Managed Care e-News
Aug. 11, 2015

Fall Managed Care Forum: Register today!

Register today for the 2015 Fall Forum being held November 12-13, 2015 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Click here to visit the conference website.More

Uninsured rates are plummeting in these 7 states
The proportion of Americans without health insurance has plummeted in states choosing to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, according to results from a Gallup survey published. Uninsured rates fell below 5 percent in seven states in the first six months of 2015: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, Connecticut and Hawaii. More

No, giving more people health insurance doesn't save money
The New York Times
In 2014, an estimated 9 million people became newly insured thanks to Obamacare. There’s an oft-expressed view that getting all those people covered could actually save the health system money. The argument goes something like this: Once people have insurance, they’ll go to the doctor instead of an expensive emergency room. Or: Prevention costs far less than a serious illness down the road.More

Accessing care especially difficult for Latinos on Medi-Cal
Modern Healthcare
Miriam Uribe enrolled in California's low-income health insurance program last November, and she still hasn't found a primary care doctor 10 months later who could see her. "Once you have insurance, you actually still don't have it because it's still a struggle to find someone," the 20-year-old college student said.More

How to manage higher health insurance costs in 2016
U.S. News & World Report
If you have health insurance, there's a good chance you'll pay more for it in 2016. Healthcare and health insurance costs increase year to year, like most expenses. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, growth in premiums has mostly slowed as has the rise in health care costs overall, while your share of expenses — like deductibles — has increased.More

ONC awards $38.5M in new grants
Health IT Outcomes
Even as debates over information blocking and the future of meaningful use Stage 3 are heating up, ONC has announced more than $38 million in grants will be awarded to improve coordinated health information sharing in communities across the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced a list of 20 awardees for three separate health information technology grant programs.More

Universal American reports Medicare ACO gains, plans growth
Modern Healthcare
Encouraged by larger profits from Medicare accountable care last year, insurer Universal American will look to aggressively expand its ACO operations, executives said as the company announced its latest financial results. Universal American, based in White Plains, New York, reported $26.9 million in revenue from two dozen Medicare accountable care organizations across 10 states for 2014.More

Doctors call new FDA-approved cellulite treatment revolutionary
For about 85 percent of adult women, cellulite is a fact of life. Some are so self-conscious, it affects their confidence and even the clothes they choose to wear. A revolutionary new treatment is promising to zap cellulite without surgery and with limited downtime. Genetics, hormones, lifestyle, weight loss or weight gain can all play a role in the body's tendency to develop cellulite.More

FDA approves balloon weight-loss device
By Katina Smallwood
People who have struggled to lose weight through traditional means may now have new hope: The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new balloon device for weight loss. The device is implanted endoscopically through the mouth without requiring surgery during a 30-minute procedure while the patient is sedated. It works to take up space in the stomach in order to simulate a feeling of fullness. The balloon device intends to fill a gap in weight-loss options for patients opposed to or unable to undergo weight-loss surgery.More

Bill Gates and 13 other investors pour $120M into revolutionary gene-editing startup
Four years ago, the protein called CRISPR-Cas9, an enzyme that bacteria use to attack viruses that infect them, was unknown to humans. Now it is ubiquitous in science labs as the most efficient way of cutting-and-pasting DNA yet invented. Wired Magazine, in a breathless cover story, just called it “The Genesis Engine,” instructing readers to “buckle up” because the easy DNA editing CRISPR enables will change the world. More

Can genes make us liberal or conservative?
Discovery News
Aristotle may have been more on the money than he realized in saying man is a political animal, according to research published linking genes with liberal or conservative leanings. Or, to be precise, a specific variant of one gene that would seem to exert greater sway over women than men.More

New computational method predicts genes likely to be causal in disease
Medical Xpress
A new computational method developed by scientists from the University of Chicago improves the detection of genes that are likely to be causal for complex diseases and biological traits. The method, PrediXcan, estimates gene expression levels across the whole genome — a better measure of biological action than single mutations — and integrates it with genome-wide association study data.More

Scientists pinpoint how a single genetic mutation causes autism
Medical Xpress
Last December, researchers identified more than 1,000 gene mutations in individuals with autism, but how these mutations increased risk for autism was unclear. Now, UNC School of Medicine researchers are the first to show how one of these mutations disables a molecular switch in one of these genes and causes autism.More

Health experts: Coca-Cola funds scientists with misleading message
USA Today
Sugary drinks are not to blame for contributing to America's obesity epidemic. At least, that’s what Coca-Cola is saying with recent research that some health experts have called misleading. Coca-Cola has funneled millions of dollars to support a nonprofit organization that alleges that Americans should focus more on exercise for weight loss than diet,The New York Times reports.More

How popular is sexting? The numbers may surprise you
CBS News
While much research has focused on the sexting habits of teens, a new study finds that the practice is extremely common among adults, as well. Researchers from Drexel University surveyed 870 U.S. adults aged 18 to 82 about whether they send or receive sexy text messages, the motives behind sexting, and its affect on their relationships and sexual satisfaction.More

Chemo linked to increased CVD risk in testicular cancer
A small number of men who receive chemotherapy for testicular cancer have a risk for death from cardiovascular disease in the year after diagnosis five times higher than men who receive surgery alone, a new study suggests. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.More

Spirituality may be tied to easier cancer course
Reuters via Fox News
Cancer patients who report more religiousness or spirituality may also experience fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment and more social connection, several new papers suggest. The new analyses reviewed previous studies of spirituality involving more than 44,000 cancer patients altogether. More

Will doctors soon be prescribing video games for mental health?
Developers of a new video game for your brain say theirs is more than just another get-smarter-quick scheme. Akili, a Northern California startup, insists on taking the game through a full battery of clinical trials so it can get approval from the Food and Drug Administration — a process that will take a lot of money and several years.More

Kids, teens win when mental health providers team with pediatricians, family doctors
Medical Xpress
For the past decade, cutting-edge healthcare providers and researchers have increasingly pushed to integrate care for mental health and substance use problems within primary medical care for children and adolescents. Their hope is that children and teens who suffer from mental and behavioral disorders would fare better if their pediatricians or family doctors took an active role in linking them with mental healthcare, particularly when these doctors team up with mental health clinicians to help meet the needs of their young patients.More