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Health Care Week In Review: The WHO Launches a Health Product Profile Directory as a R&D Resource, Ultra-Processed Foods Proven to Increase Weight Gain, New Legislation to Reduce Surprise Medical Bills, Behavioral Health Diagnoses Have Doubled Over the Past Decade

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

•  The World Health Organization has announced a new Health Product Profile Directory, a free database of health products that are currently in development to treat infectious diseases and other global health threats. According to a WHO report from February, billions of dollars are spent on the research and development to improve health products, but the funding does not always go to the areas affecting global public health the most. The Health Product Directory, which currently has 196 product profiles and growing, was created to assist in guiding the global health research agenda and improve overall public health.  Read More

•  A recent study found that eating ultra-processed foods such as canned food, frozen dishes, and packaged snacks can be associated with weight gain. The research team conducted an experiment to test the outcomes of an ultra-processed diet versus the consumption of whole or unprocessed foods. Subjects on an ultra-processed diet averaged 500 calories more per day compared to when they were eating whole foods, and as a result, gained weight. It was also observed that when eating processed food, people tend to eat more quickly and consume more, leading to decreased levels of an appetite suppressant hormone called PYY. Obesity, a condition affecting about 40% of American adults, is a contributing factor in the development of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.  Read More

•  Policymakers in Washington are currently devising a solution for the unexpected and pricey medical bills patients receive after care from a doctor or health system outside of their insurance network. Patients often are forced to see providers outside of their insurance network when they don’t have access to in-network providers or services. The Senate’s proposed legislation would protect patients treated by out-of-network providers, meaning the patient would not be accountable for paying more than what their insurance covers. The House presented a similar “No Surprise Act,” which does not include the “median in-network rate” clause that pays providers a predetermined rate based on what other health plans are paying for similar services. Congress is currently still negotiating the proposed bills.  Read More

•  According to a new analysis of private health insurance claims, behavioral health cases have increased from 1.3% to 2.7% of all medical claims in the past decade. The majority of the increase came from patients 22 years old and younger, most commonly diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Emergency department visits for this patient population have also increased. Health systems are doing their best to adapt to the growing need for behavioral health services; these efforts include increasing available services and educating both children and parents about the options available to them.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.
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