Trending News Today: Virginia Obamacare Insurers Propose Major Premium Hikes for 2019

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Scientists have developed an alternative, more accurate way to diagnose peanut food allergy, Reuters reported. According to the article, the new diagnostic test has 98% specificity, unlike the existing skin-prick and other blood tests that produce a large number of false positive results. The new development follows advances in science that allow the detection of biological signals from much smaller blood samples than in the past, the article noted.

Cigna and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, 2 of Virginia’s Obamacare insurers, are requesting significant premium hikes for 2019, The Hill reported. Both insurers cited policies advocated by the Trump administration, including the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, as part of its justification for the increases, according to the article. Cigna is proposing an average premium increase of 15% and CareFirst is proposing a 64% increase, The Hill reported.

The DEA ordered a Louisiana-based wholesale pharmaceutical distributor to cease sales of opioids, The Hill reported. According to the article, the company allegedly failed to report unusually large shipments of narcotics to drugstores. The Justice Department said that a DEA investigation found that, in some cases, independent pharmacies were allowed to purchase 6 times the quantity of narcotics they would normally order from the distributor, according to The Hill.