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Encouraging Results from Imbruvica in CLL and Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
Improved survival without disease progression prompted independent reviewers to unblind the study comparing Imbruvica against a placebo, in combination with bendamustine and rituximab.
Study Questions Impact of Electronic Medical Records
The study, published in Health Affairs, analyzed results from 27 trials that evaluated the influence of health information exchange (HIE) on efficiency, costs, and patient outcomes. The study does not undermine the impact of HIE; rather it challenges users to improve the efficiency of the system.
Circulating Plasma DNA Could be a Viable Alternative to Tumor Biopsy
The diagnostic test, which has been validated in breast, lung, colorectal, skin, and prostate cancers, requires sample submission to Guardant's CLIA-certified laboratory. The test, currently priced at $4900, maybe covered by payers where genomic profiling is needed and conventional biopsy is not an option.
Surgical Outcomes Vary Widely Across Hospitals
Survival rates for 4 common, high-risk surgical procedures vary significantly hospital-to-hospital, according to the findings of a new report from The Leapfrog Group and Castlight Health.
Study Finds Success of PCMHs in Outpatient Settings, But Data Gaps Remain
The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) saw slower growth in emergency department (ED) visits and lower payment per beneficiary. However, only 32% of PCMHs agreed to share their data, and those medical homes treated "healthier patients" who may have been less likely to need ED visits, the authors acknowledge.
Oncologists Raise a Voice Against Cancer Drug Costs
Hagop Kantarjian, MD, from MD Anderson is at it again. A special publication online, written in collaboration with S. Vincent Kumar, MD, from the Mayo Clinic, highlights the dismal state of the economics behind high oncology drug costs and recommends solutions.
The Battle Over Increasing Drug Costs
The biggest battle in healthcare these days—besides the ongoing fight over Obamacare—is over the price of expensive life-saving medications.
SGR Fix Gaining Momentum in Congress
Momentum is building in Congress for a proposal that would abolish Medicare cuts, top Republicans said Thursday, despite the emerging battle over the $174 billion price tag.
Promising Medicaid ACO Programs Really Exist
Until recently, it’s been unclear whether accountable care organizations can live up to the hype or are just a passing healthcare reform fad.
Improving Emergency Department Interoperability
The new HL7 Data Elements for Emergency Department Systems specification identifies a common set of data elements in an effort to improve interoperability among emergency departments.
ACA Hasn't Impacted Insurers' Overhead Spending
Despite claims by the Obama administration that the Affordable Care Act will reduce health insurance companies’ spending on overhead, insurers’ financial filings show the law had no impact.
SCOTUS Decision Could Hurt the South the Most
If the Supreme Court rules this summer that federal-run Obamacare exchanges can't provide health insurance subsidies, the results could be chaotic for those receiving the financial aid across the country—but especially in the South.
Managed Care Minute: March 14, 2015
A one-minute look at managed care news during the week of March 9, 2015, including a new ACO model from CMS and the increase in drug spending driven largely by hepatitis C and compounded medications.
NCCN Recommends Only One Test for Breast Cancer, Says Expert
According to Dr Amy Cyr from the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, while Oncotype DX is both prognostic and predictive, none of the other tests currently available have shown both capabilities.
Low Breast Density Could Indicate Poor Prognosis, Study Suggests
The findings of this study, conducted in Finland, may prove significant for the assessment of breast cancer prognosis and treatment planning.
CDC Report Underscores Impact of Early Diagnosis and Innovation on Cancer Survival
Two out of three people with metastatic disease survive 5 years or more, the report shows. The authors hope the data can help researchers develop better cancer control programs.
Geography Determines Appropriate Use of Imaging in Low-Risk Cancer Patients
The study, published in JAMA Oncology, found that low risk breast and prostate cancer patients received unnecessary imaging overall, with a higher rate observed in the North East region of the country.
ACS Study Recommends Increased Screening to Reduce Incidence of Colorectal Cancer
The study, published in the journal Cancer found that increasing screening rates to 80% by 2018 would reduce projected colorectal cancer incidence rates by 17% and mortality rates by 19% during short-term follow-up, and by 22% and 33%, respectively, during extended follow-up. Those reductions would amount to a total of 277,000 averted new cancers and 203,000 averted colorectal cancer deaths from 2013 through 2030.
A New Strategy for Payers to Cover High Cost Specialty Medications?
A new analysis published by the RAND Corporation suggests strategies that the pharmaceutical industry could offer payers as they try to cover the front-loaded cost of newer breakthrough drugs.
Secretary Burwell Reflects on Open Enrollment and Looks Ahead
Although HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell touted the success of this past open enrollment period and the affordability of quality health plans, she declined to comment on King v. Burwell during her keynote speech at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)’s National Health Policy Conference.
Dietary Restrictions Could Prevent Colon Cancer
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that while the complete absence of meat in the diet had the most impact on reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, those who added seafood to the vegetarian diet—pescovegetarians—faired better than the nonvegetarians.
Study Shows Experienced Care Facilities Improve Survival in NSCLC
The study, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, found that patients treated with definitive concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy for stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer have longer overall survival when treated by highly experienced facilities, either academic or community cancer centers.
Novel Strategy Determines Cost of Prostate Condition Treatments
A novel costing strategy has been used to determine the cost of care across the entire care process for benign prostate hyperplasia, according to researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Myriad's Gene Panel Could Diagnose Metastatic Melanoma
The 23-gene diagnostic panel called myPath Melanoma could be used in addition to microscopy to distinguish the benign form of the disease from malignant disease.
Can Congress Fix Healthcare Reform if SCOTUS Removes Federal Subsidies?
A discussion on the Supreme Court oral arguments for King v. Burwell got very heated as America’s Health Insurance Plans kicked off its National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on March 11.