Managed Care e-News
Aug. 25, 2015

Fall Managed Care Forum: Register today!

Register today for the 2015 Fall Forum being held November 12-13, 2015 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Click here to visit the conference website.More

What can go wrong with a private health insurance exchange? A lot
The fastest growing part of the health insurance market these days is the private exchange. About 6 million workers selected their health plans through private exchanges this year, double last year’s number. The consulting firm Accenture predicts 40 million will do so by 2018. In general, private exchanges are online health insurance marketplaces.More

Waves of change: Helping staff navigate the turbulent tides of healthcare
By Christina Thielst
With an emphasis on reducing costs while improving quality and access, the transformation of the U.S. healthcare delivery system is creating additional pressure at the point of care — the encounters between clinicians and their patients. While change is due, it also requires balance and support for those who are caught at the crux as new models of care are being rolled out and payment models are still being developed and implemented.More

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois adds three accountable care organizations
Healthcare Finance News
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has developed accountable care organizations with three more provider-partners, bringing the total number of ACOs under the insurer to five, the insurer announced this month. The organizations are Independent Physicians' ACO of Chicago, Northwest Community Healthcare and the Illinois Health Partners — comprised Edward Hospital and Medical Group, Elmhurst Hospital and Medical Group and DuPage Medical Group.More

The last gasp of fee-for-service?
U.S. News & World Report
Medicare is going in multiple directions at once. On the one hand, it is trying hard to move away from fee-for-service payments to doctors, where each tiny service has its own code and its own payment, and instead, toward more bundled payment or even payment of a fixed amount per person per month to accountable care organizations. More

FDA to testosterone makers: 'Work together on a single trial'
To clarify how testosterone therapy may affect cardiovascular outcomes — which is especially important since many men are using it inappropriately for "age-related hypogonadism" as opposed to "classic hypogonadism" — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now requiring testosterone manufacturers to conduct a controlled clinical trial.More

The FDA is basically approving everything — here's the data to prove it
Remember when the FDA rejected drugs? We just got treated to a whole lot of drama as to whether Addyi, a drug to boost women’s libidos, would be approved. But based on the data, that approval was probably a foregone conclusion. As recently as 2008, companies filing applications to sell never-before-marketed drugs, which are referred to by the FDA as “new molecular entities,” faced rejection 66 percent of the time. More

Researchers uncover genetic circuit involved in obesity
Like many other conditions, obesity is caused by an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. While efforts to combat the obesity epidemic will need to include changes in diet and exercise, insights into the genes involved may also help with prevention and treatment.More

Holocaust survivors' trauma lives on in kids' genes
USA Today
Holocaust survivors pass on trauma through their genes, making their children and possibly even grandchildren more susceptible to PTSD and other stress disorders, according to new research. The Guardian reports researchers looked at 32 Jewish men and women who survived traumatic experiences at the hands of Nazis during World War II and their children.More

A fat-burning gene may help weight loss
There are many ways to get rid of excess fat, most of them involving diet and exercise. But scientists have identified a gene that may do the trick without all that effort. A Holy Grail of fat — one that can turn more quickly into energy and melt away without building up in those unwanted bulges — is actually backed by some intriguing evidence.More

Are we marketing fitness all wrong?
By Natalie Rodriguez
According to a recent poll, most Americans don't understand the basics of health and fitness. The poll found nearly 75 percent of people surveyed didn't know you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. Only 35 percent of those surveyed knew eggs are a good source of protein, and so on. Big fail, America. When so many people want to be healthy and fit, how is it that we know so little about fitness and nutrition? As it turns out, fitness marketing might be the culprit.More

Study: Sex lives best when couples share child care duties
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Couples who share the responsibilities of child care end up feeling more satisfied with both their sex lives and their overall relationship, new research suggests. The finding applies to both married couples and couples who are living together, and stems from responses to a survey completed by nearly 500 heterosexual partners, all of whom were parents.More

'2nd cancer' cases becoming more common
The Associated Press via CBS News
Second cancers are on the rise. Nearly 1 in 5 new cases in the U.S. now involves someone who has had the disease before. When doctors talk about second cancers, they mean a different tissue type or a different site, not a recurrence or spread of the original tumor. Judith Bernstein of suburban Philadelphia is an extreme example. More

New tool will compare costs and benefits of cancer treatments
Reuters via Fox News
As options for cancer patients become increasingly complicated, and expensive, the most influential source for U.S. oncology treatment guidelines will for the first time offer a tool to assess the costs versus benefits of available therapies. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network says its new tool will provide a clearer picture of the relative value of medication options, particularly in cases where a very expensive therapy does little to improve survival.More

Heart drug linked to extra years for cancer patients
The Wall Street Journal
A common heart drug called a beta blocker was associated with a striking increase in survival for women with ovarian cancer in a study that suggests a possible new strategy for treating a variety of tumors. Researchers analyzing a database of 1,425 women with the tough-to-treat cancer found those who had taken a certain type of beta blocker lived more than four years longer on average than those who hadn’t been prescribed the drug. More

Parents miss pressures on girls
BBC News
Parents are too often out of touch with the mental health pressures faced by girls and young women, suggests research. Self-harm was the biggest health concern for girls aged 11-21, according to the Girlguiding Girls' Attitudes Survey 2015. Researchers questioned a representative sample of more than 1,500 U.K. girls and young women aged seven to 21.More

Autistic traits linked to creative problem-solving
People with autism may be more likely to think outside the box than people without the disorder, a British study suggests. Researchers surveyed 312 people online, asking if they had autism and assessing whether they might have some traits of the disorder even if they hadn’t been formally diagnosed with it. They tested participants’ creativity by seeking interpretations of images designed to be seen more than one way &mdahs; such as a picture that might be viewed as either a rabbit or a duck.More