Managed Care e-News
Jul. 16, 2013

US healthcare's dangerous profit fixation
Medicine is big business in America. Nearly one fifth of our GDP is spent on healthcare — 50 percent more than any other developed country. Yet by many measures we are not getting value for money. Healthcare in the U.S. is on an unsustainable course, and costs cannot continue to increase while outcomes continue to deteriorate. This crisis has been blamed on greedy malpractice lawyers, drug companies, healthcare insurance companies and doctors who over treat patients by practicing defensive or wasteful medicine. And there is something to all of these. Doctors have failed to address this healthcare crisis, so other groups offer solutions — notably economists and political commentators.More

Do clinical trials work?
The New York Times
Every spring, some 30,000 oncologists, medical researchers and marketers gather in an American city to showcase the latest advances in cancer treatment. But at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, much of the buzz surrounded a study that was anything but a breakthrough. More

Smart wearable sensors and their growing applications in today's healthcare industry
By Dr. Afsaneh Motamed-Khorasani
The aging U.S. population affected by chronic conditions and the skyrocking healthcare costs forces the U.S. healthcare system to face daunting challenges. There have been many contributing factors in this issue, which are outside of the realm of this article. However, how we will be able to provide quality care to an increasing number of individuals with complex chronic medical conditions and maximize their independence and participation, remains to be an ongoing challenge. One possible way that comes to mind could be to leverage the advances in information technology in micro- and nanotechnologies, sensor miniaturization, smart fabrics as well as remote monitoring in order to increase the independency of an aging population with various degrees of disabilities without letting it become a burden to the healthcare industry.More

5 key trends in healthcare for 2013
Becker's Hospital Review
It has been a fascinating first half of the year in the healthcare industry. The industry continues to evolve, due in part to several key issues impacting healthcare delivery today. Below we present what we feel are the five biggest issues facing hospitals and healthcare systems, surgery centers and physician practices this year.More

FDA designation could speed Tetraphase antibiotic
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc. said that U.S. regulators have given its experimental antibiotic a special designation to speed up the review and approval process and, if it's approved, give the drug more years without competition.More

FDA approves Boehringer's Gilotrif drug for late-stage lung cancer patients with specific mutation
Medical Daily
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a pharmaceutical drug, Gilotrif, from Boehringer Ingelheim for late-stage, non-small cell lung cancer patients with a specific mutation. The FDA has also approved a companion genetic test to determine which patients would respond to the treatment.More

Tanning addiction? Study finds many can't stop, even after cancer
CTV News
Even after being diagnosed with skin cancer, a stunning one in seven patients will go back to a tanning bed, new research has found — suggesting that for some, tanning can become almost an addiction. The study, which appears in a recent edition of JAMA Dermatology, focused on 178 skin cancer patients from Connecticut who had admitted to going to tanning salons before they were diagnosed. More

Study: Air pollution kills millions each year
BBC News
Outdoor air pollution is estimated to contribute to more than 2.5 million deaths each year, a study has suggested. It calculated that, each year, 470,000 people died as a result of ozone and 2.1 million deaths were linked to fine particulate matter. Air pollution increased respiratory and heart disease risks, with the young, elderly and infirm most vulnerable.More

What your baby's gender could say about your genes
Bloomberg Businessweek
There is a term for children born into a life of inherited wealth and unearned leisure. They are "fortunate sperm." A newly published study gives that term new meaning. We all assume that the gender of a child is basically random — the result of a ferocious, wriggly race between tens of millions of sperm to get to and burrow into the waiting egg. But the new research suggests that mothers in a wide and diverse array of mammal species are able, perhaps unconsciously, to choose the gender of their offspring. Somehow the moms are rigging the game.More

Cancer-linked genes collected in largest-ever database
Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have produced the largest database of cancer-related gene variations, a feat that will aid research efforts in developing medicines that target the disease more precisely. The work generated six billion data points that tie hundreds of existing and experimental cancer medicines to gene variations that may be used to better understand drug response, the institute said in a statement. More

You can't patent human genes. So why are genetic testing companies getting sued?
The Washington Post
Critics of human gene patents rejoiced when the nation's highest court ruled that human genes can't be patented. A company called Myriad Genetics claimed to own genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 whose mutations are associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer. But the Supreme Court ruled that no one could own humanity's genetic code.More

US healthcare's dangerous profit fixation
Medicine is big business in America. Nearly one fifth of our GDP is spent on healthcare — 50 percent more than any other developed country.More

You're at mercy of states, not Obama, in healthcare
The three most important things in real estate — "location, location, location" — are about to become just as important, if not more so, to tens of millions of individuals and small businesses buying health insurance under the new healthcare marketplaces scheduled to begin enrollments this fall across the U.S.More

Is this the end of health insurers?
The Washington Post
In 2012, MedStar Health, like many large employers, struggled to keep up with rapidly rising healthcare costs. For three years, the company held down premiums for its 19,000 employees by absorbing the increases itself.More

Past colon cancer tied to future cancer risks
Reuters Health
People who have had colon cancer are 15 percent more likely to be diagnosed with another cancer than those with no history of the disease, a new study suggests. Using data from cancer registries from nine states, researchers found small intestine, lung, kidney, stomach, bladder and endometrial cancers were all more common among people with a history of colon cancer.More

Children's hospital overwhelmed with pizza after cancer patient's window sign goes viral
Fox News
A hospital had to emphatically ask people to stop sending pizza after a child being treated for cancer received more than 20 pizzas from Internet strangers in one day. Reddit user "ashortstorylong" posted a photo of a sign in the window of a hospital that said: "Send Pizza RM 4112" with the headline: "Photo taken outside Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Smart kid."More

Study: Internet use may help in dealing with depression
Daily News & Analysis
Mental health experts have analyzed that the increased popularity of Internet use can be considered as helpful in easing depression. According to, mental health experts are now putting in more attention to what people suffering from depression say online in order to reach out for help.More

Hitting in childhood tied to adult obesity and heart disease
MedPage Today
Children who were punished physically had higher risks for cardiovascular disease, arthritis and obesity in adulthood, researchers found. Compared with adults who were not punished physically as children, those who received harsh physical punishment in childhood were 24 percent more likely to be obese and 35 percent more likely to have arthritis.More