Managed Care e-News
Jan. 29, 2013

Proposed MU stage 3 criticized as hasty, too strict
American Medical News
Criteria floated for the final stage of the federal electronic health record incentive program would be extremely difficult for physicians to meet, causing those using the systems at their practices to fall short of requirements and exposing them to lower Medicare payments, organized medicine groups say.More

Disease-specific ACOs make their debut
American Medical News
A small number of entities are testing the accountable care organization concept, originally designed to improve care and reduce costs for populations of primary care patients, on groups of people with high-cost diseases such as cancer or end-stage renal disease.More

Managed care contracts need scrutiny
HealthLeaders Media
You've heard the advice before: Review those managed care contracts carefully before signing. But now that advice takes on a new urgency because of all the changes in the healthcare industry that can escalate the threats posed by contract clauses that were always problematic, and new risks are being introduced. Any physician practice that wants to survive the coming changes, let alone thrive, must pay extra attention to managed care contract negotiations, says John Shufeldt, M.D., a consultant on practice management and enhanced efficiency and CEO of Doctors Express, the first nationally franchised urgent care network.More

FDA approves 3 new drugs for Type 2 diabetes
HealthDay News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three new medications to help people battle Type 2 diabetes. All three drugs contain a new active ingredient, alogliptin, either alone or in combination with other, previously approved medications. The newly approved drugs include Nesina, Kazano and Oseni, the FDA said.More

FDA approves OTC drug for women with overactive bladder
Renal & Urology News
The drug Oxytrol has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first over-the-counter treatment for women age 18 and older with overactive bladder. Oxytrol contains oxybutynin, among a class of drugs called anticholinergics that are designed to relax the bladder muscle. Oxytrol is a patch applied to the skin every four days, the FDA said.More

US researchers tracking flu through Twitter
Reuters
Researchers and computer scientists at Johns Hopkins University have devised a way to track cases of influenza across the United States using the microblogging site Twitter. The social media site is full of tweets about the flu, which has been severe and reached epidemic proportions this year, but it has been difficult to separate tweets about the flu from actual cases.More

Fewer people adding salt at the table
Medical Xpress
The number of people in England adding salt to food at the table fell by more than a quarter in the five years following a national campaign, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. More

Study: High doses of folic acid don't raise cancer risk
Reuters
People taking high doses of the B vitamin folic acid are not at an increased risk of cancer, according to an international analysis — easing some concern about the possible side effects of national programs aimed to raise intake of the vitamin. The United States and Canada have required flour to be fortified with folic acid since 1998, after deficiencies of it in pregnant women were tied to brain and spinal cord birth defects in their babies.More

Simple gene analysis spots BRCA mutations
MedPage Today
Gene expression profiling may offer a simple way of identifying women who are heterozygous carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and therefore are at high risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer, researchers reported.More

Mutations found in 'junk' DNA may be driving skin cancers
Bloomberg
Human DNA that researchers once thought served no purpose may play a crucial role in deadly skin cancers, harboring some of the mutations that first appear in tumors and promote the malignancy's growth.More

Study: For early cancer, lumpectomy beats mastectomy for survival
HealthDay News
Breast-conserving surgery for early stage breast cancers may result in better survival than mastectomy, according to a new study. For those with early stage breast cancer, "lumpectomy is just as effective if not more effective than mastectomy," said researcher Dr. Shelley Hwang, chief of breast surgery at Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C.More

Online self-reporting can improve Parkinson's disease research
FierceHealthIT
Self-reporting systems on the Web can help aid researchers of Parkinson's disease, a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds. Currently, there is little objective clinical information about the dynamic symptoms of Parkinson's for intervals less than three months, leaving that information unquantified — but online platforms, used for patients to self-report, can advance research on the disease. More

ER visits linked to ADHD meds up sharply
HealthDay News
U.S. emergency department visits involving attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs more than doubled from 2005 to 2010, with the largest hike occurring among adults, says a new government report. In that period, such ER visits rose from about 13,400 to 31,200, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.More