This Week in Managed Care: November 14, 2015

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This week in managed care the top stories include pivotal results from the SPRINT study on blood pressure, an analysis on how states successfully enrolled consumers in the insurance marketplace, and experts discuss value-based care.


Hello, I’m Justin Gallagher, associate publisher of The American Journal of Managed Care. Welcome to This Week in Managed Care, from the Managed Markets News Network.

American Heart Association Annual Meeting

Cardiac care dominates this week’s news, with most of it coming from the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida.

The top story is the release of the SPRINT study, which found that giving older adults more therapy to lower their systolic blood pressure 20 points below the usual standard dramatically reduced heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac deaths. The results were so substantial the National Institutes of Health ended the study early back in August. While the AHA called for more attention to high blood pressure, it may take some time for clinical guidelines to catch up with the new study.

More data are also needed to address the cardiac needs of patients who have been treated for cancer. That’s what Dr Crystal Denlinger of Fox Chase Cancer Center told AJMC at a separate meeting recently. Watch the video.

Studying Disease With Google

The AHA meeting also brought a joint announcement with Google Life Sciences, with the two groups pledging a total of $50 million to study the drivers of heart disease. The collaboration is Google’s latest venture into healthcare and will cover clinical research, engineering, and data analysis.

The current issue of Evidence-Based Diabetes Management features a commentary from Dr Francois Nicolas of Sanofi about a similar partnership with Google Life Sciences, which was announced earlier this year to study diabetes. Read the commentary.

Successful Marketplace Enrollment

Connecticut. Florida. New Hampshire. Pennsylvania. And Virginia. What do these states have in common? They’re the states where enrollment in the healthcare marketplace will have outpaced projections the most by the end of 2016, based on estimates by the Urban Institute.

According to the group, these five states have had successful enrollment periods in the past, and that will likely bring more of the same in the current sign-up period.

The third year of open enrollment is a low-key process compared to 2013, when widespread problems with the website gained attention.

Value-Based Care

With new goals for value-based reimbursement coming in 2016, there’s more attention than ever on coordinated care. AJMC spoke with former Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, now president of the Better Medicare Alliance, about the importance of Medicare Advantage. Watch the video.

If you want to learn more about the need for value-based care, join us this week in Baltimore at Patient-Centered Oncology Care, our 4th annual summit to bring together stakeholders in cancer care.

To learn more visit our conference page.

For all of us at the Managed Markets News Network, I’m Justin Gallagher.

Thanks for joining us.