Managed Care e-News
May. 12, 2015

How Obamacare changed health insurance ... maybe
There’s no debate that Obamacare has expanded health coverage in America — but one big question has been by how many people. And RAND researchers think they’ve got the answer: 16.9 million. Nearly 22.8 million people have gained health insurance since the Affordable Care Act’s first enrollment period kicked off in October 2013, according to RAND’s longitudinal survey, while another 5.9 million lost coverage.More

Study: Wealthier Americans are least satisfied by health insurance companies
The HIll
The nation’s wealthiest people are the least likely to be satisfied with their healthcare insurers, with one-third describing their payments as “unaffordable,” according to a new survey. One-quarter of people who make $100,000 or more annually say it's not easy to read their bills and that they're not confident their bills are accurate, according to data from health researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers.More

If you're paying a fortune for health insurance, here are 4 ways to cut the cost
Business Insider
More Americans than ever are buying their own health insurance plans, but navigating the marketplace has never been trickier. While it's not easy, there's a big upside to the patient-as-consumer healthcare economy: You now have the ability to shop for the most affordable care. All it takes is a little research. More

The death of fee-for-service in healthcare
HIT Consultant
On April 16, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, effectively sentencing fee-for-service to death. The best explanation for how FFS is destroying the nation comes from Charles Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and ad-hoc health luminary, who is equating what American doctors do, to raising rattlesnakes so they can collect the bounty for dead rattlers offered by the government in an effort to combat a growing snake problem. More

CMS touts ACOs, docs need addiction training
MedPage Today
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gloated over huge savings from its Pioneer accountable care organizations. President Barack Obama looked for allies to help "fast-track" a controversial trade agreement that could impact drug costs. Congress learned doctors need a strategy for helping opioid addicted patients and looked for ways to improve electronic health records.More

FDA approves treatment for plague
Pharmacy Times
The FDA today approved Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals' moxifloxacin to treat plague. Avelox is intended to treat pneumonic plague and septicemic plague, and it can also be used to prevent plague among adults. Because cases of plague are rare across the world, the FDA approved Avelox based on a trial with African green monkeys infected with Yersinia pestis, a bacteria that could potentially be used as a bioterrorism agent. More

FDA questions benefits of Vertex cystic fibrosis treatment
The Boston Globe
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s new cystic fibrosis therapy, which has sparked high hopes from patients and investors, got a decidedly lukewarm review from the staff working for regulators who will decide whether to approve the drug.More

Genes influence sensitivity to emotions
It is common knowledge that everyone has a different level of sensitivity to emotional information. Some of us cry at the mere thought of something sad while others remain indifferent even in the gloomiest of circumstances. Similar observations can also be made about the way we emotionally react to happiness and a variety of other emotions.More

Altering genes with the aid of light
R&D Magazine
Scientists have been manipulating genes for a while. The University of Pittsburgh’s Alexander Deiters just found a way to control the process with higher precision. By using light. Deiters and his group are the first to achieve this. The resulting paper was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.More

Genes influence ADHD course
A large twin study shows that genetics have a major influence on whether attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms decrease or persist as children grow older. Furthermore, these genetic influences are mostly separate from those that determine severity of symptoms at baseline, report Jean-Baptiste Pingault and study co-authors.More

Newly discovered 'missing link' shows how humans could evolve from single-celled organisms
The Washington Post
A new microbe found a mile and a half below the Atlantic Ocean just gave scientists a major clue on the origins of life. Named Lokiarchaeota — Loki for short — the tiny organism is single-celled, but more like a multicelled organism than any ever found before. Scientists are calling it the missing link between single cells and complex life. Their findings were published in Nature.More

Study: Eat dark chocolate to beat the midday slump
Medical Xpress
Larry Stevens eats a piece of high-cacao content chocolate every afternoon, which is in part because he has developed a taste for the unsweetened dark chocolate. It's also because research shows that it lowers blood pressure and his new study reveals that it improves attention, which is especially important when hitting that midday slump.More

As companies eliminate artificial ingredients, is food really getting healthier?
By Cait Harrison
You've probably heard the recent announcement that Panera plans to remove artificial ingredients from its food. But it comes among a plethora of other companies — Tyson, McDonald's, Pepsi, Chipotle, Nestle, Kraft and more — who have also vowed to remove additives, preservatives and other so-called "bad" ingredients from their recipes. So are these companies' menu changes really about improving public health — or is it simply good business sense?More

CDC: Many adults failing to undergo recommended cancer screening
Medical News Today
Published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the data shows that in 2013, screening rates for these cancers either dropped below past rates or did not improve, demonstrating slow progression toward the Healthy People 2020 targets. To reach their findings, the report authors reviewed data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey involving a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.More

5 myths about breast cancer
The Washington Post
Everyone knows that hot pink stands for breast cancer. The second-leading cause of cancer death among women has given rise to perhaps the most effective anti-cancer campaign in U.S. history. But widespread public awareness hasn’t tamped down misperceptions about breast cancer and how it operates. Here are some myths you might still believe.More

What do cancer centers think patients are looking for?
If you were a cancer center trying to get patients to come to receive care at your facility, what message would you send them? In other words, what would you as a cancer center director think people would value in choosing a place to receive cancer care?More

PTSD, linked to chronic depression and insomnia, makes you grow old faster
Medical Daily
Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to a variety of psychological difficulties, including insomnia, chronic depression, eating disorders, anger and substance abuse. Could PTSD also speed the rate at which you grow old? According to researchers at Veterans Affairs and UC San Diego School of Medicine, people with PTSD may be at risk for accelerated aging, also referred to as premature senescence.More

How the shape of your glass affects your drinking behavior
The Huffington Post
Can something as simple as changing the shape of glasses keep drinkers from going off the rails? New research from England suggests that people drink more slowly when alcohol is served in straight-sided glasses than when it's served in glasses with curved sides.More

Behavioral health: We need EHRs, but incentives would help
HIT Consultant
Acute care hospitals have demonstrated what happens when you pay people — when you incentivize them — to do something. Just 9.4 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals had a basic EHR system in 2008. By 2013 that number had climbed to 59.4 percent. Between 2011 and 2013, the percentage of hospitals with a certified EHR rose from 71.9 to 94 percent, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.More