Managed Care e-News
Aug. 12, 2014

Fall Managed Care Forum 2014

The Fall Forum will be held November, 12-13, 2014 at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada for medical directors, nurses and administrators.

The Forum features up-to-date, useful information on the ACA and healthcare changes, trends and how to improve patient outcomes.

Click here to see the agenda, speakers, register and for more information on the conference.More

An aging America: The future of healthcare depends on telehealth
By Karen R. Thomas
As a country, we are living longer and in greater numbers. The number of people over the age of 65 in America is predicted to rise to nearly 80 million by 2040, according to the Administration on Aging. When that happens, there will be more people living in our country who are over the age of 65 than at any point before in history, a fact that has many wondering if the U.S. healthcare system will have the resources, systems and integration to care for such a substantial older adult population. More

More Obamacare woes: Congress must act to block health insurance bailout
Fox News
As evidence mounts of a looming taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurance companies under Obamacare, the urgency grows for Congress to take this possibility off the table for good. As expected, Obamacare's costs are rising, and health insurers are passing them along to patients in the form of higher premiums and deductibles. More

New Medicaid program seeks to foster innovation
By Maria Frisch
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program, a group of technical assistance tools. The aim of this program is to improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries, thereby supporting the Triple Aim and reducing overall costs for the Medicaid program. Medicaid IAP is different from the State Innovation Models program, which provides funding for state-driven healthcare innovation in broad areas like population health and delivery of care. More

Medicare offers waiver of 3-day rule for some ACOs, bundled payments
Modern Healthcare
The average number of days that patients spend hospitalized has gradually declined, as medicine and technology improve and policymakers pressure hospitals for more efficiency. That trend, however, is at odds with Medicare rules in place since that program began requiring a three-day hospital stay before the CMS will pay for skilled-nursing care.More

5 things to consider when planning ACOs
When insurers and providers create new accountable care organizations, there are certain considerations they should keep in mind to help guarantee the programs' success, according to a new blog post in Health Affairs. One of the biggest problems in setting up a new ACO is that neither payers nor providers can appropriately invest in necessary features, including technology and personnel, without guaranteeing participants will see meaningful, measurable gains in their care, as well as lowered costs.More

FDA allows limited use of Ebola drug, stock spikes
Canadian biotech firm Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced that the Federal Drug Administration knocked down a key barrier to its medicine, TKM Ebola, reaching some patients. The FDA moved the drug from a "full hold" to a "partial hold," which means Tekmira can use the drug in limited experiments.More

AIDS activist takes up a new fight: Defending FDA
The Associated Press via ABC News
As an AIDS activist in the early 1990s, Gregg Gonsalves traveled to Washington to challenge the Food and Drug Administration. Gonsalves was part of the confrontational group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, which staged protests outside the FDA's headquarters, disrupted its public meetings and pressured its leaders into speeding up the approval of experimental drugs for patients dying of AIDS.More

Is musical talent rooted in genes?
LiveScience via Fox News
Practice doesn't always make perfect when it comes to becoming the next Mozart, a new study suggests. Researchers compared pairs of identical twins, and found that no matter how hard one twin had practiced up until that point in their life, the other twin who had practiced much less still had an equal level of ability in certain musical skills.More

An easier way to manipulate malaria genes
R&D Magazine
Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, has proven notoriously resistant to scientists’ efforts to study its genetics. It can take up to a year to determine the function of a single gene, which has slowed efforts to develop new, more targeted drugs and vaccines.More

Ebola: The current state of the outbreak
By Joan Spitrey
On July 11, I shared an article about the Ebola outbreak that was reaching historic levels. At that point in time, the outbreak was contained to the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea with 888 confirmed cases. That number has doubled to 1,711 cases in a little under a month, according to the World Health Organization's reporting Aug. 4. Clearly, the disease is moving at an unprecedented rate, recently spreading into Nigeria. As the world watches this unfold, history was made when the Ebola virus recently entered the United States voluntarily.More

Soda ban — bane or need
By Archita Datta Majumdar
Insulated as we are, there are still instances when certain news can seep in and shake our complacency. One such moment for me was when I was asked by a fellow traveler from another country – do Americans drink water at all? I was surprised someone would ask such a question, when I realized that he was genuinely amazed at what he considered yet another American folly. Apparently, most people have the opinion that Americans drink sodas or beer whenever their body craves liquids. More

An aging America: The future of healthcare depends on telehealth
By Karen R. Thomas
As a country, we are living longer and in greater numbers. The number of people over the age of 65 in America is predicted to rise to nearly 80 million by 2040, according to the Administration on Aging.More

Chikungunya virus spreading across the US
By Rosemary Sparacio
The Chikungunya virus — an arthropod-borne virus transmitted to humans by the Aedes mosquito — was discovered in Tanzania, Africa, more than 60 years ago. More

Newly insured, many now face learning curve
The New York Times
Advocates of the Affordable Care Act, focused until now on persuading people to buy health insurance, have moved to a crucial new phase: making sure the eight million Americans who did so understand their often complicated policies and use them properly. More

Researchers examining new treatments for gastric cancer
By Dr. Afsaneh Motamed-Khorasani
Gastric cancer is the fourth-most common cancer in the world, but there has been a continuous fall in its incidence and mortality rates in developed countries in the past 50 years. This has been mainly due to dietary improvements and a decrease in chronic Helicobacter pylori infection. Yet the outcome in many Western countries remains poor with an overall five-year survival of 25 percent as compared to 70 percent in Japan. More

Study: US lung cancer rates falling overall
HealthDay News via WebMD
Overall lung cancer rates are dropping, according to a new analysis of nearly a half million Americans with lung cancer. But, the news wasn't all good — the study also found that the rates of certain types of lung cancer are increasing, according to researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.More

Newly discovered gene mutation raises breast cancer risk to 35 percent by age 70
Mutations in two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were known to raise a woman's risk of breast cancer long before Angelina Jolie’s now famous double mastectomy. But now, mutations in a third gene called PALB2 have been shown to increase breast cancer risk by almost as much.More

When people don't understand your mental health condition
You have just been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through.More