Managed Care e-News
Mar. 24, 2015

Register today: 2015 Spring Managed Care Forum

Register today for the 2015 Spring Forum being held April 23-24, 2015 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club. Click here to visit the conference website.More

Obama, Republicans mark 5th year of healthcare law
USA Today
Five years later, the debate over President Barack Obama's healthcare law — aka Obamacare — remains as contentious as ever. Obama and Republican critics are marking Monday's fifth anniversary of the law's passage with very contrasting views of its impact. For Obama, it's about 16 million more Americans who now have health insurance, and an improving economy; for Republicans, it's about higher premiums and canceled policies.More

Providers plan to pursue Medicare's chronic care management program
By Scott E. Rupp
Kryptiq conducted a benchmark survey to gauge providers' pursuit of the newly available payments in light of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services starting to reimburse providers last Jan. 1. Caregivers who actively manage care delivery for Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions are able to receive payment for the services if they use a certified electronic health record, obtain and manage patient consent, deliver five core care management services and provide at least 20 minutes of follow-up outside of the office in conjunction with the chronic care management program.More

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Managed Care eNews, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NAMCP, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Congress could jeopardize health insurance for millions of kids
The Huffington Post
The federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program will run out of money on Sept. 30. Until recently, Congress showed little interest in paying for it. But this week, the House agreed on a bill that would continue the $13 billion program in its current form through 2017. In late February, Republicans in both houses issued a “discussion draft” outlining modifications they claimed would make the program more flexible for states, even though most governors say they don’t want any changes to what they consider a near-perfect healthcare program. More

Healthcare analytics key for trust, effectiveness of ACOs
Developing a workable healthcare analytics infrastructure is a critical part of achieving financial benefits when embracing accountable care, says a report by the RAND Corporation and the American Medical Association, which followed 34 physician practices during their year-long transition from traditional fee-for-service models to accountable care reimbursement structures.More

ACOs could meet both payment reform, population health needs
Accountable care organizations represent a rare opportunity for states to meet both their population health and payment reform needs, according to a new study by the Milbank Memorial Fund. ACOs that serve Medicaid populations have an opportunity to address these issues due to Medicaid patients' relatively worse health compared to the rest of their population and complex needs on the socioeconomic level.More

FDA removes the brakes on Pfizer and Lilly's pain drug
A once-halted pain candidate from partners Pfizer and Eli Lilly now has the green light to resume late-stage testing, as the FDA has lifted a clinical hold tied to some serious safety concerns for the whole class of drugs. The treatment, tanezumab, works by targeting nerve growth factor, a protein that regulates how the body processes pain.More

FDA approves 1st treatment for rare disorders in children, adults
The FDA approved Cholbam, a cholic acid, for children and adults with bile acid synthesis disorders and peroxisomal disorders, according to a press release from the FDA. After the manufacturer was granted a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, the FDA announced the approval of Cholbam as an oral treatment for adults and children at least three weeks old, according to the release. More

Scientists have created 'DNA scissors' that can alter your genes, but should they use them?
Biotechnology that can rewrite the genome heralds "a new era of human biology" and raises ethical questions for the medical community, experts in bioethics, and everybody else, according to a group of prominent researchers writing in Science. The fuss is over "DNA scissors" discovered in microbes in 2012 that can be adapted to edit genetic material, potentially removing disease-enabling mutations and adding in "corrected" DNA strings. More

Autism genes linked to higher intelligence
Genetic variations associated with autism spectrum disorders have been linked to better cognitive ability in individuals who do not have the condition, new research suggests. A large population-based study showed that individuals in the general population who carry more of the genetic variations associated with ASD perform slightly better on cognitive function tests than those who carry fewer of the genetic variants, although the advantage conferred by ASD-associated genes appears to be small.More

New report provides real answers in era of health advice overload
By Natalie Rodriguez
The recent release of the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has American health nuts jumping for joy. This 571-page report of medical and scientific research promotes a "culture of health," in which a healthy lifestyle is "easy, accessible, affordable and normative." This may finally be the answer to our collective cry for sound health advice. The truth is Americans in the digital age are generally confused about their health. New studies emerge every minute, it seems, on the greatest options for the healthiest lifestyle.More

UN: Ebola outbreak could be 'gone by the summer'
The Washington Post
Exactly one year ago, on March 23, 2014, the World Health Organization announced that there was an Ebola outbreak in Guinea. There were 49 cases and 29 deaths from the disease then. More than 10,000 people have since died of Ebola in West Africa, according to the WHO.More

The road to cancer treatment through clinical trials
The New York Times
In 1947, children who developed acute lymphocytic leukemia died. Dr. Sidney Farber, a pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, was so distressed doing autopsies on these children that he moved into the clinic and, against the advice of more conservative colleagues, began treating children with aminopterin, a highly toxic drug that starved their cancerous white blood cells of critical nutrients.More

Vitamin D supplements may slow prostate cancer
HealthDay News via CBS News
Vitamin D supplements may slow or prevent low-grade prostate cancer from progressing, a small new study suggests. "Vitamin D decreases inflammation in tissues, and inflammation is a driver of cancer," explained Bruce Hollis, the study's lead researcher and a professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.More

Artificial sweetener saccharin shows promise in cancer treatment
Yahoo Health
You may have heard whispers that the artificial sweetener saccharin is a carcinogen. But according to a new study, it could actually be useful in developing treatments for aggressive cancers by deactivating a protein found to facilitate the spread of cancer.More

For younger adults, unemployment may triple the risk of depression
Los Angeles Times
Unemployment isn’t just bad for your bank account. It can also do serious damage to mental health — especially for younger adults who are just starting out in life, new research shows. Nearly 12 percent of Americans between ages 18 and 25 were deemed to be depressed based on their answers to eight questions that were part of a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments. More

Teens' app applauded for helping young people with depression
Some teenage girls are headed to the White House Monday to be recognized for an app they created. Their "Safe & Sound" smartphone app is meant to help teens struggling with depression and anxiety.More

How uncertainty fuels anxiety
The Atlantic
After nine years writing Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice column, Emily Yoffe has noticed some recurring themes: “Mothers in law, husbands addicted to porn, impossible office mates, crazy brides.” Sometimes, Yoffe says, letter-writers say they’re prepared to abide by her advice, whatever it is. More