Managed Care e-News
Feb. 5, 2013

WellPoint expands telemedicine opportunities for doctors
American Medical News
WellPoint is offering some physicians the chance to be paid, without having to submit claims, for evaluations when on call. Software provided by the health plan would allow them to see patients on online video.More

Some families will be ineligible for insurance subsidies under final rule
Kaiser Health News
Some families with costly job-based health coverage may be ineligible for federal subsidies to help them buy less expensive coverage through new online insurance markets, under final rules released by the IRS. The two rules, published by the Treasury Department, uphold earlier proposals outlining what is considered affordable, employer-sponsored coverage.More

HIPAA gets tougher on physicians
American Medical News
A revised set of federal privacy rules is expected to have a significant impact on the way physicians run their practices. Revised privacy notices will need to be displayed in prominent areas of doctors' offices and on practices' websites. Patients will be able to ask for copies of their electronic health records or restrict the information given to health plans if they self-pay for services. And perhaps most important, practices might be subject to serious fines if any of their business associates cause security breaches.More

FDA targets flu drug claims
USA Today
Scammers looking to make money off consumer fears about this year's severe flu season are proliferating, the Food and Drug Administration says, causing the agency to take a hard look at products that make claims about protecting against the flu.More

Key TB vaccines trial fails
A highly anticipated study of the first new tuberculosis vaccine in 90 years showed it offered no added benefit over the current vaccine when it came to protecting babies from TB infections, a disappointing but not entirely unexpected outcome, researchers said.More

Hospitals reassess age factor in evaluating candidates for kidney transplants
The Washington Post
Physicians are conservative about living kidney donors: Nearly three-quarters of transplant centers have not accepted organs from people older than 70, according to Johns Hopkins research. Caution makes sense because the long-term effects of kidney donation on older adults are unknown, Sameh Abul-Ezz, a professor of nephrology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, noted in a 2010 commentary in the journal Kidney International.More

Study: Energy drinks pose risks to teens
HealthDay News
A new report warns that popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and Rockstar pose potential hazards to teens, especially when mixed with alcohol. The report summarizes existing research and concludes that the caffeine-laden beverages can cause rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, obesity and other medical problems in teens. Combined with alcohol, the potential harms can be severe, the authors noted.More

Study: Many cocaine deaths determined by genes
HealthDay News
People with common mutations on two genes have a nearly eightfold increased risk of dying from cocaine abuse, according to a new study. The mutations affect how dopamine affects brain activity. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that's vital to the function of the central nervous system. Cocaine is known to block transporters in the brain from absorbing dopamine, researchers said.More

Genetic mutation might signal breast cancer metastasis
Oncology Nurse Advisor
A variant of the KLF6 tumor suppressor gene has been implicated in a recent study as a key driver of breast cancer metastasis that distinguishes between indolent and lethal early-stage disease. The variant, KLF6-SV1, provides a potential therapeutic target for invasive breast cancer.More

Doctors warn tattoos may increase risk of skin cancer
IANS via Deccan Herald
According to doctors, inks used in tattoos may contain toxic elements, which can cause skin cancer, especially blue ink, the age-old color of choice for tattoo artists, which has cobalt and aluminum. Red ink may have mercurial sulfide and certain colored inks often contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, titanium and other heavy metals.More

Gene test IDs riskiest lung cancers
MedPage Today
A genetic assay may pick out high-risk lung cancers among small tumors that are likely to be increasingly detected given new screening recommendations, a study found. Patients who fell into the high-risk category on the assay had death rates that were 3.34 times higher than those in the lowest-risk category as adjusted for age, sex, histology and tumor size, researchers reported.More

Rodent study suggest Alzheimer's drug getting closer
Psych Central News
U.K. scientists say a drug to prevent the early stages of Alzheimer's disease could enter clinical trials within the next few years. Alzheimer's is an emerging epidemic as large numbers of people in many industrialized countries enter their senior years. One in eight or 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's, the most common type of dementia. One in three people over 65 will die with dementia.More