Trending News Today: Children Increasingly Burdened by Opioid Epidemic

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Blue Shield of California owes millions to state residents enrolled in employer-based healthcare because the company did not did not spend enough on medical care, according to California Healthline. The insurer sent refund checks to the individuals’ employers, who then had to calculate how to split the money amongst employees based on the share of the premium they paid. This is not a new phenomenon for the insurer, which indicates that customers may be paying too high of a cost, according to the report.

During the 6-year period from 1997 to 2012, there were 13,052 children hospitalized for opioid poisoning. There were 176 children who died during that time, which suggests that the opioid epidemic can affect children in more ways than previously thought. Advocates for drug safety suggest that physicians should emphasize to adult patients that they have to create a safety plan to keep these drugs out of reach and stored properly, according to The Washington Post.

Patients who have survived cancer are more likely to be treated with drugs for anxiety and depression compared with other people. Cancer survivors may have significant worries about their future, self-image, another diagnosis, financial changes, new changes or impairments. Approximately 19% of survivors take these medications, and only 10% of the general population takes them, The Washington Post reported.