Dually Noted from around the web

May 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Senators call for a “national nurse”
Just in time for National Nurses Week, two senators, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), have introduced a bill that would establish a “National Nurse for Public Health.” This “national nurse,” the senators say, would work to prevent diseases like obesity and heart disease and promote healthy living.

Medicare study looks at prescribing practices
Data on Medicare prescribing practices for 2013, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, revealed that low-cost generics were the drugs most used by Medicare beneficiaries, but brand-name drugs were responsible for most of the spending. For example, the brand-name heartburn drug Nexium was prescribed to some 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries at a cost of $2.5 billion. At the same time, the generic heartburn medication omeprazole was prescribed to 6.4 million beneficiaries at a cost of just $643 million.

Despite high health insurance enrollment, cost is still an issue in MA
Statistics collected by the Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey show that while Massachusetts has a high rate of participation in health insurance (96%), cost continues to be a problem.  For example, 25% of respondents said “they had an unmet health care need because of cost, “and 20% reported “trouble paying their medical bills over the last year.” Also, 20% said they spent “$3,000 or more out-of-pocket over the last year for their family’s health care.”

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