Managed Care e-News
Jun. 23, 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

Study: Digital health solutions may save US health system $100 billion
By Scott E. Rupp
Accenture, in a new report, estimates that FDA-approved digital health solutions — an Internet-connected device or software created for detection or treatment of a medical indication — may have saved up to $6 billion in cost savings last year, primarily driven by medication adherence, behavior modifications and fewer emergency room visits. And digital health solutions are expected to save the U.S. healthcare system an additional $100 billion over the next four years.More

Health mergers could cut consumer options
The Wall Street Journal
The nation’s biggest health insurers, which are pursuing a series of potential megamergers, have market overlaps that could damp competition in sectors such as private Medicare plans, an analysis of state and federal data by The Wall Street Journal has found. The board of Cigna Corp. on Sunday rejected a $47.5 billion bid from Anthem Inc. that was disclosed on Saturday. Aetna Inc. has made an offer for Humana Inc. in recent days. More

Medical insurance is good for financial health, too
The New York Times
People who have health insurance have less health-related financial stress. That’s a not-so surprising finding from a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s good reason to expect the Affordable Care Act to reduce financial strain. Exposure to healthcare costs fell for those who gained coverage, as it has for those whose coverage became more generous, too.More

Defeat by deductible: Millennials aren't hip to health insurance lingo
Coinsurance? Premium tax credit? HMO and PPO? Swimming through the health insurance word soup can be frustrating for anyone. Young adults, who generally have little experience managing their own healthcare expenses, are finding it especially hard signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.More

Slow going on ACO risk
HealthLeaders Media
Even as participation in ACOs grows, providers are hesitant to advance to models with more risk. CMS has now extended the least risky ACO track for three more years. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can point to growing numbers of accountable care organizations as an indicator that healthcare providers are using ACOs to shift from volume to value-based care.More

Clinical, patient engagement key to ACO success
Implementing an accountable care organization is nearly impossible without high-quality clinical engagement, according to a panel of healthcare leaders at Friday's sixth annual National ACO Summit in the District of Columbia. And that engagement requires clinical leadership among the workers who are directly involved in care delivery, including physicians, non-physician providers, clnical staff and clerical employees, said Terry McGeeney, M.D., president of Care Accountability, Inc., and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, who served as the moderator of the panel.More

Public rarely knows full reason FDA rejects new drugs
Reuters via MedPage Today
Drug companies generally don't disclose all the reasons new medicines fail to win U.S. marketing approval, even though regulators often reject treatments over concerns about safety or effectiveness, a study finds. Researchers compared the details companies made public in press releases with confidential documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration known as complete response letters, which explain why a new medicine can't be sold.More

FDA approve device that helps blind 'see with tongue'
Medical News Today
When used with a cane or assistance dog, the BrainPort V100 can enhance people's ability to navigate their environment by literally "tasting the light." The battery-powered BrainPort looks like a square plastic lollipop — this goes in the mouth and sits on the tongue — connected via a wire to a tiny video camera mounted on a pair of sunglasses that the user wears.More

Scientists find a gene that regulates sleep
Flies, it turns out, sleep about as much as young children do. Males need about 12 hours a day, while females can do with about 10 hours. To find out which genes might be responsible for guiding how much slumber flies get a night, Kyunghee Koh did a massive experiment that you can only do with fruit flies.More

Faster, not stronger: How a protein regulates gene expression
Health Canal
By measuring the motion of single molecules, EPFL scientists have discovered how specialized proteins control gene expression by binding and compacting discrete parts of DNA inside the cell. The findings have significant implications for genetics and cancer research.More

Tool to analyze genes according to their evolutionary profiles
Medical Xpress
Two major revolutions, one genomic and one in informatics, are completely changing the face of biomedical research. Every day all over the world, millions of genetic sequences — from disease-related genes to complete genomes of plants, animals, bacteria and viruses — are resolved, identified and dissected.More

Study: Fasting may do more than help people lose weight
Fox News
Regular fasting may do more than just help people shed weight, a new study found, suggesting that it can also improve longevity while lowering the risk of chronic ailments. The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, focused on 34 people who were monitored by researchers. While 19 participants followed the Fasting Mimicking Diet, the others were kept on a regular diet, The Times Gazette reported. An FMD diet is low in proteins and calories and is followed for a minimum of five days a month.More

Study: Chocolate habit may be good for the heart
USA Today
Instead of fighting that chocolate craving, it might be time to indulge it, according to a study published in the cardiology health journal Heart. Researchers found that eating up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate every day was linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke.More

The versatile e-nose detects everything from cat-poop coffee to cancer
The electronic nose, or e-nose, has been around for a while lending a super-sensory hand in some surprising places. The e-nose has proven itself time and again in the world of agriculture. A recent Chinese study determined e-noses to be as good as a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer at identifying different varieties of eggs to prevent counterfeiting and shady dealings — such as vendors passing off readily available quail eggs as the more preferred pigeon eggs. More

Study could reduce unnecessary cancer screening
Medical Xpress
A large clinical trial led by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa has found that contrary to expectations, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis does not improve cancer detection in people with unexplained blood clots in their legs and lungs. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are expected to improve patient care and reduce screening costs around the world.More

Substance abuse still a massive societal ill
By Dr. Abimbola Farinde
The issues of substance abuse and substance use disorders continue to be growing problems within our modern-day society, with no apparent decline in sight. According to the World Drug Report, it was estimated that 200 million people, or about 5 percent of the global population, used illicit drugs in 2005, and this number has grown since that time. Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of overuse of alcohol or other drugs that have the ability to produce adverse effects with continued use of the medication. More

Poor teen mental health has very long reach
MedPage Today
The effects of mental health disorders followed adolescents into adulthood, resulting in poorer education and employment, according to a series of meta-analyses on the relationship between adolescent health and adult outcomes. Daniel R. Hale, Ph.D., of University College London Institute of Child Health in the U.K., and colleagues, reported that the majority of examined findings identified poorer educational and employment outcomes in those with adolescent health problems than in healthy controls.More