Trending News Today: Childhood Cancer Death Rates Drop Significantly

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

Overall deaths from childhood cancer have fallen 20% from 1999 to 2014, reported The New York Times. In a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers found that children are dying less often from cancer, with substantial declines seen in all age groups and races. Among 1- to 19-year-olds, the rate fell to 2.28 per 100,000 population from 2.85. Although adolescents 15- to 19-years old were most likely to die, the death rate for this group did fall by 22%. No significant differences in death rates were seen among white and black children with cancer. An associate professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr Julia Glade Bender, said in the report that the decrease in death rates were a result of lessons learned in clinical trials that caused small changes in practice.

Last week California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that allows federally funded health centers and rural clinics to bill Medi-Cal for the services of licensed marriage and family therapists in order to expand mental health services for low-income Californians. After Clinica Sierra Vista screened its mostly low-income patients last year for mental health needs, they found that nearly 30% suffered from anxiety, depression, or alcoholism. Despite this, a large group of mental health providers had been excluded from reimbursement by Medi-Cal, reported Kaiser Health News. The new law will take effect January 1, 2017.

One of Theranos Inc’s major investors has sued the company and its founder for allegedly lying to attract a nearly $100 million investment, reported The Wall Street Journal. The suit was filed in Delaware Court of Chancery by Partner Fund Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund.