Trending News: High-Deductible Health Plans Associated with Barriers to Care for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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High-deductible health plans (HDHP) are associated with greater barriers to affordable care and more frequent hospitalizations and emergency department visits for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to MD Magazine. An analysis used 7-year national survey results of older adults with COPD to distinguish the financial burdens put upon patients using HDHPs to cover their COPD care. In the report, significantly more patients with an HDHP reported not being able to afford a specialist visit as well as skipping doses of medication to save money versus those with traditional plans.

Infants with in utero Zika virus (ZIKV) exposure who were not diagnosed with congenital Zika syndrome appear to be at risk for abnormal neurodevelopment outcomes in the first 18 months of life, according to Contagion Live. After individually examining 70 Colombian infants, a research team found that, although some infants were expected to have a low risk for neurodevelopmental deficits, such deficits were developed within the first year of life. Nonspecific postnatal neuroimaging findings of lenticulostriate vasculopathy, germinolytic or subependymal cysts, and choroid plexus cysts were also present in up to 37% of newborns exposed to ZIKV in utero, indicating potential risk factors for worse early neurodevelopmental outcomes.

In a poll of more than 2000 people with Parkinson disease, more than 1 in 4 participants reported having been misdiagnosed, with a further 21% having to see their general provider 3 times before being referred to a specialist, according to The American Journal of Managed Care. Results showed that among participants who were misdiagnosed, 48% were given treatment for their nonexistent condition, with 36% receiving medication, 6% undergoing operations or procedures, and 6% given both medication and operations/procedures. A decline in health was reported in 34% of those misdiagnosed, and women were shown to be more likely to be misdiagnosed than men.