Medicare Says “Yes” to LDCT in Lung Cancer
CMS announced today that low-dose computed tomography screening will now be reimbursed once a year by Medicare as a preventive service benefit, despite an advisory panel recommending against the screening back in April 2014.
HHS Lowers Open Enrollment Estimates
Open enrollment doesn’t begin until Saturday, but the Obama administration is already predicting lower enrollment numbers for the second year of the health insurance exchanges, according to a memo from HHS.
Insights into the Necessity of Clinical Documentation Improvements
As the healthcare industry transitions to new initiatives such as accountable care organizations and pay-for-performance, clinical documentation improvement is necessary, according to a report from the American Health Information Management Association.
Issues With Provenge Come Back and Haunt Dendreon-Files for Chapter 11
Provenge, approved by the FDA in 2010, faced numerous road-blocks with high cost, limited benefit, and issues with reimbursement rates.
Are State-Run Marketplaces Ready to Be Financially Self-Sustaining?
In less than 2 months the health insurance Marketplaces will need to be financially self-sustaining, which will occur through a variety of approaches, as federal establishment funds will run out on January 1, 2015.
Modest Marketplace Premium Increases Expected for 2015
Based on data from 17 states and the District of Columbia, premium increases for 2015 are expected to be low, according to a report from The Urban Institute.
Supreme Court Will Hear ACA Subsidy Case
On the heels of a major Republican victory in the midterm elections, the Supreme Court has decided to review the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
First Case of Successful Personalized Treatment in Liver Cancer Reported
The treatment, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, identified a mutation in the BRaf gene which is commonly mutated in melanoma. Subsequent treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib resulted in rapid tumor shrinkage.
NEJM Study Could Influence Medicare Coverage of CT Screening in Lung Cancer
The study results from the National Lung Screening Trial found cost-effectiveness and value of screening long-term smokers when screened by trained professionals.
Second Delay For New Hampshire's Medicaid Managed Care Program
Transferring New Hampshire’s Medicaid program to so-called managed care is a huge, sprawling puzzle, and part of the program is being delayed.
Panobinostat Hears a "No" From the FDA Advisory Committee
The FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted against recommending panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with previously treated multiple myeloma.
Healthcare Execs Try to Be Optimistic About ICD-10
Despite numerous delays and the difficulty of preparing for ICD-10, there are reasons to be optimistic for the transition, according to the results of a new survey.
CDC Identifies Need to Improve Cervical Cancer Screening
Ileana Arias, PhD, CDC principal deputy director, recommends active screening by Pap test and HPV test, and vaccination of young boys and girls to improve early detection and prevention rates.
FDA Approves Ramucirumab Plus Paclitaxel for Advanced Gastric Cancer
The drug combination showed a significant improvement of 2.2 months in OS compared to the placebo arm.
Meaningful Use Numbers Disappointing But Not Surprising
Recently released numbers from the CMS Meaningful Use program were lower than expected, which further highlights the changes that need to be made in meeting federal guidelines for electronic health record requirements, according to officials 4 healthcare organizations.
Patient Hand-Off Tool Reduces Medical Error-Driven Injuries
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that using the I-PASS communication system for patient hand-off between providers significantly reduced patient injuries due to medical errors.
Renewed Efforts to Target the Ras Protein in Cancer
Despite decades of efforts to target the Ras protein, mutated in a number of different cancers, the progress has been slow. Now, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Germany have devised a way to prevent translocation of Ras to the cell surface, a process essential for protein activation.
Insurance Rate Initiative Defeated in California
Healthcare reform initiatives may be on shaky ground after Republicans won important seats this midterm election, but health reform advocates are claiming victory in California after defeating an insurance rate initiative.
Significant Survival Advantage Combining Ipilimumab With an Immune Booster in Metastatic Melanoma
The study, published in JAMA, found a 50% improvement in survival in patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab, if they simultaneously received an immune stimulant.
Obama Admin Goes After Plans that Lack Hospital Coverage
Large employer health plans will now be required to cover in-patient hospitalization services, according to a notice from the Treasury Department and HHS on Tuesday morning. The final regulation will be issued next year.
COTA and Foundation Medicine Collaboration Will Further Value-Based Cancer Care
COTA will expand Foundation Medicine’s molecular information knowledge base with longitudinal clinical outcomes and cost of care data and analytics.
Amgen's Ovarian Cancer Drug Fails to Improve OS
Trebananib combined with paclitaxel improved survival by a month compared to the placebo, from 18.3 months to 19.3 months.
Global Budget Payment Model Lowers Spending, Improves Care Over 4 Years
Using global budgets for healthcare instead of traditional fee-for-service improves quality of patient care and lowers costs, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.
WHO Chief Blames Pharma For Neglecting Poorer Nations
According to Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the WHO, "A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay."
Biosimilars a Big Cost Saver, RAND Study Finds
The study by Andrew Mulcahy, a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, found that the predicted $44 billion saving to the US healthcare system over the next decade, would depend on FDA decisions on newer biosimilar drug candidates.