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This Week in Managed Care: January 6, 2017


This week in managed care, readers chose the top healthcare news story of 2016, 4 physician groups appealed to Congress to have a replacement for Obamacare ready if it is repealed, and the American College of Physicians released a new guideline on oral medications for type 2 diabetes.

Hello, I’m Laura Joszt, with The American Journal of Managed Care. Welcome to This Week in Managed Care, from the Managed Markets News Network.

Top Healthcare Story of 2016

The results are in: the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States is the top healthcare story of 2016, according to our poll of readers on AJMC.com. Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but healthcare experts are not sure what the replacement will look like. And Trump has said he may keep some parts of the healthcare law.

Other top stories for the year included the EpiPen price saga, and Medicare’s decision to pay for the Diabetes Prevention Program, starting next year.

For all the results, read the article.

ACA Appeal

This week, 4 physician groups called on Congress to make sure there’s a replacement for major parts of the Affordable Care Act. The groups timed their announcement with the start of the 115th session, and said Congress cannot repeal healthcare reform without a plan to prevent Americans from becoming uninsured.

The groups making the joint statement were:

  • the American Academy of Family Physicians
  • the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • the American College of Physicians
  • the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The groups called for preserving a medical safety net for the poor, retaining financial assistance for low- and middle-income families to buy coverage, and keeping the ban for denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

The American Medical Association, which has been under fire for supporting Georgia Congressman Tom Price for Health and Human Services secretary, issued a separate statement that called for protecting access to care.

For more, click here.

Type 2 Diabetes Medication Guideline

The American College of Physicians released a new guideline on using oral medications to treat type 2 diabetes, the first update in 5 years. The guideline, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, recommends using metformin first and tells both patients and doctors that cost should be considered when selecting a medication.

ACP President Nitin S. Damle, MD, MS, discussed the need to balance drug costs with benefits. “The increased cost may not always support the added benefit, particularly for the more expensive, newer medications.”

Melanoma Death Rates

Melanoma claims 9000 lives each year in the United States, but this deadly cancer strikes at different rates around the country. Data from the CDC, evaluated this week in JAMA Dermatology, shows that Midwestern states saw the death rate nearly double between 2003 and 2013, while in the Northeast, the death rate fell in six out of nine states.

The study’s authors suggest that prevention can work, noting that the Melanoma Foundation of New England became very active during the period. More than 90 percent of melanoma cases are associated with ultraviolet radiation.

Patient-Centered Diabetes Care

The role of biosimilars in diabetes care will be part of the program at Patient-Centered Diabetes Care, which is set for April 6th and 7th in Teaneck, New Jersey. Join us to discuss whether payers should have a role in selecting biosimilars for patients, by visiting the meeting page.

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

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