Drug Access Concerns for Patients With Chronic Diseases in Covered California
An analysis of health plans offered through Covered California found some consumers with chronic diseases or those who rely on specialty drugs may have faced access and affordability challenges in 2014.
Celgene's Revlimid Receives Expanded Approval in Europe Following Similar FDA Approval
After the FDA approved lenalidomide for use in chemotherapy-naive multiple myeloma (MM) patients, the European Commission has followed suit. Revlimid was approved today by EC in MM patients, previously untreated and transplant-ineligible.
Study Finds Most Expensive of Eye Treatment Options Is Most Effective
Study finds that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' more expensive Eylea help patients with severe eye disease caused by diabetes more than the less-expensive options from Roche Holding.
CMS Adds Special Enrollment Period to Help Consumers Avoid Tax Penalty
Consumers would have to show they only learned about the tax penalty when they went to file their tax returns, according to CMS' Andrew Slavitt. Under the Affordable Care Act, penalties for not having coverage for 2015 are $325 or 2% of household income.
Study Underscores the Potential of Mobile Health App in Healthcare Decisions
The study, conducted at the Columbia University School of Nursing, found that mobile apps with decision support features resulted in significantly higher diagnosis rates than apps with only bare-bones tools for recording results from a patient exam.
UCLA Study Points to Need for Informed Decision-Making in Prostate Cancer
The study evaluated SEER data of over 37,000 prostate cancer patients and found an overwhelming majority of patients (58%) received radiation treatment regardless of overall disease prognosis. The lead study author hopes these findings enlighten the public and allow physicians to make an informed decision when it comes to the best treatment option for men who may or may not benefit from radiation therapy in the long run.
FDA Authorizes Sale of First Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test
Developed by the company 23andMe, the test identifies carriers of a gene mutation that could determine the susceptibility of a person's offspring to Bloom Syndrome.
Study Results Challenge CMS Position on Follow-Up Scans in Cancer Patients
Published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the authors show that a fourth and subsequent follow-up PET/CT scan in lung cancer patients was associated with treatment change.
Biomarker That Could Predict Survival After CRC Surgery Discovered
Research scientists at the Macquarie University and Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Australia have discovered that expression of the cell surface protein uPAR can predict survival after colorectal cancer (CRC) surgery. The study found that patients expressing uPAR may have undetectable cancer metastasis and dramatically poorer survival.
Florida Passes California as State With Most ACA Enrollees
Despite opposition from Republicans, Florida has surpassed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers enrolling in health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges.
UCLA Says More Than 100 Patients Exposed to Superbug
More than 100 patients may have been infected by a “superbug” bacteria during procedures at the UCLA Health System and 2 have died.
Quality Discussions Need to Start in a Hospital's Board Room
Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health concludes that for a hospital to improve it's quality of care, governing boards may be an important target for intervention.
Gardasil 9 Offers Broader Protection, a Global Study Reports
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the multinational study found that Gardasil 9, 100% effective against 9 strains of HPV, can prevent the occurrence of 85%-90% of HPV-related cancers.
Minnesota’s McCullough to Serve as Guest Editor for AJMC’s 5th Annual Special Issue on Health IT
Jeffrey S. McCullough, PhD, who writes frequently on the intersection of health information technology (IT) and quality, will serve as guest editor for the 5th annual special issue of The American Journal of Managed Care devoted to research and commentary on health IT. Dr McCullough’s services come during AJMC’s celebration of its 20th year as the leading peer-reviewed journal covering healthcare delivery systems.
UnitedHealthCare Will Add Additional 250 ACOs in 2015
UnitedHealthcare announced that it will nearly double the amount of accountable care organizations it is contracted with in 2015 as it expects to add another 250 ACOs.
Phyllis Torda Championed Improved Quality Measurement Guidelines in Oncology
On February 16, after living with metastatic breast cancer, Phyllis Torda, 63, vice president of the Quality Solutions Group at the National Committee for Quality Assurance, passed away.
Cardiovascular Risk Calculator Overestimates Events
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that most of the commonly employed tools to calculate cardiovascular risk seriously overestimate the risk of people today.
Balancing Value, Pathways, and Innovation in Healthcare
As specialty drug costs, formulary wars, and reimbursement models grab headlines everyday, we need to take a step back and visualize how all of this might impact innovation and whether the patient stands to lose in the process.
CVS Demands Cost Control for Novel Cholesterol Treatments
Two PCSK9 inhibitors under development—one by Amgen and the other jointly by Sanofi and Regeneron—could eventually cost the US healthcare system $150 billion per year. William Shrank, the chief scientific officer of CVS thinks these costs would be unsustainable for the healthcare industry that is already rattled by the burgeoning cost of specialty medications.
FDA Expands Indication for Revlimid in Multiple Myeloma
The combination of Revlimid with dexamethasone, previously approved for treatment in patients with multiple myeloma who received at least 1 prior treatment, has received FDA approval for use in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients.
Study Identifies Potential Biomarker for Cabazitaxel Response in CRPC
The study published in Clinical Cancer Research elucidated an in vitro mechanism that could explain why cabazitaxel is more effective in some prostate cancer patients. The study also identified a biomarker that could provide precision medicine for a subset of patients.
Oncologist to Launch Social Media Campaign Against Cost of Cancer Drugs
Following his collaboration with other research scientists to protest the cost of cancer drugs, Hagop Kantarjian, MD, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center has now turned to patients.
Doctors Need to Be Tech Savvy, Report Suggests
The survey, conducted by, showed that 71% patients want their doctor to use a mobile application to schedule appointments, share health data, and manage preventive care; 60% patients reported an interest in using telehealth in place of in-person visits.
Cancer Patients Associated Shared-Decision Making With Quality Care
Cancer patients with less involvement in their treatment decisions are less likely to report excellent quality of care even if they prefer physician-controlled decisions, according to a study in JAMA Oncology.
Open Enrollment to Undergo Changes for Year 3
Changes in open enrollments to come and evolving state and federal policies promise new uncertainties for insurers trying to soundly price their plans and retain membership.