Health Beat: Governors group ask for swift congressional action on Zika funding
Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up of health-related topics. –––––––––––––––
GOVERNORS GROUP ASK FOR SWIFT CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON ZIKA FUNDING
The nation’s governors, in a statement, called on Congress and the Obama administration to work together to reach agreement on the appropriate level of funding needed to prepare for and combat the Zika virus. In that statement, they asked for swift action to ensure funds are made available to states, territories and the public at large.
“The nation is on the threshold of a public health emergency as it faces the likely spread of the Zika virus. As with all such emergencies, advance planning and preparation is essential to prevent injury and death,” the National Governors Association said.
CDC STUDY: FORMER NFL PLAYERS NOT AT INCREASED RISK OF SUICIDE
Retired National Football League (NFL) players are at no greater risk of suicide when compared with the general U.S. population, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The NIOSH researchers calculated the suicide death rate for 3,439 retired NFL players who played at least five seasons between 1959 and 1988 and compared it with the suicide death rate for gender-, race-, and age-matched people from the general U.S. population. They found that from 1979 to 2013, the rate of suicide among these former professional football players was less than half of what would be expected compared with the general U.S. population. The NFL group experienced 12 suicide deaths compared with 25 that would be expected in a comparable gender/race/age sector of the U.S. population.
More information about NIOSH research on occupational risks of NFL players is available here.
HHS ANNOUNCES CHALLENGE TO DESIGN NEW MEDICAL BILL
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell has announced a challenge to encourage health care organizations, designers, developers, digital tech companies and other innovators to design a medical bill that’s simpler, cleaner, and easier for patients to understand, and to improve patients’ experience of the overall medical billing process. The “A Bill You Can Understand” design and innovation challenge is intended to solicit new approaches and draw national attention to a common complaint with the health care system: that medical billing is a source of confusion for patients and families.
The challenge, which is sponsored by AARP and administered by the design agency Mad*Pow, seeks to draw attention to the complexity of medical billing and how patients are impacted. Winning designs will be featured at the Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference this September and on the challenge website. The challenge will accept submissions until Aug. 10. Challenge winners will be announced in September 2016 and will receive cash prizes of $5,000 each.
Additional information including how to apply can be found here.