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City of Hope to buy Cancer Treatment Center of America for $390M

City of Hope, a prominent not-for-profit cancer researcher and treatment provider, said Wednesday it plans to buy Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

The deal, expected to close early next year pending regulatory approval, would create a large network of inpatient and outpatient oncology care that would serve an estimated 115,000 patients annually. The definitive agreement holds that Duarte, California-based City of Hope would pay $390 million for CTCA, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

“In Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we found an organization that shares with us that nonnegotiable value of putting patients first, the urgency of eliminating cancer and the commitment to delivering high-quality care,” City of Hope CEO Robert Stone said in an interview.

The transaction would unite two cancer specialists with decidedly different backgrounds. City of Hope is among 71 National Cancer Institute-designed cancer centers in the country. It’s a distinction the federal agency grants to providers

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State data reveal fentanyl’s fatal role across age groups

The chart shows fentanyl’s convergence across age groups in fatal overdoses in Washington state. Credit: Data visualization by Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Use of the illicitly manufactured opioid fentanyl has had an outsize impact on overdose deaths in Washington state – particularly among people under age 30, according to a new analysis published at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

“For any disease or condition, mortality rates of people under 30 are typically much lower than for people 30 and older. But with fentanyl we are seeing very similar trends in terms of the rate of increase and the level of deaths. That’s not normal for any , let alone overdose,” said lead investigator Caleb Banta-Green.

He is principal research scientist at the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute, housed in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Banta-Green and colleague Jason Williams co-authored the paper and

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Omicron v. delta: Battle of coronavirus mutants is critical

As the omicron coronavirus variant spreads in southern Africa and pops up in countries all around the world, scientists are anxiously watching a battle play out that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can the latest competitor to the world-dominating delta overthrow it?

Some scientists, poring over data from South Africa and the United Kingdom, suggest omicron could emerge the victor.

“It’s still early days, but increasingly, data is starting to trickle in, suggesting that omicron is likely to outcompete delta in many, if not all, places,” said Dr. Jacob Lemieux, who monitors variants for a research collaboration led by Harvard Medical School.

But others said Monday it’s too soon to know how likely it is that omicron will spread more efficiently than delta, or, if it does, how fast it might take over.

“Especially here in the U.S., where we’re seeing significant surges in delta, whether omicron’s going

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Johns Hopkins team creates Lyme and tick-borne disease dashboard

The data in this figure are from CDC and the US Census Bureau and are in the public domain. Map tiles are reprinted under a CC BY license, with permission from CARTO, original copyright 2021. CARTO map tiles contain information from OpenStreetMap and OpenStreetMap Foundation, which is made available under the Open Database License. Credit: Curriero et al., 2021, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has created and posted online a free Lyme and tick-borne disease dashboard. The group has published a paper describing the information available on the dashboard and how to use it on the open-access site PLOS ONE.

As the researchers note, tick-borne diseases are on the rise in the U.S., likely due to a warming climate. They also note that many cases of tick-borne diseases are never reported anywhere, which leaves people in

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New York City extends vaccine mandate to all private sector employees

Starting Dec. 27, New Yorkers age 12 and older will be required to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one, except for those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it’s causing to all of us,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio’s announcement for private-sector employees includes new expansions to the city’s “Key to NYC” vaccination proof requirements.

The private-sector mandate is the latest vaccine mandate ordered by de Blasio this year that ties proof of vaccination status to employment. De Blasio issued an executive order on Oct. 27 that required all city workers to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He previously issued vaccine requirements aimed squarely at Department of Education employees.

The Dec. 27 private-sector

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Enrolling in health insurance can be like a new language. Here’s a glossary of terms to help

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Throughout my life, I’ve had the good fortune to stay on my parents’ health insurance plan. But this year I turned 26. So, when my company kicked off its open enrollment period, the window when your choose plans, it was time for me to spread my wings.

Clicking the link to choose a plan felt daunting, and it got worse when I started going through the selection process. What is an HSA? Or an FSA? Did I need that?

And what did high deductible versus low mean in terms of a plan?

Overwhelmed, I decided to talk to experts for help. One tip they gave me is to learn the language of enrollment before you start researching your health care plan. So, here’s a glossary of terms sourced by USA TODAY with additional resources to help you on your insurance selection journey.

Glossary of terms

Premium:

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