Managed Care e-News
Sep. 24, 2013

Lower health insurance premiums to come at cost of fewer choices
The New York Times
Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Barack Obama's healthcare law. But they rarely mention one big reason: Many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers. From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans.More

Budget drama unfolds again, with Obamacare center stage
USA Today
A political drama unfolds in the nation's capital as Republicans attempt to dismantle President Barack Obama's healthcare law, using two budget deadlines that threaten a government shutdown and a national default as their leverage. Congressional Republicans say the two deadlines provide the best opportunity to extract concessions on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. More

Understanding the healthcare exchanges
The healthcare exchanges are being rolled out on Oct. 1 and 50 million people will be encouraged to go to the exchanges to obtain coverage. Upon the roll out of the exchanges there are five developments that you need to consider.More

Self-care for the caregiver
By Karen Childress
Do you follow you own good advice? Healthcare professionals are notorious for putting the well-being of others ahead of their own. If you’ve fallen into poor habits related to self-care, consider engaging in one or two of the following practices — all of which require only modest change using a 30-day trial approach — and then adding others when the time feels right.More

Workgroup recommends limited health IT regulation by FDA
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
As a general rule, health information technology should not be subject to premarket regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. But there should be exceptions for high-risk products and situations. This is according to the final recommendations for a risk-based regulatory framework for health IT adopted by the Health IT Policy Committee, a group of industry stakeholders convened to advise federal officials on a nationwide health IT infrastructure.More

FDA issues final rules governing mobile medical apps
Reuters via Fox News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final rules covering the development of mobile medical apps, saying it will focus it oversight on those apps that have the potential to harm consumers if they do not function properly. The FDA has cleared about 100 mobile medical apps over the past decade, including products that can diagnose abnormal heart rhythms or help patients monitor their blood sugar. About 40 apps were cleared within the past two years.More

World continues 'enormous progress' against AIDS
USA Today
The world has made "enormous progress" against AIDS, with global HIV infection rates and AIDS deaths continuing to fall, says an annual report on the epidemic from the United Nations. Increases in global spending and effective treatment are making a difference, the report says. But it also says much remains to be done, with more than 35 million people living with HIV and "disturbing signs" of increasing sexual risk behaviors among young people in some countries.More

Scientists take big step towards universal flu vaccine
BBC News
Scientists say they have made a significant leap towards creating a vaccine that would protect against every form of flu. The influenza virus is a constantly shifting target so seasonal flu vaccines rapidly become useless and new ones are needed each year. A team at Imperial College London say they have made a "blueprint" for a universal flu vaccine. More

Big Pharma replaces innovation with acquisition
By Mike Wokasch
Big Pharma, including Big Biotech, has executed about 130 mergers or acquisitions in each of the past couple of years. The overwhelming majority of deals designed to fill depleted Big Pharma pipelines with more novel and innovative technologies in later stages than their own R&D had been able to produce. If Big Pharma is relying on others to do drug discovery, how deep does the discovery pipeline have to go to be indefinitely sustainable?More

Poverty can trump a winning hand of genes
The Wall Street Journal
We all notice that some people are smarter than others. You might naturally wonder how much these differences in intelligence depend on genes or upbringing. But that question, it turns out, is impossible to answer. That's because changes in our environment can actually transform the relationship among our traits, our upbringing and our genes.More

Lower health insurance premiums to come at cost of fewer choices
The New York Times
Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Barack Obama's healthcare law. More

Raise a glass of beer — to your health
By Denise A. Valenti
Despite the name, Oktoberfest traditional fall beer celebrations begin in September and extend into October. The biggest Oktoberfest beer bash is held in Munich and is considered to be the world's largest fair. More

Is the healthcare market competitive?
By Mike Wokasch
Consumers benefit from competition that provides incentives for continuous product improvements and encourages a higher level of service performance. More importantly, competition can help keep prices in check.More

Married cancer patients are more likely to survive
USA Today
Scientists say they may have found the key to surviving cancer: Marriage. Married people with cancer were 20 percent less likely to die from their disease, compared to people who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married, according to study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.More

Going pink: 7 things you need to know now about breast cancer
ABC News
The statistics are startling. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Women are still confused about screening options and breast health recommendations. The "Angelina effect" has raised awareness, but also a multitude of questions about heredity and preventative mastectomies.More

Racism linked to depression, anxiety in kids; Blacks, Hispanics and Asians at highest risk
Medical Daily
The painful effects of racism may trigger not only short-term sadness or anger among teens and adolescents, but also deep bouts of depression, anxiety and other serious mental health issues, a new study finds. A team of researchers from the University of Melbourne studied 461 cases of racism linked to mental health outcomes, marking the first study of its kind to draw the connection. More

Being exposed to fear triggers during sleep may help treat phobias
CBS News
Scared of something? Facing your fears during sleep may help. A new study published Sept. 22 in Nature Neuroscience reveals that repeatedly exposing people to elements linked to things they are afraid of while they were deep in sleep helped them get over what was scaring them.More