Managed Care e-News
Feb. 26, 2013

US sticks to limits on health insurance charges for older people
The Obama administration recently finalized new consumer safeguards for health insurance that impose tighter restrictions on what insurers can charge older customers, despite industry warnings that the young may be forced to pay more as a result.More

ACA health insurance exchange tally shows heavy reliance on federal help
American Medical News
Illinois is one of the latest states to achieve clarity in the path it will take on the health insurance exchanges, which were created by the Affordable Care Act to provide consumers with new marketplaces through which to shop for affordable plans. As of publish time, 16 states and the District of Columbia planned to run their own exchanges, and an additional seven states were pursuing exchanges run as a partnership with the federal government, according to the latest figures from Washington consultant Avalere Health LLC.More

2 Capitol Hill panels examining changes to Medicare
Kaiser Health News
With $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect soon and predictions of economic disruption, much of official Washington is focused on the "blame game." Publicly, there has been no sign that Congress or administration officials has made any progress on averting these cuts or finding common ground on tackling the country’s fiscal problems.More

FDA approves new silicone-gel breast implant
The Associated Press via NBC News
The Food and Drug Administration said it has approved a new type of breast implant from Allergan for women 22 years and older. The FDA said the Natrelle 410 implant contains silicone gel that is firmer than Allergan's older Natrelle models. Allergan's studies did not compare the safety of the new implant with that of older implants.More

FDA warns against codeine use in children after tonsillectomy
U.S. health regulators issued the strongest possible warning to physicians to avoid prescribing codeine to children after surgery to remove tonsils, adenoids or both. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a posting on its website that deaths have occurred after surgery in children with obstructive sleep apnea who received codeine for pain relief following such surgeries. Codeine is converted to morphine by the liver.More

Who is really prescribing that drug?
By Mike Wokasch
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when physicians were dependent on product information provided by pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies had a prescription drug information monopoly. They controlled what product information to disclose and how to present the information to the market — almost exclusively to physicians. Information technology and the Internet facilitated easy, rapid access to product and medical information to virtually anybody willing to go online, including patients. Physicians now face a labyrinth of influences on their prescribing practices.More

Antibiotics or not? New middle-ear infection guidelines
USA Today
Physicians are getting new guidance on diagnosing and treating the millions of kids who suffer through painful middle-ear infections, the most common bacterial illness in children and the one most often treated with antibiotics.More

New guidelines for genetic testing in children
Two groups joined to publish advice for doctors trying to decide whether the latest genetic testing is right for their youngest patients. The new joint statement — issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics — addressed some of the difficult issues physicians face regarding genetic testing in children. It acknowledges that genetic testing is evolving so rapidly that physicians need guidance navigating what can be an ethical, legal and social thicket.More

CDC: Fast food constitutes 11 percent of calories in US diet
HealthDay News
Fast food fare from restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Pizza Hut accounted for more than 11 percent of the calories in American adults' daily diets in recent years, federal health officials reported. Yet that's lower than it was from 2003 to 2006, when fast food contributed an average of nearly 13 percent of daily calories to the American diet, said report author Cheryl Fryar, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More

Chromosome changes may predict susceptibility to disease
USA Today
A preliminary study suggests that our susceptibility to infections such as the common cold — and maybe our future health overall — may be foretold not in the creases of our palms but in the tips of our chromosomes.More

Interested in being published?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Managed Care e-News, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NAMCP, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics and payment.More

FDA approves Roche drug for late-stage breast cancer
U.S. health regulators approved a new drug made by Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG for some patients with late-stage metastatic breast cancer who fail to respond to other therapies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved Kadcyla, also known as ado-trastuzumab emtansine, for patients whose cancer cells contain increased amounts of a protein known as HER2.More

New lung screen criteria may be more sensitive
MedPage Today
Using different selection criteria for lung cancer screening may catch more disease than the currently recommended criteria, researchers found. A modified model from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian trial had a significantly better positive predictive value than criteria from the National Lung Screening Trial — 4 versus 3.4 percent — without a loss of specificity, researchers reported.More

Federal rules eased for opioid addiction treatment drug
American Medical News
Federal regulators have relaxed restrictions on physicians prescribing the opioid addiction treatment drug buprenorphine to patients. The rule change offers doctors and opioid treatment programs greater flexibility when dispensing buprenorphine, a drug used to wean patients off opiates. More