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Health Plans Predict: Implementing Upper Payment Limits May Alter Formularies and Benefit Design But Won’t Reduce Patient Costs
Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) Research Update: The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) has released a white paper that shares insurers views on the implementation of Upper Payment Limits (UPLs) and what it will mean for people taking prescription drugs subject to UPLs. PDABs are popping up in several states promising to lower costs of prescription drugs for patients. The laws, however, focus on setting limits on reimbursement by payers – PBMs, insurers, employers, the state, etc. – and not on consumer out-of-pocket costs. Many patient groups, providers, and other stakeholders have raised concerns about how these efforts could limit access to medicines and are dubious about patients actually saving money. This research fully validates those concerns, including direct quotes about utilization management increasing and that consumers will not receive savings (if any) from UPLs. They also anticipate provider financial risks may increase – which means fewer pharmacies and physician offices willing to risk providing medicines subject to UPLs. PFCD has published the findings and proposals for reforms that will help patients. Avalere, who conducted in-depth interviews with executives from six different health plans covering nearly seven million lives, has posted a related Insights & Analysis piece, Research Explores Health Plan Perceptions of PDABs and UPLs.

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Regularly exercising 2 or more times a week may cut insomnia risk
“Not getting enough sleep can increase a person’s risk for several health issues. Previous research shows certain lifestyle changes can improve a person’s sleep quality, including increasing daily activity. Researchers from Reykjavik University in Iceland found that people who persistently exercised at least two or more times a week had a lower insomnia risk and an easier time getting six to nine hours of sleep each night.”

Why loneliness is bad for your health
“A lack of social interaction is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and more. Researchers are unpicking how the brain mediates these effects.”

Lancet study reveals alarming global obesity trends in 2022
“New study released by the Lancet shows that, in 2022, more than 1 billion people in the world are now living with obesity. Worldwide, obesity among adults has more than doubled since 1990, and has quadrupled among children and adolescents (5 to 19 years of age). The data also show that 43% of adults were overweight in 2022.”

Sitting Time Reduction and Blood Pressure in Older Adults
“Conclusions and Relevance  In this study of a 6-month sitting reduction intervention, older adults in the intervention reduced sedentary time by more than 30 min/d and reduced systolic blood pressure. Sitting reduction could be a promising approach to improve health in older adults.”

Mouse study shows exercise during pregnancy improves heart health of future generations
“Exercising during pregnancy doesn’t just benefit moms—it may also give their babies a head start on their heart health after birth, according to a study by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.”

Obesity Genes Mean Some Folks Must Exercise More for Same Results
“People with a high genetic risk for obesity have to work out more to maintain a healthy weight. People with high risk had to walk 2,280 more steps a day than those at average risk to avoid obesity. Doctors might need to issue individual exercise prescriptions based on a person’s genetics.”

A mindful ‘body scan’ can be a powerful pain-relief tool
“The meditation helps the brain observe sensations with less discomfort.”

Costco Unveils Medical Weight Loss Subscription Program
“April 2, 2024 – Costco is entering the growing marketplace for medical weight loss, joining the likes of WeightWatchers and Noom amid booming interest in the new class of drugs known as GLP-1s.”