Managed Care e-News
Dec. 2, 2014

2014 Innovation Award Winners

NAMCP, AAMCN and AAIHDS are pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Innovation Awards, which recognize a company or organization that is improving outcomes, costs or quality using an innovative method in the workplace. The award winners are as follows:

NAMCP Medical Directors Institute Innovation Award Winner: Yale-New Haven

AAMCN Innovation Award Winner: MDWise

AAIHDS Innovation Award Winner: Keystone First, an affiliate of AmeriHealth Caritas

Save the date: 2015 Spring Managed Care Forum

Save the date for the 2015 Spring Forum being held April 23-24, 2015 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club. More information will be available shortly.More

The long road to health information exchange
By Christina Thielst
Health information exchange is turning out to be one of those really long journeys in which you hear the kids in the back seat asking, "Are we there yet?" while the driver keeps saying, "Almost." The Office of the National Coordinator is focusing on the next 10 years with its soon-to-be-released road map to reach interoperability. As we await the March 2015 release, it is a good time to reflect on the 10 years since I pulled onto the HIE highway and share a few thoughts on the future. More

New data settles the debate: Obamacare is making health insurance more affordable, not less
The Huffington Post
It's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season. Obamacare season. In the second year of our new annual tradition, the exchanges are open for enrollment, which begs the question: What have we learned since last time? Were the naysayers proven right, or did Obamacare really make health insurance more affordable, as was intended?More's insurance marketplace for small businesses gets off to a slow start
The Washington Post
A year after the Obama administration temporarily shelved an unfinished part of intended for small businesses, it has opened with reports of only modest technical flaws — but with doubts that it will soon benefit the millions of workers at little companies with inadequate health insurance or none at all.More

Podcast: How the Pioneer ACO fallout affects the future of risk-based, population health
Healthcare Informatics
With the viability of the Pioneer ACO program in question, how should healthcare provider organizations looking to take on risk move forward? That question is posed in the latest edition of the Healthcare Informatics podcast, with Krista Bowers, managing director of the Miami-based consulting firm, BDC Advisors.More

Going mobile: Providers deploy apps and devices to engage patients and cut costs
Modern Healthcare
Nurse Anita McCole loves Bluetooth-enabled scales for monitoring patients' weights at home. The devices wirelessly transmit the weights of congestive heart-failure patients to a mobile receiver or smartphone, which sends the daily readings to McCole, a case manager at Geisinger Health Plan, Danville, Pennsylvania. The computerized system, made by AMC Health, automates what once was a less reliable, labor-intensive process of getting heart-failure patients to track and report their weights.More

Should the FDA force drug makers to discuss their clinical trials?
When developing a new drug, biopharmaceutical companies design clinical trials which, if successful, will garner approval from the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world. Late stage clinical trials are time consuming and costly, with expenses running into tens, even hundreds, of millions of dollars.More

FDA weighs lifting ban on blood donations from gay men
The Hill
Advisers for the Food and Drug Administration will meet next week to decide whether gay men should be allowed to donate blood, the agency’s biggest step yet toward changing the 30-year-old prohibition. If the FDA accepts the recommendation from its advisory board, it would roll back a policy that has faced mounting criticism from LGBT advocates and some members of Congress for more than four years.More

FDA declines to approve Bristol-Myers hepatitis drug
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said U.S. regulators had declined to approve the use of its experimental treatment for hepatitis C, daclatasvir, in combination with other antiviral drugs. Bristol-Myers said it had initially sought permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the drug, a so-called NS5A inhibitor, in combination with asunaprevir, one of the New York-based company's experimental medicines.More

Could the key to a good memory be found in our genes?
Medical News Today
Forgetting the name of a recent acquaintance or where you put your keys are common memory slips that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. But for those individuals in middle and later life, such lapses can be troubling — potentially heralding conditions such as Alzheimer's. Now, a new study has identified specific genes that are linked to poorer memory later in life.More

'Screen more' for cancer risk genes
More people in high risk groups should have their DNA tested for breast cancer risk genes, a cancer charity says. Mutations in BRCA genes can give women up to an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer. A trial involving 1,034 Ashkenazi Jews, who are at high risk, suggested more than half of their cases were not being picked up under the current NHS guidelines.More

Genes and environment: Complex interactions at the heart of personalized medicine
Medical Xpress
Personalized medicine uses methods of molecular analysis, especially genetic sequencing and transcription, in order to simultaneously identify genetic mutations to evaluate each individual's risk of contracting a given disease. It seems that there is more than a single mechanism at hand, as proven by the work of a team of geneticists at the University of Geneva's Faculty of Medicine, and the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics. More

Too many infants still sleep with blankets
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Too many U.S. infants sleep with blankets, pillows or other unsafe bedding that may lead to suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome, despite guidelines recommending against the practice. That's according to researchers who say 17 years of national data show parents need to be better informed.More

Study: Every 3 minutes, a child sustains a toy related injury
A new landmark study is telling a very different kind of toy story: researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital discovered that in the U.S., once every three minutes a child is treated in the emergency room for a toy-related injury.More

Why news about thyroid cancer screening doesn't apply to breast cancer
Recently the New England Journal of Medicine published a perspective on Korea’s Thyroid-Cancer “Epidemic” — Screening and Overdiagnosis. The rate of thyroid cancer has shot up since around 2000. Not surprisingly, the apparent escalation in tumors parallels the availability, affordability and popularity of screening.More

Breast cancer vaccine shows promise in slowing progress
An initial safety trial of a breast cancer vaccine has proven safe, with preliminary results suggesting the vaccine will slow cancer progression. The vaccine, which is being developed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is meant for patients with breast cancers that express a protein found only in breast tissue called mammaglobin-A.More

Size and price are obstacles to behavioral health deals
The Wall Street Journal
Private equity firms are keen to invest in behavioral healthcare, but suitable targets appear to be rare, according to a buyout firm which has been active in the space. The New York firm acquired its behavioral health and psychiatric hospital platform, Springstone Inc., in 2010 and committed a total of $100 million in equity for its development. More