Managed Care e-News
Jan. 14, 2014

Losing health insurance for 2014
The Obama administration has fixed many of the problems that plagued the launch of Obamacare, but some Americans are finding themselves without coverage for the first time in years. Some say the new, more comprehensive plans on the exchange are simply unaffordable, while others are encountering technical problems that have prevented them from signing up.More

Healthcare website frustrates Spanish speakers
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle
Mirroring problems with the federal healthcare website, people around the nation attempting to navigate the Spanish version have discovered their own set of difficulties. The site,, launched more than two months late. A Web page with Spanish instructions linked users to an English form.More

Patient-generated data likely to grow as meaningful use moves forward
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Stage 3 of the meaningful use incentive program will almost certainly expand the collection and use of patient-generated data, which could give a boost to technology such as home-monitoring devices and patient portals. The Health IT Policy Committee, the body that provides policy guidance to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, said it will recommend that hospitals and health systems be required to expand their collection and use of patient-generated data to qualify for stage 3 of the meaningful use incentive program. More

Health industry expert offers Obamacare status report
Wall St. Cheat Sheet
It isn't only politicians and pundits who are making their opinions known about the Affordable Care Act — health industry experts are sharing their views on the healthcare law, as well. Robert Laszewski is the president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates Inc., a health consultancy that assists its clients understand changes in policy. Laszewski recently discussed the issues of Obamacare with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein.More

FDA OKs 2-drug combo treatment for advanced melanoma
HealthDay News
The drugs Mekinist and Tafinlar were approved for combination treatment of advanced melanoma skin cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced. The two medicines "are the first drugs approved for combination treatment of melanoma," Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release.More

FDA approves new drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes
Medical News Today
The U.S. Food and Drug and Administration has announced the approval of a drug called Farxiga to help treat adults with type 2 diabetes. The tablets, in combination with diet and exercise, are said to improve control of blood sugar levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 25.8 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 percent of these cases.More

Scientists discover genetic signature mechanism in immune system as driving force for childhood leukaemia
Scientists have discovered a genetic signature that implicates a key mechanism in the immune system as a driving force for a type of childhood leukaemia. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia or all is the most common form of childhood leukaemia. A key factor driving this leukaemia for one in four all patients is a mutation that causes two of their genes, ETV6 and RUNX1, to fuse together. More

Express yourself: Novel approach to study how genetic differences affect gene expression
Each individual carries a unique version of the human genome. Genetic differences can influence traits such as height, weight and vulnerability to disease, but precisely what these genetic variants are and how they exercise their impact is mostly unknown. UCLA researchers have now developed a novel approach to study the ways in which these individual differences affect how strongly certain genes are "expressed" — that is, how they are translated into the proteins that do the actual work in cells.More

23andMe genetic test reveals disturbing artificial insemination switch
LiveScience via Fox News
A young women conceived with help from a fertility clinic in Utah in the early 1990s is actually the biological daughter of the former clinic receptionist, genetic testing reveals. The University of Utah is offering free genetic testing to families who went to the Midvale, Utah, clinic during the late 1980s and early 1990s in the wake of these jaw-dropping revelations. More

Study: Blood test may predict heart attack
HealthDay News via WebMD
A blood test could help identify people at risk for heart attack, according to American researchers. People who have a heart attack have unique cells in their blood and the team at the Scripps Research Institute in California is investigating whether testing people for these cells could predict who is about to have a heart attack, BBC News reported.More

New study says caffeine can help strengthen memory function
Johns Hopkins University via The Washington Post
Caffeine helps people remember fine distinctions between similar things at least up to 24 hours after it is consumed, new research shows. "We've always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans," says Michael Yassa, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University.More

Losing health insurance for 2014
The Obama administration has fixed many of the problems that plagued the launch of Obamacare, but some Americans are finding themselves without coverage for the first time in years. More

Man eats only McDonald's, loses 37 pounds
TIME via Fox News
After eating only McDonald's for three months, Iowa science teacher John Cisna lost 37 pounds and saw his cholesterol level drop significantly, reported.More

It's time to rethink health insurance
Los Angeles Times
As the acute problems of the Affordable Care Act become increasingly apparent, it also has become clear that we need new ways of ensuring access to healthcare for all Americans. More

New cases of thyroid cancer up
The Columbus Dispatch
As cancer deaths overall have dropped 20 percent in two decades, thyroid-cancer deaths have edged up slightly, and the number of new cases is climbing. Some of that is because of better and earlier detection. But many experts think there's more to it.More

These maps clearly illustrate the link between smoking and cancer
Business Insider
The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer is 44 percent for men and 38 percent for women. But not everyone is at equal risk. If you have ever doubted the rock solid link between smoking and cancer — which has now been well-established for 50 years — take a look at these maps. More

6 sneaky cancer culprits
Men's Health via Fox News
In the catalog of carcinogens, the sun is anything by subtle. It's big, it's bright, and come June, it's practically begging you to embrace those DNA-mutating rays. If it weren't for a healthy slathering of sunscreen, we'd all be toast — complete with the browned, cancerous crust.More

Understanding new rules that widen mental health coverage
The New York Times
Long-awaited improvements in insurance coverage for mental conditions and addictions are expected to become more widely available this year as a result of two major steps that the Obama administration has taken. The president's signature Affordable Care Act includes mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment among its 10 "essential" benefits, which means plans sold on the public healthcare exchanges must include coverage.More

Postpartum depression improves with time, but for many women, depressive symptoms linger
Medical Xpress
Research evidence shows that symptoms of postpartum depression decrease over time — but depression remains a long-term problem for 30 to 50 percent of affected women, according to a report in the January Harvard Review of Psychiatry. "Families with mothers suffering from postpartum depression need the engagement of clinicians who are sensitive to the signs of the depression potentially becoming chronic," according to the research review by Nicole Vliegen, Sara Casalin, and Patrick Luyten at the University of Leuven, Belgium.More