April 2, 2024 | Volume XIII | Issue 14

Medicare Advantage rate cut remains as Feds keep up pressure

Fierce Healthcare reports:

Insurers will feel resentful Monday as the feds opted to not reverse its decision to decrease Medicare Advantage benchmark payments by 0.16%, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced.

CMS still maintains average payments to increase by 3.7% in 2025. The federal government expects to pay up to $600 billion in MA payments to private plans.

“CMS continues to take steps to maintain the stability of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement.

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Cancer often requires more than one treatment − an oncologist explains why some patients like Kate Middleton receive both chemotherapy and surgery

Alexander Olawaiye, University of Pittsburgh

There are many types of cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and hormonal therapy, among others. Sometimes doctors combine multiple types of treatment. Which is the best treatment approach depends on which organ the tumor originated from and how much the tumor has spread at the time of diagnosis.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of cancers: solid tumors – or visible tumors that can be seen by the naked eye or through imaging – and liquid tumors, such as blood cancers. The primary treatment for solid cancers is surgery to physically remove the tumor, with the goal of getting rid of all tissues involved with the tumor.

For example, in ovarian cancer, surgery often includes removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus, along with any visible cancer tissue in the rest of the belly. Sometimes this requires removing the spleen or part of the small intestine or liver.

For skin cancers such as melanoma, surgery involves removing both the tumor and a good margin of normal-looking skin with it to capture any remaining...

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Florida Supreme Court greenlights recreational pot ballot initiative

WFSU reports via Health News Florida:

The Florida Supreme Court has approved language for a 2024 ballot initiative that could legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

The Court released its opinion Monday afternoon, hours before the final deadline. The ballot initiative would amend the Florida Constitution to allow those over 21 to purchase and consume marijuana and keep medical marijuana clinics and future licensed businesses from receiving criminal penalties for selling the plant for recreational use.

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Only second human case of bird flu in U.S. reported as global virus expands

A rare human case of bird flu has been reported in Texas, after a person come into contact with cattle suspected of being infected. The announcement comes days after federal agencies said the virus had spread to dairy cattle across multiple states, including Texas. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services said the patient's only experienced symptom was eye inflammation. The person, who has remained unnamed, was tested late last week and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the results over the weekend. 

Read more at CBS News.

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