Trending News Today: Cancer Diagnosis Reporting in Real-Time

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

For the first time, pathologists at a dozen hospitals in California are reporting cancer diagnoses in close to real-time to the California Cancer Registry as part of a pilot project, reported Kaiser Health News. Current registries primarily used for research and surveillance of cancer trends based on historic data tend to lack consistency and timeliness. The California registry has been collecting information on cancer patients since 1988, and has accrued data on more than 4.5 million patients. Traditionally, the registry relies on data up to 2-years-old, but the new pilot project uses standardized electronic forms to make reporting more accurate and consistent, which could make a significant change to this practice.

A recent study revealed that since January 2015, Senior Health Partners, and at least 2 others, have been systematically cutting home care hours for disabled clients. According to The New York Times, this practice typically occurs without legal justification or proper notice and, by law, only a change in a client’s medical condition or circumstance is supposed to allow a reduction. The study was sponsored by Medicaid Matters and the New York chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Furthermore, it confirmed similar allegations made in a federal class-action lawsuit filed earlier this year against Senior Health Partners and the New York State Health Department. The lawsuit was on behalf of elderly and disabled clients who were threatened with home care cuts.

The FDA approved the generic versions of the cholesterol lowering drug Crestor, reported The New York Times. Although AstraZeneca attempted to stop cheaper competition from reaching the pharmacy shelves, this new approval will significantly decrease the cost of Crestor and result in a sharp loss of market share for AstraZeneca. Currently, the brand name drug costs about $260 a month, according to GoodRx.com, but with several generics coming onto the market, the price may eventually drop by as much as 80 to 90%.