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States ask insurers to prioritize non-opioid pain treatment

The Washingon Times + 20 other

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) - Attorneys general representing the majority of states are asking the insurance industry to encourage pain treatment through means other than prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Opioid overdoses are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year in the U.S. The top government lawyers in 35 states signed a letter sent Monday to the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans. They asked insurers to make coverage of non-opioid treatments such as physical therapy and massage a priority. The lawyers called the status quo - with incentives to prescribe opioids - “unacceptable.” The insurers group did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The nation is in the thick of an opioid epidemic. In 2015, more than 52,000 people across the country died from drug overdoses, most of them involving opioids. LOAD COMMENTS () HIDE COMMENTS Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC. /* { init: true, // Load Disqus SDK -- set to false if SDK will be loaded externally short_name: 'washtimes',   Click to Read More Click to Hide …

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While Premiums Soar Under Obamacare, Costs of Employer-Based Plans Are Stable

The New York Times + 1 other

In sharp contrast to the soaring health insurance premiums in many Affordable Care Act marketplaces, the cost of coverage for the vast numbers of people who get insurance through their jobs rose relatively little this year, continuing a period of remarkable stability in the employer market, according to a national survey released Tuesday. The annual premium for family coverage rose an average of 3 percent to $18,764 this year, according the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group, which conducted the annual survey of employers. That is the sixth straight year that employer-provided policie…

James Corden jokes about that controversial photo of him kissing Sean Spicer at the Emmys

Washington Post + 2 other

James Corden kisses Sean Spicer in the green room at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Charles Sykes/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images) Were you upset by that photo of CBS’s “Late Late Show” host James Corden planting a kiss on President Trump’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, at the Emmy Awards? Corden is well-aware of the criticism and addressed the controversy on his show Monday night — however, he just responded with jokes. The photo sparked backlash the day after the ceremony, as lots of viewers were already angered that Spicer was invited to the Emmy…

Obama’s former speechwriter shares the funniest joke he never told

New York Post + 1 other

44 seems to have gotten this one right. During his five-year stint as a speechwriter in Barack Obama’s White House, David Litt wrote his fair share of one-liners for the nation’s most powerful man. But one of his brainstorms never made its way out of the president’s mouth. “It went along the lines of ‘Washington just legalized marijuana and we’re about to see big changes,’” Litt tells Moneyish. “For instance, Sen. Rand Paul just delivered a 13-hour filibuster as to keeping Taco Bell open.” Us too, Mr. President. “I’ve always liked that joke, but I’m in the minority there,” says the 31-year…

Arizona agency to test child care facilities' water for lead

The Washingon Times + 1 other

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona health officials are launching a project to screen drinking water in child care facilities for lead. The Department of Health Services project starting this month will have licensing personnel collect water samples for lead testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory. The department says the testing results then will be reviewed to see whether the sampled water meets safe drinking water standard. Confirming samples will be collected from facilities and tested if initial screening levels are found above standards. The department says drinking water has not hist…

The Latest: Arkansas medical pot network draws hundreds

The Washingon Times + 2 other

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on the establishment of a medical marijuana distribution network in Arkansas: (all times local): 5 p.m. Would-be growers and distributors of Arkansas’ initial medical marijuana crop flooded a state office building, turning in thousands of pages of paperwork and handing over thousands of dollars in application fees. Applicants faced a three-hour wait ahead of Monday afternoon’s deadline, as their number greatly exceeded the clerks available to review paperwork to ensure it was complete. Those hoping to grow medical marijuana had to pay a $15,000 …

Trial to begin for pharmacist charged in meningitis outbreak

The Washingon Times + 1 other

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts pharmacist facing murder charges for his role in a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak is set to go on trial. Glenn Chin is charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy and other crimes under federal racketeering law. He was the supervisory pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham. The 2012 meningitis outbreak killed 76 people and sickened more than 700 others. It was traced to contaminated steroid injections made by the facility. Chin ran the clean rooms where the steroid injections were made. Opening statements are expected Tuesday in f…

Body of 77-year-old woman missing from nursing home found

The Washingon Times + 3 other

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A 77-year-old woman has been found dead about two miles away from the Pennsylvania nursing home where she was reported missing nearly a month ago. A body found Sunday in a roadside ditch in Lower Macungie Township was identified by a coroner Monday as Audrey Penn. Police and family members had been searching for Penn, who had Alzheimer’s disease, since she wandered away from a nursing home outside Allentown on Aug. 23. Officials say her death is not considered suspicious. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday to determine a cause of death. LOAD COMMENTS () HID…