Managed Care e-News
Jul. 23, 2013

Healthcare exchanges threatened by delay
USA Today
Less than 90 days before government-run health exchanges are due to open up shop under President Barack Obama's new healthcare law, Web insurers are still being locked out of helping sign up uninsured individuals — a lag that threatens to depress enrollments, and jack up insurance rates, experts tell CNBC.More

Your patients deserve expertise, not 'good enough'
By Mike Wokasch
As healthcare professionals, we may have a tendency to look at expertise in the narrow context of science and medicine. While the implications of expertise may differ, it is important to appreciate that expertise is not defined by academic achievement or job function. The person who can make your burger perfect every time, the incredibly knowledgeable and attentive restaurant server, the meticulously accurate and precise laboratory technician or the electricians and plumbers "who just know" what's wrong and how to fix it — all have a level of expertise that they have developed.More

Medicare speeds up plan for doctors’ pay
The Washington Post
Medicare is accelerating plans to initiate a controversial program that pegs a portion of doctors' pay to the quality of their patient care. The changes would affect nearly 500,000 medical doctors working in group practices. By 2015, large physician groups will receive bonuses or penalties based on their performance, with all doctors who take Medicare patients phased into the program by 2017. More

The FDA dithers as prescription painkillers claim more lives
Nothing about Sarah Bowker says "drug addict." She's a 37-year-old homemaker who dotes on her 4-year-old daughter and has never had a brush with the law. Yet it wouldn't be a stretch to call her the new face of addiction in America. Bowker developed rheumatoid arthritis in 2008, and it flared up badly after she gave birth that year. Her rheumatologist dashed off a prescription for a generic form of Vicodin, the popular pain killer that combines acetaminophen with a narcotic called hydrocodone.More

Testing underway for cooling caps that prevent hair loss during chemotherapy
The Associated Press via CBS News
The first time Miriam Lipton had breast cancer, her thick locks fell out two weeks after starting chemotherapy. The second time breast cancer struck, Lipton gave her scalp a deep chill and kept much of her hair — making her fight for survival seem a bit easier. Hair loss is one of chemotherapy's most despised side effects, not because of vanity but because it fuels stigma, revealing to the world an illness that many would rather keep private.More

ArmaGen drug to treat rare brain disease receives FDA 'orphan drug' status: 1st successful attempt to get large drugs to brain
Medical Daily
One of the major issues with targeting diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain-based disorders, is the blood brain barrier. Only very small molecules and drugs can pass through this impenetrable barrier, which otherwise protects the brain from infection. Now, a small biotechnology company, ArmaGen, has figured out how to get large drugs like antibodies into the brain without damaging the precious and sensitive barrier and without requiring surgery.More

What are the benefits of creatine?
Medical News Today
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid produced in the liver that helps supply energy to cells all over the body — particularly muscle cells. It is made out of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Creatine is transported through the blood by an active transport system, it is then used by muscles that have high energy demands, such as the brain and skeletal muscle. In fact, around 95 percent of creatine in the human body is stored in skeletal muscle. More

Chew more to retain more energy
Almonds may still be considered one of the highest energy food sources but it's not about how much you bite off, instead it's about how much you chew, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo. "Particle size has bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed," said Dr. Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. "The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body." More

New gene linked to severe obesity found in study
The Boston Globe
Medically, obesity is now considered a disease. Socially, the condition is regarded differently. In the social realm, being extremely overweight can seem like a symptom of laziness or lack of willpower. Research into the genetics of obesity, however, is revealing that this judgment may be unfair. Scientists at Boston Children's Hospital have discovered a gene that, when deleted, causes extreme obesity in mice.More

A small biotech with breakthrough potential in cancer treatment
Healthcare stocks have been no stranger to volatility over the last few years as healthcare reform in the U.S. has begun to take hold. But after finding confidence in hopes that volumes of new patients covered under insurance will offset any price controls relating to the reduction of reimbursements, healthcare stocks have taken off.More

Medicare speeds up plan for doctors' pay
The Washington Post
Medicare is accelerating plans to initiate a controversial program that pegs a portion of doctors' pay to the quality of their patient care.More

US healthcare's dangerous profit fixation
Medicine is big business in America. Nearly one fifth of our GDP is spent on healthcare — 50 percent more than any other developed country.More

Do clinical trials work?
The New York Times
Every spring, some 30,000 oncologists, medical researchers and marketers gather in an American city to showcase the latest advances in cancer treatment. More

8 in 10 now survive skin cancer
Medical Xpress
More than eight out of 10 people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will now survive the disease, compared to only around five in 10 in the early 70s, according to a new report from Cancer Research U.K. Ten year survival has reached 80 percent in men and 90 percent in women, compared to 38 percent in men and 58 percent in women 40 years ago. More

Omega-3s may raise prostate cancer risk
The New York Times
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have many health benefits. But they may have risks as well, including an increased risk for prostate cancer. In a nine-year prospective study, scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle took annual blood samples from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,393 men who were cancer free.More

Study: Music helps ease pain in children
Counsel & Heal
Turning on the music could help ease pain in children, according to new research. Researchers in the latest study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found more evidence that music decreases children's perceived sense of pain. The latest study lead by Lisa Hartling from Canada's University of Alberta involved 42 children between the ages of 3 and 11 who went to the pediatric emergency department at the Stollery Children's Hospital and needed IVs. More

3 tips for using exercise to shrink anxiety
Psych Central
Exercise is a boon for mental, physical and emotional health. And it’s particularly helpful for easing anxiety. For instance, exercise reduces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. And it stimulates the production of feel-good endorphins. It also leads to an increase in activity levels in the serotonergic system, which may help to decrease anxiety and improve mood. So if all this can help, how can people motivate themselves to do more of it? In this article, experts share how to make the most of movement in minimizing one's anxiety. More