Trending News Today: Spending Related to Opioid Addiction Skyrockets

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Some insurers may start requiring patients to receive counselling prior to genetic testing for breast cancer genes. Obstetrician-gynecologists have also said that counseling patients regarding cancer risks is part of their normal routine. Physicians have stated that these requirements can delay the process, and deter some patients from undergoing these tests, according to Kaiser Health News.

A recent study shows that health spending related to opioid addiction jumped 1375% from 2011 to 2015, according to Kaiser Health News. This spending grew from $32 million to $446 million during this timeframe, reinforcing the notion of an opioid epidemic in the United States, but also showing that patients are receiving treatment. This level of increased spending is also associated with a strain on the overall healthcare system.

Some healthcare providers have been denying Medicare coverage to patients in rehabilitation facilities because they have reached a plateau, or are not improving. This practice strains patients with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs per year. However, the improvement standard is currently no longer in effect, and requires facilities to provide for patients even if an improvement is not seen, according to The New York Times.