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Fall Managed Care Forum 2014
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What the US healthcare system can learn from Ebola outbreak
Jeanine Thomas is a well-known patient advocate and active member of ProPublica's Patient Harm Facebook Community. But recently, she contributed in another forum: the World Health Organization.
The WHO selected Thomas to serve on the ethics committee that recommended making experimental drugs available to Ebola patients in West Africa. Thomas was the sole patient representative on the international panel, which decided that offering experimental drugs is ethical if patients give fully informed consent and data are gathered to track the safety and effectiveness of the medications used.
Health insurance benefits — can you have it your way?
As the percentage of large employers that consider a shift to defined contribution and/or private exchange increases, the number of options — and flexibility in those options — must also increase. Consideration for those options rose last year from 14 percent to 18 percent among large employers. Further, those who are considering the move to a private exchange want to because of their desire to offer more and better plan options, as well as realize cost-savings.
Apple, Google face hurdles entering healthcare
When Apple announced new features for its next iOS mobile operating system in June, it was clear that the healthcare industry was a big target. The tech giant is also reportedly talking with major healthcare organizations about how they might use the company's so-called HealthKit services. Google and other large tech players are also in the race to dominate the emerging business for health and fitness software and hardware.
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ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
Survey: ACOs continue to face obstacles with health IT adoption
Accountable care organizations have not made substantial progress in health IT adoption over the past year, according to a preliminary data released by the eHealth Initiative, Health Data Management reports. The data are based off of the first 62 responses to the national 2014 survey of ACOs, which aims to evaluate how ACOs in commercial and federal markets are using health IT.
Hospital-run ACOs do not work, says physician
Health Data Mangement
The Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization has reported $22 million in savings in its first year, and member doctors received total returns of $11 million — success that the ACO attributes to the fact that it is physician-owned and physician-run. "Physicians need to run ACOs," said Lenny Sukienik, M.D., the Palm Beach ACO's medical director. "If you have a hospital running an ACO, it won't work."
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS & TECHNOLOGY
What does a good day mean for your patients?
To find out how to feature your company in the NAMCP eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact Geoffrey Forneret at 469-420-2629.
FDA approves Biogen Idec's multiple sclerosis drug
The Boston Globe
Scrambling to stay ahead of the competition in bringing multiple sclerosis drugs to market, Biogen Idec Inc. won U.S. regulatory approval to sell a new type of injectable drug that treats adults with the most common form of the neurodegenerative disease.
Food and Drug Administration regulators approved the Cambridge biotech’s application to market the drug, called Plegridy, as a longer-lasting treatment for U.S. patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Drug may reverse hair loss in alopecia patients
A drug normally used to treat bone marrow disorders may help patients suffering from alopecia, according to a new study. Alopecia areata is a kind of autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system T-cells to attack hair follicles, causing them to fall out and become dormant.
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Cancer and the secrets of your genes
The New York Times
On Aug. 6, researchers announced in The New England Journal of Medicine that they had found that mutations in a gene called PALB2 greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. This is one of the biggest developments since the discovery in the ’90s of the role of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in breast and ovarian cancer.
Our genes determine the traces that stress leaves behind on our brains
Our individual genetic make-up determines the effect that stress has on our emotional centers. These are the findings of a group of researchers from the MedUni Vienna. Not every individual reacts in the same way to life events that produce the same degree of stress. Some grow as a result of the crisis, whereas others break down and fall ill, for example with depression.
Blood expression levels of genes targeted by stress hormones could be biomarker for developing PTSD
Blood expression levels of genes targeted by the stress hormones called glucocorticoids could be a physical measure, or biomarker, of risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study conducted in rats by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published August 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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The growing threat of antibiotic resistance
By Rosemary Sparacio
A number of diseases once easily treatable have become resistant to antibiotics currently on the market, and that number continues to grow. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned that antibiotic resistance is such a serious problem that it could be the "next pandemic." Obviously, the growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens means that more and more cases emerge where standard treatments no longer work, infections become more difficult to control, and the risk of spreading infections to others is increased — especially when hospital stays are prolonged.
The viral ice bucket challenge has raised $12 million for ALS
The extremely viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has led to record donations to the ALS Association, whose national office reports nearly $12 million in collected donations since July 29 — $15.6 million if you include money raised by ALS affiliates across the country–compared with less than $50,000 in the same period last year.
“It’s huge. It’s a game changer for the ALS Association,” said ALS Association President Barbara Newhouse.
Latest Alzheimer's research shows it's time to get moving
By Denise A. Valenti
Move it, use it, and you are less likely to lose it. Physical activity — even in small amounts — is a factor in slowing the process of the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. This has been found to hold true even for those genetically at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Exercise was a prominent topic during the Alzheimer's Association International Conference held recently in Copenhagen, Denmark. The AAIC brings together top researchers in the field of dementia in order to engage a multidisciplinary international exchange of ideas.
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Screening for new breast cancer genes leaves women with tough choices
The Boston Globe
After Angelina Jolie revealed that she carried a breast cancer gene mutation last year, the number of women seeking genetic screening for breast cancer has surged — what some oncologists have referred to as the “Angelina Jolie” effect. Jolie carried a BRCA1 mutation and was told she had a 50 to 70 percent chance of developing breast cancer, a risk she deemed high enough to warrant having a preventive double mastectomy.
Dog study suggests bacteria as cancer fighter
Pet dogs have helped researchers show that a special bacteria can seemingly fight cancer, causing tumors to shrink.
A modified version of Clostridium novyi bacteria, when injected into solid soft tissue tumors, will eat away at the cancerous cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue, researchers report Aug. 13 in the latest Science Translational Medicine.
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Study: Childhood mental disability rates up
HealthDay News via WebMD
Rates of developmental and mental disabilities — ranging from speech problems to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — have jumped 21 percent among U.S. children, according to a new report.
Overall, parent-reported disabilities rose 16 percent — from almost 5 million children to about 6 million between 2001 and 2011, said study author Dr. Amy Houtrow, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Men and suicide: An epidemic that must be confronted aggressively
The Huffington Post
Up until recently, throughout our nations history, mental illness is an issue that many Americans have been reluctant to discuss. In fact, in certain circles, it has been downright taboo to even bring up the issue. This has particularly been the case in regards to suicide, in particular, male suicide.
"A protein called Kindlin-3 drives breast cancer cells to migrate throughout the body. Inhibiting Kindlin-3 functions with new drugs could prevent the spread of breast cancer, according to the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute."
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