Managed Care e-News
Mar. 31, 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

Senate passes 2 health insurance amendments, files 3rd
Senators voted 52-46 to cut the employer contribution on their own health insurance, reported The Hill. Additionally, the Senate voted 56-44 to approve an amendment aimed at improving health insurance price transparency. Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, who proposed the first amendment, has pushed the issue for years.More

With 16M in Obamacare, is the repeal debate over?
NBC News
The Republicans are facing a 16 million person problem. With the Obama administration announcing this month that some 16 million people have obtained health insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans' intense focus on completely repealing the law is increasingly looking unrealistic.More

Experts: 2015 is the year of the healthcare breach
By Scott E. Rupp
Breaches, breaches everywhere. It seems there's no shortage of news about security breaches and their effect on healthcare. In an effort to better paint the picture of breaches in healthcare, Software Advice recently published research focusing on how recent HIPAA breaches, like the cyberattacks at Anthem and Premera Blue Cross, have impacted U.S. patients' trust, treatment and retention. According to the organization, security experts warn that we're in the year of the healthcare hack.More

ACOs showing payment reform possible
Medical Economics
“The healthcare system must transform and payment reform represents one pathway that is rapidly diffusing,” according to Michael Chernew, Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy, Boston, who spoke about payment reform at the ACC meeting during a session.More

2 ways to make ACOs work better
Modern Healthcare
New payment models adopted by Medicare and many health plans have clearly led to better care for patients. They also might be helping to slow the overall growth of healthcare spending. Whether these gains can be sustained, however, is far from certain. And because many providers are still sitting on the sidelines, uncertainty is a serious threat to progress.More

FDA approves Emergent BioSolutions' inhaled anthrax treatment
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment for inhaled anthrax, triggering a $7 million milestone payment from the Department of Health and Human Services. The company developed the treatment, Anthrasil, as part of a $160 million contract it signed in 2005 with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the HHS.More

Amgen receives FDA priority review designation for Kyprolis to treat relapsed multiple myeloma
Amgen announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the supplemental New Drug Application of Kyprolis for injection for the treatment of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy.More

FDA 'taking a very light touch' on regulating the Apple Watch
With Apple Inc. and fellow Silicon Valley companies edging further into healthcare, the U.S. agency in charge of oversight says it will give the technology industry leeway to develop new products without aggressive regulation. Bakul Patel, who oversees the new wave of consumer-focused health products at the Food and Drug Administration, said most wearable gadgets such as the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch and health-focused applications for smartphones have a way to go before warranting close scrutiny from the agency.More

Music physically activates genes for learning and memory
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
A Finnish research group recently reported the effect of music performance on the gene expression profiles of professional musicians from Tapiola Sinfonietta, a professional orchestra, and Sibelius-Academy, a music university. Playing music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor function, learning and memory, according to the researchers. More

In Iceland's DNA, new clues to disease-causing genes
The New York Times
Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstones. “This is amazing work, there’s no question about it,” said Daniel G. MacArthur, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in the research.More

Genes crucial for vision multiplied in early stages of vertebrate evolution
A new study from SciLifeLab at Uppsala University published in PLOS ONE shows that genes crucial for vision were multiplied in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and acquired distinct functions leading to the sophisticated mechanisms of vertebrate eyes. One striking feature of vertebrates is the prominent role that vision plays in almost all major animal groups. More

An apple a day does not keep the doctor away
USA Today
Sorry, apple lovers and doctor haters. An apple a day does not keep the doctor away, at least according to a new study. The study, published in an April Fools edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, was done for fun and "is very tongue in cheek," says lead researcher Matthew A. Davis, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's school of nursing.More

Can you tell if your child is overweight? Most parents can't
It’s hard to be objective about your own kid’s weight, and a new study in the British Journal of General Practice shows just how off-target parents can be. Just a fraction of parents with overweight or obese kids felt that their kids actually fell into one of these categories — the vast majority said their children were normal weight.More

Sugar-seeking MRI may detect cancer, improve biopsies
Fox News
Using magnetic resonance imaging scans to detect sugar molecule biomarkers may improve cancer detection, Medical News Today reported. The findings may lead to more effective biopsies, which may make some biopsies unnecessary, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine noted. For their new study, researchers compared MRI readings from proteins, called mucins, with and without sugars to detect signal changes.More

Higher coffee consumption may protect against liver cancer
Medical News Today
According to research conducted by the London, U.K.-based World Cancer Research Fund International, drinking three alcoholic drinks a day can be enough to cause liver cancer. Amanda McLean, Director of World Cancer Research Fund U.K., says: "Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer ..." More

Mental health screening of airline pilots is cursory and ineffective
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
There is little effective, real-world screening of airline pilots for mental problems despite regulations in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere that say mental health should be part of their regular medical exams, pilots and safety experts said. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. More

Preventing domestic violence one step at a time
By Jessica Taylor
Vice President Joe Biden recently spoke at the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, and he stated that domestic violence is a public health epidemic. Biden made attendees — including doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. — aware that even though we've come a long way in the fight against domestic violence, we have to keep making sure we're working harder than ever for prevention and intervention. Of course, it takes a little bit of time to recognize domestic violence, and it's important for healthcare professionals to know the signs.More