Trending News Today: Significant Portion of Patients Have Leftover Opioids

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Anthem recently decided to withdraw from even more individual insurance exchanges, leaving more than 153,000 Californians without coverage for 2018, according to California Healthline. This move means that less than 50% of Anthem-insured individuals will be able to renew their policies for next year. Anthem held a high percentage of California’s individual plans at 30% in 2014, but state officials believe that their portion of enrollment could drop to the single digits in 2018, according to the article. Anthem is 1 of many insurers who withdrew from certain marketplaces due to financial losses.

A new study has found that periodontal disease may be linked to cancer in older women, The New York Times reported. While the authors accounted for potentially confounding variables, gum disease raised the risk of cancer 14% for women. Even for women who never smoked, gum disease increased the risk 12%, according to the Times. These results highlight the need of proper dental care, according to the study.

Numerous patients receive opioid prescriptions for post-surgical care. A new report found that more than two-thirds of patients with opioid prescriptions after surgery wind up with unused pain pills, according to the Los Angeles Times. The authors found that 92% of patients who received general surgery and 91% who received dental surgery had leftover drugs. More than 70% of patients reported they did not take all of the drugs because their pain was under control, according to the study.