The obesity rate in children and adolescents has increased to nearly 22%, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New York.
- District of Columbia: A research letter published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics found that the youth obesity rate increased from 17.7% in 2011 to 2012 to 21.5% in 2017 to 2020. Among boys, the rate climbed from 18.1% to 21.4% during the same period. Similarly, the rate climbed from 17.2% to 21.6% among girls. According to Amanda Staiano of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, there were significant increases in obesity among children ages 2 to 5 and in adolescents ages 12 to 19. In addition, there were significant increases in children that identify as Mexican, Black, and white. "Because of the significant increase in obesity, there is an urgent need for identification of antecedents and correlates of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk for early obesity prevention," the authors wrote. (Lopilato, MedPage Today, 7/25)
- Massachusetts: Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) appointed Daniel Morash as its new CFO, effective Sept. 1. Morash, who currently serves as CFO and SVP for the Mass General Physicians' Organization, will manage the finance departments for BWH, the Brigham and Women's Physicians' Organization, and Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. "Brigham and Women's Hospital is a leader in healthcare, innovation, and quality and I'm honored to have been chosen for this role," Morash said. "I look forward to collaborating with the Brigham's talented leadership and helping to lead the financial strategy of our storied institution and I'm excited to continue to work with my colleagues across Mass General Brigham as we tackle the serious financial challenges our industry is facing." (Schiavo, HealthLeaders Media, 7/25)
- New York: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on Monday ruled that Pfizer is not allowed to pay Medicare beneficiaries' out-of-pocket costs for its heart medication tafamidis, also known as Vyndaqel and Vyndamax. Previously, HHS said a proposed copay program for Pfizer's heart medication is not permitted under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute—a ruling that was upheld in the federal district court last year. On Monday, the appeals court ruled that Pfizer's program would not be legal under the statute, which prevents drugmakers from providing financial incentives to individuals enrolled in government health care programs. According to a Pfizer spokesperson, the company is disappointed that the appeal was unsuccessful. "The company continues to believe that providing copay assistance to eligible patients who have been prescribed tafamidis would represent a fair and effective way to lower out-of-pocket costs and help ensure affordable access to this important medicine," the spokesperson wrote. (Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 7/25)