5.23.15:  Michigan bill requires equal health coverage of cancer drugs



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Cancer patients and survivors are lobbying lawmakers to make Michigan the latest state to require equal insurance coverage of chemotherapy regardless of whether the drugs are given by needle or taken orally.

The bill addresses the tendency for chemo pills to cost patients much more out of pocket than IV chemo.

Supporters say Michigan must adapt not only because the expensive pills are becoming more prevalent but because they are more convenient — saving long trips to health care facilities for IV drips and affording patients more time at work and with family. The insurance industry and business groups opposing the legislation say it would increase health premiums on everyone else.

The legislation, which won approval 36-1 this month from the Senate, will be considered in the House next.


5.2.16:  Monkey bars alert: Playground concussions are on the rise



CHICAGO (AP) — Playground concussions are on the rise, and monkey bars and swings are most often involved.

That’s according to a new study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers there examined national data from 2001 through 2013 on playground injuries to kids aged 14 and younger who received emergency-room treatment. Of almost 215,000 kids on average treated yearly, almost 10 percent had traumatic brain injuries including concussions.

Most injuries were mild, but all concussions are potentially serious and the researchers say the trend shows kids’ concussions don’t only happen in sports.

The study was published online Monday in Pediatrics.