Managed Care e-News
Jan. 13, 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

Eligible Americans turn down Obamacare tax credits
U.S. News & World Report
Grace Brewer says she never thought she would be without health insurance at this stage of her life. "I'm a casualty of Obamacare," says Brewer, 60, a self-employed chiropractor in the Kansas City, Kansas, area. She wanted to keep the catastrophic health insurance plan she once had, which she says fit her needs.More

$375B wasted on billing and health insurance-related paperwork annually
Medical Xpress
Medical billing paperwork and insurance-related red tape cost the U.S. economy approximately $471 billion in 2012, 80 percent of which is waste due to the inefficiency of the nation's complex, multi-payer way of financing care, a group of researchers say. The researchers — physicians and health policy researchers with ties to the University of California, San Francisco, the City University of New York School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School — note that a simplified, single-payer system of financing healthcare similar to Canada's or the U.S. Medicare program could result in savings of approximately $375 billion annually, or more than $1 trillion over three years.More

Venture capital dollars pouring into digital health industry
By Scott E. Rupp
Venture funding played a large part in advancing the work of digital health companies in 2014, accounting for a record-breaking $4.1 billion in investments, according to startup accelerator Rock Health. The level of investment surpassed the total of the three previous years combined. Despite these numbers, a variety of other, sometimes-conflicting investment levels were reported throughout 2014. But one thing is clear: There's a great deal of activity surrounding health IT, and more is expected to come in the near term from investors. More

Accountable care, patient portals lag behind expectations
EHR Intelligence
The slow uptake of accountable care reimbursement structures and the low implementation rates of advanced patient portals are among some of the top issues in healthcare over the past year, according to HIMSS Analytics, and present both challenges and opportunities for the industry as it moves forward into reforms that encourage patient engagement, individualized care, and higher quality outcomes. More

Accountable care, patient portals lag behind expectations
Health IT Analytics
The purpose of an accountable care organization is for physicians, hospitals and other medical facilities to collaborate, working together to improve population health and to work towards value-based reimbursement. The expansion of these groups attempt to foster community health and coordinated care. Four organizations have formed new ACOs, entered into new ACOs, or entered into new ACO agreements in the past week.More

FDA informs Arrowhead of partial clinical hold for hepatitis B drug
The Wall Street Journal
Arrowhead Research Corp. said that U.S. regulators informed the company of a partial clinical hold for a potential hepatitis B treatment. The news sent shares of Arrowhead down nearly 22 percent in recent premarket trading. The company said the Food and Drug Administration told it during a preliminary call that it placed a partial clinical hold on testing ARC-520 in patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B.More

23andme aims to end FDA standoff this year after public shaming
23andMe Inc., the genetic-testing startup, is pushing to get its first agreement with U.S. regulators on a test for a disorder by this year, a turnabout after being criticized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for not cooperating with its approval process.More

FDA to study limiting lists of drug risks in TV ads
The Hill
The Food and Drug Administration wants to study how consumers would respond to prescription dug TV ads that list only a limited number of a product’s side effects. Regulations now require direct-to-consumer prescription drugs advertisements aired on TV and radio to list the products’ major risks in an audio or an audio and visual part of the ad. More

Study IDs 2 genes that boost risk for post-traumatic stress disorder
Medical Xpress
Why do some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder while others who suffered the same ordeal do not? A new UCLA discovery may shed light on the answer. UCLA scientists have linked two gene variants to the debilitating mental disorder, suggesting that heredity influences a person's risk of developing PTSD.More

Scientists identify new gene that drives triple-negative breast cancer
Medical News Today
In a new study, researchers from the U.K. have discovered a novel gene that, when mutated, can drive development and progression of triple-negative breast cancer — an aggressive form of the disease that accounts for 10-20 percent of breast cancers.More

Genes may help identify children with future psychological problems
Fox News
New research has found that children with a certain common gene variant were more likely to develop serious problems as adults, potentially paving the way to personalized treatments for troubled children. The study, from Duke University, draws on two decades’ worth of data on high-risk first-graders from four locations across the U.S.More

Study suggests correlation between heart health and optimism
U.S. News & World Report
People whose glasses are half-full are reportedly twice as likely to have healthy hearts, according to a new study published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review journal. “Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts,” said Rosalba Hernandez, the lead author of the study and social work professor at the University of Illinois.More

Popping aspirin for heart health could be a waste of time for some
Study after study documents the wonders of aspirin for the heart—it can lower levels of inflammation, the trigger that sets off the unstable events of a heart attack, and it also helps blood remain free of viscous traps that can block vessels and slow the flow of blood to the heart.More

The coming wave of new cancer-fighting drugs
The hottest area in cancer drugs is going mainstream this year. If 2014 proved that the most promising new group of oncology drugs in generations could work, 2015 brings a crowded field that sees winners and losers in a market eventually worth $30 billion a year or more in the next decade.More

Britain's health service to halt access to some costly cancer drugs
Several expensive cancer medicines will no longer be available on Britain's state-funded National Health Service following an overhaul of an over-budget drug funding scheme, NHS England said. The revamp was triggered by the escalating cost of supplying modern cancer therapies, which often cost tens of thousands of pounds for a course of treatment.More

Can social media depict mental illnesses?
By Jessica Taylor
Social media is a tool for users to express themselves, check on their friends and spread news. Now, researchers are trying to use this primary source of communication to determine if individuals show signs of mental illness. Using social media and technology to track mental health could be a scary thought, because unlike measuring glucose levels, there is no direct way to measure mental illness. More