CDC: Awareness of prediabetes rose slightly in 2009-2010
ATLANTA — The percentage of people who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and aware of it has risen slightly over the past few years, but remains low, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC’s "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," the percentage of the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes who were aware of their condition was 11.1% in 2009 and 2010, compared with 7.7% in 2005 and 2006. The report also found that younger people, those ages 20 to 44 years, were less likely to be aware of their condition than those ages 45 years and older. Each year, 11% of those with prediabetes who don’t lose weight or engage in moderate physical activity progress to Type 2 diabetes. In patients with prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
The CDC report was based on an analysis of data from the "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey" collected between 2005 and 2010.
More than $209 million of Target debentures tendered, company says
MINNEAPOLIS — About $209.3 million worth of Target Corp.’s debt has been put up for sale as the company moves to refinance $679 million worth of debt due between 2028 and 2031, the mass merchandise retailer said.
Target announced plans to purchase $170 million in 6.75% debentures due 2028, $154.9 million in 6.65% debentures due 2028 and $354 million in 7% debentures due 2031.
The company said the $209.3 million tendered so far represented 20.31%, 25.22% and 38.32% of the totals of the three respective security titles.
Re-introduced bill aims to curb hospital re-admissions through telehealth technology
WASHINGTON — Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
The bipartisan Fostering Independence Through Technology Act, S. 596, would create a pilot program to provide budget neutral incentives for home health agencies across the country to use remote patient monitoring to better monitor Medicare beneficiaries, improve health outcomes and reduce Medicare expenditures.
Thune and Klobuchar’s bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create pilot projects providing incentives for home health agencies to purchase and utilize remote patient monitoring and communications technologies. The technology would establish performance targets based on historic Medicare spending. The performance targets would measure success both through health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and savings under Medicare due to the technology.
“This innovative RPM technology has the ability to revolutionize patient care and dramatically reduce the amount of money Medicare spends on hospital re-admissions each year,” stated Thune. “Not only could this technology reduce costs and improve health outcomes, but it also offers patients the individual freedom to stay in their homes, reducing costs associated with nursing homes and long-term care facilities. I’m pleased to have worked with many industry stakeholders in developing this legislation over the past few years, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this legislation through Congress.”
“Telehealth technology is critical to reducing healthcare costs and ensuring that all Minnesotans have access to high-quality and affordable health care,” added Klobuchar. “By expanding the use of innovative home care technology, this legislation will make health care more efficient and will allow seniors to stay in their homes longer without jeopardizing their health, safety or access to healthcare professionals.”
Due to recent changes in law, hospitals are now subject to payment penalties when a Medicare beneficiary is re-admitted to a hospital within a prescribed period with a complication that is preventable. Currently, about 1-out-of-5 Medicare patients who are hospitalized end up back in the hospital within 30 days, which creates significant unnecessary costs. This technology would aim to allow patients to be more closely monitored using non-invasive technology to help address possible post-hospitalization complications before they result in a re-admission to the hospital.