Healthcare News January 8, 2013

  • Obama administration to study youth sports concussions

    The Obama administration will probe sports-related concussions among young people as concerns mount that the injuries cause mental distress later in life.

    The federal Institute of Medicine (IOM) will study concussions among people of elementary-school age through young adulthood over the next six months.

    The study will incorporate related federal research. It is expected to come out in late 2013. 

  • ‘No immediate timeline’ for George H.W. Bush’s release from hospital

    Though former President George H.W. Bush has been moved out of intensive care, he remains hospitalized as he battles an infection that has kept him in a Houston-area facility since late November.

    "President Bush's recovery is continuing at The Methodist Hospital, where in recent days he has taken great pride watching big football wins by Texas A&M and the Houston Texans," the Bush family said in a statement. "While no immediate timeline has been set for the President's discharge, the Bushes wish to thank everyone for their many kind messages."

    Bush had been fighting a persistent fever over the holidays that forced doctors to move him into the ICU, but his condition appears to be improving.

  • Healthcare costs grew at near-record lows in 2011

    Healthcare spending grew at near-record lows in 2011, according to data released Monday by the Health and Human Services Department.

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius credited parts of President Obama’s signature healthcare law with the smaller increase.

    “A number of provisions in the health care law that will help control costs and spending are still being implemented, but the statistics show how the Affordable Care Act is already making a difference,” Sebelius said in a statement.

    Healthcare spending grew by 3.9 percent last year, according to the latest report on national health expenditures. The rate matches increases in 2009 and 2010, and it’s the lowest rate of growth in the 52 years the report has been issued.

  • Study: US loses billions on unnecessary C-sections

    The United States could save billions of dollars on maternity and newborn care if pregnant women cut down on unnecessary cesarean sections, according to new research.

    A study out Monday from Truven Health Analytics found that C-sections cost 50 percent more than vaginal births, with private insurers paying an average of $27,866 for a C-section in 2010 compared with $18,329 for a natural delivery.

    Medicaid paid significantly less for each procedure, though the cost disparity lingered with $13,590 for a C-section and $9,131 for a natural delivery.

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