Washington Health Exchange Plans Double; Average Rates Rise 1.9%

Washington-health-exchange-plans-doubleConsumers in Washington state will have more choices in health plans next year and at rates lower than initially proposed, according to information made public by the state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The office has approved Continue reading

Cincinnati to Cover Employee Gender Reassignment Surgery

cinCincinnati will offer coverage for medically necessary transgender procedures under its employee health care plans beginning in 2015, according to city officials.

Interim City Manager Continue reading

To Protect Your Heart, Your Sodium to Potassium Ratio Is More Important Than Your Overall Salt Intake

saltStory at-a-glance 

Research has again failed to find strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces your risk for heart-related death

One observational study found that while higher sodium levels correlate with an increased risk for Continue reading

Phthalates: New Study Finds Common Chemicals May Lower Testosterone Levels

tesStory at-a-glance 

A new study found reduced levels of circulating testosterone were associated with increased phthalate exposure in several key populations, including a 24-34 percent decline in testosterone levels in boys aged 6 to 12 Continue reading

Judge: Iowa Medical Board Can Bar Telemedicine for Abortion Care

gavOn Tuesday, an Iowa judge ruled that the state Board of Medicine has the authority to ban the administration of medication abortion drugs via a telemedicine system, Bloomberg reports.

HealthCare.gov to Be Run by Connecticut Exchange Leader

kevinKevin Counihan, who had served as the head of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, was named the first CEO of Healthcare.gov on Tuesday.

The leader of one of the most successful state-based insurance exchanges will head to Washington to become CEO of the federal marketplace. The CMS named Connecticut’s Kevin Counihan to the newly created post on Tuesday.

His appointment is the first step Continue reading

Vitamin D for Depression, Dementia, and Diabetes

ddddStory at-a-glance 

Vitamin D can improve a number of brain disorders, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease

Seniors with severe vitamin D deficiency may raise their risk for dementia by 125 percent Continue reading

Should You Throw Away Your Pillows?

pillowsStory at-a-glance 

Use the folding test to determine if your pillow needs to be replaced: fold your pillow in half, and if it stays folded instead of springing back into shape, it’s time to find a new one

Other sleep experts Continue reading

Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of August 22, 2014

itMedAssets, a medical technology and consulting firm, has acquired Sg2, a health care analytics provider, for $142 million.

Listrunner, a developer of mobile applications for physicians, has raised $500,000 from undisclosed investors…Atonarp, Continue reading

Entrepreneurs Set Sights on Self-Insured Market

entrepreneurAs more companies migrate to self-funding, insurers are trying to meet demand with better outsourced management and new stop loss products. But a few startups with radical ideas are trying to beat them, offering new services to capitalize on frustration with the status quo. Continue reading

Connecting the Dots Between Pollution, Global Hunger, and Water Scarcity

scStory at-a-glance 

Industrial agriculture has removed massive amounts of valuable carbon from land, transferring it into air and water

Soils can hold vast amounts of carbon, and it can sequester it Continue reading

Best-Selling Toothpaste Contains Hazardous Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical

colgateStory at-a-glance 

Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical used in a wide variety of consumer products. Despite the pervasive use of this chemical, troubling questions linger about its potentially harmful effects, especially for children Continue reading

CMS to launch Medicare Set-Aside Calculator for Prescription Drug Costs

calThe U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to launch an online tool allowing workers compensation claim payers to determine how much money should be allocated for prescription drugs in Medicare set-aside accounts.

The CMS Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Portal Continue reading

In-Depth: Q2 2014 Digital Health State of the Industry

growThe second quarter of the year is oftentimes a slow one as the summer months approach, but Q2 2014 was surprisingly busy for digital health on all fronts. Investment dollars are up. FDA clearances averaged two per month and a surprising FDA deregulation proposal dropped during the quarter, too. M&A was even stronger than it was Continue reading

Unlocking France’s Secrets to Raw Cheese

rcStory at-a-glance 

In France, traditional cheese makers strive to understand the microbial communities in raw milk, and thereby in their cheese, in order to harness the natural power of beneficial microbes to keep the bad ones in check

A campaign is underway to have a technical French government manual on cheese microbiology translated into English

This “Holy Grail” Continue reading