April 2015 Highlights
CMS finalizes 2016 payment and policy updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Prescription Drug program changes for 2016 that provide fair and accurate payments to plans, and encourage the delivery of high-quality care for all populations. “These policies strengthen Medicare Advantage for current and future consumers by encouraging higher quality care,” said Andy Slavitt, acting CMS Administrator. “As the Medicare Advantage marketplace continues to grow, consumers are getting access to better care through more choice and competition. Seniors and people with disabilities, including the dual-eligible population, will continue to have an extensive choice of plans, affordable premiums, and better and more transparent information about provider networks and pharmacies... Full Article ”
The Secret to Longevity:
The world's oldest person, an Arkansas woman named Gertrude Weaver, died at age 116 on Monday, according to news reports. Weaver had something in common with the woman who now holds the title of the world's oldest person: both attributed their longevity to exercise, as well as a compassionate spirit.Weaver held the title of the world's oldest person for only five days, after Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman who lived to be 117, died last Wednesday (April 1). Weaver was born on the Fourth of July in 1898, and died Monday due to complications from pneumonia, Arkansas station KATV reported... Full Article
Improvements in Palliative Care Abroad:
Two forms of oral morphine have been registered and approved in Kyrgyzstan, where previously only injectable morphine has been available. The first shipment of the medication is being stored at the importer’s warehouse in Bishkek awaiting testing, which normally takes three weeks. Once the testing is completed, the tablets will be available to those pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals qualified and wishing to purchase it... Full Article
Two Formulations of Oral Morphine
Drug Resistant Stomach Bug Increasing in US
Americans who travel abroad are bringing back a drug-resistant stomach bug. The bacteria caused several outbreaks in the United States in the past year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria, called Shigella sonnei, can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever and is typically treated with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. But between May 2014 and February 2015, there were 243 cases of Shigella sonnei in 32 states, and the vast majority were resistant to ciprofloxacin, the report found... Full Article
Shigella sonnei is the etiologic agent of Shigellosis.
Alzheimer's Warning Signs
For people of a certain age, it’s not uncommon to seize on any forgetfulness as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Lose the car keys, forget a name, read a Top 10 list of dementia’s warning signs and the worry begins. “Even more epidemic than Alzheimer’s itself is the fear of Alzheimer’s,” said Richard Lipton, who heads the Einstein Aging Study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. So in an attempt to offer some perspective, here’s another list... Full Article
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