Managed Care e-News
Jul. 24, 2012

Groups to CMS: Slow down on dual eligibles
Is the push to change how "dual eligibles" get their healthcare going too far, too fast? That's a question that's beginning to be heard from lots of quarters — including the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the American Medical Association, some analysts and now at least one key lawmaker.More

Integrated care coordination for dual eligibles lowers readmission rates
McKnight's Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living
Dual eligibles in an Arizona integrated coordinated care plan had a 21 percent lower hospital readmission rate than their counterparts in Medicare fee-for-service programs, a new analysis reveals. Dual eligibles enrolled in Arizona's Mercy Care Plan spent 43 percent fewer days in the hospital than Medicare FFS enrollees.More

After healthcare ruling, Centene is cast as takeover target
The New York Times
Since the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's transformative healthcare law, Wall Street has been wondering whether the decision would set off a fresh round of consolidation in the industry. One analyst says the Centene Corporation, a healthcare services company focused on Medicaid, could be a takeover target.More

Serious side effects more likely in new cancer drugs
Many new cancer drugs may come at a price — including a higher risk of diarrhea, skin problems and high blood pressure, according to an analysis of studies used to get those medications approved. Researchers said patients should know that serious side effects with newer chemotherapy or targeted cancer drugs might be "unusual" — and they should discuss anything that doesn't seem right with their doctor.More

Wary doctors put the 'wait' in weight-loss drugs
ABC News
VideoBriefAfter a 13-year dry spell, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two new drugs promising weight loss in a pill. But will you be able to get a prescription for them? The answer may depend on which doctor you see. More

Plan to compensate bone marrow donors moves forward
American Medial News
After a three-year court battle, a plan to offer scholarships and other compensation to bone marrow donors is moving ahead. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has declined to challenge an appellate ruling permitting the practice. The decision means the end of a long judicial journey and the start of more patients receiving much-needed donations, said Robert McNamara, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice.More

Study: Prostate cancer surgery fails to cut death rate
Surgery for prostate cancer was no better in saving lives than observation over a 10-year period, according to one of the first rigorous studies to compare the two approaches in American men with early-stage disease. More

AIDS risk higher for gay, bisexual black men
The Washington Times
Black men who are gay or bisexual are "at the center" of the U.S. AIDS epidemic and should be a primary focus of testing, service and treatment efforts, a federal official and advocates said. Black men who have sex with men account for one in four new HIV infections, even though they represent only 1 in 500 Americans, the Black AIDS Institute said in its new report, "Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men in America 2012."More

AIDS deaths worldwide drop as access to drugs improves
Fewer people infected with HIV globally are dying as more of them get access to crucial antiretroviral drugs, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nations AIDS program said. The decline has been fueled by greater access to medications that help more people live with the disease. An estimated 8 million people in lower-income countries are receiving antiretroviral drugs, and the U.N. has set a target to raise that to 15 million by 2015.More

European regulators back 1st gene therapy drug
European regulators have recommended approval of the Western world's first gene therapy drug — after rejecting it on three previous occasions — in a significant advance for the novel medical technology. More than 20 years since the first experiments with the ground-breaking method for fixing faulty genes, scientists and drug companies are still struggling to apply gene therapy in practice.More

Scientists map genomes of 1 man's sperm
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Scientists say they've mapped the entire genomes of 91 sperm from one man, the first time such gene mapping has been done in a human gamete. The research gives a glimpse into recombination — the process by which DNA mixes to create offspring that carry with them traits from parents and grandparents, the Stanford University scientists explained.More

Judges hold the line on gene patents
The Wall Street Journal
A federal appeals court recently suggested it may not retreat from its ruling in 2011 that isolated human genes can be patented. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was revisiting its 2-1 ruling that largely upheld Myriad Genetics Inc.'s patents on two genes that can signal if a woman faces greater risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Myriad's patents allow the company to be the exclusive U.S. commercial provider of genetic screenings for the diseases.More

Monkey study suggests long-term use of ADHD drugs safe
HealthDay News via The Inquirer
Long-term use of drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder does not affect brain development or increase the risk of drug abuse, according to a study conducted in monkeys. Monkeys are good for this type of research because they have relatively long periods of childhood and adolescence that feature hormonal and physical changes much like those that occur in humans, researchers explained.More

Promising new treatment for children with egg allergy
ABC News
If you're allergic to eggs, a doctor has probably told you to avoid the protein. But researchers have now found that eating small amounts of egg for several months may lower the allergic reaction. The multicenter study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that giving children with egg allergies a small amount of egg-white powder for 10 months reduced or eliminated their allergy after the study period. More