Managed Care e-News
Jul. 17, 2012

Health reform law triggers gold rush in Medicaid business
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Supreme Court's recent ruling that upheld the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health reform law appears to have set off a gold rush. Managed care companies will be scrambling for a bigger piece of the lucrative Medicaid program, which is expected to grow under the Affordable Care Act.More

An accountable care organization that's actually working
The Washington Post
The healthcare law's accountable care organizations often get compared to unicorns: We know what they are supposed to look like, but have never actually seen one. In practice, ACOs have proved just as elusive as mythical beasts. That's what makes a new Health Affairs paper exciting. Harvard researchers have found something that looks a whole lot like their unicorn: An ACO that is up, running and looks to be delivering the exact results everyone has hoped for.More

Insurers pay big markups as doctors dispense drugs
The New York Times
At a time of soaring healthcare bills, experts say doctors, middlemen and drug distributors are adding hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the costs borne by taxpayers, insurance companies and employers through the practice of physician dispensing. More

FDA looks at release of files on devices
The Wall Street Journal
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating how a document-management company inadvertently made public some 75,000 pages of confidential agency files about the approval of medical devices, FDA officials said. Many of the documents are related to FDA monitoring of emails sent and received by five current or former agency scientists who began complaining in 2008 about the way certain new medical devices were being evaluated and approved by the FDA's medical-device center. More

FDA recalls cardiac diagnostic tests
MedPage Today
The FDA has issued a recall on several lots of cardiovascular diagnostic tests because of a potentially fatal sensitivity error that increases the rate of false positive and false negative results. The affected Triage CardioProfiler Panel, Cardiac Panel, Profiler SOB Panel, BNP and D-dimer tests do not provide the precision described in the package insert, the agency said.More

Study: Those with lower income less likely to opt into research trials
Chicago Tribune
Lower-income people are less inclined to participate in cancer clinical research trials than those with higher incomes, according to a new study. The study found patients with incomes less than $50,000 a year were 27 percent less likely to participate in clinical trials than those making above that amount, and that 44 percent of patients were less likely to participate if they made $20,000 or less.More

Hospira recalls 4 cancer drugs for glass particles
Hospira said it has issued a nationwide recall of four of its injectable cancer drugs because of particles embedded in the glass at the neck of the vial. The drugs recalled are carboplatin, cytarabine, paclitaxel, methotrexate and were distributed nationwide to wholesalers and direct customers.More

Study: Babies born to obese mothers may have low iron
HealthDay News via Philadelphia Inquirer
Obese women who become pregnant may give birth to babies with low levels of iron, a new study reveals. The findings suggest that overproduction of an iron-regulating hormone, known as hepcidin, can interfere with the transfer of iron from an obese woman to her unborn child.More

Alcohol may help prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
HealthDay News
Drinking one or two alcoholic beverages several times a week may improve the bone health of older women and reduce their risk for osteoporosis, a small study suggests. Bones are living tissue with old bone continually removed and replaced in a process called remodeling. In people with the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, more bone is lost than replaced. More

Gene method offers diagnostic hope
The Wall Street Journal
A new method of mapping people's DNA promises to make the procedure more accessible to patients and to help doctors zero in on gene mutations that may cause disease, according to a report in the journal Nature. The latest advance in whole-genome sequencing requires only a small amount of DNA to produce a more complete picture of someone's genome and to immediately determine whether a faulty gene is inherited from the mother, the father or both. That finding could be critical to interpreting results.More

Rare genetic mutation protects against Alzheimer's
With more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, the race is on to surface clues about causes and prevention. An important breakthrough for the research field comes in the journal Nature. Researchers say they found a rare genetic mutation in Iceland that appears to protect against Alzheimer's disease.More

Elderly people who use Internet less likely to get depressed
Counsel & Heal
Although Internet use and social networking sites have been associated with youngsters for all the wrong reasons, a latest study says that it might not be the case with older people. Social networking sites are known to cause depression, loss of confidence and isolation in youngsters. But according to the latest research, which is based on a survey of almost 8,000 men and women aged over 50, the elderly are less likely to be diagnosed with depression compared with non-users.More

Detecting Alzheimer's early could change lives
USA Today
Research is showing the importance of early Alzheimer's diagnosis. Once the process that destroys brain cells has begun, the disease is irreversible. But if researchers can find a way to catch it early and slow it down, they think they can prevent much of the worst damage. More