Weekly Dose of Health News September 2 – 5 2014

A new dietary study commissioned by the National Institute of Health has found that lower carbohydrate and increased fat intake reduces body fat and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. This does not include trans fats. The study is likely to spark yet another debate on weight loss, heart health and proper diet.

Six New York organizations have been awarded funds designed to reduce infant mortality, including four in New York City and one each in Syracuse and Rochester.

This week, CVS pharmacies stopped selling cigarettes in all of their retail stores across the country. CVS also plans to expand its in-pharmacy health care business and its pharmacy benefit management operations.

The Congressional Budget Office is reporting that Medicare spending on a per person basis has dropped. On average, the annual per person cost is now $11,200, compared to three years ago when the average per person cost was $12,000. The drop is attributed to relatively younger and healthier baby boomers entering the program and a decrease in the use of health services, especially hospital care and prescription drugs.

The New York State Department of Financial Services granted insurance rate hikes of 5.7%, on average, to the state’s health insurance plans including New York State of Health. This increase was much less than many insurers were requesting.

A reminder that the New York State Drug Utilization Review Board is set to meet on September 18 in Albany. For details, click here.

More good news on obesity from the L.A. Times: the national childhood obesity crisis is stabilizing.

The New York State Department of Health, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, Office of Mental Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Health announced the kick off of forums around the behavioral health transition to Medicaid Managed care.

Researchers are recommending that women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent receive routine screening for harmful cancer causing gene mutations. These women have high rates of breast and ovarian cancer genetic mutations even without a family history of disease.