Health Updates 17 November 2011

  • Study forecasts copays on Medicare brand name drugs to rise by 30% to 40% in 2012: “The changing scene underscores how important it is for seniors to check their prescription coverage before open enrollment ends December 7.  Medicare announced this summer that premiums for prescription plans would remain unchanged next year, an average of about $30 a month.  But the government’s numbers didn’t delve into detail on copays.  The Avalere study shows that the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not always be the best deal.”  (Associated Press)
  • Both Democrats and GOP vow to continue their agendas on the health care law, even after a Supreme Court ruling: “If the court strikes down the law’s unpopular linchpin – the so-called individual mandate requiring most Americans to carry health insurance – the [Obama] administration would take whatever’s left and try to put that into place…House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio remains committed to repealing the overhaul and replacing it with a  Republican plan regardless of the Supreme Court ruling, his spokesman said.” (Associated Press)
  • Women are more likely to suffer ‘broken heart syndrome‘ than men: “Females are seven to nine times more likely to suffer ‘broken heart syndrome’, when sudden or prolonged stress like an emotional breakup or death causes overwhelming heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms, the first nationwide study of this finds.  Usually patients recover with no lasting damage…One theory is that hormones play a role.  Another is that men have more adrenaline receptors on cells in their hearts than women do, ‘so maybe men are able to handle stress better’ and the chemical surge it releases…”. (Associated Press)
  • Few received high radiation from Japanese reactor: “Few people had elevated radiation levels in the weeks after the nuclear reactor explosions that followed the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on March 11, researchers reported.  And none of those had levels high enough to require decontamination…”.  The follow-up, however, continues.  The medical teams conducting the studies also experienced elevated cumulative exposure levels, which decreased over time.  (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)

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