Managed Care e-News
Nov. 12, 2013

How big is the penalty if you don't get health insurance?
Stories about the Affordable Care Act often tell readers that they'll have to pay a $95 penalty if they don't get adequate health insurance coverage. But, like a lot of other things I read about the health law, that's not quite correct. The penalty (which the Supreme Court said is actually a tax) could be less or, more likely, a lot more. It's a complicated story.More

High and low premiums in healthcare
The New York Times
The debate over the effect the Affordable Care Act will have on individuals and families who buy their own policies has mostly been waged in anecdotes. Supporters of the law point to grateful individuals who were previously unable to get insurance or paid exorbitant premiums but found affordable coverage on the new health insurance exchanges. More

How mobile apps could transform rural healthcare
National Journal
When it comes to rural healthcare, broadband is a matter of life or death. Rural residents seek services from primary-care doctors and emergency rooms, which works if the patient doesn't have a chronic or life-threatening condition. But when they do, rural patients don't always have access to the most comprehensive care. Medical specialists practice in cities, leaving rural doctors to weigh the choice between sending a patient away for treatment — costing both the patient and practice — or keeping them in house, where they risk patient outcomes but keep the paycheck.More

FDA approves aptiom anti-seizure drug for epilepsy
Medical Daily
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved eslicarbazepine acetate, branded as Aptiom, as an add-on medication to reduce the frequency of partial seizures associated with epilepsy, the agency announced. The drug is manufactured by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in Marlborough, Mass. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year there are 150,000 new cases of epilepsy, the neurological condition of recurring seizures. More

Fish-skin treatment for chronic wounds receives FDA 510(k) clearance
The FDA has given 510(k) clearance for the marketing of a proprietary fish-skin, omega-3, tissue-regeneration product for treating chronic wounds in the United States, Kerecis Limited has announced. The product has been indicated for the management of wounds, including diabetic, vascular and other hard-to-heal ulcers, according to a press release. More

Scientists found the Wolverine healing gene
Deep within our bodies are all kinds of genes that turn on and off over the years, including the very genes that make you grow a body in the first place. This is where scientists are looking for the magical code that could enable us to regrow organs and regenerate limbs. A Harvard researcher thinks he might've found it. George Daley of Harvard Medical School stumbled upon it somewhat accidentally, in fact. More

HPV testing tops Pap for cancer prevention
MedPage Today
Testing for human papillomavirus led to significantly lower rates of invasive cervical cancer as compared with screening cytology, authors of a review of four randomized trials concluded. After 5 years of follow-up, women randomized to HPV screening had a cumulative incidence of invasive cervical cancer of 8.7 per 100,000 as compared with 36.0 per 100,000 among women randomized to screening cytology (Pap smear).More

HPV can damage genes, chromosomes directly by inserting own DNA into human DNA
The virus that causes cervical, head and neck, anal and other cancers can damage chromosomes and genes where it inserts its DNA into human DNA, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. It's long been known that cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus produce two viral proteins, called E6 and E7, which are essential for the development of cancer. More

Coding variants in immune disease-related genes play only small part in risk for psoriasis
Coding variants in immune disease-related genes play only a small part in the overall genetic risk for psoriasis, according to a new study led by Anhui Medical University and BGI. This conclusion is strongly supported by their investigation on the contribution of functional coding variants to psoriasis in 21,309 Chinese individuals. In such a large-scale investigation, researchers only discovered two independent low-frequency variants with moderate effect on disease risk. The latest study was published online in Nature Genetics.More

Keeping your heart and brain healthy: The prevention of heart disease and Alzheimer's
The Huffington Post
Part of the job of the physician is to inspire, educate and advise patients on health. We don't do this off the cuff, however. We don't base our recommendations on the latest magazine article or fitness fad. We base our recommendations on long-standing population-derived analytical trials evaluating the many lifestyle aspects that may or may not contribute to health. More

How big is the penalty if you don't get health insurance?
Stories about the Affordable Care Act often tell readers that they'll have to pay a $95 penalty if they don't get adequate health insurance coverage.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. 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

Doctors: To reduce cancer risk, slim down
The Seattle Times
Mother and daughter Angela and Candi Watts were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. After a two-year battle, they are both disease-free, but the war continues. The new enemy is their waistlines. Scientists have discovered that excess weight not only raises the risks of getting cancer, but also increases the chances cancer will return.More

Predicting cancer's next move
Medical Xpress
Research led by Broad senior associate member Levi Garraway and published in Nature offers a new approach to studying drug resistance in cancer. The approach helped them identify which biological pathways could be enabling melanoma to circumvent available anti-cancer treatments. Targeting the output of these pathways for treatment could potentially hinder the course of this often-fatal disease.More

Poor women experience delays in breast cancer diagnosis
Medical News Today
Researchers say that young women with breast cancer who are of a poorer financial status may experience delays in seeking medical care and advice for the disease. This is according to a study published in the journal Cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is diagnosed in less than one in 200 women under the age of 40.More

Exercise may allay anxiety, depression
MedPage Today
Exercise may have modest benefits as a treatment for patients suffering from anxiety or depression, researchers reported here. In a review of meta-analyses and tens of thousands of patient data, exercise was shown to have a small effect on anxiety and a modest effect on depression, according to Henning Budde, Ph.D., of the Medical School Hamburg in Germany, and colleagues.More

New rule demands parity for mental health coverage
The Associated Press via ABC News
It's final: Health insurance companies must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases. The Obama administration issued new regulations that spell out how a 5-year-old mental health parity law will be administered. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the rule should put an end to discrimination faced by some mental health patients through higher out-of-pocket costs or stricter limits on hospital stays or visits to the doctor.More

Cognitive behavioral therapy shown to be effective for treating depression in older veterans
Fox News
For veterans seeking mental health treatment, a lot of emphasis has been placed on developing therapies post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition characterized by frequent flashbacks and nightmares that are triggered by a terrifying event. But according to Dr. Bradley Karlin, the national mental health director for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, another serious mental health condition affecting veterans often goes unnoticed: clinical depression.More