Managed Care e-News
Sep. 10, 2013

Obamacare will make us smarter healthcare consumers
Obamacare has been described as "the most sweeping power grab in modern American history." Obviously it expands the government's role in healthcare, especially by requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty, and it will bring up to 21 million people onto the government-paid Medicaid roles.More

The healthcare overhaul: What you need to know
The Wall Street Journal
Whatever its larger merits or shortcomings, the federal healthcare overhaul seems likely to benefit one demographic group in particular: The 50-plus crowd. Starting Oct. 1, state-based health insurance exchanges created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will open for business. For those without access to insurance through work — or for the self-employed who have been buying coverage as sole proprietors — the exchanges will serve as clearinghouses for evaluating and buying health plans.More

After a decade, Congress moves to fix doctors' Medicare pay
Hear the words healthcare and Congress, and you think fight, right? And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted some 40 times in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act. But something unusual happened just before Congress left for its summer break.More

FDA approves a drug for late-stage pancreatic cancer
The New York Times
The Food and Drug Administration approved Celgene's drug Abraxane for use in treating advanced pancreatic cancer, supplementing the thin arsenal available to fight the disease. In a clinical trial, Abraxane prolonged the lives of patients by a little less than two months on average. Pancreatic specialists have said the drug was a welcome, if modest, advance against a disease that is extremely tough to treat.More

Nexavar gets FDA nod for thyroid cancer
dailyRx News
Most thyroid cancers are treatable, even curable. As with most cancers, however, tumors are more difficult to treat once spreading begins. A medication is being evaluated to strengthen the arsenal against advanced thyroid cancer. Nexavar is being fast-tracked for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic thyroid cancer that does not respond to radioactive iodine.More

Certain bacteria may help ward off obesity
Los Angeles Times
The microorganisms in the human gut appear to play a pivotal role in determining whether a person is lean or obese, new research shows. The study, published online by the journal Science, is the strongest evidence yet that what's inside an individual's digestive tract influences the risk of obesity and its related health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes.More

Sip on this: Do diet drinks make you fatter?
The Conversation via Medical Xpress
Diet drinks are no help in the fight against obesity and may actually encourage overeating, according to a U.S. academic piece in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Susan Swithers reviewed studies that suggest normal or mildly overweight people who consumed artificially-sweetened drinks were more likely to gain weight when compared to those who did not. More

Can gluten-free foods aid weight loss?
By Dr. Georgene Collins
Labels can be misleading. Fat-free, nonfat and whole grain are examples of misleading labels commonly used in the food industry. However, in some cases, mislabeling can be life-threatening. Lately, a big concern has been the label "gluten-free," and the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce ill effects from this mislabeled term. More

Researchers develop new way to control genes
Medical News Today
Scientists have discovered a way to switch genes on or off inside yeast and human cells by controlling the point at which DNA is copied into messenger RNA, according to a study published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology say that this discovery could enable scientists to better understand the role of the genes, make it easier to engineer cells and lead to better drugs and treatments.More

Moving genes have scientists seeing spots
An international team of scientists led by the U.K.'s John Innes Centre and including scientists from Australia, Portugal, China and Italy has perfected a way of watching genes move within a living plant cell. Using this technique scientists watched glowing spots, which marked the position of the genes, huddle together in the cold as the genes were switched "off."More

Obamacare will make us smarter healthcare consumers
Obamacare has been described as "the most sweeping power grab in modern American history." Obviously it expands the government's role in healthcare, especially by requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty.More

Research shows healthy diet may slow cognitive decline
By Denise A. Valenti
The Alzheimer's Association is reporting that an estimated 5.2 million Americans have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 2013.More

The most efficient healthcare systems in the world
The Huffington Post
As supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act debate the best way to overhaul a clearly broken healthcare system, it's perhaps helpful to put American medicine in a global perspective. More

New study suggests benefit of early mammograms
Whether women in their 40s benefit from getting mammograms to detect breast cancer is controversial, but a new study argues in favor of more frequent screening in this age group. The researchers analyzed information from 7,301 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at several hospitals in Boston between 1990 and 1999, and were followed until 2007.More

Cancer may get help from immune cells
Medical New Today
A new study from the University of Michigan suggests a group of immune cells, known as myeloid derived suppressor cells, could be giving cancer a hand by bolstering cancer stem cells — the small number of cells within a tumor that drive its growth. The researchers report their work in the online issue of the journal Immunity.More

Recession? Depression? 1 in 3 thinks so
Bloomberg Businessweek
A third of Americans think the U.S. economy is in a recession or a depression and only 1 in 6 think it's growing, says a new survey that also finds "deep-seated pessimism about the medium term." Americans are highly critical of policymakers, unwilling to take risks with their savings, planning to reduce their indebtedness over the next year, suspicious of the stock market, and more worried about inflation than unemployment, according to the survey released.More

Teens who beat obesity at risk for eating disorders
USA Today
Teens who were once overweight or obese are at a significant risk of developing an eating disorder as they lose weight, but identification and treatment of the condition is often delayed because of their weight history, researchers say. "For some reason we are just not thinking that these kids are at risk. We say, Oh boy, you need to lose weight, and that's hard for you because you're obese," says Leslie Sim, clinical director of the eating disorders program at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and lead author of a case study report in October's Pediatrics, published online.More