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January 3, 2013America's Health Insurance Plans

  Top Stories 
  • 39 new medicines approved last year
    Thirty-nine new drugs gained FDA approval last year, up from 30 in 2011 and 21 in 2010. The 2012 wave of federal approvals reached a 16-year high for the agency. Fifty-three new drugs were approved in 1996 and 39 in 1997. Reuters (12/31), Drug Store News (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Diabetic retinopathy tied to heart risks in study
    Diabetes patients with severe retinopathy were more likely to develop cardiovascular problems than those with mild retinopathy and those without the eye condition, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers also found the risk of heart trouble increased as retinopathy progressed. (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Providers & Suppliers 
  • Pediatric group issues guidelines on C. difficile infection
    The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines urging providers to look for other possible causes whenever infants test positive for Clostridium difficile since they normally have high colonization rates with the bacteria. Infants should only be tested for C. difficile when there's an outbreak or when the patient has Hirschsprung disease or other severe motility disorders, the group said. "For children older than 3 years, testing can be performed in the same manner as for older children and adults," AAP said. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Update 
  • Does greater spending lead to better outcomes?
    An analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine assessing the effect of health care spending on outcomes did not find a clear relationship. Twenty-one of the 61 studies reviewed found a connection between higher health care spending and better patient outcomes, while 18 studies linked higher spending on care to worse outcomes, and 22 studies were unable to document a clear relationship between spending and quality. Reuters (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cosmetic differences between branded drugs, generics may reduce adherence
    Differences in color and shape between branded drugs and their generic counterparts may be connected with prescription nonadherence, according to a controlled study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Changes between generic products with different physical characteristics may cause confusion and result in reduced adherence or prescription error," researchers wrote. "Taking steps to permit (or even require) similarity in pill appearance among bioequivalent brand-name and generic drugs may offer another way to achieve better patient adherence to essential medication regimens." Medscape (free registration) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • MRI better than CT scan at detecting brain injury damage
    Researchers studied 135 patients with mild traumatic brain injury and found that magnetic resonance imaging was more effective than early computed tomography at assessing head injuries. The findings suggest that MRI may be a better tool in predicting long-term brain damage than CT scans. The study appeared in the journal Annals of Neurology. (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Emerging Trends 
  • Virtual surgical planning tools from Medical Modeling get FDA OK
    The FDA has cleared Medical Modeling to market its virtual surgical planning systems for use in maxillofacial and oral surgery. The portfolio includes VSP Orthognathics, which allows CAD/CAM surgical splints and virtual surgical planning to be applied to the orthognathic procedure site, and VSP Reconstruction, which involves the use of vascularized grafts to repair the mandible or maxilla. (free registration) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ind. provider launches free lifestyle monitoring app
    Indiana University Health has designed a free mobile health application, called My Healthy Habits, that allows users to monitor changes in their lifestyles. Users can also leverage the app, which works on iPhones and other Apple devices, to make personalized health goals. USA Today (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Insurance Plan Company News 
  Vendor Company News 
  Pharma News 
  Policy Watch 
  AHIP News 
  • Register now for AHIP’s March 2013 Exchange Conference
    As the focus on the logistics of Exchange implementation intensifies, attending AHIP’s Exchange Conference, March 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C., will be more important than ever. The program will cover immediate steps required, and mid- to long-term decisions necessary to successfully participate in Exchanges. Register by Dec. 31 and take advantage of special year-end pricing. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Health systems change initiative launched
    AHIP Foundation announces the launch of the Institute for Health Systems Solutions (IHSS), an initiative designed to help advance new ideas regarding the delivery and financing of health care through credible, independent research and analysis. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Follow AHIP on Twitter at @AHIPEducation
    For daily updates related to AHIP’s educational opportunities—including conference news, upcoming webinars and the latest online health insurance courses—follow @AHIPEducation on Twitter. View our profile. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Medical DirectorBluegrass Family Health, Inc.Lexington, KY
Chief Executive OfficerNevada Health Information ExchangeCarson City, NV
Senior Provider Relations & Network Development Associate Geisinger Health Plan Bangor, ME
Chief Executive OfficerNeighborhood Health Plan of Rhode IslandProvidence, RI
Director of QI & AccreditationDenver Health & Hospital AuthorityDenver, CO
Medical DirectorArizona Integrated Physicians Inc.Peoria, AZ
Program Manager - Medicare Advantage & Part D ProductsAARP Services, IncWashington, DC
Manager Special Investigations UnitSCAN Health PlanLong Beach, CA
Program Manager, Medicare Supplemental ProductsAARP Services, IncWashington, DC
Director of Claims AdministrationHealthSCOPE Benefits, Inc.Little Rock, AR
Analytics AdvisorConfidentialScottsdale, AZ
EID Program Manager Minnesota Management & BudgetSt. Paul, MN
Chief Executive OfficerHealth Plan of San JoaquinFrench Camp, CA
Click here to view more job listings.

Well done is better than well said."
--Benjamin Franklin,
American inventor and statesman

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