Trending News Today: More Americans Purchasing Prescription Drugs from Other Countries

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Individuals who attempt to sign up for a health plan on Affordable Care Act marketplaces after the open enrollment period closes may have to go through additional steps to ensure that they qualify. Consumers may have to prove that they qualify for special enrollment through various documents as part of a novel pilot program, according to Kaiser Health News. However, these special enrollment measures, which are supported by insurance companies, may prevent healthy individuals from gaining coverage due to the extra steps.

Tens of millions of Americans have been purchasing prescription drugs outside of the country due to rising costs in the United States. While government surveys have found that only 2% of Americans purchased drugs in other countries in 2011, a more recent poll found that 8% of participants did so, Kaiser Health News reported. Many Americans purchase their prescription drugs online, or even venture to another country for the prescription drugs.

A recent study suggests that patients who receive their care from female physicians have a higher chance of survival compared with those who received care from male physicians. The study found that 11% of patients treated by women died within 30 days of receiving hospital care, and 11.5% of patients treated by men died during that time. While the difference may seem small, 32,000 deaths would be averted if male physicians performed at the same level as female physicians, according to the Associated Press.