Managed Care e-News
Aug. 6, 2013

Healthcare law raises pressure on public unions
The New York Times
Cities and towns across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits in anticipation of a component of the Affordable Care Act that will tax expensive plans starting in 2018. The so-called Cadillac tax was inserted into the Affordable Care Act at the advice of economists who argued that expensive health insurance with the employee bearing little cost made people insensitive to the cost of care. More

Armed with bigger fines, Medicare to punish 2,225 hospitals for excess readmissions
Kaiser Health News
Medicare will levy $227 million in fines against hospitals in every state but one for the second round of the government's campaign to reduce the number of patients readmitted within a month, according to federal records released. Medicare identified 2,225 hospitals that will have payments reduced for a year starting on Oct. 1. More

Most Americans are confused by health insurance
Many Americans don't understand how their health insurance policies work, even though they think they do, according to recent surveys. This fall, as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Americans will have a greater range of healthcare insurance options to choose from, including state-based plans. But will they make the right decisions? That's doubtful, according to a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University's George Loewenstein.More

5 point digital health checkup
In the broadest sense, digital health encompasses everything related to human physiology and health that can be captured and managed digitally. A simple fax transmission or digital thermometer can be considered "digital health" even though the technology itself has been around for decades. Similarly, telehealth services are often lumped into the "digital health" category even though the underlying technology can be as simple as a phone call with a healthcare provider.More

FDA warns of rare acetaminophen risk
Medscape via WebMD
Anyone who develops a rash, blister or some other skin reaction while taking acetaminophen should stop using the drug and seek medical care immediately. The painkiller poses the risk for three rare but potentially fatal skin disorders, the FDA announced. The three serious, bad reactions that patients and doctors should watch out for are Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis.More

In healthcare industry, who will keep workers safe?
USA Today
Healthcare workers suffer more injuries and illnesses on the job than those in any other industry, thanks in large part to limited federal safety standards and inspections of healthcare facilities, says a new report by a national advocacy nonprofit. The report by Public Citizen shows healthcare workers had about 654,000 workplace injuries and illnesses in 2010, about 152,000 more than the next most afflicted industry sector, manufacturing.More

Study: Antioxidants don't improve fertility
Fox News
Antioxidants do not appear to improve a woman's chances of getting pregnant, contrary to previous beliefs, Medical News Today reported. In a study published in The Cochrane Library, researchers from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, discovered that women who took oral antioxidants were no more likely to conceive than those who took a placebo or a folic acid supplement.More

Obesity link found in 5-year-olds who drink daily soda
CBS News
Drinking sugary beverages throughout childhood has been linked to childhood obesity before, but now researchers say they have found evidence of the risk in children who barely have reached kindergarten. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades in the United states. An estimated 17 percent of kids and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are obese.More

The FDA OKs 5 blockbusters in slow start to 2013 drug approvals
Few productivity metrics in biopharma measure up to the annual rate of new drug approvals. So now that the FDA has come through with only 13 novel approvals in the first half of the year, well off the pace of 39 new approvals in 2012, there's some handwringing going on. But it's not as bad as it may appear at first glance. More

Healthcare law raises pressure on public unions
The New York Times
Cities and towns across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits in anticipation of a component of the Affordable Care Act that will tax expensive plans starting in 2018. More

More doctors steer clear of Medicare
The Wall Street Journal
Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts.More

FDA warns diabetes patients of hazards of illegal treatments
Medical Daily
The Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to 15 companies urging them to stop selling treatments which violate U.S. laws and also may cause harm to diabetes patients — leading to complications like heart disease or kidney failure. More

Researchers witness new type of cell division, use it to battle cancer
Medical Xpress
The surprise discovery in humans of a type of human cell division previously seen only in slime molds has put a University of Wisconsin research team on a path to prevent some common and deadly cancers. While on their way to finding a means to attack certain types of cancers, the researchers made the first observations of cytofission in humans, a type of cell division that occurs at a different time than normal division.More

New treatment strategy for breast cancer spread to brain
Medical News Today
A combination of two new therapies already in clinical trials for the treatment of primary malignant brain tumors may also be effective in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to the brain, according to U.S. researchers. The team, from the University of California Los Angeles, demonstrated their new approach, which combines immunotherapy with gene therapy, in mice. More

Study: Being outdoors boosts mental well-being for veterans
The Huffington Post
There really is no medicine quite like spending some time in the great outdoors. Researchers from the University of Michigan found that participation in outdoor group recreation is associated with higher psychological well-being among veterans — and for some study participants, the results were long lasting. More

How chronic people pleasing ruins your health
Psych Central
Most people don't associate people pleasing with a higher risk of physical disease, but it is true. People pleasing can lead to increased risk for all the major diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and all manner of maladies related to chronic inflammation. It also leads to depression, anxiety and a host of psychological issues. More