📺 Situational Awareness: "Axios on HBO" returns this Sunday!
Today's word count is 836, or ~3 minutes.
Parents, teachers and lawmakers are grappling with the worst teen suicide rate in U.S. history, despite a spate of state laws and training programs designed to help, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.
By the numbers: The number of suicides from people ages 10 to 24 increased 56% fr0m 2007 to 2017, the fastest rate of any age group, a new CDC report shows.
Teachers in some school districts are scouring Google for mental health advice because they don't know how to help their students, Sam Brinton, the head of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project, tells Marisa.
Intervention and prevention plans are either mandatory or strongly encouraged in 42 states, but there are still pleas for more inclusive programming.
The bottom line: "If you had kids suddenly dying at these rates from a new disease or infection, there would be a huge outcry. But most people don’t even know this is happening," Lisa Horowitz, a pediatric psychologist at the National Institute of Health, told the Washington Post.
More than 700 doctors were paid at least $1 million by drug and medical device companies between 2014 and 2018, ProPublica reports. More than 2,500 received at least half a million dollars.
Why it matters: Many drugs that are heavily promoted have strong competition. "Promotional spending is a major way that manufacturers in these situations distinguish themselves from each other — not by conducting comparative studies or by engaging in substantial price reductions," said Aaron Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Between the lines: The Affordable Care Act required such payments to be made public. While some experts thought transparency may cause companies and doctors to rethink the payments, that doesn't seem to have been the case.
By the numbers: In each of the 5 years, drug and device companies spent between $2.1 billion and $2.2 billion paying doctors. Around 600,000 doctors received payments each year.
The tentative deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers includes an agreement to keep the same health care plans "with no additional costs to members," according to a summary of the deal.
Why it matters: Most employer health plans are getting more expensive and less comprehensive.
Details: GM wanted unionized workers to pay for 15% of their health care costs through premiums and deductibles, up from 3%, and it wanted to allow its pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Health, to exclude certain medications from its approved list of drugs.
The big picture: GM's health care tab in 2018, just for hourly unionized workers and their families, hit approximately $900 million. Ford's annual health care expenses similarly are expected to top $1 billion. New union contracts with the same terms would instantly balloon those figures.
Insurance giant UnitedHealthcare is strengthening its effort to steer patients receiving outpatient surgery away from hospitals and toward cheaper physician offices or ambulatory surgery centers, Modern Healthcare reports.
The big picture: This is part of a growing effort to address the fact that hospitals charge higher prices for the same outpatient services than other facilities.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Juul will stop selling flavored e-cigarette cartridges online, after halting brick-and-mortar sales last year, in response to criticism from schools, parents and regulators who have said the flavored products contributed to the spike in teen vaping.
Where it stands: The self-imposed limits don't apply to menthol or tobacco flavors, Marisa writes. The Food and Drug Administration is also still investigating Juul's advertising practices.