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What We’re Reading: NPs Shifting to Specialty Care; Menopause Medication Insurance Hurdles; New COVID-19 Variants Pose Surge Risk

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Concerns arise over primary care shortages; women struggle with coverage for effective nonhormonal treatments; FLiRT variants drive concerns amidst waning surveillance and immunity

NPs, PAs Join Specialties as Concerns Rise Over Primary Care Shortages

Increasingly, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are moving into specialty areas like cardiology and dermatology, broadening their skills and incomes, according to Kaiser Health News. This trend has worried experts who fear primary care might suffer from a shortage of these professionals. Despite the growing presence of NPs in specialty fields, projections suggest there will still be enough clinicians to meet primary care demands, but the distribution might challenge traditional health care models.

New Menopause Medications Face Insurance Hurdles Despite Promising Results

Innovative nonhormonal drugs like Bayer's elinzanetant and Astellas' fezolinetant (Veozah) have shown promise in reducing menopause symptoms, particularly hot flashes, according to NBC News. However, insurance companies often require women to try less effective medications first, making access difficult. Experts and patients have expressed frustration over these insurance barriers, emphasizing the need for better support for menopausal care.

New COVID-19 Variants Pose Summer Surge Risk

COVID-19 levels in the US are at historic lows, but the emergence of new FLiRT variants, particularly KP.2, has raised the possibility of a summer surge, according to CNN. These variants, which are more transmissible and immune-evasive, have overtaken previous strains, complicating predictions. Although the risk remains uncertain, experts urge caution, particularly looking ahead to the fall, when conditions could favor a larger resurgence.

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