Managed Care e-News
Feb. 24, 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

Viable health information exchange not likely until 2017
By Scott E. Rupp
The results of a new survey show broad insight into the "tentative" progress that health information exchange and true interoperability have made. After polling nearly 2,000 health plan members and patients, 800 independent and employed physicians, 700 hospital executives, 1,200 insurers and 500 health information technology vendor staffers in a span of eight months, analysts have boiled down their findings thusly: "Persistent unpredictability describes the current state of operative HIEs." More

Health insurance confusion likely for many filing taxes
The Dallas Morning News
Taxpayers are just starting to learn the complex connection between the Affordable Care Act and taxes. For the first time, taxpayers will have to state whether they had health insurance through an employer, a health insurance exchange or a private insurance policy. If they didn’t, they could face a tax penalty.More

Disrespectful healthcare cultures and risks to patient care
By Christina Thielst
A recent PSQH article listed a dozen persistent medication safety gaffes that need to be resolved. Not surprisingly, No. 8 was "disrespectful behavior: a history of tolerance in healthcare." Disrespectful behavior includes bullying, threats, aggressiveness and even more passive forms such as ignoring and exclusion. These behaviors don't belong in any workplace, and certainly not in healthcare because of the risks created and the definite threat to patient safety. More than ever, teamwork and effective communication are needed in healthcare environments. Disrespect creates barriers to both of these. More

CMS seeks comment on PCMH, care coordination, ACOs
Health IT Analytics
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking public comment on its advanced primary care models intended to provide better care coordination, more personalized attention, and better overall population health management throughout the healthcare system.More

ACOs don't limit use of cardiovascular care
Health IT Outcomes
ACOs do not capitalize on savings opportunities, according to latest study. A study conducted by Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan researches has concluded the implementation of pilot accountable care organizations at 10 large health systems did not limit discretionary or non-discretionary cardiovascular treatment for patients.More

FDA reverses course on 23andMe DNA test in move to ease restrictions
The New York Times
The genetic testing company 23andMe took a step toward being able to offer consumers health-related information again, winning approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a test for mutations that cause a rare disease.More

FDA OKs new varicose vein treatment
HealthDay News via WebMD
A new system to permanently treat varicose veins in the legs by sealing the affected veins with adhesive was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Many people with varicose veins experience no symptoms, while others have mild to moderate pain, blood clots, skin ulcers or other problems.More

Project sheds light on what drives genes
The New York Times
More than 200 scientists working on an ambitious federal project have begun to understand the complicated system of switches that regulates genes, turning some on and others off, making some glow brightly while others dim. They hope these discoveries, described in two dozen papers, will eventually lead to a deeper understanding of diseases and new ways to treat or cure them.More

Huge epigenomic map examines life's impact on our genes
New Scientist
The nature versus nurture debate is getting a facelift this week, with the publication of a genetic map that promises to tell us which bits of us are set in stone by our DNA, and which bits we can affect by how we live our lives. The new "epigenomic" map doesn't just look at genes, but also the instructions that govern them.More

Autism genes activate during fetal brain development
Business 2 Community
Adding to the growing body of evidence that autism begins before birth, researchers from the San Diego School of Medicine at the University of California have discovered that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development.More

Saunas might be good for your health
Reuters via Fox News
A study from Finland suggests that saunas might have health benefits — at least, for men. During the study, men who spent time in a sauna seven times a week were less likely to die of heart problems or to die at all, compared to those who only visited the sauna once a week.More

Hand-wash your dishes to help protect kids from allergies
CBS News
Most parents want their children to live in an environment that's clean and sanitary. We all buy home appliances that allow us to keep our homes as spotless as possible with little effort. But increasingly, research indicates that a little bit of dirt and bacteria may be a good thing.More

Researchers: DNA rings may detect early cancer
Fox News
In a new study, researchers have shown that an innovative technique — the use of DNA microcircles — has the potential to detect a broad range of cancers in the earliest stages by forcing tumors to create a unique protein. The proof-of-principal study from Stanford University Medical School used DNA microcircles, a customized genetic construct consisting of tiny rings of DNA. More

Heart health after cancer: A growing concern
Forbes
Nearly 15 million people are living after a cancer diagnosis in the United States. This number represent over 4 percent of the population, an astonishing figure. And a growing one, as reported last year by the ACS and outlined by the NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship.More

Let's bring behavioral, mental health into the mainstream
FierceHealthPayer
Most of last week's headlines focused on the Affordable Care Act. Rightfully so, too — the open enrollment period ended, and then it didn't, and then it was reopened for those facing tax penalties, while the debate about King v. Burwell raged as the hearing date nears.More

Where are the mental health providers?
The Wall Street Journal
Millions of Americans with mental illness are hearing a loud and clear message: Get help. There’s still one question: Who is going to treat them? The shortage of mental health providers in the U.S. has long been considered a significant problem. But it is becoming more acute as people are encouraged to seek treatment, or find they are able to afford it for the first time as a result of new federal requirements that guarantee mental health coverage in insurance plans.More