Managed Care e-News
Jun. 16, 2015

Fall Managed Care Forum: Register today!

Register today for the 2015 Fall Forum being held November 12-13, 2015 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Click here to visit the conference website.More

Health insurance premiums will go up in 2016, but by how much?
Some health insurance companies are asking for big price increases next year, and that has again riled critics of the federal healthcare law. But early analysis shows those steep hikes may not affect the majority of consumers. The numbers released came out of a June 1 deadline, under the Affordable Care Act, that requires insurance companies to tell government regulators when they're requesting price hikes of more than 10 percent.More

Saving affordable health insurance
The New York Times
The Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of people get healthcare, is now fully woven into the nation’s social fabric. As President Barack Obama said, there is something “deeply cynical about the ceaseless, endless, partisan attempts” to roll back the progress already made. His remarks at a forum of the Catholic Health Association come only weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could, if the administration loses, eliminate federal tax subsidies in 34 states that have made it possible for millions of Americans to buy health insurance. More

Small practices rank cloud-based EHRs best in user satisfaction
By Scott E. Rupp
Cloud-based electronic health record firms are tops in physician satisfaction rankings for small and solo practices. According to new research, nearly 70 percent of small and single-physician practices are confident in Web-based EHR systems as usability gets better and connectivity issues improve. With meaningful use attestations and multiple-system replacements behind them, doctors feel cloud EHRs can help improve financial results, clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction. More

California's ACOs: A model for the nation?
California's successful accountable care organizations could offer valuable lessons for rest of the nation, which has seen mixed results with ACOs, according to California Healthline. The Golden State has more than 100 ACOs, according to the article, representing nearly 1 in 7 ACOs nationwide. More

Little progress in waiving ACO telehealth restrictions
Health Data Management
The American Telemedicine Association is upset with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ final rule on accountable care organizations, which ATA says “severely restricts” the use of telemedicine services which could benefit millions of Americans. CMS released a final rule updating the Medicare Shared Savings Program to give providers greater flexibility and grow participation in the program. More

GlaxoSmithKline's new asthma drug gets a split vote from FDA advisers
A group of FDA advisers backed GlaxoSmithKline's latest asthma treatment for use in adults but balked at recommending it for adolescents, setting the stage for a likely approval in the fall. GSK's injection, mepolizumab, works by blocking the protein interleukin-5 to prevent buildups of white blood cells in the lungs that can exacerbate asthma.More

FDA panel backs Amgen's cholesterol-lowering drug
The Wall Street Journal
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended that the agency approve Amgen Inc.’s cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha, the second in a class of promising heart medicines that could change medical practice and generate billions of dollars in sales.More

I got my genes tested, should you?
Popular Science
Alexandra Ossola writes: It takes me two subway rides, a 15-minute walk, one very large cup of coffee, and knocking on two incorrect office doors to arrive at the offices of the Program for Jewish Genetic Health in the Bronx, New York. I am there for a genetic screening designed to indicate which genes I could pass on to a potential child. And though I scheduled the appointment weeks ago, my circuitous arrival builds up the suspense — and my anxiety. Why am I doing this, I think to myself.More

Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation
Researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna as well as at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna have discovered an entirely new aspect of gene regulation they call exitron splicing. Their findings, recently published in the renowned scientific journal Genome Research, will help to explore the adaptive evolution of gene regulation. Furthermore, the discovery sets a basis for the development of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets.More

Does this make me fat, or is it my genes?
MedPage Today
Picking a fight with your spouse is like scratching a scab — it's rarely a good idea, and it's worse when done in public. But that didn't stop one couple from getting into an argument during a session at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting. People within earshot of the couple, glasses of Chianti and Pinot grigio in hand, listened closely as the husband laid out the terms of the argument. Who were the so-called opponents? Jeffrey Flier, M.D. — the dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard University in Boston, and his wife, Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, M.D., a professor of medicine at Harvard. Their topic was the root cause of the obesity epidemic.More

US kids not drinking enough water each day
HealthDay News via WebMD
Many American children and teens aren't consuming enough liquids — especially water — and that lack of hydration could affect their physical and mental health, a new study suggests. The findings "highlight a potential health issue that has not been given a whole lot of attention in the past," study author Erica Kenney, a postdoctoral research fellow in social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a Harvard news release.More

Study: Nuts may reduce risk of death from multiple causes
Like several before it, a new study finds that eating a modest amount of nuts every day might significantly reduce our risk of dying from a number of chronic diseases. And these include not only a reduced risk of mortality from heart disease, which has been the most-studied benefit of nuts, but also cancer, stroke, respiratory disease and brain diseases. More

Weight tied to breast cancer risk in older women
Reuters via Fox News
Overweight and obese women are at increased risk of developing breast cancer after menopause, compared to normal-weight women, a large new analysis finds. The cancer risk rises with greater weight, researchers found, and women with the most severe obesity were 86 percent more likely to develop the most common form of breast cancer, and to be diagnosed with more advanced cancers.More

Poor sleep, snoring before diagnosis tied to trouble for breast cancer patients
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Breast cancer patients who had poor sleep and frequent snoring before their cancer diagnosis appear to have lower survival rates, a new study finds. The study, which was not designed to prove cause-and-effect, included more than 18,000 cancer patients whose progress was tracked in the Women's Health Initiative study.More

The growing link between nutrition and mental health — and the best foods for it
Yahoo Health
It’s a no-brainer: Eating a balanced diet helps you to look and feel good. And now researchers say that eating well may even help fight depression. A new scientific review published in the journal the Lancet Psychiatry that involved 18 researchers from around the world stresses the role that good nutrition plays in mental health.More

The brain and autism: Challenging traditional testing
By Dorothy L. Tengler
One of the hallmarks of autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is superior low-level task performance alongside reduced performance in tasks that involve the processing of complex sensory data, which has led to the assumption that autism is characterized by a difficulty integrating individual units of perceptual data into global concepts. But a new study in a 3-D environment in which a field of moving dots generated the feeling of traveling through space is challenging conventional wisdom. More