The first monkeypox case in the United States was confirmed in Massachusetts; identification, measurement, and reduction of specific low-value services could help population health and reduce medical expenditures; President Joe Biden invokes the Defense Production Act to combat formula shortage.
A man in Massachusetts has a confirmed diagnosis of monkeypox, the first case of the rare disease in the United States, according to the Boston Globe. The man, who is currently being treated in isolation at Massachusetts General Hospital after being admitted on May 12 and receiving a diagnosis on Wednesday, had recently traveled to Canada through “private transportation,” according to the CDC. It has not been disclosed when or where the man’s trip to Canada took place. Hospital officials are currently attempting to track down others who may have come in contact with the patient, as monkeypox can be spread through bodily fluids of the infected patient.
A recent report issued by VBID Health found that the 10 most frequently provided low-value services accounted for nearly three-fourths (74%-81%) of low-value care spending in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Utah, and Colorado. These services include resting electrocardiogram, preoperative baseline laboratory studies, cervical cancer screening in women, opiates for acute disabling low-back pain, and routine general health checks. Each state spent between $4.28 and $5.23 (mean = $4.74) per member-month on services that were almost always low value, with a significant portion coming out of patients’ pockets (between 15.11% and 20.7% in Utah, Colorado, and Connecticut). The authors found that low-value care spending may be reduced in commercial budgets by focusing on these services.
President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to combat the formula shortage in the United States, according to AP News. The order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from formula companies before any other customers. Biden is also authorizing the Department of Defense to use commercial aircraft to fly formula from overseas into the United States. The news comes after Biden loosened restrictions on foreign formula imports and Abbott announced that it was given permission to reopen its facilities after a recall in February. It is likely the impacts of these announcements won’t be felt for several weeks.