Managed Care e-News
Jun. 19, 2012

AMA wants higher Medicare payments
Chicago Tribune
While the fate of the Affordable Care Act hangs in the balance, American Medical Association President Dr. Peter Carmel argued that higher payments are needed for doctors who treat patients through the federal Medicare program.More

Parties strategize for dealing with Supreme Court healthcare decision
The New York Times
U.S. House Republicans are not waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the new healthcare law to plot their strategic response. If the measure is not thrown out entirely, House leaders plan to force a vote immediately to repeal the law to reinforce their deep opposition to the legislation, opposition that has become central to their political identity.More

Employers' 'plan B' if health reform is axed
How Corporate America will react if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 2010 healthcare reform law is a big, scary question mark. And that leaves more than 160 million people who get their insurance directly through their employers in the dark. Meanwhile, the health insurance industry and consumers are bracing for a possible big change.More

US children getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics
The number of drugs dispensed to U.S. minors has dropped slightly over the past decade, bucking the rise in prescriptions to adults, according to a government report. Antibiotics use fell by 14 percent, suggesting efforts to curb rampant overuse of the drugs "may be working," researchers from the Food and Drug Administration write in the journal Pediatrics.More

FDA rebukes Advocate Health Care
Chicago Tribune
The Food and Drug Administration has sharply criticized Advocate Health Care, the state's largest health system, for enrolling emergency room patients in a clinical trial without their permission. In a warning letter, the FDA questioned a study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a sedative called etomidate.More

'Hitch-hiking' cold virus may target, treat cancer
CBS News
Can the common cold one day help cure cancer? That's what scientists are hoping after a study reported on a promising new treatment in which a "hitch-hiking" virus sneaks up on tumors undetected. More

In 1 type of cancer, heavier men may live longer
Extra pounds may not be good for your health in general, but heavy men appear more likely to survive a particular form of immune system cancer, a study finds. The cancer in question is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas include a large group of cancers that affect the lymphatic system, a part of the immune system.More

Top heart doctors fret over new blood thinners
For millions of heart patients, a pair of new blood thinners have been heralded as the first replacements in 60 years for warfarin. But growing complaints of risks and deaths tied to the new crop of drugs have made some top cardiologists hesitant to prescribe them. Some are proposing a more rigorous monitoring regimen for when they are used.More

Traces of virus in man cured of HIV trigger scientific debate
VideoBriefTop AIDS scientists are scratching their heads about new data from the most famous HIV patient in the world — at least to people in the AIDS community. Timothy Ray Brown, known as the Berlin patient, is thought to be the first patient ever to be cured of HIV infection. New data raise a question about whether there are minute traces of HIV in some tissues — not whole virus capable of replicating, but pieces of viral genes.More

HHS rethinking ban on gay male blood donors
MedPage Today
Dozens of members of Congress have voiced support for having the Department of Health and Human Services study alternatives to the current blanket ban on blood and plasma donations from men who have sex with men.More

Stroke patients see 'improvements' after stem cell trial
BBC News
The first patients to take part in a clinical trial of a stem cell treatment for stroke have seen reductions in their disability, according to doctors. Six patients in the west of Scotland had human stem cells inserted close to the damaged part of their brain.More

Doctors transplant vein grown from patient's own cells
ABC News
Scientists in Sweden are reporting a medical first: a vein grown in a lab for a 10-year-old girl using her body's own cells. Doctors are hailing the step as a milestone in tissue engineering, a field in which doctors grow windpipes, bladders, lungs and other organs to replace faulty ones while avoiding the dangerous, lifelong complications of organ transplants.More

Study: Stem cells can be harvested long after death
Agence France-Presse via Google News
Some stem cells can lay dormant for more than two weeks in a dead person and then be revived to divide into new, functioning cells, scientists in France said. The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, unlocks further knowledge about the versatility of these cells, touted as a future source to replenish damaged tissue.More

Secondhand smoke tied to more health effects
People regularly exposed to secondhand smoke may have increased risks of dying from various causes, a long-term study from China suggests. Researchers found compared with adults who lived and worked in smoke-free environs, those exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to die of heart disease or lung cancer over 17 years.More

Ecstasy-based treatment improves Parkinson's effects
Laboratory Equipment
The illicit drug ecstasy is strongly associated with rave culture, but can a drug that makes people want to dance be used to develop medicines that curb involuntary movements in Parkinson's disease? A team led by a medicinal chemist at The University of Western Australia thinks it may be possible. More