finds
The study showed that health insurance expansions increased early-stage cancer diagnoses, while rates of late-stage cancer decreased. (2020-11-12)

EMS dispatches for asthma greatly reduced after expanded access to health insurance
The expansion of health insurance in New York City under the Affordable Care Act resulted in a significant reduction in the dispatch of ambulances for asthma emergencies, a study by Massachusetts General Hospital has found. Researchers suggest that the reason for this decline is improved access to outpatient management of asthma. The finding has major implications for the broader public health system. (2020-11-11)

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