Many breast cancer patients get longer-than-needed radiation, data show | Study questions follow-up in women with dense breasts | Physician calls for more collaboration with dietitians
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December 12, 2014
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Many breast cancer patients get longer-than-needed radiation, data show
Many breast cancer patients get radiation therapy that is twice as long as needed after lumpectomy, despite evidence that a shorter course is as effective. A study in Journal of the American Medical Association found 10.6% of women older than 50 with early-stage cancers received the shorter therapeutic course in 2008, and 34.5% did so in 2013. The characteristics of this group matched those of studies supporting the shorter treatments. The study also notes radiation dose and expenses are lower with the shorter therapy. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/11)
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Study questions follow-up in women with dense breasts
Breast ultrasound scans after negative mammograms do not substantially increase cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue, yet such tests raise costs and lead to unnecessary biopsies due to false positives, research finds. The study was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Another study reported at the Radiological Society of North America meeting compared tomosynthesis with mammography and found a significant increase in cancer detection using tomosynthesis to screen women with dense breasts. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/8), PhysiciansBriefing.com (12/9)
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Building "Skills for Life": A New Approach to Digital Health Coaching
Join us for a complimentary webcast where we'll discuss our new Digital Health Coaching programs. Through the science of behavior change, and the application of motivational design, we can help empower people to take action and develop new skills to connect with what is most important to them. Click here to register today.
 
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Physician calls for more collaboration with dietitians
Registered dietitians and physicians should collaborate more, and more doctors should refer patients to RDs, says Dr. Andrew Weil of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Weil says RDs can help cut through public misinformation on nutrition by staying updated on the science and understanding nutrition consensus. Today's Dietitian (12/2014)
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More patients expected to go online to make clinical appointments
An Accenture survey predicts 64% of patients will schedule clinical appointments online by the end of 2019. The move equates to 986 million appointments and potential health care savings of $3.2 billion over the next five years, researchers said. BeckersHospitalReview.com (12/10)
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Are Your Brokers and Agents Prepared?
How prepared is your sales force to answer your customers' toughest questions? Review the latest innovations in training techniques that will educate your team—enabling informative, meaningful conversations with your customers. Get started today.
 
Medical Update
Superbugs could cause 10M extra deaths a year by 2050, experts warn
A review of antimicrobial-resistant infections requested by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron predicts superbugs will cause at least 10 million more deaths a year by 2050 -- up from 700,000 deaths worldwide each year in 2014. The researchers warn that action is needed to stem the rise of superbugs and develop new antibiotics that are effective against such pathogens. Common treatments and procedures such as chemotherapy, caesarean sections and transplant surgeries would be dangerous or impossible without effective antibiotics. BBC (12/11)
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Research institute to provide $50M for HCV studies
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute said it will provide as much as $50 million for research into the best ways to diagnose and treat hepatitis C. The initiative will focus on the best screening methods, alternatives to caring for high-risk populations, analysis of trade-offs between achieving a sustained virological response and adverse events in treatments, and whether treatment should begin immediately after diagnosis or once HCV progresses to liver disease or other infections. Healio (free registration)/HCV Next (12/9)
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10 ways to inspire creativity in your staff.
Fostering creative business practices isn't as hard as it seems and can lead to smart solutions. Use these ten techniques to help inspire and encourage creativity in your staff. Read the article and learn 10 ways to get the creative juices flowing.

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Hunter Medical unveils elbow surgical assist device
The ElbowLOC Arm Positioning System is now available commercially, according to Hunter Medical. The device, which is used during supine and lateral decubitus elbow operations, allows for a more stable platform, gives surgeons better access and promotes faster operating time. BeckersSpine.com (12/10)
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Transformational Journeys: Modern Business Planning
Harvard Business Review explores why CFO's and their finance organizations must adapt to the changing landscape of their markets and how big data, organizational collaboration, and new cloud-based planning and analysis technologies are driving successful change.
Click here to access the report.

Health Insurance Plan Company News
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Pharma News
FDA grants orphan status to Arca's experimental Ebola drug
Arca Biopharma's rNAPc2, an investigational drug to treat viral hemorrhagic fever following Ebola virus exposure, obtained orphan drug designation from the FDA. The designation gives the drugmaker various incentives, including a market exclusivity of seven years and fee waivers. Reuters (12/10)
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Policy Watch
Congress reauthorizes newborn screening law
The Senate and House have passed the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act after it was amended to require parental consent before the samples can be used in genetic research. The bill includes timeliness measures added in response to a report in 2013 that found many hospitals sending blood samples late to state labs. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (12/10)
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AHIP News
Stakeholders weigh in on year 2 of open enrollment
At the Health Insurance Exchanges Forum March 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C., academics, consultants, health plans and state workers will bring to the table what they've learned through analysis and implementation of the exchanges. Register today.
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Get LinkedIn® to AHIP Education
Join the AHIP Education LinkedIn® group to receive updates on AHIP initiatives and educational opportunities, and share thoughts and ideas with other professionals in health insurance and related fields. Nearly 5,000 members are actively contributing to this blend of information and discovery. Become a member and start a discussion.
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Conference registration now open -- special pricing until Dec. 31
Registration is now open for AHIP's 2015 conferences. Plan ahead and understand the trends and issues that are critical to making health care work in 2015 and beyond. Discounted pricing is available now through Dec. 31. Browse conferences.
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Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Unite Here HealthUnite Here HealthAurora, IL
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SmartQuote
The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented."
-- Dennis Gabor,
Hungarian-British electrical engineer and physicist
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