Managed Care e-News
Oct. 15, 2013

The Affordable Care Act: They gave it the wrong name
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Most Americans are thinking this major new piece of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is going to make health insurance more affordable. Why? Picture me with my hands cupped on both sides of my mouth screaming, "because it's got the word 'affordable' in it!" And the word affordable suggests that current health insurance premiums will be less expensive, but this is not the case. Clearly, unarguably, they will be more expensive.More

Just how much does cost?
Fox News
Government officials deny the price tag on the troubled Obamacare website is as big as $634 million, as widely reported. Nonetheless, a close look at the cost of and the overall architecture of this giant federal program reveals no real bargain for the American taxpayer. "What a train wreck. How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?" Speaker of the House John Boehner demanded, as report after report indicated that the software problems experienced by the online portal were nowhere near being resolved.More

Hospitals play with Medicare patients' status
A growing number of senior citizens are ensnared in a Medicare crackdown on hospitals over costly inpatient admissions. Hospitals nationwide are responding by classifying more overnight visitors as outpatients held for observation. Caught in the middle are senior citizens, who aren't warned about the consequences of observation and can't appeal, patient advocates say.More

FDA approves riociguat for PAH and CTEPH
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved riociguat for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, the manufacturer announced.More

Blood clots in trial prompt FDA alert on Iclusig
MedPage Today
Higher-than-expected rates of arterial thromboses in newly analyzed trial data on ponatinib (Iclusig) have led the FDA to alert healthcare professionals to the potential risk in patients being treated for approved indications. An FDA Drug Safety Communication issued said the agency "is investigating an increasing frequency of reports of serious and life-threatening blood clots and severe narrowing of blood vessels" in patients taking the drug, and that clinicians "should consider for each patient whether the benefits of Iclusig treatment are likely to exceed the risks of treatment."More

Eat right, sleep tight
The Washington Post
Co-founder of Nourish Schools Casey Seidenberg writes: "I am a huge proponent of feeding our kids well. They are our future. Their little bodies are growing like weeds, and their brains are being fueled by their food. But so are ours. Our brains might not grow as fast as our children's, but they are being used and taxed, as are our bodies. We need to feed ourselves just as well as we feed our children. I have been hearing more and more women in particular who are beginning to suffer seemingly simple health problems, such as fatigue and low energy — even with regular sleep — weight gain, brain fog, insomnia, low tolerance for stressful situations and anxiety. More

Apples provide upgrade to your operating system
By Denise A. Valenti
Getting the recommended apple a day to keep the doctor away is easy this time of year. The more than 100 different species of apples grown throughout the United States are in abundance in September and October. And no matter how the apples are eaten, the fruit flesh and skin offer significant benefits to health. Eating apples can reduce risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes. More

Overweight kids at risk for esophageal and gastric cancer
Medical News Today
Overweight adolescents are twice as likely as their normal-weight peers to develop esophageal cancer later in life, a recent study shows. The Israeli study also found that lower socioeconomic status as well as immigration from higher risk countries were important determinants of gastric cancer.More

The role of 'master regulators' in gene mutations and disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new way to parse and understand how special proteins called "master regulators" read the genome, and consequently turn genes on and off.More

Genes often get shuffled in our DNA deck
The Wall Street Journal
Once born, we typically share some part of our environment with at least one of our biological parents. But we receive all of our genes from them. The fertilized egg that eventually became you had the unique genome made from the two of them combining. Heritability is remarkable — every cell generated in your body is commanded by the DNA sequence that you inherited, your personal code of codes.More

Happy marriage may depend on your genes
CBS News
Are some couples destined to be happier in their relationships than others? A new study says our genes may play a role in marital bliss. A UC Berkley and Northwestern University study found that people who have a certain gene variant, known as the HTTLPR allele, were more likely either to be extremely happy or extremely miserable in their relationships.More

The Affordable Care Act: They gave it the wrong name
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Most Americans are thinking this major new piece of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is going to make health insurance more affordable. Why? More

Exchanges will raise US healthcare costs
Ignore the inevitable startup glitches. The new health insurance exchanges will work just fine — in the sense that all government health care programs work: Many people will ultimately become dependent on them for coverage.More

How the government shutdown affects healthcare
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is at the center of the budget debate that has resulted in a government shutdown.More

How walking may lower breast cancer risk
The New York Times
Physical activity, and in particular walking, can substantially reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, encouraging new science shows, in part, it seems, by changing how her body deals with estrogen. Evidence has been accumulating for some time that exercise reduces the risk of many types of cancer, including breast malignancies. More

Mental health loses funding as government continues shutdown
In the months leading up to World Mental Health Day, D.C. has been shaken by a series of violent events that ended with innocent lives lost and our country's mental health services called into question. During this same time period, Washington, D.C., has been consumed by a government shutdown, with lawmakers and policymakers trying to determine how to rein in our country's financial burdens and overspending.More

Irregular bedtimes linked to kids' behavioral problems
Medical New Today
Parents, teachers and doctors all agree that lack of sleep makes children cranky, tearful and more prone to tantrums. Now researchers from the U.K. have found that children with irregular bedtimes are more likely to have behavioral difficulties. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, undermining brain maturation and the ability to regulate certain behaviors.More