Trending News Today: Opioid Epidemic Mortality Rate Slowing in 14 States

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

Last month, the Trump administration approved work requirements for Medicaid recipients, which prompted many states to apply for waivers. Health policy experts warn that reforming Medicaid may be very costly, according to a report in Governing. The major costs of implementing a new rule include updating or developing new technology systems and hiring additional staff to track compliance and appeals, according to the article. Medicaid may also incur costs from training current employees. Although states may be able to receive financial help from the federal government, the costs may add up, according to the article.

A large study recently found that anti-depressants are effective in relieving the condition in adults, following years of debate as to whether the drugs are actually effective, according to Reuters. The study authors found that all 21 generic and branded antidepressants are more effective than placebos. These findings indicate the best avenue for medication-assisted depression treatment are antidepressants, according to the article.

New CDC data show that drug overdose-related deaths declined in 14 states from July 2016 to July 2017, which suggests the burden of the opioid epidemic may be slowing, according to The PEW Charitable Trusts. The opioid epidemic began in the late 1990s and the death rate has been rising ever since. The decline in the mortality rate in a handful of states has caused health experts to be cautiously optimistic that policies put in place to reduce the death toll have been effective, according to the article.

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