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This Week in Managed Care: June 9, 2017

This week, the top managed care stories included findings that some cancers are being diagnosed earlier after people gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act; a new poll gauged Americans' views on Medicaid; and JDRF launched a new campaign to meet the needs of people with type 1 diabetes.


Data at ASCO show shifts in cancer diagnoses, Americans have different views on Medicaid, and a diabetes research group calls on payers to give patients choice.

Welcome to This Week in Managed Care, I’m Laura Joszt.

Cancer Diagnosis Under the ACA

More than 38,000 people gathered in Chicago last weekend for the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Results from a study presented at the meeting analyzed data from the National Cancer Data Base, and found that some cancers are being diagnosed earlier since people gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The study, designed by the American Cancer Society, compared the rate of diagnosis for stage one cancers in non-elderly patients in the first half of 2013 and the second half of 2014, to see how rates changed the first year of enrollment on the exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

Researchers found:

  • Statistically significant increases in rates of stage 1 female breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
  • Increases in rates stage 1 cervical cancer that were not statistically significant.
  • Decreases in rates of stage 1 prostate cancer.
 

Early stage diagnoses in lung and colorectal cancer were mostly seen in states that expanded Medicaid, while the shift for female breast cancer occurred everywhere.

The authors believe a decline in Stage 1 prostate cancer rates might have been influence by a change in the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation, the authors said.

Medicaid Views

Americans’ views on Medicaid are heavily influenced by party affiliation, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The poll, taken in mid-May, found nearly 6 in 10 Americans report Medicaid is at least somewhat important to their family, and 40% say it is very important.

Democrats are more likely to report that Medicaid is important to their family than Republicans, the poll found.

The Kaiser Family Foundation took the poll as Congress considers the American Health Care Act, which would convert Medicaid to a block grant system and cap federal matching funds at a flat amount per beneficiary.

The poll also found:
  • 53% who said Medicaid was important for their family felt costs would get worse if the AHCA passed, compared with 33% said that Medicaid was not important.
  • Support for switching Medicaid to a block grant system was highest among Republicans, with 48% supporting it and 47% seeking no change.
  • Overall, 26% of Americans support Medicaid block grants.
  • Medicaid expansion remains popular, polling at no less than 82%. It is most popular in states that expanded it under Democratic or Independent governors, as well as states that have not expanded it. It is slightly less popular in states that expanded it under Republican governors.


Change for HIV.gov

This week, a change in a website was a sign of scientific progress. HHS updated its AIDS.gov website to HIV.gov, to reflect the fact that the diagnosis that was once a near-certain death sentence can now be treated as chronic condition with proper treatment and precautions.

Said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, “Much progress has been made in HIV/AIDS research since the disease was first recognized in 1981. Today, lifesaving antiretroviral therapies allow those living with HIV to enjoy longer, healthier lives—an outcome that once seemed unattainable.”

New Diabetes Campaign

JDRF, the leading diabetes research and advocacy organization, has launched a campaign to call on payers to meet the needs of people with type 1 diabetes.

Called Coverage 2 Control, the campaign seeks 3 things from health insurers:
  • Keep out-of-pocket costs for insulin and diabetes technology and supplies “predictable and reasonable.”
  • Give people the ability to choose the insulin pump that’s right for them.
  • Cover life-saving technology, including the artificial pancreas.


The campaign comes as JDRF reports that insurers are declining to cover Medtronic’s new MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop system, the first ever to meet the FDA definition of artificial pancreas. JDRF has funded multiple projects around the globe with the hope that competing artificial pancreas systems would reach the market, serving different patient needs and driving down prices.

A session on the future of the artificial pancreas is among the topics to be featured this weekend at the 77th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, taking place in San Diego. The American Journal of Managed Care will have full coverage of the meeting, which you can follow here.

For all of us at the Managed Markets News Network, I’m Laura Joszt. Thanks for joining us.

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2017 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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