Managed Care e-News
Jan. 6, 2015

Save the date: 2015 Spring Managed Care Forum

Register today for the 2015 Spring Forum being held April 23-24, 2015 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club. Click here to visit the conference website.More

No health insurance? Penalties to rise in 2015
Chicago Daily Herald
The cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly next year for millions of people. It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law. More

Think filing taxes was tough before Obamacare? Just wait
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is part health law, part tax law. Some feel benefited by the law, some burdened by it. And one’s perceptions about that can change over time. Either way, you may be annoyed by the extra forms and extra tax compliance, even if your tax bill doesn’t go up. The IRS has a far more important role in the law than you might think.More

Health insurance enrollment strongest in federal marketplace
The New York Times
The Obama administration reported a big increase in new customers signing up for health insurance in Florida, Texas and other states using the federal insurance marketplace. But in states running their own insurance exchanges, the numbers were more modest.More

What is holding back ACO telehealth use, reimbursement?
EHR Intelligence
Telehealth continues to show its ability to improve healthcare costs, quality, and access, but regulatory restrictions still hinder the use of this health information technology among accountable care organizations whose goal is to achieve those improvements, according to the author of an article published in the American Journal of Accountable Care.More

Telemedicine can enhance care at lower cost, but providers and payers alike are hesitant
Telemedicine has the potential to enhance healthcare, improve convenience and reduce costs, but both payers and providers likely won't add it as a reimbursed service due to lower payments or possible overuse, according to a recent peer-reviewed article in The American Journal of Managed Care.More

FDA approves Namzaric to treat Alzheimer's disease
Pharmacy Times
The FDA has approved Namzaric, a fixed-dose combination of memantine hydrochloride extended-release, an N-methyl D-aspartate receptor antagonist, and donepezil hydrochloride, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.More

FDA allows testing of Aethlon device in Ebola patients
Aethlon Medical Inc. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the testing in Ebola patients of its bio-filtration device, which was used against the deadly virus in a critically ill patient in Germany who later recovered. The device, being developed as a broad-spectrum countermeasure against pandemic threats, filters viruses and toxins from the blood.More

FDA approves Saxenda injection therapy for weight management
The FDA granted approval to liraglutide 3-mg injection as the first once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue to help manage obese or overweight patients, according to a press release from the agency.More

Study: Gene linked to obesity hasn't always been a problem
The New York Times
Among scientists who study how our DNA affects our weight, a gene called FTO stands out. “It’s the poster child for the genetics of obesity,” said Struan F. Grant, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 2007, researchers discovered that people with a common variant of FTO tend to be heavier than those without it.More

Whale genes offer hints to longer lifespans
Live Science
In a search for genes that fight off aging, researchers have now charted the bowhead whale genome. Bowheads are filter feeders found only in the Arctic, and are some of the largest mammals on Earth. Old harpoon points found in bowheads suggest the whales live for some 200 years.More

Are your political views in your genes?
Most of us would like to think that we arrive at our political views by careful reasoning and unbiased examination of the evidence. But in a classic study, John Alford, a political scientist at Rice University, showed that identical twins, who share all the same genes, are more likely to share political views than fraternal twins, who share only about 50 percent of their genes.More

Study: Eating whole grains may help you live longer
Live Science via Fox News
Eating whole grains such as popcorn, oats and quinoa is linked to increased longevity, and may decrease risk for deaths from cardiovascular disease over a 25-year period, but not cancer deaths, a new study finds. The new research is one of many large studies that tie a diet high in whole grains to increased longevity, including deaths due to cardiovascular disease.More

CDC: Flu activity worsens nationwide
ABC News
The 2014-15 flu season continues to be especially bad in the United States, with 43 states now reporting either high or widespread flu activity, according to the latest flu surveillance report released. This year's predominant flu strain, called H3N2, is partially to blame for the bad flu season, accounting for 95 percent of all cases reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More

Scientists: Random gene mutations primary cause of most cancer
Ever marvel at someone who smoked and still lived to be 90? Just plain good luck, researchers say. And those who live like Puritans and get cancer anyway? That's bad luck — and it's the primary cause of most cancer cases, says a Johns Hopkins Medicine research study.More

Your chances of surviving cancer may depend on where you live
In its annual report on cancer rates and deaths, the American Cancer Society reports that deaths from cancer have dropped by 22 percent over the past 20 years, saving 1.5 million lives. The review, published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, included data from 2007 to 2011 and found that decreases in deaths from four major cancers — lung, breast, prostate and colon — are driving much of the improvement. More

Getting mental health services can be hard, despite law requiring parity
The Washington Post
Even though more Americans than before have access to health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, getting mental health services can still be challenging. A report released in November concludes that despite a 2008 mental health parity law, some state exchange health plans may have a way to go to even the playing field between mental and physical benefits.More