Managed Care e-News
Dec. 11, 2012

Interest groups push to fill margins of health coverage
The New York Times
Most of the roughly two dozen states that have chosen their essential benefits — services that insurance will have to cover under the law — have decided to include chiropractic care in their package. Four states — California, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington — included acupuncture for treating pain, nausea and other ailments. It is also likely to be an essential benefit in Alaska and Nevada, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.More

Physician groups eye mergers but blinded by legal fights
American Medical News
Declining payments and increasing financial pressures have led more physicians to become employees of large medical groups and hospitals. At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is prompting smaller practices to consolidate as a way to more easily participate in new health system delivery models such as accountable care organizations.More

Study: Physician pay growing slower than others
Forbes
Though still well-paid, physicians' wages grew less than other health professionals over the past 15 years, according to researchers from the RAND Corp. and Harvard University. The research, published in a letter in the Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, comes just as the health care system increasingly emphasizes a team approach to delivering medical care. More

Feds ease access to Suboxone
MedPage Today
Patients in U.S. addiction treatment programs will no longer have to wait a year to be eligible for therapy with buprenorphine, or Suboxone, according to a new federal rule. The rule lifts the requirement that patients be in treatment for a year before they're allowed to receive a two-week supply of medication that they can take at home.More

FDA panel opposes pure hydrocodone painkiller
The Associated Press via USA Today
Government health experts have overwhelmingly voted against a stronger version of hydrocodone, questioning the need for a new form of one of most widely abused prescription painkillers.More

FDA approves 35 drugs in fiscal 2012 to match 2011 tally
Bloomberg
The United States cleared 35 drugs for sale in fiscal 2012, matching the total for those that made it to market in the previous year, regulators said. The Food and Drug Administration approvals of novel medicines included 10 cancer medicines, as well as treatments for cystic fibrosis and HIV, a meningitis vaccine and the first cord blood product, the agency said in a report.More

Nail salon lamps don't raise skin cancer risk
MyHealthDayNews via NBC News
While the risk of developing skin cancer is known to be linked with exposure to ultraviolet light, it's been less clear whether the UV lamps used in nail salons might raise the risk of skin cancer. Now, a new study suggests these lamps don't increase skin cancer risk. More

Gene study in triple-negative breast cancer is positive
MedPage Today
Triple-negative breast cancer — so called because it lacks the big three treatment targets important in other forms of the disease — may have targets of its own, researchers said. In fact, 90 percent of patients in a genetic study had mutations in five well-known biological pathways, according to researchers.More

Aspirin may help older colon cancer patients live longer
Reuters
Older adults with colon cancer who were prescribed a daily aspirin were less likely to die than those who weren't, according to a new study. While the results need to be confirmed with more rigorous studies, they add to the evidence linking aspirin use to longer survival for cancer patients. Studies have also suggested the inexpensive drug can prevent some types of the disease from occurring in the first place. More

Salty foods make children want sugary drinks
MedPage Today
Children and teens who eat salty foods are more likely to wash them down with sugary drinks, potentially raising their risk for obesity, researchers found. A cross-sectional study of Australian children ages 2 to 16 found salt consumption was positively associated with drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and increased obesity risks by 26 percent, researchers said.More

Genome sequencing for babies brings knowledge and conflicts
NPR
VideoBriefGenome sequencing deciphers an individual's entire genetic code. The price of doing this has been dropping quickly, raising the possibility that sequencing can become more common than ever before. That includes the possibility of sequencing all babies when they're born.More

Britain launches genome database to improve patient care
Reuters
Up to 100,000 Britons suffering from cancer and rare diseases are to have their genetic codes fully sequenced and mapped as part of government efforts to boost drug development and improve treatment.More

Study: ADHD can cause lifelong problems
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
If children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, continue to have the condition in adulthood, a new study suggests that they may face an array of physical and mental health issues.More

Talk therapy boosts response to antidepressants
MedPage Today
Among patients who don't respond to antidepressants, adding cognitive behavioral therapy to their prescription appears to diminish depressive symptoms. In a randomized controlled trial, adding CBT to drug therapy was associated with a more than threefold increased likelihood of response to treatment after six months, researchers reported.More