Managed Care e-News
Feb. 25, 2014

Private exchange sees surge in healthcare enrollment
USA Today
The number of customers on the nation's largest private health insurance exchange increased by 50 percent in the final three months of 2013, a direct result of demand created by the Affordable Care Act, the company's CEO said. Gary Lauer, CEO of eHealth Insurance, said individual memberships rose 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, from 113,600 applications in the last three months of 2012 to 169,800 in 2013.More

Choosing health coverage as deadline nears
The New York Times
If you don't have health insurance, there is still time to enroll through the public marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. But don't delay too long: The deadline for obtaining coverage for this year is March 31. With six weeks left in the open enrollment period, the numbers of people signing up for coverage are growing. More

How to bring the price of healthcare into the open
The Wall Street Journal
It's a simple idea, but a radical one. Let people know in advance how much healthcare will cost them — and whether they can find a better deal somewhere else. With outrage growing over incomprehensible medical bills and patients facing a higher share of the costs, momentum is building for efforts to do just that. Price transparency, as it is known, is common in most industries but rare in healthcare, where "charges," "prices," "rates" and "payments" all have different meanings and bear little relation to actual costs.More

FDA considers 3-person embryo fertilization
The FDA is considering an experimental fertilization technique that makes it possible to create a baby from the DNA of three people, with the goal to bypass genetic disorders from the mother. The FDA will weigh both sides of the case for a procedure that could prevent mothers from passing along genetic diseases, but also open the door to the possibility of designer babies, experts and critics argue. More

FDA gives Bristol-Myers' hepatitis drug 'breakthrough' designation
Bristol-Myers Squibb's investigational treatment for hepatitis C infection was awarded "breakthrough therapy designation" by U.S. drug regulators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved four breakthrough therapies since the FDA's Safety and Innovation Act was signed into law in July 2012.More

Is genetic testing humans playing God?
"It's a miracle," she told me. "We can now have a baby that won't have Huntington's disease. I thought I'd never be able to have any kids — because of the disease." Her father had died from this disorder, which results from a gene mutation. She feared that she might have the mutation, too. But she was too scared to undergo testing for it. She also worried that if she had it, she might pass it on to her children.More

Modern genes reveal 100 major population shifts in human history
Popular Science
Violence and love, conquest and assimilation, they're all in your DNA. Literally. As human populations have moved around the world, they've left bits of their genes to mark their passage. We've reported on this before, as scientists have used genes to trace immigrations in the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent. Now, an ambitious new project has attempted to use genetics to identify many of the major movements of humans over the last 4,000 years. No problem, right?More

Detailed study of living cells challenges classic gene regulation model
In all living organisms, genes are regulated by proteins called transcription factors. The established model states that a gene is switched off as long as a repressing transcription factor is bound to the DNA. For the first time ever, researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, have been able to study the process in living cells, showing that it may be more complex than previously thought. More

Study: Tylenol use during pregnancy linked to ADHD in kids
Los Angeles Times
Facing a world full of potential dangers for the babies they carry, pregnant women hear regularly that acetaminophen can be trusted to reduce fevers and relieve aches and pains without causing harm to a developing fetus. But a new study reports that the children of women who took the drug during pregnancy were about 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children of mothers who took none.More

Vegetarian diets may lower blood pressure
People who eat a vegetarian diet tend to have lower blood pressure than non-vegetarians, according to a new review of past studies. Researchers said for some people, eating a vegetarian diet could be a good way to treat high blood pressure without medication. Vegetarian diets exclude meat, but may include dairy products, eggs and fish in some cases. They emphasize foods of plant origin, particularly vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits.More

Private exchange sees surge in healthcare enrollment
USA Today
The number of customers on the nation's largest private health insurance exchange increased by 50 percent in the final three months of 2013, a direct result of demand created by the Affordable Care Act, the company's CEO said. More

What to consider before deciding to go without health insurance
Los Angeles Times
Sarah Giron wants health insurance, but she says it's just not in her budget. "It's so expensive," says the 34-year-old stay-at-home mom.More

States meld Medicare and Medicaid
USA Today
They are a diverse group of low-income people who are disabled or elderly. Many have multiple chronic illnesses, or are battling depression or substance abuse.More

Life saver: Women with cancer gene should remove ovaries by 35
NBC News
Women with certain genetic mutations that greatly raise their risk of breast and ovarian cancer can cut the risk by as much as 80 percent if they get their ovaries removed by age 35, a new study suggests. It's the first study to show just how much the operation can do to lower the risk of cancer, and it's the first to put such a clear age on the benefits.More

BRCA cancer genes at a glance
The Associated Press via ABC News
A look at faulty BRCA genes that raise women's risk of breast and ovarian cancer: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are uncommon. They are thought to account for about 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancers, and about 15 percent of ovarian cancers.More

Doctors: Kids' checkups should include depression test
HealthDay News via WebMD
Doctors should test middle school-age children for high cholesterol and start screening for depression at age 11, according to updated guidelines from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. Doctors should also test older teens for HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, the revised preventive-care recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say. More

Bullying affects mental health for years
The Boston Globe
Deborah Kotz: I still remember my middle-school bully: a girl about my height with glaring brown eyes whose locker was next to mine thanks to the alphabetical order of our last names. She was a 12-year-old stranger, but her first words to me were something along the lines of, "I hate you and want to smash your face." She never did, but I feared her all through middle school, did my best to avoid her, and told my parents fairly frequently that I wanted to go live on a farm.More