Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Trump to order hospitals to be transparent about healthcare costs

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about prices before charging patients for healthcare services, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said on Monday. The executive order will direct HHS to issue a rule that will mandate hospitals to disclose in an "easy-to-read, patient-friendly format" what prices patients and insurers will actually end up paying, Azar said.

Supreme Court to hear insurers' bid for $12 billion in Obamacare money

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether insurers can seek $12 billion from the federal government under a program set up by the Obamacare law aimed at encouraging them to offer medical coverage to previously uninsured Americans. The justices will hear an appeal by a group of insurers of a lower court's ruling that Congress had suspended the government's obligation to make such payments. The insurers have said that ruling, if allowed to stand, would let the government pull a "bait-and-switch" and withhold money the companies were promised.

Judge allows Missouri's only abortion clinic to stay open for at least five more days

A Missouri judge ruled on Monday the state's only abortion clinic can remain open for at least five more days, but he ordered Planned Parenthood to take its fight against closure to a state arbiter. Missouri health officials on Friday refused to renew the St. Louis clinic's license on the grounds that it failed to meet their standards.

Teens with strong connections at home and school may become healthier adults

Teens who feel understood by their parents and teachers may grow up to be healthier adults, a U.S. study suggests. The 14,800 study participants completed health surveys at an average age of 15. "Connectedness" scores averaged 22.1 out of a possible high score of 30 for teens' relationships at school and 25.5 out of 30 for family relationships.

Conatus Pharma to explore options, liver disease drug fails trial

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday it will cut staff by about 40% as part of a restructuring plan and explore options. Separately, the company said it is discontinuing the development of its liver disease drug, emricasan, after it failed to meet the main goal in a mid-stage study.

U.S. records 33 new measles cases, mostly in New York State

Thirty-three new measles cases were recorded in the United States last week, most of them in New York, federal health officials said on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed cases this year to 1,077 in the worst U.S. outbreak of the virus since 1992. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease rose 3% in the week ended June 20 from the prior week. The 2019 outbreak, which has spread to 28 states, is the worst since 1992, when 2,126 cases were recorded.

Oklahoma judge approves Teva's $85 million opioid settlement

An Oklahoma judge on Monday approved a revised $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd resolving claims by the state's attorney general that the drugmaker helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic. The decision by Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman in Norman, Oklahoma came after the state's attorney general, governor and top lawmakers resolved a dispute over how the money should be deposited and spent.

Opioid overdose more likely if family member has prescription

Opioid overdoses may be much more likely to happen in families when somebody in the household has been prescribed these drugs, a U.S. study suggests. Even when a family member gets lower doses of opioids - less than 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day - the overdose risk is almost three times higher than it would be in a family where nobody has been prescribed opioids, the study found.

Midwifery students use augmented technology to improve clinical skills

Midwifery students in London are learning to bring new life into the world in a radically new way with the help of augmented reality (AR) technology. Using AR headsets and lifelike models of full-term mothers, trainee midwives at Middlesex University can take part in fully simulated births, which the university's clinical staff hope will both hone their clinical skills and leave them better prepared to face challenges rarely seen in day-to-day practice.

Young women smokers at much higher risk of deadly heart attack

While smoking boosts the likelihood of heart attack in both men and women of all ages, it has a much more powerful effect in younger women, especially those under 50, a new study suggests. For women smokers ages 18 to 49, the risk of a deadly type of heart attack was more than 13 times higher than it was for non-smoking counterparts, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.