The CDC recommends pregnant women receive RSV vaccinations; 6 states expand their Medicaid programs to offer dental coverage; a new bill aims to address issues in the US organ transplant system
RSV Vaccination Recommended for Pregnant Women to Protect Newborns
The CDC is advising that pregnant women receive respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccinations during the late stages of pregnancy but only during the RSV season to protect newborns from severe lung infections, according to The Associated Press. The RSV vaccine should be administered between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy and is intended to provide passive immunity to the baby by transmitting virus-fighting antibodies through the placenta. Experts caution, however, that effectiveness may vary depending on the baby's due date.
Medicaid Expansion Provides Dental Coverage to Adults in 6 States
Hawaii, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland, and New Hampshire have expanded their Medicaid programs this year to provide dental coverage to adults, according to NBC News. This decision is backed by an influx of federal pandemic dollars and a growing recognition of the costs of untreated oral disease, which can lead to emergency department visits, missed work, and increased health care spending. Despite these changes, several challenges remain, including a shortage of dentists willing to treat Medicaid patients and low reimbursement rates.
Biden Signs Bill to Reform US Organ Transplant System
President Biden has signed a bill into law that paves the way for a significant overhaul of the US organ transplant system, aiming to address issues such as long wait times and organ wastage, according to Axios. The legislation allows for increased competition in awarding contracts for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network across the country, marking the first major reform in decades. However, the success of these reforms depends on securing adequate funding, with the Biden administration requesting $67 million for the organ transplant program in fiscal year 2024, more than double the current funding level.