Managed Care e-News
Mar. 18, 2014

Rating sites becoming an important tool for patients
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite physicians' dislike of online rating sites, a survey finds patients are increasingly relying on them when shopping for a new doctor. A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School found that when choosing a doctor, physician rating sites weren't ranked as high as other factors such as word of mouth from family and friends or whether a physician accepts the patient's insurance. But there is evidence the rating sites have become an important tool. And use of them is likely to continue growing.More

Report: Many Americans intend to stay without health insurance
CBS MoneyWatch
A third of Americans without health insurance intend to stay that way, according to a new report. Although the most common reason for doing without coverage is the expense, 70 percent of those planning to stay uninsured did not know about the subsidies afforded under Obamacare that reduce the cost. More

Majority of Americans are satisfied with the healthcare system
Business Insider
A new Gallup survey of 1,542 Americans released March 17, says 66 percent of those in the U.S. are satisfied with their current healthcare. The poll asked if the participants had health insurance and asked: "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with how the healthcare system is working for you?" More

Zohydro ER: Who are we really here for?
By Jason Poquette
Healthcare is supposed to be about helping sick people, but sometimes I think we have forgotten who we really serve. For example, there has been no shortage of criticism over the FDA decision to approve Zohydro ER back in October. The chief criticisms of this Schedule II extended-release hydrocodone capsule, marketed by Zogenix, are its potency and lack of abuse-deterrent properties. The responses of the media and public health groups like this make me think that we are missing the point. When did our first priority in the development of medications become the manner in which certain persons will intentionally misuse and abuse it?More

1st medical device to prevent migraine headaches
Today's Medical Developments
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing marketing of the first device as a preventative treatment for migraine headaches. This is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device specifically authorized for use prior to the onset of pain. "Cefaly provides an alternative to medication for migraine prevention," said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "This may help patients who cannot tolerate current migraine medications for preventing migraines or treating attacks." More

Drug company will give ailing 7-year-old medicine that could save him
After days of pleading with drug company executives, Josh Hardy's parents got what they'd been praying for: a chance to get medicine that could help their son survive. The Chimerix pharmaceutical company said that the ailing 7-year-old will receive medicine that doctors hope will help him when he becomes the first patient in a new trial.More

Scientists home in on the real 'fat gene'
Los Angeles Times
If you're a student of fat — and who isn't these days? — you know that the FTO gene is the gene thought to be most responsible for some people's inherited propensity to become obese. Well, forget that. A multinational group of geneticists has discovered that, more likely, the real obesity gene is named IRX3, and it is very far from the FTO gene — or would be, if DNA were to be stretched out in linear fashion instead of coiled up like a skein of yarn.More

New gene-scanning approach finds link to heart attack risk 'hiding in plain sight'
Medical News Today
As scanning genomes for disease-related gene variations becomes more commonplace, scientists are pinpointing gene variations that change the way proteins function. Using this approach, a new study found a previously unknown gene variation that appears to make blood lipid levels healthier in humans and reduce risk of heart attacks.More

2 new genes for bipolar disorder discovered
In a genome-wide association study, an international team of researchers has discovered two new risk loci for bipolar disorder and confirmed the presence of three other genes considered to be involved in the illness. The results, from the largest GWAS in bipolar disorder to date, show that 1 of the 2 new regions contains the gene that encodes adenylate cyclase 2, a protein that is involved in signal transmission within nerve cells and is located on chromosome five.More

Sugars found in tequila may protect against obesity, diabetes
Fox News
Tequila shots may do more than lighten the mood at a party; the drink may be beneficial for your health as well. According to researchers from Mexico, natural sugars derived from the agave plant, called agavins, greatly protected a group of mice against diet-induced obesity and Type 2 diabetes, MedPage Today reported. More

Over 75 percent of flu victims do not have any symptoms
When someone has the flu, they may suffer symptoms ranging from fever, aches and pains — to congestion, wheezing and coughing. But a new study says that more than 75 percent of people who had seasonal influenza during recent years did not experience any symptoms at all. Researchers for the study collected data for influenza during winter seasons in England between 2006 and 2011, which included the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009.More

Rating sites becoming an important tool for patients
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite physicians' dislike of online rating sites, a survey finds patients are increasingly relying on them when shopping for a new doctor.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? 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

Colon cancer rates drop sharply due to screenings
USA Today
Colon cancer rates have fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over age 50, and colonoscopies are getting much of the credit, according to a report released. "This is one of the great public health success stories of the decade," says Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, whose researchers wrote the report, published in Cancer.More

Vaccine shrinks tumors in deadly skin cancer
The Columbus Dispatech
An experimental cancer vaccine used to treat advanced melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, proved effective in a late-stage study in shrinking tumors in a way that suggests the drug triggered the intended systemic immune response, according to data presented. The Amgen Inc. vaccine shrank tumors that were directly injected with the drug and tumors around the body that were not injected, according to the data.More

Archaeologists discover earliest example of human with cancer
Reuters via The Baltimore Sun
British archaeologists have found what they say is the world's oldest complete example of a human being with metastatic cancer and hope it will offer new clues about the now common and often fatal disease. Researchers from Durham University and the British Museum discovered the evidence of tumors that had developed and spread throughout the body in a 3,000-year-old skeleton found in a tomb in modern Sudan in 2013. More

Study: Mental health hospitalizations increasing in children
U.S. News & World Report
More than 4 million American children and adolescents have a mental illness, and a study from the University of California, San Francisco shows mental health hospitalizations among this demographic increased by 24 percent between 2007 and 2010. The latest findings suggest nearly 1 in 10 children are hospitalized because of a mental health problem.More

Newtown struggles to meet mental health demand
The Associated Press via ABC News
Some of the charities paying for mental healthcare for children and families affected by the Sandy Hook massacre are running short of money and officials don't know how much they'll need — and for how long — to repair the psychological scars from the mass shooting.More