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Azar defends proposed HHS budget, Medicare cuts in House committee hearing

February 16, 2018

During House and Senate committee hearings, HHS Secretary Alex Azar outlines his priorities for the department, including improving health care access and affordability, transitioning toward value-based payment models, reducing prescription drug costs, and expanding coverage for telehealth services.

FDA approves first blood test to help diagnose concussions

February 16, 2018

Jeffrey Shuren, director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, says, "A blood test to aid in concussion evaluation is an important tool for the American public and for our servicemembers abroad who need access to quick and accurate tests."

Aetna pushes back against reports that medical directors do not review patient records

February 16, 2018

Aetna in a statement says its "medical directors review all necessary available medical information for cases that they are asked to evaluate," and a former medical director for the insurer says "certain misinterpretations" had arisen from his prior testimony on the insurers prior-authorizations practices.

Ryan calls for GOP to seek 'incremental' health care reforms

February 15, 2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he "think[s] the best chance" Republicans have at changing the U.S. health care system is to seek "incremental" reforms, since larger-scale reforms likely would not have enough support to pass in the Senate.

Walgreens reportedly in talks to acquire all of AmerisourceBergen

February 15, 2018

Walgreens Boots Alliance is in tentative talks to take full ownership of AmerisourceBergen, which is one of the largest drug distributors in the United States.

Tens of millions of US residents might have been exposed to unsafe drinking water, study finds

February 14, 2018

Researchers say between 3% and 10% of U.S. community water systems had health-based violations in a given year from 1982 to 2015, meaning between nine million and 45 million U.S. residents might have been exposed to unsafe drinking water each year over the 34-year period.

Ky. tests website for Medicaid beneficiaries to track hours under new work requirements

February 14, 2018

State officials say Medicaid beneficiaries affected by the state's new work requirements, which will take effect in July, will use the website to track their work, volunteer, or training hours, and that companies will be able to post job openings and volunteer opportunities on the site.

The health care provisions in Trump's budget proposal

February 13, 2018

President Trump's fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal requests $95.4 billion in discretionary HHS funding—with some federal health care agencies seeing budget increases and others seeing budget cuts when compared with FY 2017.

Orange juice sales soar as flu reaches 'pandemic' levels—but all that vitamin C won't help, experts say

February 13, 2018

Orange juice sales in the United States are spiking as CDC data shows the country is experiencing a particularly virulent influenza season, but experts say there is no evidence showing that the vitamin C contained in orange juice will help prevent the flu.

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