Managed Care e-News
Jul. 8, 2014

Countries spending the most on healthcare
24/7 Wall St. via USA Today
The United States currently spends more per person on healthcare than any other developed country. Health outcomes in the U.S., however, are among the worst. Despite weak health spending growth worldwide, a number of countries still had substantial healthcare budgets as of 2012. Based on data released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. led the developed world in 2012, spending $8,745 per capita on healthcare. More

The frustrating lack of comparative effectiveness — Part I
By Mike Wokasch
When you go to the doctor's office, you expect your healthcare providers will prescribe drugs that will be effective and safe in treating your diagnosis. But which drug is best for treating your disease or medical condition? You rely on your physician or PA to make this determination. You also rely on your healthcare providers to have the treatment available on their formulary. And lastly, you rely on your insurance company to pay for your treatment of choice. You would expect them to make these determinations based on the best available clinical data and published medical literature. But what is the best available data? More

Obamacare's next threat: A September surprise
Obamacare open enrollment closed March 31. The White House’s Obamacare war room did not. Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise, timing that couldn’t be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms. The White House and its allies know they’ve been beaten in every previous round of Obamacare messaging, never more devastatingly than in 2010. More

Defining accountable care in the age of ACOs
Health Data Management
Physicians didn't wake up to a brave new world when Medicare unveiled its accountable care model and Pioneer ACO program — as medical doctors, the ultimate clinical decision makers in the healthcare industry, they were used to being personally and professionally accountable for their actions.More

Docs have doubts about ACOs
Healthcare IT News
While majorities of providers see value-based payment models becoming the status quo in healthcare, and three quarters say information technology will be critical to making them work, fewer than one-in-three say the reward is worth the risk. Some 75 percent of providers currently participate in at least one value-based model, according to new research published by Availity, and more than 60 percent expect them to become the dominant payment strategy going forward. More

ACO initiatives test pharma's traditional sales model
The U.S. healthcare system’s shift from volume- to value-based reimbursement for treatment in order to lower costs and improve patient care is disrupting healthcare business models. The high-profile government–led accountable care organizations, which put financial pressure on payers and providers to share responsibility for meeting quality and cost goals, is no exception.More

Study: 99 percent of Alzheimer's drug trials fail
Drug Discovery & Development
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health have conducted the first-ever analysis of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, revealing an urgent need to increase the number of agents entering the drug development pipeline and progressing successfully towards new therapy treatments. More

FDA approves belinostat for rare lymphoma
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved belinostat for the treatment of relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a rare and fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The endorsement of belinostat, which is an orphan drug, comes through the FDA's accelerated approval program and is based on overall response rate data.More

How genes can influence our mood
The Huffington Post
Michael Stanclift writes: When Susan first came to see me, she was feeling pretty low. She had debilitating fatigue, and her body ached all over. Susan had been prescribed an antidepressant, and it helped with her depression a little, but she was still constantly anxious and had difficulty concentrating. Everything seemed "life or death," her performance at work was declining, and she was afraid she would lose her job if things didn't change soon.More

Healthy-obesity gene found — but genes aren't everything
Austrian researchers have discovered a possible genetic explanation for why about a quarter of obese people are “metabolically healthy” — meaning they don’t have the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. In their mice study, published in the journal Cell, the researchers were able to determine that high levels of a molecule called HO-1 was linked to poor metabolic health and a higher risk for diabetes in people who are obese.More

The future of birth control: Remote control fertility
We may be just years away from the longest-lasting and most hassle-free contraceptive ever invented. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it is backing a Massachusetts biotech company that is developing an implantable contraceptive that can be activated and deactivated by the user, the MIT Technology Review reports.More

Around the globe, mom's health key to newborn's size
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Well-nourished, healthy and well-educated mothers who receive prenatal care have babies of similar size — regardless of differences in their race, ethnicity or where they live, a new study finds. Conversely, poor nutrition and health seem to be the main culprits behind large differences in the growth of babies during pregnancy and the average size of newborns around the world, according to new research, the team of scientists report.More

Countries spending the most on healthcare
24/7 Wall St. via USA Today
The United States currently spends more per person on healthcare than any other developed country. Health outcomes in the U.S., however, are among the worst.More

Supreme Court supports religious freedom of businesses
By Jessica Taylor
A potentially landmark decision on religious liberty occurred in the U.S. Supreme Court — and religious freedom won.More

Profits in health insurance under Obamacare
This year's Fortune 500 shows that health insurers as a group continue to post rather mediocre profit results for the sixth straight year in a row.More

Breast cancer: Advancements in surgery
By Rosemary Sparacio
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women, with more than 40,000 deaths in the United States each year. As in the areas of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, research and development advances in surgery are also being seen. These advances not only improve the actual surgery techniques, but also the methods and processes prior to and following surgery. Here is a closer look at some of the latest research. More

Lead exposure may cause depression and anxiety in children
Lead is well known for causing permanent behavioral and cognitive problems in children, but a study says it may also cause less obvious problems like depression, too, even at low levels. That's the word from a study tracking the health of 1,341 children in Jintan, China, where the health effects of pollution from rapid development have become a national concern.More

Florida becomes 1st state to implement new mental health strategy
The Huffington Post
Seeking to improve care and lower costs, Florida this month became the first state to offer a Medicaid health plan designed exclusively for people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar conditions. The plan — offered by Avon, Conn.-based Magellan Complete Care — is part of a wave of state experimentation to coordinate physical and mental healthcare for those enrolled in Medicaid.More