Health Highlights: April 25, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

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Family Warns of 'Dry Drowning' After Daughter's Near-Death

Parents need to know about "dry drowning," says the family of a 4-year-old girl in Florida who was hospitalized and nearly died from the condition.

After accidentally swallowing pool water, Elianna Grace immediately vomited but appeared fine within about 30 minutes. But she developed a fever the next day and eventually ended up in the emergency room, where a chest X-ray revealed inflammation and an infection, CBS News reported.

Elianna was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia, also called dry drowning. It occurs when a person inhales water and it gets into the lungs. It can develop hours or even days after inhaling water, and typically involves young children.

Medical experts say symptoms of dry drowning include trouble breathing, persistent coughing, sleepiness and fatigue, and vomiting, CBS News reported.

Elianna is now recovering at home. Her mother, Lacey Grace, wants other parents to be aware of the threat posed by dry drowning.

"If you think something is off, I encourage you to get them checked out. Best case, they're gonna say, 'Your kid's OK, something that'll pass.' And, worst case, they're gonna say, 'You need to get to the nearest ER immediately.'"

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Hospitals Will Have to Post Prices Online: Medicare

U.S. hospitals will have to post their standard prices online and make it easier for patients to access their electronic medical records, Medicare officials said Tuesday.

Currently, hospitals must make their prices public, but the new rule requires the information to be posted online in a format that can be easily processed by computers, the Associated Press reported.

However, hospitals' standard prices aren't what insurers and government programs pay, so it's unclear how useful consumers will find the online pricing information.

Many health care providers already give patients access to their electronic medical records, but hospitals' Medicare payments will be partly based on how easy they make it for patients to get those records. That requirement begins in 2021, the AP reported.

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Also on Tuesday, it was announced that Medicare is launching a review of how it will pay for an expensive new type of immunotherapy for cancer. CAR-T, a gene therapy that boosts the immune system to attack cancer, can cost more than $370,000 per patient.


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