Trending News Today: Government Pushes for Increased Use of Long-Term Contraceptives

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Since the rate of unintended pregnancies is quite high, the federal government recently started encouraging states to implement programs that increase the amount of Medicaid beneficiaries who use long-acting, reversible contraceptives such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, Kaiser Health News reported. The government spent $14.6 billion on unintended pregnancies in 2010 and states contributed an additional $6.4 billion. These long-acting contraceptives are said to be more cost-effective and efficient than other forms of birth control.

Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc and AmSurg Corp recently announced the intent to merge both companies. The new hospital-related services company, Envision Healthcare Corp, is expected to be worth $10 billion. If approved by regulators and shareholders, the merger is expected to close by the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A recent study found that patients who die in hospitals receive more testing and procedures compared with patients who die elsewhere. The spending on these tests and procedures is about 7 times higher, according to NPR. The study also found that dying in nursing homes and inpatient hospice facilities were also quite expensive, though not as expensive as hospital deaths.