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Archives for: July 2013

07/31/13

  05:11:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 224 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Poor Dental Habits May Contribute To Alzheimer's, Study Suggests

Healthy teeth can contribute to a healthy mind, a new study indicates. According to WebMD Health News, researchers from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry used donated brain samples to study a possible connection… more »
  03:51:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 219 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

FDA Finds No Link Between Diabetes Drugs And Pancreatic Cancer

Some recent concerns that certain diabetes drugs may increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer are unfounded, according to a spokeswoman from the Food and Drug Administration. Pharmalot reports that the agency’s conclusions about GLP-1… more »
  10:09:05 am, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

White House Ties Slower Health Care Spending To Reform Law

In the past few weeks, the biggest news about the Affordable Care Act has included a delay in the employer mandate, a new fee for self-funded groups, and a Chamber of Commerce survey that found many small businesses were concerned about their prospects… more »

07/30/13

  12:36:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Doctors Increasingly Disregard Back Pain Guidelines

Doctors increasingly prescribe painkillers and CT scans for the treatment of routine back pain even though clinical guidelines recommend otherwise, a new study revealed. According to the Los Angeles Times, researchers at Massachusetts’ Beth… more »
  10:11:52 am, by MedBen5   , 191 words,  
Categories: Health Care Reform

Employer Mandate Delay May Offer Only Temporary Relief To Employers

John R. Graham, a chartered alternative investment analyst, offers a cautionary note to businesses regarding the 12-month delay of the employer mandate: “[E]mployers need to be aware that they are offered only ‘transition relief’ for next… more »
  09:55:04 am, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Task Force Recommends Smokers Get Annual CT Scans

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has endorsed annual CT scans to detect lung cancer in current and former smokers, The Wall Street Journal reports. By doing so, about 20% of lung-cancer deaths might be avoided, the task force concluded.… more »

07/29/13

  03:43:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 254 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CDHPs Raising Employer Satisfaction, Survey Finds

Employers are reporting greater satisfaction with health plan costs, based on the findings of the J.D. Power 2013 Employer Health Plan Study. According to Employee Benefits News, the improved satisfaction is due in part to the increased availability of… more »
  11:27:38 am, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Most Doctors Not Confident Exchanges Will Meet Deadline

Asking questions is part and parcel of being a doctor, so it should come as little surprise that many doctors have questions – and no small degree of skepticism – about the Affordable Care Act. According to NBC News, a new survey reveals… more »
  10:41:27 am, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Some Doctors Steering Patients To Do Online Research Prior To Visit

A few weeks back, we highlighted an article by a family physician that cautioned individuals about the dangers of using the Internet to self-diagnose medical concerns. Dr. Kenneth Lin warned that many health websites contain “flawed, inaccurate, or… more »

07/24/13

  03:54:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Growing Number Of Americans Want Reform Law Appealed, Surveys Suggest

While many Americans are still willing to give the Affordable Care Act the benefit of the doubt, negative feelings about the health care reform law persist, two new surveys find. According to Healthwatch, a new CBS poll revealed that 39% of the voters… more »
  03:23:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

FDA Asks Public About Regulating Menthol Cigarettes

Menthol cigarettes may soon be in the government’s crosshairs. The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that the agency will consider stricter controls on the flavored cigarettes based on public feedback, the Hill’s RegWatch blog… more »

07/23/13

  01:02:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 179 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Kelly Named Group Leader Of MedBen's Compliance Department

MedBen is pleased to announce the promotion of Erin Kelly to Group Leader of the Compliance Department. In her new role, Erin will manage the department’s daily operations in addition to working with clients to ensure that their group health plan… more »
  10:49:33 am, by MedBen5   , 167 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Heart Test Not Useful For Many Patients, Study Suggests

A new study contends that echocardiograms, while safe, are often unnecessary. Only one-third of patients who receive the noninvasive ultrasound heart tests see a change in treatment, HealthDay News reports. “The majority of echocardiograms are… more »
  10:25:03 am, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform

Birth Control Mandate Short On Details

The contraception mandate isn’t as broad as some critics make it out to be – but that doesn’t make the rule any less bewildering, POLITICO reports. A provision of the The Affordable Care Act, the mandate require employers to cover… more »

07/22/13

  12:06:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

MedBen Available To Help Clients With PCORI Fee Questions

Employer Benefits News offers a timely reminder that most self-funded employers will need to file and pay by July 31 their first round of federal comparative effectiveness research fees imposed under the Affordable Care Act. The “PCORI fee", as… more »
  11:30:57 am, by MedBen5   , 154 words,  
Categories: News

Government Report Warns Consumers About Rogue Online Pharmacies

A recent Government Accountability Office report warns Americans about the risks of buying prescription drugs from Internet pharmacies, USA Today reports. Federal investigators say that rogue Internet pharmacies skirt U.S. and state regulations and… more »
  11:02:46 am, by MedBen5   , 216 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Patients Who Don't Take Blood Pressure Meds As Prescribed Raise Stroke Risk

Yet another good reason to follow doctor’s orders: A new study found that patients who don’t take their blood pressure medication as prescribed increase their risk of stoke and death, HealthDay News reports. By following patients with high… more »

07/19/13

  03:38:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Survey Says... Small Businesses Not Sold On Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released some interesting statistics from its quarterly Small Business Survey. Based on the responses, many employers still haven’t warmed up to government-mandated health care reform: Concern about Obamacare… more »
  01:06:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 209 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

"The Nurse Will See You Now"

With the supply of primary care doctors already lagging behind demand – and about to get even more strained when millions of additional Americans get health insurance in January, under the health care reform law – many states are turning to… more »
  12:21:19 pm, by MedBen5   , 224 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Calorie Info On Menus Doesn't Impact Food Choices, Study Finds

Despite the best efforts of politicians and nutritionists, Americans continue to stubbornly favor taste over calorie count when it comes to selecting restaurant food. Today Health reports that even when given detailed information about healthy eating, a… more »

07/18/13

  04:42:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 253 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

House Votes To Delay Individual Mandate; President Calls For End To Repeal Efforts

In a move likely meant to make a statement, the House of Representatives yesterday followed a vote on legislation supporting the delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate with a second bill that would similarly postpone the law’s… more »
  03:35:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 181 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Regular Aspirin Use May Lower Women's Colon Cancer Risk

A new study suggests that long-term aspirin use may reduce a woman’s risk of colon cancer, even if not taken daily, Reuters Health reports. Researchers found that women who took just 100 mg of aspirin every other day for at least 10 years ended… more »

07/17/13

  03:09:09 pm, by MedBen5   , 224 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Doctors, Hospitals And MedBen Going Paperless

The health care industry hasn’t gone entirely paper-free yet, but it’s well on its way. USA Today reports that over half of the nation’s physicians and more than 80% of hospitals now use electronic health records (EHRs). Since 2011,… more »
  12:46:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 203 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Following Years Of Decline, Cholesterol Levels Have Flattened Out

Average cholesterol levels in Americans have stopped falling since 2008 – a development that has pharmaceutical companies scrambling to come up with a new class of drugs, The New York Times reports. A large analysis of patient records suggest… more »
  12:18:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 246 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Diet Sodas May Actually Promote Weight Gain, Study Suggests

If you drink diet soda, chances are it’s for the low calorie count to help you lose weight, or keep it off. But a Purdue University study has found that the beverage may not be a healthier alternative to its sugary counterpart – and may… more »

07/16/13

  03:29:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 321 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

As Health Care Spending Rises, MedBen Offers Solutions

Health care spending has slowed in recent years, but is still growing faster than the nation’s GDP, and amounts to nearly 1/5 of the total US economy. Carrington College (via MedCity News) identifies seven significant factors that contribute to… more »
  12:18:57 pm, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Smoking Less Not Enough To Increase Lifespan, Study Suggests

Cutting back from a full pack to cigarettes a day to just half may help your pocketbook, but will do little to extend your lifespan, a new Scottish study suggests. According to HealthDay News, the study, which tracked individuals’ smoking habits… more »
  11:46:25 am, by MedBen5   , 226 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Rx Database Offers Glimpse Into Doctors' Prescribing Habits

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein explain their concern about little patients know in regard to how their doctors determine what medications to prescribe: “For most of us, evaluating a doctor’s prescribing… more »

07/15/13

  11:09:24 am, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Most Employees Prefer Lower-cost Health Coverage Options

More employees prefer a lower-cost, high-deductible employer health insurance plan to traditional coverage, a new study reveals. According to USA Today, data from 2,503 employees in New York and New Jersey showed that given a choice between a… more »
  10:33:42 am, by MedBen5   , 236 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Use Discretion When Getting Health Information Online

The Internet has become the go-to place for all manner of personal inquiries, including medical research: A recent survey found that 6 in 10 adults have gone online in the past year to diagnosis health issues. But how accurate is the information we… more »
  09:46:41 am, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

FDA Approves Drug To Treat Advanced Lung Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat advanced lung cancer, HealthDay News reports. Gilotrif (afatinib) will be available to patients with a specific subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The agency approved… more »

07/12/13

  05:29:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

House Will Vote To Delay Individual Mandate

Spurred by last week’s postponed enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate by the White House, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) has announced that the House will vote next week to similarly delay the individual mandate… more »
  05:08:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: Announcements

Approved Drugs May Still Require More Research

Just because the Food and Drug Administration approves a medication doesn’t mean that the manufacturer is free to relax and reap the rewards – often the agency will require more research be done even after the product hits the market. But… more »
  04:31:53 pm, by MedBen5   , 201 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Physical Activity Is Up... But So Is Obesity

An increase in the amount of time Americans spend exercising hasn’t slowed the rise in obesity, the Los Angeles Times reports. Data published in the online journal Population Health Metrics revealed that while individuals in two-thirds of the… more »

07/11/13

  02:54:31 pm, by MedBen5   , 233 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Many Older Men Say They Won't Follow Gov't PSA Recommendations

Despite last year’s recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that older men shouldn’t get a prostate cancer screening, most still plan to do so, HealthDay News reports. A survey of over 1,000 men aged 40 to 74 with no… more »
  12:21:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

House Resolution States Employer Mandate Delay Violates Constitution

And the saga continues… According to The Hill, House Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) has introduced a resolution charging that President Obama violated the Constitution by delaying enforcement of the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care… more »
  11:47:14 am, by MedBen5   , 228 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Blood Pressure Study Shows Usefulness Of Pharmacist Relationship

While MedBen recommends that health plan members see their family doctor regularly, it’s also a good idea to rely on your pharmacist for guidance, as a new study of hypertension treatment demonstrates. According to HealthDay News, researchers… more »

07/10/13

  05:31:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 240 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Worksite Wellness Can Help Reduce Rising Health Gap

An extensive new study of U.S. health trends from 1990 to 2010 revealed some positive developments, according to the Health Hub: Life expectancy for both sexes combined increased from 75.2 to 78.2 years. Healthy life expectancy – the years a… more »
  05:06:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Not-for-Profit Hospitals Ask IRS For Clarity Of ACA Rules

The employer mandate may be off the table for a year, but other provisions of the Affordable Care Act will arrive on schedule, whether businesses understand them or not. And one particular industry is pressing the federal government for greater clarity,… more »
  04:35:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Daily Aspirin Only Advisable When Prescribed By Doctor

So many studies have lauded the benefits of aspirin, it’s easy to conclude that a daily dose doesn’t hurt and may even help. But such thinking is unwise, the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Hub reports. While it’s true many doctors… more »

07/09/13

  05:13:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

9 Out Of 10 Pharmacists Agree: Go Generic

Not every scientific endeavor aims for the fences. Sometimes, as NPR reports, researchers have more modest goals in mind – such as a simple explanation as to why more people don’t favor lower-cost generic pills: “Matthew Gentzkow, an… more »
  04:36:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 256 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Employer Mandate Delay Pleases Some, Angers Others

Last week’s announcement that the Obama administration that would delay until 2015 the Affordable Care Act provision requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay a penality has generated a variety of reactions:… more »
  04:21:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 166 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Too Much Alcohol Hinders Post-surgery Recovery

Right on the heels of a recent study that found smoking and surgery don’t mix comes a analysis that suggests heavy drinking also hinders recovery. Reuters Health reports that a review of 55 past studies concluded that people who have more that a… more »

07/08/13

  01:01:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Prescription Painkiller Use At An All-Time High

A recent New York Times article highlights America’s growing use of narcotic painkillers in the past decade. Once prescribed primarily for short-term discomforts, OxyContin and other popular opiods now provide relief from such chronic conditions… more »
  11:25:03 am, by MedBen5   , 173 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New ACA Rule Puts Exchange Customers On The Honor System

While the health care community was still abuzz about the announcement that the federal government would postpone the employer mandate until 2015, the Obama administration quietly communicated on Friday that it would also reduce the onus on state… more »
  10:58:26 am, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Proposal Would Increase Generic Drugmaker Flexibility -- And Liability

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would allow generic drugmakers to add new side effect information to their product labeling without first getting approval from the agency, Pharmalot reports. Currently, such drugmakers can only… more »

07/03/13

  04:21:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 313 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

ACA Employer Mandate Enforcement Delayed Until 2015

Businesses have just received a one-year reprieve from enforcement on the penalties for firms not offering affordable coverage to employees working more than 30 hours per week. Yesterday, the White House announced that it has pushed back until 2015 any… more »
  03:04:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 246 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Health Plan Management

Independence Day Holiday Hours at MedBen

Happy Independence Day from the staff at MedBen! Our home office will be closed on Thursday, July 4 to observe the holiday. However, we will be open during our regular business hours on Friday, July 5. Remember that even when our office is closed,… more »

07/02/13

  02:26:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 248 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

To Be A Happy Patient, First Be A Smart Consumer

Sometimes, the words “patient” and “consumer” are used interchangeably. And while it may seem unbecoming to describe a person getting a checkup with the same term used for buyers of Big Macs, there are times the word is entirely… more »
  01:54:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Approves Drug To Treat Hot Flashes

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Brisdelle, the first nonhormonal drug to treat menopausal women, The New York Times reports. Prior to its introduction, treatment had always consisted of hormone therapy. “There are a significant number of… more »
  11:57:50 am, by MedBen5   , 128 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Over 40% Of Uninsured Americans Not Aware Of Individual Mandate

Talk about your rude awakenings… 43% of uninsured Americans are unaware that they may be required to buy health insurance coverage next year, according to a new Gallup survey. The Healthwatch Blog reports that awareness of the Affordable Care… more »

07/01/13

  01:55:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: Announcements

Costly Vision Disorders -- And Affordable Preventive Care

Yearly costs to treat vision disorders have more than doubled since 2007, according to a study published by Prevent Blindness America. USA Today reports that the National Opinion Research Center specialists at the University of Chicago determined the… more »
  12:08:19 pm, by MedBen5   , 192 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Final Contraceptive Rule Under Reform Law Released

The Obama administration has released a final rule regarding female contraceptive coverage under health care plans offered by religious groups, MedPage Today reports. The rule – a provision of the Afforable Care Act – takes effect January 1.… more »