Managed Care e-News
Nov. 5, 2013

Under healthcare act, millions eligible for free policies
The New York Times
Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some healthcare plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs.More

3.5 million Americans have now had their health insurance policies canceled thanks to Obamacare
The Associated Press via Business Insider
Now is when Americans start figuring out that President Barack Obama's healthcare law goes beyond political talk, and really does affect them and people they know. With a cranky federal website complicating access to new coverage and some consumers being notified their existing plans are going away, the potential for winners and losers is creating anxiety and confusion. More

Medicare pays $23 million in dead claims
HealthLeaders Media
A federal investigation finds that although CMS has safeguards to prevent and recover Medicare payments made on behalf of deceased beneficiaries, claims have slipped through and been paid. Medicare reimbursed providers and suppliers $23 million for healthcare services to beneficiaries in 2011, despite the fact that those beneficiaries had died more than a month earlier, according to an Office of Inspector General's report issued Oct. 31.More

Key safety questions may linger for FDA-expedited drugs
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration whisks new drugs to market, they do get to patients faster. But they are often not tested as strictly as treatments that get standard reviews, a new study shows. The research suggests that speed may come at the expense of safety when it comes to testing new medications.More

FDA examines advertising of acne, ADHD treatments to teenagers
Bloomberg Businessweek
U.S. regulators want to know how teens perceive direct marketing aimed at them for treatments on conditions as simple as acne and as complex as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Food and Drug Administration will show adolescents fake websites the agency will create for fictitious prescription drugs that treat acne or ADHD and examine how the teens respond compared with parents and young adults.More

Movemeber urges men to grow facial hair
As hair starts to sprout on thousands of men's lips and mouths this month don't get alarmed, it is just their way of participating in Movember. Movember, which is a portmanteau of mustache and November, is the international charity where men grow mustaches for the month of November to raise money and awareness for men's health.More

HPV vaccine: 1 dose may be enough
LiveScience via NBC News
A single dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine may be enough to protect women against infection with the virus over the long-term, a new study from Costa Rica suggests. In the study, women who received one, two, or the standard three doses of the HPV vaccine all produced antibodies against the virus that remained at stable levels in their bodies for four years after vaccination.More

Employee wellness programs boost employee satisfaction and productivity
By Joy Burgess
Many companies have been turning to employee wellness programs to help reduce employee healthcare costs. In fact, statistics from the American Institute for Preventive Medicine show that 91 percent of organizations now offer some type of wellness program, a percentage that has risen substantially in the last decade. Corporate wellness programs have soared in popularity due to their ability to fight high insurance premiums and skyrocketing medical costs, but statistics also show that these programs go beyond healthcare savings.More

Researchers find unexpected genetic mosaic in the brain
Medical Xpress
Scientists at the University of Virginia and elsewhere have discovered that nerve cells in the brain are unexpectedly varied in their genetic makeup, a surprising finding that may help explain schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, autism and other such conditions thought to be genetically linked but not yet tied to a single gene.More

New genetic testing method can determine whether DNA comes from mom or dad
In a development expected to improve the process of matching organ donors and understanding how genes contribute to diseases, researchers have devised a method that can help determine whether or not a specific genetic sequence came from an individual's mother or father. The technique, which was developed by experts from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and is described in the latest edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology, helps address a longstanding challenge when it comes to genome sequencing — discovering which traits come from which parent. More

Genetics field opens up with California ruling that 'natural phenomenon' can't be patented
In June of this year, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes should not be patented, a decision that is already having enormous impact on the future of science, technology and medicine. Recently, a District Court judge in California upheld the landmark ruling, and struck down a patent held by a San Diego-based diagnostics company called Sequenom. More

Under healthcare act, millions eligible for free policies
The New York Times
Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some healthcare plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Barack Obama's healthcare law.More

Health insurance options aren't limited to government exchanges
The New York Times
With so much attention being paid to the troubled debut of the Obama administration's health insurance exchanges, another alternative has largely gone unnoticed.More

From uninsured to covered: PAs at the forefront of the ACA
By Maria Frisch
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was first signed into law on March 23, 2010, and has remained on course for full implementation in January 2014. More

Hopeful glimmers in long war on cancer
The New York Times
Gina Kolata: It was 2008 and a woman my editor and I knew had just died of cancer. One of the last things she said to my editor was a bitter lament: "What ever happened to the war on cancer?" Well, I told my editor, it was clear we hadn't won that war. But the question was why. Why was progress so slow? Was it that cancer is a difficult disease or was it that other impediments got in the way? I thought it was probably that cancer was hard to fight. But it turned out that was only part of the problem.More

Lung cancer fliers outraged over oxygen tank dispute
ABC News
Don Stranathan and Penny Blume, both battling terminal lung cancer, found love in an online support group and now that community is rallying around them after the couple was not allowed to board a US Airways flight as they were headed for a clinical trial for a new medication that could save Blume's life..The couple set out from New York on Oct. 24, but with multiple airline delays and a dispute over the oxygen tanks they were carrying, it took them three days to get to San Francisco.More

Scientists discover fast-acting antidepressant
Counsel & Heal
A fast-acting antidepressant recently discovered by scientists could play an important part in changing therapy for patients with depression, according to a new study. "One of the biggest problems in the treatment of depression today is a delay in onset of therapeutic effects," said Stephanie Dulawa, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study. More

How does PTSD affect decision-making in depression?
Major depression disorder is known to affect numerous cognitive and behavioral domains. People with MDD often have pessimistic attitudes about future events and guilt over past events. They tend to isolate and withdraw, and choose to engage in activities that provide immediate reward. This leads to impulsive and even risky behavior, like overeating and substance misuse. Understanding how people with MDD and post-traumatic stress disorder value risks over rewards can provide insight into the behavioral and cognitive processes that take place in people with these mental health problems. More

Exercise may reverse alcohol-induced neurological damage
Binge drinking is characterized by having approximately eight drinks in one drinking event for men, and more than five or six for women. Furthermore, binge drinking is classified as an alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking can result in significant physical and neurological damage in the same way that other forms of AUD do. Researchers now say exercise may reverse neurological damage caused by binge drinking. More