Managed Care e-News
Jun. 25, 2013

When will healthcare truly be affordable?
By Mike Wokasch
With implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. has taken a huge step in attempting to make healthcare affordable for all U.S. citizens. The objectives are clear and well-intended. The healthcare benefits of the law are significant, but we are kidding ourselves if we really think healthcare is going to be affordable, especially for the currently uninsured.More

Why a health insurance penalty may look tempting
The New York Times
Often, when the government wants you to do something, it makes you pay if you don't. That would seem to be the case with the Affordable Care Act, which penalizes companies for not providing healthcare. But in that penalty, there could be a paradoxical result: Dropping health coverage could save companies a lot of money.More

Some immigrants excluded from healthcare overhaul
The Associated Press via TIME
President Barack Obama has championed two sweeping policy changes that could transform how people live in the U.S.: affordable healthcare for all and a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants illegally in the country. But many immigrants will have to wait more than a decade to qualify for healthcare benefits under the proposed immigration overhaul being debated by Congress, ensuring a huge swath of people will remain uninsured as the centerpiece of the healthcare law launches in 2014. More

FDA raises concerns about the cybersecurity of medical devices
The Food and Drug Administration has raised concerns about the vulnerability of medical devices to cyberattack. The FDA recommended that device companies and medical facilities "take steps to assure that appropriate safeguards are in place to reduce the risk of failure due to cyberattack, which could be initiated by the introduction of malware into the medical equipment or unauthorized access to configuration settings in medical devices and hospital networks."More

Vibativ for bacterial pneumonia approved by FDA
Medical News Today
Vibativ has been approved by the FDA to treat hospital-acquired ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The FDA added that telavancin should only be used when other treatments are not appropriate.More

How your body shape determines your metabolic destiny
The Huffington Post
A recent study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology showed that among other health problems, apple shapes have a greater risk of kidney disease. "We found that apple-shaped persons — even if totally healthy and with a normal blood pressure — have an elevated blood pressure in their kidneys," said researcher Dr. Arjan Kwakernaak. "When they are also overweight or obese, this is even worse." More

4 habits that add years to your life
Yahoo News
You can add years to your life by making four simple, healthy and often enjoyable changes in your daily habits that dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease and other dangerous disorders, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. More

Will genes ruling prevent the next genentech?
By recent ruling to restrict the ability of companies to own human genetic sequences, the Supreme Court may have also called into question thousands of biotechnology, agricultural and drug patents. The court's decision that naturally occurring genes can't be patented, though so-called synthetic ones can, may have another unintended consequence: It could undermine a precious relationship between academic scientists and the private sector by making businesses less eager to fund cutting-edge DNA research. More

Biologists reveal how cells control the direction in which the genome is read
MIT biologists have discovered a mechanism that allows cells to read their own DNA in the correct direction and prevents them from copying most of the so-called "junk DNA" that makes up long stretches of our genome. Only about 15 percent of the human genome consists of protein-coding genes, but in recent years scientists have found that a surprising amount of the junk, or intergenic DNA, does get copied into RNA — the molecule that carries DNA's messages to the rest of the cell. More

DNA's shape controls genes
Garvan Institute via ScienceAlert
Scientists from Australia and the United States bring new insights to our understanding of the 3-D structure of the genome, one of the biggest challenges currently facing the fields of genomics and genetics. Their findings are published in Nature Genetics online. Roughly 3 meters of DNA is tightly folded into the nucleus of every cell in our body. This folding allows some genes to be "expressed," or activated, while excluding others. More

When will healthcare truly be affordable?
By Mike Wokasch
With implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. has taken a huge step in attempting to make healthcare affordable for all U.S. citizens. The objectives are clear and well-intended. More

Florida gets OK for Medicaid managed care
Obama administration health officials have officially approved a plan expanding Medicaid managed care throughout Florida. The move was widely anticipated after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave its initial approval Feb. 20, a few hours before Gov. Rick Scott announced his support for the Medicaid expansion. More

Supreme Court strikes down BRCA gene patent
ABC News
The Supreme Court has ruled that isolated human genes cannot be patented, a partial defeat for Myriad Genetics, a company that had been awarded patents on the so-called BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the 1990s. More

HPV causes a growing number of oral cancers
USA Today
Michael Douglas discussed his battle with throat cancer in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, in which doctors raised the point that some throat cancers can be caused by a sexually transmitted virus, human papillomavirus, related to cervical cancer. But Douglas' spokesman has rebutted the newspaper's headline saying that oral sex caused his cancer. USA Today asked cancer experts to explain HPV's role in oral cancer. More

Cancer spread may be stopped by blocking development protein
Medical News Today
A protein that is active in growing embryos, but not normal adult tissue, has also been found in various types of cancer. Now a new U.S. study suggests it may switch on metastasis, the ability of cancer cells to spread and form new tumors in other parts of the body. Researchers say it offers a new target for anti-cancer treatments that block the protein without harming healthy cells.More

Studies back benefits of psychotherapy for depression
Public Library of Science via Psych Central
Treatments for depression that do not involve antidepressant drugs but rather focus on different forms of psychotherapy interventions are all beneficial. The techniques, sometimes called talk therapy, can take various iterations with no one form of therapy being better than the others, according to a recent study.More

Apple's Siri is taking a new approach to suicide
The Huffington Post
A new update to Apple's Siri is helping the virtual assistant better handle questions about suicide and more quickly assist people who are seeking help. If Siri receives a query that suggests a user may be considering suicide, it will now prompt the individual to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and offer to phone the hotline directly. If the prompt is dismissed, Siri will follow up by displaying a list of suicide prevention centers closest to the user's location. More