Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Six senators—half of whom are Republicans—are seeking to stop cuts to the 340B program, which gives discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve low-income and uninsured patients, according to The Hill. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed $1.6 billion in cuts to the program starting on January 1, 2018. The senators cited the need for improvements to the program, as many other lawmakers have also expressed concern over the cuts, according to the article. The legislators are asking that these changes be blocked in an end of the year bill.
Researchers have recently discovered they can use the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool to change gene expression without altering the genome, the Los Angeles Times reported. In a new study published in Cell, investigators used the CRISPR system to activate genes in mice models of muscular dystrophy, type 1 diabetes, and kidney injury. This approach resulted in health benefits in more than half of the mice, making it the first time it was successfully used in live animals, according to the article.
Although type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, it has become more common among adults. Since adult patients may be automatically diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they could receive the incorrect therapy, which can place them at risk of severe hypoglycemia and death, according to NPR. Further complicating this issue is that there are no definitive tests that can determine whether an adult patient has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Although there are tests that measure antibodies against islet cells, patients with both types of diabetes may have these antibodies, which creates a challenge in reaching the proper diagnosis, according to the article.