Trending News Today: Payers Start to Take Action Against Opioid Epidemic

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

In light of the opioid epidemic, Aetna Inc recently started contacting physicians who have been prescribing opioids at higher levels. The company believes that providing physicians with data and numbers will encourage them to prescribe less opioids, according to The Washington Post. The goal is to reduce the amount of opioids being prescribed, and hopefully reducing the amount of patients becoming addicted to these drugs.

A new study found that the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke can increase significantly in premenopausal woman. These risks are especially prominent among black women compared with their white counterparts, according to The Washington Post. However, researchers found that they were less likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which increases these risks.

Mortality rates may not be increased among patients with the sickle cell trait, despite previous beliefs. Sickle cell disease, which predominantly affects black men and women, and causes red blood cells to become misshapen. While the disease does not increase mortality rates, it does increase the risk of developing exertional rhabdomyolysis that causes skeletal muscle tissue to breakdown, according to The Washington Post.