RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 02/09/2016

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Candidates' Drug-Price Plans May Miss The Mark
Julie Rovner, KHN
Most of the people running for president say they want to do something about the rising cost of prescription drugs. But most of their proposals probably won’t work because they don’t address the dynamics behind these price increases.

Proof Needed to Enroll in Health Plan Post-Deadline
Robert Pear, NYT
People who want to buy health insurance in the federal marketplace outside the annual open enrollment period will now have to provide documents to show they are eligible, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday.

Hospitals Aren't Gaming Readmissions, HHS Says
Sabriya Rice, Mod HC
Readmission rates dropped significantly for more than 3,300 U.S. hospitals between 2007 and 2015. A small increase in the number of Medicare observation claims was also seen at that time. But researchers say the changes in observation stays can't account for the drops in readmission rates.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies believe it’s important to take medications as directed by your doctor for the best health and safety. Learn more.

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Daschle on State Innovation and Federal Waivers
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle talked to RealClearHealth about what the federal government can do to encourage state innovation in the implementation of the 2010 health law.

Major New Steps in Precision Medicine Initiative
Caitlin Owens, MC
The White House on Thursday will announce new actions to accelerate its Precision Medicine Initiative, including building a national research participant group. The initiative is geared toward finding medical treatments that are tailored to an individual’s unique health history, genes, environment and lifestyle. On Thursday the White House is holding a Precision Medicine Initiative Summit, where announcements about progress and new efforts will be made.

Burwell Admits Abortion Law Inquiry Too Slow
Peter Sullivan, The Hill
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell acknowledged Wednesday that the administration has not moved fast enough in investigating an alleged violation of abortion law. Burwell was questioned at a congressional hearing Wednesday about a California state agency’s decision in 2014 to require all health insurance plans in the state to cover abortions, which Republicans say is a clear violation of the federal Weldon Amendment, protecting insurance plans from discrimination if they decline to cover abortions.

Variation in Compounding Pharmacy Oversight
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot
Amid ongoing safety concerns surrounding compounding pharmacies, a new analysis raised questions about a spotty patchwork of state regulations that may compromise their ability to protect the public.

Study: Residents' Long Shifts Don't Harm Patients
Marie McCullough, PI
It seems logical that letting doctors in training work marathon hours would be bad for them and their patients. On the contrary, a new national study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine found that surgical residents who worked up to 30 consecutive hours were more satisfied with their training and patient care than residents restricted to 16-hour shifts. After a year, the two groups had no differences in rates of patient deaths or complications.

NBA Players Putting Their Hearts into Research
Steven Reinberg, HthDay
Professional basketball players have the highest rate of sports-related cardiac arrest in the United States, and a new study lays the groundwork for scientists to determine why. Investigators from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City examined the heart structure and function of more than 500 current NBA players. They found some significant differences between these hearts and those of other athletes and the general population.

Nursing Home Evictions Strand the Disabled in Hospitals
Ina Jaffe, NPR
What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home your landlord said you couldn't move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it's a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies believe it’s important to take medications as directed to make sure you get the right dose at the right time. Following doctors’ directions, remembering to take medicines and disposing of them properly are all important for better health and safety. Learn more.

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