Report cites surging annual costs from obesity | 6 tools that are advancing digital health, according to Eric Topol | AHRQ outlines approaches for measuring primary care treatments
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November 21, 2014
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Report cites surging annual costs from obesity
The cost of managing obesity worldwide has reached $2 trillion annually, a McKinsey Global Institute report says. The report predicts that almost half of the global adult population will be obese or overweight by 2030 if current trends continue. Yahoo/The Associated Press (11/20)
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6 tools that are advancing digital health, according to Eric Topol
Smartphone-sized ultrasound devices, patient-operated tools for measuring vital signs and more are advancing the digital, patient-centered health care many stakeholders are working toward, according to cardiologist Eric Topol, who discussed six innovations at a digital health conference. They include: The MedWand, a handheld device created to allow patients to check vital signs during telemedicine appointments; an ultrasound-on-a-chip system that could dramatically reduce the size and limitations of sonography; and Theranos' approach to lab testing that runs 200 lab tests on a few drops of blood. MedCityNews.com (11/18)
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Providers & Suppliers
AHRQ outlines approaches for measuring primary care treatments
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a tool designed to help measure the effects of primary care interventions. "Effective evaluation can help determine the best ways to improve primary care health and cost outcomes as well as patient, clinician and staff experiences," the AHRQ said. Clinical Innovation + Technology online (11/19)
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Medical Update
Study finds higher mortality risk with type 1 diabetes than without
Swedish researchers found patients with type 1 diabetes exhibited higher mortality risk over 14 years than those without diabetes. Data also showed men and older people with or without diabetes had increased odds of dying during the study period. The findings appear in The New England Journal of Medicine. HealthDay News (11/19)
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Receiving first available donor heart extends children's lives
Children who received the first suitable donor heart available, even if it had antibodies that could lead to rejection, survived an additional year compared with those who waited for a perfect match, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting. "Our analysis shows that denial of listing for transplant, solely on the basis of having too many antibodies, is unwarranted," said lead author Dr. Brian Feingold. HealthDay News (11/19)
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Mononucleosis outbreak spurs closure of Okla. school district
Oklahoma officials announced Thursday that Woodland Public Schools in Fairfax has closed its schools until December due to an outbreak of mononucleosis. School buildings were to be disinfected during the closure to help prevent the spread of the disease. Reuters (11/20)
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Emerging Trends
CardioMEMS device reduces 30-day readmissions, study finds
Data from St. Jude's Champion trial showed that its CardioMEMS device, an implantable heart failure monitor, helped bring down 30-day, all-cause hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries by 58%. The device, which features a wireless sensor to keep track of pressure in the pulmonary artery, also helped reduce readmissions for heart failure by 78%. MassDevice.com (Boston) (11/19)
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
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Pharma News
World will spend $1.06 trillion on Rx drugs this year
Global spending on prescription drugs will rise 7% over 2013, hitting $1.06 trillion this year, an analysis from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found. The increase is driven by expensive new cancer and hepatitis C drugs as well as slowed generic-drug introductions. Global spending will approach $1.3 trillion by 2018, IMS predicts. Reuters (11/20), Bloomberg (11/20)
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BerGenBio's leukemia drug receives orphan designation
BerGenBio's investigational acute myeloid leukemia drug BGB324 has received orphan drug status from the FDA. BGB324 is an Axl receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor that prevents metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-associated drug resistance. The approval was based on early data from an ongoing safety and tolerability trial. Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (11/19)
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Featured Press Releases
 
Policy WatchSponsored By
New office to support CMS' data transparency effort
The CMS Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics was recently established to help the agency use its data resources to create frameworks that will help cut care costs and promote high-quality, patient-centered care. The office, which will be led by former CMS Offices of Enterprise Management Acting Director Niall Brennan, is also expected to support the agency's data transparency effort by monitoring improvements in its data collection and dissemination activities. Clinical Innovation + Technology online (11/19), BeckersHospitalReview.com (11/20)
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More providers on EFT/ERA. Fewer manual payments.
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AHIP News
An array of benefits for accountable care affiliates
AHIP's newest membership category, Accountable Care Affiliate, offers provider-based organizations such as health systems, hospitals and physician organizations added support to promote accountable care. Benefits include access to AHIP's clinical, policy and public affairs resource center, networking opportunities, and discounts on professional education. Learn more.
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The next best thing for your organization
Become an AHIP Affiliate Organization member to get enhanced exposure to health plan decision-makers and receive exclusive benefits that promote your solutions and services. Benefits include free conference registrations, access to valuable resources and a personal AHIP account manager. Get connected today and learn more!
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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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Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains."
-- H. Emilie Cady,
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