Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
Recently, President Donald Trump announced plans to sign an executive order that would allow individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines. However, legal experts said this order will likely be challenged in court because it may violate federal laws that regulate employee benefit plans, according to The New York Times. Although exact details have yet to be released, the order will likely seek ways for individuals and small businesses to purchase large group plans. Healthcare analysts report that this would allow Americans to obtain low-cost, low-value insurance, which could threaten the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to the Times.
Researchers and patient advocates have voiced concerns that relaxing guidelines for cervical cancer screenings may not detect cases of the disease, especially among minority women, according to NPR. In September, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued a draft recommendation that women aged 30 to 64 years should receive a Pap test every 3 years or a human papillomavirus test every 5 years. Current guidelines recommend that these women receive both tests every 5 years. CDC data indicates that Latina and black women are the most likely group to develop cervical cancer. By limiting access to co-testing, advocates fear that many women—especially minority women—would experience an increase in the rate of cervical cancers that could be detected early with screening, according to the article.
Despite warnings from physicians and health organizations, modifiable risk factors are still causing strokes among all age groups and ethnicities, according to NPR. The authors of a new study published by Neurology found that more than 80% of first strokes were related to modifiable or preventable risk factors, including high cholesterol, smoking, illicit drug use, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, and diabetes. The rate of diabetes among stroke patients was alarmingly high, with 50% of Hispanic patients and 44% of African American patients having the condition, according to the article. The authors urge healthcare providers to look closely at these populations.