Managed Care e-News
Mar. 11, 2014

New health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans
The Washington Post
The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal, according to a pair of new surveys. Only 1 in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows. The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.More

Pressure on governors to expand Medicaid under Obamacare
As millions of newly eligible Americans sign up for Medicaid health insurance for the poor under the Affordable Care Act, pressure builds on states and their Republican governors that have balked at going along with the health law's expansion of the program. Under the law, states have a choice about whether to participate in the expansion of Medicaid benefits. There are 26 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid in 2014.More

Food for thought: Don't die curious
By Karen Childress
What would you do if you wanted to be certain that you wouldn't die curious? What's on your bucket list? You know how you feel when you hear about a friend, acquaintance or colleague dying suddenly or receiving a diagnosis that you know means they won't be around for long? Most likely, you think about how fragile life is, spend a few minutes pondering the meaning of your existence and vow to get busy living while you still have time. And then your cell phone rings, or the next patient is in a room ready to be seen, or you have to rush off to that meeting at the hospital ... and, and, and ... life goes on. More

FDA approves treatment for pediatric enzyme disorder
The News Journal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Vimizim, the first FDA-approved treatment for a rare pediatric enzyme disorder called Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IVA, also known as Morquio A syndrome. The drug, marketed by California-based Novato, was granted priority review by the FDA.More

Chelsea wins US approval for fainting medicine Northera
Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. won U.S. approval for its drug to prevent sudden drops in blood pressure, the company's first product to reach the market. The medicine, called Northera, was cleared for sale to prevent patients with nervous system disorders from the blood pressure crash that can lead to dizziness and fainting, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. More

Study gives hope of altering genes to repel HIV
The New York Times
The idea of genetically altering people's cells to make them resist the virus that causes AIDS may seem like a pipe dream, but a new report suggests it can be done. The research involves the first use in humans of "gene editing," a treatment that zeros in on a particular gene and disables it. In 12 people infected with HIV, scientists used the technique to get rid of a protein on the patients' immune cells that the virus must latch onto to invade the cells. More

Researchers identify candidate genes associated with free radicals
Medical Xpress
Researchers led by a University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences faculty member have identified candidate genes associated with disease-causing free radicals. By identifying the specific genes that influence the cell's ability to fight free radicals — the reactive molecules strongly linked with a variety of chronic diseases — researchers say the findings can be a starting point for future studies aimed at the origin of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, for example.More

Newly discovered gene may shed light on certain brain disorders
HealthDay News via
Scientists who discovered a gene that links the thickness of the brain's gray matter to intelligence say their finding might help improve understanding of brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. The team looked at the cerebral cortex, which is the outside layer of the human brain.More

Birth control 'does not result in more promiscuous women'
Medical News Today
Critics of free birth control programs have previously suggested that giving women free contraception will encourage them to engage in more risky sexual behavior. But a new study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that this is not the case. The researchers, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say their findings show that providing women with free birth control does not increase the likelihood that they will have sex with multiple partners.More

Eric Holder promises to address rise in heroin overdoses, an 'urgent public health crisis'
The Huffington Post
Attorney General Eric Holder promised to address the recent rise in heroin overdoses with enhanced enforcement and treatment initiatives in his weekly video address. Heroin overdose deaths increased by 45 percent between 2004 and 2010. Holder called the rise an "urgent public health crisis," asserting the Justice Department's commitment to confronting the issue head on.More

New health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans
The Washington Post
The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal, according to a pair of new surveys. More

Healthcare's next innovation? The answer is in the data
As the healthcare industry goes digital, all of those doctor visits and other health-related transactions are creating terabytes of highly valuable data.More

Insurers invoking all-product clauses to fill exchange plan networks
Pamela Lewis Dolan
Some physicians are experiencing confusion and surprise by learning they are contracted to accept patients covered by insurance exchange plans despite the fact they rejected offers to participate in those plans. More

Giving birth 10 times may reduce mom's cancer risk
LiveScience via Fox News
Women who give birth to 10 or more children may have a reduced risk of cancer, a new study from Finland suggests. Researchers examined cancer risk in nearly 5,000 Finish women who gave birth at least 10 times before 2010. Over a three-decade period, there were 656 cases of cancer in these women, about 200 fewer cases than would be expected based on cancer rates in the general Finnish population, the study found. More

Immune therapy lifts hopes in fight with cancer
The Boston Globe
Dr. Ronald Eckert was combing his hair when he noticed a hard lump on his head. It turned out to be melanoma and, despite multiple surgeries, tumors appeared in his lungs and liver within a year. The Buffalo, N.Y., gastroenterologist was told he had six months to a year to live and he took a leave from his job to reckon with the grim prognosis. Then his wife, a nurse, tapped her social network and learned about a doctor in Boston who was running clinical trials of experimental drugs that might help.More

Survey finds more people willing to disclose mental health problems
A new survey has found that people are more willing to disclose having a mental health problem and receiving treatment. The survey, led by Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in collaboration with the University of Melbourne in Australia, also found improved knowledge and beliefs about mental health problems within the community.More

Study: Rates of many mental disorders much higher in soldiers than in civilians
The largest study of mental health risk ever conducted among the U.S. military has found that many soldiers suffer from some form of mental illness, and rates of many of these disorders are much higher in soldiers than in civilians. The study's findings, related to suicide attempts and deaths, were released in a series of three reports published in JAMA Psychiatry.More