This Week in Managed Care: October 31, 2015

This week in managed care, The American Journal of Managed Care celebrated 20 years and presented its first Emerging Leader award, plus confusion reigns after study links processed meats to cancer and death rates on the decline.

Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

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.

AJMC Celebrates 20 Years

This week, The American Journal of Managed Care formally marked its 20th year of publication with a reception in Orlando, Florida, that brought together its first editor-in-chief and the current editorial board, as well as contributors to our yearlong anniversary commentary series.

The journal also presented its first-ever Seema Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award to Dr Julia Adler-Milstein of The University of Michigan. Dr Adler-Milstein was the 2014 guest editor of the AJMC special issue on Health Information Technology.

Confusion After Report Announces Processed Meat Causes Cancer

This week, the World Health Organization gained attention with a study in Lancet Oncology that said processed meat causes cancer and red meat probably does as well.

While some health advocates praised the study, critics said the WHO announcement failed to distinguish the level of risk processed meat causes, and that no one should think an occasional serving of bacon is as dangerous as smoking.

The WHO study goes further than the proposed recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which call for eating less red and processed meat, but do not say to eliminate it from diets. Representatives from the meat industry criticized the WHO study, and AJMC reported on research that finds this kind of confusion can make consumers ignore nutrition advice completely, even widely accepted findings.

Death Rates on Decline

Death rates for 5 of the 6 leading causes of death have dropped over the past generation, with the exception being chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Findings reported this week in JAMA said that death rates for all causes had slowed from 1969 to 2013, with rates dropping for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and unintended injuries.

Authors attributed the drop to progress in treating heart disease and stroke, as well as success in getting people to quit smoking.

The 42% drop in death rates during this period, or 1.3% a year, means that the United States has many more very old adults than in the past, which has different healthcare consequences.

5 Things About 340B

Do you understand the 340B drug program? Do you understand how it affects drug prices? If you want to learn more, see our feature, “5 Things to Know About 340B.”

It’s the latest installment in a new AJMC feature, “5 Things to Know,” which appears every Friday to give readers fast information about current topics in healthcare.

For the Managed Markets News Network, I’m Justin Gallagher. Thanks for joining us.