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MANAGED HEALTHCARE NEWS
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Cancelling employer health insurance can be a kindness
Forbes
Subsidies created by the ACA plus ongoing escalation of health insurance premiums make canceling health insurance plans financially attractive for many employers. In fact this transition can be even more attractive for employees. And for some low-paid moms and dads, it’s a blessing.
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Workers 'squeezed' by health insurance costs
USA Today
Even when there's good news for health insurance prices, workers still can't catch a break. A slow-down in growth of premium prices for employer-based health insurance in most of the United States in recent years has yet to translate into relief for the people covered by those plans, a new report released finds.
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Obamacare will make filing taxes an even bigger headache for millions
Bloomberg
Obamacare is about to collide with the U.S. tax-filing season, adding frustration for millions of taxpayers trying to figure out how to comply and how much they will owe the government. Tax filing for 2014 opens Jan. 20.
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Telehealth hits the mark on Triple Aim requirements
By Karen R. Thomas
In today's healthcare environment, care providers are looking for new ways to meet the needs of patients, while also reducing overall care costs. Hence, the development of Triple Aim. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement developed the Triple Aim as an approach for the healthcare system to use new innovations to improve three things: the patient care experience, the health of all populations and the per capita cost of healthcare. Telehealth is a critical tool in helping providers hit the mark on Triple Aim for a variety of reasons.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  5 Must-Track Metrics for Practice Profitability

In today’s challenging and rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, measurement is more important than ever. When it comes to revenue cycle management all of the activities that happen before, during and after a patient’s visit that affect a practice’s ability to get paid—it’s essential for practices to focus on a small set of meaningful metrics. Learn more.
 


ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS


ACOs make progress in using big data to improve care
Modern Healthcare
Accountable care organizations across the country are in sharply different stages of aggregating and using patient data to improve quality of care and reduce costs. Only a handful of the largest and most sophisticated ACOs have established a “big data” warehouse that will let them pull together information from a variety of sources to help optimize care for individual patients and for their overall enrolled population.
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Accountable care organizations: Like HMOs, but different
The New York Times
In pursuit of greater efficiency in the United States health system, public programs and private insurers have begun to pay some hospitals and physicians differently. These new payment models take many forms, but they all impose greater responsibility for cost control and quality improvement on providers and bear some resemblance to failed healthcare financing arrangements from the 1990s. However, there are some distinctions that could make all the difference.
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FDA: NEW TREATMENTS & TECHNOLOGY


FDA approves new kind of device to treat obesity
HealthDay News via CBS News
A first-of-its-kind implant that curbs the appetite by electrically stimulating stomach nerves was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Maestro Rechargeable System is intended to treat morbid obesity, device manufacturer EnteroMedics Inc. said in its application for FDA approval.
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Draft FDA guidance on devices, accessories gets mixed reviews
Health Data Management
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued two draft guidance documents outlining its current thinking about low-risk devices intended to promote general wellness as well as the regulatory agency’s risk classification approach to medical device accessories.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Advancement revolutionizes hereditary cancer testing

Myriad myRisk™ Hereditary Cancer utilizes both genetic test status AND personal cancer family history to identify elevated risk for 8 important cancers by analyzing multiple, clinically significant genes. Myriad myRisk improves clinical sensitivity by 40-50% compared to current testing paradigms in a cost-effective manner, providing more value to your members.
 


GENOMICS & BIOTECH
Click Here to visit the Genomics, Biotech & Emerging Medical Technology Institute


Tanning addiction may be in your genes
CBS News
Snowbirds who flock south in winter in search of the warmth of the sun, listen up: People who carry a particular gene variant may be more likely to develop an "addiction" to tanning, a preliminary study suggests. The idea that ultraviolet light can be addictive — whether from the sun or a tanning bed — is fairly new.
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Scientists identify gene mutations that put people at risk of heart failure
Reuters via The Huffington Post
Scientists have identified the crucial genetic mutations that cause a common heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, paving the way for more accurate diagnosis and screening of high-risk patients. In a study of more than 5,000 people, researchers sequenced the gene encoding the muscle protein "titin," known to be linked to this leading cause of inherited heart failure, to try to find which variations in it caused problems.
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Schizophrenia: 8 genetic diseases shoved into 1 diagnosis with varied likelihood of escaping mental illness development
Inquisitr
A major breakthrough in understanding schizophrenia has revealed that schizophrenia is actually eight separate genetic diseases, according to researchers. There is not just one type of all-encompassing schizophrenia as psychiatrists once believed; the eight different diseases are genetically different from each other and present their own unique symptoms, according to researchers from the University of Granada and the University of Washington.
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PREVENTION & WELLNESS
Click Here to visit the Center for Preventive Health and Lifestyle Medicine


How much salt should old people consume?
Forbes
A new study offers fresh evidence that current salt recommendations should be taken with, well, a grain of salt. Current guidelines now recommend that everyone should have sodium intake levels below 2300 mg per day. For many people at higher risk, including everyone over 50 years of age, sodium intake should be below 1500 mg per day.
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Couples who work together to get healthy have more success
LiveScience
Couples who work together to change their unhealthy habits appear to have more successful outcomes, a new study suggests. Researchers in the U.K. found that men and women were more likely to stop smoking, exercise more or lose weight if their partner joined them in becoming healthier.
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Clean hands save lives: A vigilance that must never falter
By Christina Thielst
Hand washing in healthcare has long been associated with preventing the spread of disease, but frequent hand washing has its challenges. In the early 2000s, the recipe for alcohol-based hand rubs was perfected — offering a more efficient, portable and worker-friendly alternative. Since then, these hand sanitizing gels have been promoted for controlling the spread of nosocomial influenza and infections around the world. However, the behavior of healthcare workers — or the sociology of cleaning hands to save lives — is also an important consideration.
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ONCOLOGY
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Random acts of being human
The New York Times
Unlike Ebola, flu or polio, cancer is a disease that arises from within — a consequence of the mutations that inevitably occur when one of our 50 trillion cells divides and copies its DNA. Some of these genetic misprints are caused by outside agents, chemical or biological, especially in parts of the body — the skin, the lungs and the digestive tract — most exposed to the ravages of the world.
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BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Click Here to visit the Behavioral Health Institute


What Dr. Martin Luther King has provided for mental health
Psych Central
As you read the headline you may have questioned what relevance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serves to the discussion of severe or untreated mental health. Rarely do we ever hear people emphasize the importance of following the example of Dr. King in our “fight” against society’s lack of knowledge about severe and untreated mental illness.
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Mental wellness warriors: Fighting for those who need it most
CNN
Too often the nation only hears about mental illness when tragedy strikes. But there are warriors for mental wellness in many fields, fighting for better treatment and working to defy stigma. CNN highlights nine fighters, from the famous to the everyman, who are making a difference.
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FAST FACTS
"The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year."


TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Eligible Americans turn down Obamacare tax credits (U.S. News & World Report)
Popping aspirin for heart health could be a waste of time for some (TIME)
The coming wave of new cancer-fighting drugs (Bloomberg)
Accountable care, patient portals lag behind expectations (EHR Intelligence)
FDA to study limiting lists of drug risks in TV ads (The Hill)
Study suggests correlation between heart health and optimism (U.S. News & World Report)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.
 
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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