Entries in Rates (2)


Report: Cancer Rates Declining in the US

Duncan Smith/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new report out Thursday called the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer says overall cancer death rates have dropped by an average of 1.6 percent per year from 2003 to 2007.  The report added that the rate of new cancers in the U.S. has dropped by nearly one percent per year.

Researchers say the declines are part of a trend that began in the 1990s.  While lung cancer death rates in men started to decline over a decade ago, the researchers noted this is the first time a drop has been observed for lung cancer death rates in women.

Lynn Ries, a health statistician at the U.S. National Cancer Institute and a co-author of the report, attributes the drop of death rates for women with lung cancer to women quitting smoking.

"Women started smoking a lot later than men, so the peak in the mortality rate occurred a lot later," she said.

A combined effort of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society, the report is published in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio ´╗┐


Blue Shield of Calif. Agrees to Review of Rates for Policyholders

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Healthcare provider, Blue Shield of California, agreed Friday to submit to an independent actuarial review of its rates and give refunds to policyholders if the review finds the rates to be unsound.  The insurance company's decision comes after concerns were raised regarding rising healthcare rates for individuals.

Nearly 200,000 members of the Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company received notice that rates would increase on average by 15 percent annually with some members receiving even higher increases.

Blue Shield Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken explained in a statement the company's reasons for subjecting its rates to the review, expected to last 30-45 days.

"We regret that our members have received significant rate increases in recent months and want to be absolutely certain that the rates reflect our actual cost of providing medical care."  He later continued, "If this independent review finds that the rates are not sound, we will hold our members harmless by refunding the difference with interest."

The review will be administered by Axene Health Partners LLC, which will be "free to confer" with the Department of Insurance to determine if Blue Shield's rates are "excessive, unjustified or unfairly discriminatory."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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