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What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Vaccine and Fewer Asthma Symptoms; Cyberattack Reporting Rule; MA Misdiagnoses Drive Up Costs

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Researchers link vaccination and reduced asthma symptoms; providers warn against overburdening and security risks; insurers’ practices lead to questionable diagnoses

COVID-19 Vaccination May Shield Children from Asthma Symptoms, Study Suggests

A study led by Nemours Children’s Health suggests that COVID-19 vaccination may help protect children aged 5 years and older from symptomatic asthma, according to Cidrap. By analyzing state-level data from 2018 to 2021, the researchers found that states with higher vaccination rates saw a decrease in parent-reported asthma symptoms among children. The study also noted that the link between vaccination and reduced asthma symptoms warrants further investigation to confirm these potential benefits.

New Cyberattack Reporting Rules Ignite Concerns in Health Care Sector

A proposed rule under the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act is causing controversy in the health care industry, with fears that the new cyberattack reporting requirements may hinder crisis response efforts, according to Axios. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) proposed rules mandate rapid reporting of cyber incidents and ransoms, which health care providers argue could divert critical resources and expose sensitive security details. Health organizations are calling for more flexibility and clarity in the rules, emphasizing the need to balance timely information sharing with practical considerations for handling cyber threats effectively.

MA Misdiagnoses: Misleading Records and Costly Consequences

Medicare Advantage insurers, including UnitedHealth, have issued hundreds of thousands of questionable diagnoses, inflating their payments from the government by billions of dollars, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal. These practices include diagnosing conditions such as diabetic cataracts and HIV in patients who do not have these diseases, often without their knowledge or consent. While insurers claim these efforts improve care coordination, critics argue they exploit the system, resulting in significant costs to taxpayers and potential harm to patients.

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