What We’re Reading: Drugs for Medicare Negotiations to Be Revealed; Nursing Homes Closing; Gender-Affirming Surgeries Nearly Triple


The Biden administration is expected to unveil the first 10 drugs identified for drug price negotiations Tuesday; American nursing homes are disappearing; gender-affirming surgeries tripled in the United States between 2016-2019.

White House to Name Some Medicare Negotiation Drugs Early

The Biden administration is expected to announce the first 10 prescription drugs chosen for Medicare price negotiations early next week before a White House event on Tuesday to celebrate the achievement, according to Politico. The announcement will be a significant step in a bid to lower drug prices through the first-ever direct negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical manufacturers over a collection of drugs.

America’s Shrinking Nursing Homes

The United States has at least 600 fewer nursing homes than in 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of government data, reported The Wall Street Journal. More care for seniors is taking place in the home, and the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many families to denounce nursing homes while siphoning workers who were already short-staffed. As a result, frail elderly patients are stranded in hospitals, sometimes waiting for months for somewhere to go. The need for senior care is increasing, with Americans aged 65 and older expected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 81 million by 2040.

Gender-Affirming Surgeries Nearly Triple in the US

The number of gender-affirming surgeries happening in the United States almost tripled between 2016 and 2019, according to new national estimates from a cohort study, according to STAT. More than 48,000 people got some kind of gender-affirming surgery between 2018-2020. Breast and chest surgeries, genital surgeries, and other facial or cosmetic procedures grew during that period across age groups. It is unclear as to precisely why the general number of surgeries have grown so dramatically since 2016, but changes to insurance coverage of the care might be a reason, among other factors.

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