Managed Care e-News
Aug. 14, 2012

Governors aside, feds begin building healthcare markets
The Associated Press via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don't look now: The feds may be gaining on GOP governors who have balked at carrying out a key part of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul law. Opponents of the law say they won't set up new private health insurance markets called exchanges. But increasingly, it's looking as though Washington will just do it for them.More

Law ambiguity could make family coverage too costly for many
The New York Times
The new healthcare law is known as the Affordable Care Act. But Democrats in Congress and advocates for low-income people say coverage may be unaffordable for millions of Americans because of a cramped reading of the law by the administration and by the Internal Revenue Service in particular. More

Medicare seeks to cut seniors denied nursing home coverage
Kaiser Health News
Concerned that a growing number of seniors have been unexpectedly forced to pay thousands of dollars for nursing home care after a stay in a hospital, Medicare has launched a pilot project to test whether relaxing its hospital payment rules could help beneficiaries. More

Medicare overspending on anemia drug
The Washington Post
The U.S. healthcare system is vastly overspending for a single anemia drug because Medicare overestimates its use by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, according to an analysis of federal data. The overpayment to hospitals and clinics arises because Medicare reimburses them based on estimates rather than the actual use of the drug.More

FDA approves drug for treatment of rare leukemia type
The Wall Street Journal
Talon Therapeutics's leukemia treatment has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration to treat adults with a rare type of the cancer. The FDA said it had approved Marqibo, a vincristine sulfate liposome injection, to treat adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia.More

Iron, faulty gene cause bowel cancer
United Press International
Colon cancer was two to three times more likely to develop in mice with a faulty APC gene and fed high amounts of iron, researchers in Britain and Scotland say. Researchers said mice with a faulty APC gene fed a diet low in iron did not develop bowel cancer. The study might also explain why foods such as red meat, which have high levels of iron, are linked to an increased risk of bowel cancer. More

US issues new guidelines for HIV, gonorrhea prevention
Bloomberg
Doctors can give the HIV medicine Truvada as a preventative to healthy heterosexuals at high risk of the virus and should treat gonorrhea differently to hold off a drug-resistant form growing outside the country, U.S. officials said. The new guidelines for the sexually transmitted diseases were announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More

Hormone boosts mental function in small study
Reuters
A small study suggests daily hormone injections may boost mental agility in older people with and without mild cognitive problems. People who got growth hormone-releasing hormone, as opposed to inactive injections, improved on tests of attention and concentration skills — what psychologists call executive function.More

Clinical trial favorable for a prenatal gene test
The New York Times
A new method of prenatal testing that can detect more genetic problems in a fetus than ever before could be headed toward wider use after encouraging results from a clinical trial, researchers said. The study, which is expected to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal soon, found the new technique, microarray, surpassed standard testing in detecting chromosomal abnormalities that can cause problems like autism or mental retardation.More

Scientists identify 10 gene regions linked to diabetes risk
International Business Times
British scientists have uncovered 10 new gene regions where DNA changes are linked to Type 2 diabetes. The discovery brings nearer the science community of a biological understanding of the ailment. A better understanding of the biological processes is the body to target is one of the keys to coming up with new medication for diabetes, which has registered millions of new diagnoses globally in the past few years.More

Alzheimer's disease: Should doctors prescribe a skin cancer drug?
ABC News
Desperate to stop Alzheimer's in its tracks, some caregivers are clamoring for a cancer drug shown to reverse the disease in mice. But experts argue prescribing the drug, while legal, is unethical. More

Hair-loss drug linked to depression
MedPage Today
Young men who took Propecia for hair loss and experienced its sexual side effects also had high rates of depressive symptoms, even after stopping the drug, a retrospective study found. Among a group of men who developed persistent sexual dysfunction that continued for at least three months after finasteride was withdrawn, 75 percent reported symptoms of depression compared with 10 percent of controls not taking finasteride, researchers said.More