American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors | Groups weigh in on proposed changes to MU program | Survey: Patients choose dermatologists for skin cancer, laser surgeries
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July 24, 2014
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American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors
The American Red Cross has reported an 8% decrease in blood donations over the past 11 weeks, translating to 80,000 fewer donations than expected, according to officials. The organization is in particular need of O negative, B negative and A negative blood types as well as platelets. HealthDay News (7/22)
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Are you 'winning' the game of healthcare payments?
When it comes to the game of healthcare payments, are you maximizing your payment mixture? Read our whitepaper on "Healthcare Claims Payment Optimization: 7 Things to Consider" to determine your optimal payment mix.
Providers & Suppliers
Groups weigh in on proposed changes to MU program
The American Medical Association has expressed concern about proposed changes to the EHR Incentive Programs, arguing the program's inflexibility, lack of quality alignment with the Physician Quality Reporting System and other issues pose challenges to physicians. The Medical Group Management Association also weighed in, questioning the viability of the program. EHR Intelligence (7/23)
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Survey: Patients choose dermatologists for skin cancer, laser surgeries
A survey of 354 adults found that 73.4% would prefer that a dermatologist excise skin cancer from their back instead of a having a plastic surgeon, primary care physician, general surgeon or advance practice nurse perform the procedure. The survey also found that 69.8% would choose a dermatologist to evaluate and biopsy a troubling facial lesion, 62.7% would choose a dermatologist to perform skin cancer surgery on the face, and 56.3% would choose a dermatologist for laser procedures. The survey results are published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery. Healio (free registration) (7/18)
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Medical Update
Spending on health care begins to accelerate, analysis finds
Research from the National Center for Policy Analysis suggests that U.S. health care spending is beginning to accelerate again after several years of slowdown. Spending as a percentage of gross domestic product dropped from 17.4% in 2009 to 17.2% in 2012, but the figure inched back up to 17.4% in the first quarter of this year; and real per capita health care spending grew by 2.2% while real per capita GDP growth was 0.8% from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. (7/23)
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Obesity program for parents and children shows success
A behavioral program targeting weight control was associated with greater reductions in BMI among overweight children and their parents at 12 months and 24 months than just diet and activity education, researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics. News (7/22)
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Parental death in childhood linked to risk of dying prematurely
Researchers followed more than 7 million individuals for up to 42 years and found that those who lost a parent before age 18 had a 50% greater risk of dying early than those unexposed to parental death in childhood. The likelihood of premature death was higher in adults whose parents died for reasons other than natural causes. The findings appear in the journal PLOS Medicine. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Science Now blog (7/22)
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Emerging Trends
The best fitness apps allow personalization and connection, experts say
Fitness applications should be personalized, as opposed to one-size-fits-all, and should match a person's skill level, says cardiovascular expert John Higgins of the University of Texas​ ​Health Science Center. Fitness experts said the best apps use a phone's GPS and accelerometer to track exercise, work with other health apps, allow social media sharing, get good consumer reviews and keep people interested long term. U.S. News & World Report (7/18)
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Tech challenge aims to boost use of government behavioral health data
HHS is incentivizing software developers, public health experts and others to analyze and make the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data easier for the public to understand and use. The VizRisk challenge, which will run from July 28 to Oct. 28, will offer winners cash prizes totaling $15,000. Health Data Management (7/22)
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
Gilead's idelalisib gains FDA approval for 3 oncologic indications
Gilead's oral leukemia drug idelalisib, or Zydelig, has been approved by the FDA for three indications. It has been given full approval for use in combination with rituximab, for the treatment of patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and an accelerated approval for use in patients with relapsed follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and relapsed small lymphocytic lymphoma in patients previously treated with at least two other systemic drugs. Medscape (free registration) (7/23), (7/23), Reuters (7/23)
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FDA OKs Eagle Pharma's drug for surgery complication
The FDA has granted Eagle Pharmaceuticals approval for its Ryanodex medication to address malignant hyperthermia, an inherited condition associated with complications from the use of general anesthesia. RTT News (7/23)
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The Buzz
Member Engagement White Paper: How to Develop and Use Effective Consumer Education Materials
Your members are no longer mere consumers of health services—they are active participants in their own care. Consumer health education materials play a central role, read this white paper to learn more. When populating a member web portal or sending condition-specific info via email, using professional, well-prepared materials sends a message that your patients' health is paramount, which leads to member satisfaction and loyalty. Get the white paper now.
Policy Watch
Agency updates informed consent guidance for clinical trials
The FDA last week released an updated version of its informed consent guidance for clinical trials that was first issued in 1998. Among the changes in the document is the addition of a section urging studies to inform participants of the trial results. Despite the updates, several issues remain, such as a failure to discuss what should be done if participants lack the ability to consent themselves, including children, unconscious people and those who are mentally ill. MedPage Today (free registration) (7/23)
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National Conferences on Medicare and Medicaid
Taking place this fall is an exciting conference series on Medicare, Medicaid and the programs for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for both. Join us Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. and hear from a distinguished faculty of policy makers, federal and state representatives, prominent thought leaders and health plan executives. Register today.
Webinar: Expanding Readmission Programs to New Diagnoses
Do you know the "real" cost of readmissions? In 2011, $28 billion were spent on 30-day readmissions in the U.S. Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, July 29, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT, to learn how to reduce readmissions in key areas of cost generation to improve health care and reduce costs. Register today.
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Get LinkedIn® to AHIP Education
The AHIP Institute LinkedIn® group has evolved into a broader and more all-inclusive network called AHIP Education. In addition to receiving updates on AHIP initiatives and educational opportunities, 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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State issues -- What do health plans need to know?
AHIP’s State Issues Conference offers fresh perspective and the most up-to-date information on state legislation and regulation that is affecting health plans. Join us Oct. 16 and 17 in Washington, D.C. to gain insights from leading authorities in policy. Register today.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Claims DirectorPacificSourceSpringfield, OR
Director, Payer Marketing Avalere HealthWashington, DC
Senior AttorneyBlue Cross Blue Shield of LouisianaBaton Rouge, LA
Consultant Attest Health Care AdvisorsNationwide, United States
Director of Payor/Provider ContractingU.S. Medical ManagementTryo, MI
Chief Financial OfficerB. E. SmithMiramar, FL
Assistant Vice President - Dental DirectorMetLifeBridgewater, NJ
ISHN - Chief Compliance OfficerMountain States Health AllianceJohnson City, TN
Chief Medical Officer, Texas Children's Health Plan Cejka Executive Search for Texas Childre's Health PlanHouston, TX
Vice President of FinanceUrban Health Plan, Inc.Bronx, NY
President/Chief Executive OfficerMedCostWinston-Salem, NC
Click here to view more job listings.
Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible."
-- Norman Cousins,
American journalist
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