Managed Care e-News
Nov. 26, 2013

Private website touted as interim alternative to HealthCare.gov
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite doubts from many, President Barack Obama remains confident that the technical glitches that overshadowed the launch of the federal health insurance exchange in October will be fixed by Nov. 30. Obama said while the site was getting better each week, supporters should remind their friends and family that HealthCare.gov isn't the only place consumers could enroll for insurance. He said enrollment could happen over the phone, in person and by mail. What Obama didn't mention was that there is also an alternative website where consumers could shop for plans. And it's gaining a lot of attention.More

Study: Few hurt by health insurance policy cancellations
The Columbus Dispatch
Fewer than 6 percent of Americans younger than 65 have individual health plans, and most don't stand to lose their coverage without the promise of better insurance at a discount, according to a new report from Families USA. Furthermore, many of the policyholders wouldn't renew them anyway, says the group, which pushed for healthcare reform.More

Obama administration to push back health insurance enrollment for 2015
The Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is planning to push back the period during which Americans sign up for coverage under the new health law in its second year of operation, a change that could reassure insurers while also avoiding the 2014 midterm elections. The Department of Health and Human Services will allow Americans to start signing up for coverage starting Nov. 15, 2014, rather than Oct. 15, 2014, a department official said.More

Forest's antipsychotic ambitions thwarted by FDA delay
FiercePharma
Forest Laboratories has a slate of new products meant to be its life raft. Swamped by generic competition for its top seller, the antidepressant Lexapro, the company promises that these new drugs will keep its head above water — and then grow fast enough to propel new growth. But what happens when one of those new products — the antipsychotic drug cariprazine — gets a thumbs down from the FDA? More

US FDA approves GlaxoSmithKline's H5N1 bird flu vaccine
Reuters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has approved GlaxoSmithKline Plc's pandemic flu vaccine for use in the event of an H5N1 bird flu epidemic. The vaccine will be added to the national stockpile and will not be available for commercial use, the FDA said. The vaccine is the first H5N1 vaccine to be approved in the United States to contain an adjuvant, or booster, that turbo-charges the body's immune response to the vaccine.More

FDA approves medical device to treat epilepsy
Today's Medical Developments
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a device to help reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients who have not responded well to medications. The RNS Stimulator, implanted within the skull under the scalp, is connected to one or two wires that are placed where the seizures are suspected to originate within the brain or on the surface of the brain.More

Just 2 genes from Y chromosome needed for male reproduction
LiveScience via Fox News
The Y chromosome is often thought of as defining the male sex. Now scientists find that only two genes on the Y chromosome are needed in mice for them to father offspring. These findings could point to ways to help otherwise infertile men have children, the researchers said. Men with a condition called azoospermia, who cannot produce healthy sperms cells, could one day benefit from treatments based on these findings, they said.More

Single gene deletion prompts mutations throughout genome
Medical News Today
Jenga, a game with wooden blocks stacked upon one another, requires that players remove single parts from the whole structure, sometimes resulting in an imbalance. Similarly, researchers have found that the deletion of a single gene in yeast cells can put pressure on the genome to offset the imbalance, resulting in another gene's mutation.More

Aging erodes genetic control, but it's flexible
R&D Magazine
Biologists at Brown University have found a way to measure the effects of aging by watching the ebb and flow of chromatin, a structure along strands of DNA that either silences or permits gene expression. In several newly published experiments they show that gene silencing via chromatin in fruit flies declines with age.More

How to slash heart risks tied to obesity
HealthDay News via WebMD
Obese or overweight people who lower their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels could cut their risk of heart disease and stroke by more than half, a new study indicates. Researchers analyzed 97 studies that included a total of more than 1.8 million people worldwide. They found that high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels explain up to half of overweight and obese people's increased risk of heart disease. More

An aspirin before bed may reduce morning heart attacks
USA Today
Here's some news that may be useful to millions of people who take a low-dose aspirin for their heart health: Taking the aspirin before bed may reduce the chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the morning, a new study suggests. The American Heart Association recommends that people at high risk of having a heart attack should take a daily low dose of aspirin, if told to by their healthcare provider, and that heart attack survivors regularly take low-dose aspirin.More

Poll: More Americans believe in taking all measures to save life
Reuters
As the nation debates the costs of healthcare and insurance, a survey released found that a growing minority of Americans say that doctors should do everything possible to keep patients alive. Two thirds of Americans, or 66 percent, say there are at least some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, according to a survey by Pew Research Center.More

Private website touted as interim alternative to HealthCare.gov
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite doubts from many, President Barack Obama remains confident that the technical glitches that overshadowed the launch of the federal health insurance exchange in October will be fixed by Nov. 30. More

5 steps to understanding Obamacare's penalty for the uninsured
NerdWallet via ABC News
You may feel overwhelmed with the daily stories about Obamacare and it's online insurance shopping portal, Healthcare.gov. If you're one of 48 million Americans without health insurance, you not only have the challenge of understanding what the law means for individuals.More

Technology and medicine: Applying Google Glass in the medical field
By Rosemary Sparacio
Every day, new strides in technology make headlines in all kinds of areas. Nowhere is it is more prevalent or exciting than in the medical field. More

Study: Step away from that soda — Sugary drinks raise cancer risk for women
NBC News
Here's another reason for ladies to just put down that sugary soda — it raises the risk of endometrial cancer. Women who drank the most sweet soft drinks had a 78 percent increased risk of the cancer, researchers found. But other sweet treats, such as baked goods, didn't have an effect. Nor did natural fruit juice, even though it's full of naturally occurring sugars.More

Actor Hugh Jackman treated for skin cancer on nose
The Associated Press via ABC News
"The Wolverine" star Hugh Jackman revealed he has been treated for skin cancer and shared a selfie showing his bandaged nose. "Deb said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy, was she right!" he wrote on Instagram, referring to his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness.More

Sleep therapy seen as an aid for depression
The New York Times
Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.More

CDC: 1 in 10 US children now has ADHD
HealthDay News via Newsday
One in every 10 U.S. children has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but the steady rise in cases has started to slow, a new government survey shows. The 2011 poll of more than 95,000 parents showed that about 11 percent — or about 6.4 million — of children aged 4 to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. That's up from a 2007 survey that found that 9.5 percent of youngsters in that age group had an ADHD diagnoses.More