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Health insurer Humana's profit beats as memberships rise
29 Jul 2015 at 5:17am
(Reuters) - Health insurer Humana Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong growth in memberships in its Medicare Advantage business for individuals. Humana, which agreed to be bought by larger health insurer Aetna Inc for $37 billion this month, also reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast. The company said it added 350,300 more customers to its Medicare Advantage program for individuals, up 15 percent from a year earlier.
CGI third quarter profit up, as revenue slips; upgrades eyed
29 Jul 2015 at 5:02am
(Reuters) - Information systems and management consultants CGI Group Inc posted a 14 percent rise in third-quarter profit on lower revenue on Wednesday, and said it would invest in cyber security and in upgrades to make its business more productive. The Montreal-based company - which won unwelcome attention for its role in the botched 2013 launch of healthcare.gov, the system underpinning U.S. President Barack Obama's landmark health reform - said it signed C$2.2 billion of contract awards in the period, down from the C$2.5 billion a year ago. It will take a C$60 million pre-tax charge over the next six months for investments in cyber security, digitization of client processes and other upgrades.
Health insurer Anthem's profit beats as Medicaid memberships rise
29 Jul 2015 at 4:55am
(Reuters) - Health insurer Anthem Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strong enrollments in its government business, particularly Medicaid. Managed care companies that sell government-sponsored plans for the under-insured or uninsured have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, boosting revenue in that business. Revenue from the government business rose 25.7 percent during the second quarter ended June 30, helped by an 11 percent rise in Medicaid membership.
Human fetal tissue long used for variety of medical studies
29 Jul 2015 at 4:39am
NEW YORK (AP) ? Controversy over Planned Parenthood's supplying fetal tissue for research has focused attention on a little-discussed aspect of science.
GlaxoSmithKline beats profit forecasts despite Advair hit, lower margins
29 Jul 2015 at 4:39am
A further slide in sales of lung drug Advair and lower profit margins following a business overhaul hit GlaxoSmithKline in the second quarter, although core earnings per share fell by a less than expected 9 percent. The drugmaker recently sold its marketed cancer drugs to Novartis and bought the Swiss group's vaccines, while increasing its consumer health business through a joint venture. The revamp is designed to ensure sustainable growth, after past profit misses, but the strategy will take time to pay off and GSK on Wednesday reiterated its forecast for a high-teens percentage decline in 2015 earnings, at constant exchange rates.
Tanzania's free SMS health campaign helps pregnant women, new mothers
29 Jul 2015 at 4:26am
By Kizito Makoye DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Halima Rahim became a mother for the first time, friends and acquaintances in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam, were quick to offer advice and help. Had Rahim listened to them, she would have raised her baby on porridge rather than breast milk, not realising the risk to her daughter's health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), infants who are partly breastfed or not breastfed at all may face a higher risk of death from diarrhoea and other infections.
Immigrants, poor fish for their dinner, unaware of mercury
29 Jul 2015 at 12:50am
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ? It's midday and the white bucket balanced on the rocky shore at Mountha Uppasay's feet holds five or six white bass, moving sluggishly in the water she scooped from the Des Moines River.
Health care spending to accelerate, US report says
29 Jul 2015 at 12:29am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? It's lasted six years. But now welcome relief from rising U.S. health care costs seems to be winding down.
Sudan summons EU diplomat over statement on humanitarian needs
29 Jul 2015 at 12:21am
Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the European Union's representative in Khartoum on Tuesday to complain about "false information" it said the EU had disseminated about the number of refugees and displaced people in the country. In a statement released on July 17, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, said that the humanitarian situation in Sudan was getting worse and that an increasing number of refugees escaping South Sudan's civil war had exacerbated conditions. The EU announced a 4 million euro ($4.4 million) increase in humanitarian aid to Sudan, where it said that 5.4 million people in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, the scene of insurgencies, were in "need of lifesaving aid." A foreign ministry official expressed to the EU representative his "outright rejection of the misleading and incorrect information" on the number of refugees and displaced people as well as the general humanitarian situation, the ministry said.
Then & Now: Medicare and Medicaid turn 50
29 Jul 2015 at 12:16am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, Americans 65 and older were the age group least likely to have health insurance.
Chinese airport closed after arson attack aboard plane
29 Jul 2015 at 12:03am
Chinese authorities have suspended operations at a small regional airport in the country's east, state media reported on Wednesday, after an arson attack aboard a local flight left two passengers injured. A witness told state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) that a man had set fire to a curtain and newspapers in the first class cabin on the flight from the coastal city of Taizhou to the southern metropolis of Guangzhou. The arsonist boarded the Shenzhen Airlines flight from Taizhou with a knife, lighter and gasoline, despite bans on carrying the items, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing airport and witness reports.
Congress moves to three-month highway extension; trade bank stays idled
29 Jul 2015 at 12:00am
By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a rapidly shifting battle, Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday prepared to pass a three-month highway funding extension while leaving the idled Export-Import Bank's fate hanging at least into September. With the House of Representatives and Senate rushing toward a five-week summer recess, Republican leaders in both chambers embraced the newest version of a bill to temporarily fund road and mass transit construction projects. Failure by Congress to act by Friday would lead to a cutoff of federal transport funds, disrupting projects nationwide.
Boy who lost hands to infection gets double-hand transplant
28 Jul 2015 at 11:37pm
PHILADELPHIA (AP) ? An 8-year-old boy who lost his hands and feet to a serious infection has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant, surgeons said Tuesday.
Sanofi's combination diabetes drug hits goal in late-stage trial
28 Jul 2015 at 10:16pm
Sanofi said on Wednesday a first late-stage Phase III study of its LixiLan diabetes drug had met its main target, while another would be completed at the end of the third quarter. LixiLan consists of a single-injection combination of Lyxumia, a drug developed with Danish drugmaker Zealand Pharma, and Sanofi's Lantus. It targets patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.
In rise of U.S. vape shops, owners eye new marijuana market
28 Jul 2015 at 10:05pm
By Jilian Mincer NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Matt and Jen Osmun opened their vape shop in Bethel, Connecticut, last December, they didn't expect to get a boost from the local medical marijuana outlet. Most customers at Grassy Plain Vape & Smoke buy electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking tobacco, but a growing number are referred by medical marijuana commissaries in the neighborhood ? the nearest is about five miles away. The Osmuns' experience is becoming more common as the number of U.S. vape shops soars and shop owners seek to capitalize not only on the vaping trend, but on the more widespread, and legal, use of medical marijuana.