Managed Care e-News
Oct. 1, 2013

Dawn of a revolution in healthcare
The New York Times
The United States is embarking on a truly historic journey toward near-universal healthcare coverage. Starting Oct. 1, the federal government will make it possible for millions of uninsured Americans who can't get health insurance, or can't afford it, to obtain coverage with the aid of government subsidies. It is a striking example of what government can do to help people in trouble.More

Who knew that blood, sweat and tears could start a healthcare revolution?
Today we're witnessing a massive shift in who will collect and control diagnostic and other health information. For the first time, as people and patients, we will have control over what we measure, when we measure it and who has access to our personal data. This is made possible by a new generation of revolutionary biosensors that contain the power of clinical lab instruments in packages that are light, small, wireless and highly efficient.More

'Really confused': Kaiser/NBC poll finds Americans angsting over healthcare law
NBC News
Americans remain deeply divided on the Affordable Care Act, with half confused about how it works or worried about how much it will cost them, a new poll shows. On the eve of open enrollment to buy health insurance under the law, and as Republicans threaten to defund the program, the Kaiser Family Foundation/NBC survey found an anemic level of enthusiasm about the program among ordinary people and splits among party lines.More

What happens to the FDA in a government shutdown?
With hope for congressional compromise waning by the hour, the federal government is bracing for its first shutdown in 17 years, and for the FDA, that means furloughing about half its staff and ditching duties it can no longer afford. What that spells for drug developers with eyes on approval, however, remains murky. More

FDA approves 1st presurgical breast cancer drug
The Associated Press via ABC News
A biotech drug from Roche has become the first medicine approved to treat breast cancer before surgery, offering an earlier approach against one of the deadliest forms of the disease. The Food and Drug Administration approved Perjeta for women with a form of early-stage breast cancer who face a high risk of having their cancer spread to other parts of the body.More

FDA adds most severe warning to Pfizer's Tygacil
Medical Xpress
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday Tygacil, or tigecycline, should only be used in situations when other treatments aren't suitable. The intravenous drug is approved as a treatment for complicated skin and skin structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. The FDA will add a boxed warning to the drug label, its most serious type of warning.More

Why you should get the flu vaccine
U.S. News & World Report
In January, the roughly 700 cases of the flu, including a few flu-related deaths, in Boston prompted Mayor Thomas Menino to declare a public health emergency for the city. At the worst of the outbreak, community health centers and primary care physician's offices were flooded with sick patients. Even at hospitals, people had to wait more than a day to get admitted for severe symptoms.More

Why eating artificial sweeteners won't help you lose weight
Nature World News
A new study has found that the brain can differentiate between real and artificial sugar. What's worse? Eating food with artificial sweeteners will only increase cravings for sugary treats later. The brain's reward system is highly activated when the body receives a sugary solution rather than artificial sweeteners. More

Leukemia cells are addicted to healthy genes
What keeps leukemia cells alive almost forever, able to continue dividing endlessly and aggressively? New research at the Weizmann Institute suggests that, in around a quarter of all leukemias, the cancer cells rely on an internal "balance of terror" to keep going. When one version of a certain gene is mutated, it becomes a cancer-promoting gene — an oncogene. More

Study: Immune response determined by our genes
Medical News Today
Scientists say they have found evidence that suggests genetics play a role in immune response, affecting our ability to fight off disease. This is according to a study published in the journal Cell. A team of international researchers involved in the SardiNIA Study of Aging, led by Franceso Cucca, director of the National Research Council's Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research in Italy, analyzed around 8.2 million gene variants in blood samples taken from 1,629 Sardinians.More

Epigenetics: Are genes the new brains?
Discover Magazine
It's an excellent piece about epigenetics and gene expression — the process by which particular parts of our DNA are "switched on," or off, within cells: Genes can vary their level of activity, as if controlled by dimmer switches. Most cells in your body contain every one of your 22,000 or so genes. But in any given cell at any given time, only a tiny percentage of those genes are active.More

Dawn of a revolution in healthcare
The New York Times
The United States is embarking on a truly historic journey toward near-universal healthcare coverage. Starting Oct. 1, the federal government will make it possible for millions of uninsured Americans who can't get health insurance, or can't afford it, to obtain coverage with the aid of government subsidies.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. But they rarely mention one big reason: Many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.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

5 things you need to know about breast cancer
ABC News
The statistics are startling. Approximately one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over her lifetime. This year alone, that's 232,340 women who will learn they have invasive breast cancer. The disease is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among American women, right after lung cancer.More

Eating fish among habits to cut prostate-cancer risk
A set of six healthy habits, including eating more tomatoes and less processed red meat, helped men reduce their risk of dying from prostate cancer, a study found. Researchers analyzed information gathered from almost 46,000 men for 25 years and found that those who adopted five or six of the habits had a 39 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer than those who adopted one or none of the habits, according to the results presented at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.More

Drop in preschoolers taking mental health meds
Despite growing concerns in recent years over the percentage of children receiving medications for mental health problems, a new study finds that the rate of prescriptions in very young children seems to have stabilized late in the decade of the 2000s, after its peak in 2004. "It's heartening to realize that we are not just going up with medication use every year," said study researcher Dr. Tanya Froehlich, professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.More

The big stink about anxiety: It changes how our brains process odors
Anxiety causes a slew of unpleasant symptoms that all of us have experienced to greater or lesser degrees. Sweating, rapid heartbeat, churning stomach and fear — these are just a few symptoms of an anxious mind. One lesser known symptom is that when we're anxious, things smell bad. A new study explored this odd effect by focusing on the role of stress in rewiring the brain. More

Depression in children: Numbers are rising
“Children” and “depression” are two words no one wants to see put together, but according to a U.K. study, it appears that the occurrence of childhood depression is on the rise. The U.K.'s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence says that around 80,000 children in the U.K. suffer from severe depression, and that depression affects children as young as five years of age.More