Managed Care e-News
Feb. 17, 2015

Register today: 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

Success proves undoing of health insurance co-op
The New York Times
A few days after Christmas, Lisa Lovig’s doctor called with jarring news. The health insurer covering her cancer treatments had run out of money, and its future was at best uncertain. “I was terrified,” said Lovig, 59, who has pancreatic cancer and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor appointments, tests and a litany of expensive drugs. “I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”More

No crosswalk from ICD-9, but ICD-10 is on track for October
By Scott E. Rupp
The "delay ICD-10" proponents have found themselves another piece of ammunition to use in their war against transitioning from the current ICD-9 coding system. The latest development in the never-ending fight is a new study from Vanderbilt University that suggests that mapping codes between ICD-9 and ICD-10 could be a problem. However, despite this information, ICD-10 likely will move forward in October. More

Targeting young people, hispanics for health insurance sign-ups
The Wall Street Journal
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are conducting a late push to persuade so-called “young invincibles” — youthful Americans who consider themselves immune to illness — and other key groups to sign up for health insurance in advance of Sunday night’s deadline.More

Value-based payments hurting specialists
Health IT Outcomes
Specialists may be forced to close or merge as a result of Medicare’s value-based approach. A survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation has found specialists may find themselves forced to close their practices or merge with large providers when Medicare’s value-based approach to reimbursement takes effect.More

ACOs not capitalizing on savings opportunities
Health Data Management
Researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan have discovered that the implementation of pilot accountable care organizations at 10 large health systems did not limit spending on discretionary or non-discretionary cardiovascular treatment for patients.More

Cardio break: Stentreivers, Botox, and the newest NOAC
MedPage Today
Endovascular therapy for acute ischemic stroke increased modestly in use before dropping last year, analysis of Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals showed. A big boost is expected after the recent spate of positive trials. The American Heart Association is teaming up with Medtronic on a recurrent cryptogenic stroke reduction initiative.More

FDA Oks new drug for hard-to-treat thyroid cancer
The Associated Press via FoxBusiness
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug for hard-to-treat thyroid cancer, two months ahead of schedule. The drug, Lenvima, from Japanese drugmaker Eisai is intended for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer that has spread despite radiation treatment.More

Researchers reveal link between powerful gene regulatory elements and autoimmune diseases
Medical Xpress
Investigators with the National Institutes of Health have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system. The findings, published in Nature, open the door to new research and development in drugs and personalized medicine to help those with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis.More

Genes tell only part of the story
The New York Times
Abigail Zuger writes: I had intended to discuss President Barack Obama’s plans for personalized precision medicine with my patient Barbara last week, but she missed her appointment. Or, more accurately, she arrived two hours late, made the usual giant fuss at the reception desk and had to be rescheduled.More

Scientists find 7 new genes that can cause X-linked intellectual disability
X-linked intellectual disability is a disorder that predominantly affects men and can have highly variable clinical manifestations. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have found seven new genes that can cause this genetic disease: Mutations of these genes on the X chromosome lead to various forms of intellectual disability.More

Scientists find new, aggressive strain of HIV in Cuba
Fox News
Scientists have found an aggressive strain of human immunodeficiency virus in Cuba that they say can progress to AIDS so rapidly that patients may not even know they are infected before symptoms appear, Medical News Today reported. The Cuban variant of HIV is categorized as a recombinant version of the virus, which can occur if a person engages in unprotected sex with multiple infected partners and contracts multiple strains of the HIV virus, which later recombine within a person to create a new variant.More

Teenagers increasingly not getting enough sleep
Medical News Today
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have found that the number of hours slept per night has decreased among teenagers in the U.S. over the past 20 years. Among their findings, published in Pediatrics, the researchers observed that female students, racial and ethnic minorities and students of lower socioeconomic status were least likely to report regularly getting 7 or more hours sleep each night.More

Study: Most women experience hot flashes for over 7 years
Hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause typically affect women much longer than previously thought, a median of 7.4 years, according to a new study. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at a group of nearly 1,500 women with frequent symptoms of the onset of menopause and found significant variations in duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms between ethnic groups.More

Chemoprevention works against breast cancer, but these drugs are not popular
The Washington Post
Every year, many U.S. women get the grim news that they have breast cancer. In 2013 alone, according to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 were given that diagnosis. Each one very likely came as a devastating blow, both to the patient and to her family.More

Cancer can be tough case to prove
The New York Times
Last month, thousands of Marines and their families were blocked in federal court from pursuing their claim that the government had given them cancer. The decision, involving people exposed to contaminated drinking water while stationed at Camp Lejeune, a base in North Carolina, didn’t consider the science.More

Anxiety may speed aging
Medscape via WebMD
Anxiety disorders might affect a sign of aging, but treatment can reverse the process, new research suggests. A Dutch study of more than 2,300 people looked at telomeres, which are the DNA at the end of chromosomes. Telomeres shorten with age, so they're considered a sign of cellular aging.More

Creative methods help teens with depression
The Boston Globe
Clinical depression among teenagers is moving from the shadows into the spotlight. Teens who suffer from depression struggle to talk openly about it, but now cellphone applications are providing a new tool to help them recognize and seek help for it, and theater is providing a stage for them to share their stories with others.More