Trending News Today: Brexit Vote May Impact Drug Pricing

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The Affordable Care Act and increasing costs are changing the health insurance market, making it more difficult to sift through different coverage; however, an article in The New York Times provides insight to help better navigate insurance plans. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and exclusive provider organizations (EPOs) are increasing in popularity, with both plans restricting customers to a specific network of physicians. The 2 types of coverage normally have smaller networks compared to preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Going outside the network for care with HMO or EPOs may require patients to pay the entire bill, while PPOs generally pay at least part of the cost. When patients are choosing plans, they have to take several factors into consideration. Regardless of the plan design, it’s imperative that customers do their research and collect information about the plan’s provider network before signing up.

Although the historic Brexit vote last week included campaign promises of a funding boost for Britain’s National Health Service, troubles may still lie ahead for the health system, reported The Wall Street Journal. Since Brexit, the pound dropped significantly and is placing a strain on traders that sell cut-price drugs to the NHS after they import them from other areas in Europe.

A new report found that the most common causes of death in America are dependent on age, sex, race, and ethnic background, reported the Los Angeles Times. The leading cause of death overall was heart disease, killing 614,348 people in 2014, followed by cancer with 591,699 deaths. These diseases combined comprised 45.9% of all US deaths. Following heart disease and cancer, the next 3 causes of death were chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents and unintentional injuries, and stroke, which comprised 15.8% of US deaths in 2014. Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide concluded the top 10. Combined, they accounted for 12% of US deaths that year. The report found that Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 5% of deaths in US women, but only 2.1% in men. Diabetes accounted for 4.3% of African American deaths and 2.7% of white fatalities.