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November 14, 2012America's Health Insurance Plans

  Top Stories 
  • Review: Steroid shots offer limited benefit for sciatica
    Steroid injections into the spine, such as those tied to an outbreak of fungal meningitis, provide only small, short-term relief for sciatica-related leg and back pain, according to a review of 23 clinical trials involving more than 3,100 patients. "Given that the treatment effect is likely to be small and short term, patients with sciatica should discuss the potential risks involved in [steroid injections] with their doctor before agreeing to the procedure," according to the study co-author. The study appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine. HealthDay News (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
AHIP Webinar: Enabling Payer-Provider Collaboration
Payers and providers are trying to solve the same problem: reducing costs while ensuring appropriate and high quality care. In this session, Matthew Zubiller, VP of decision management at McKesson, will share how a common evidence-based clinical language and a common technology platform help build trusted payer-provider partnerships. Register now.
  Providers & Suppliers 
  • U.S. needs 52K additional doctors by 2025, study finds
    The U.S. will need about 52,000 more primary care doctors by 2025 to accommodate population growth, shifting demographics and provisions in the Affordable Care Act, a study found. Physician office visits are expected to increase from 462 million in 2008 to 565 million in 2025, researchers reported in the Annals of Family Medicine. (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Inovalon is a healthcare technology company that combines advanced data analytics with highly targeted interventions to achieve meaningful impact in clinical outcomes and financial performance across the healthcare landscape. To see healthcare empowered, visit
  Medical Update 
  • Antivirals lower recurrence risk of HBV-tied liver cancer in study
    The post-surgical use of antiviral treatments, including Tyzeka or telbivudine, 3TC or lamivudine, and Baraclude or entecavir, seems to cut the recurrence risk of hepatocellular carcinoma linked to hepatitis B, according to a study presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases' annual meeting and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Just 20.5% of patients who received anti-HBV nucleoside analogs had cancer recurrence, compared with 43.6% of patients who didn't receive the drugs. MedPage Today (free registration) (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Emerging Trends 
  • Avinger's catheter device for PAD treatment gets FDA OK
    The FDA has cleared Avinger to market the Ocelot System, a chronic total occlusion crossing device that uses optical coherence tomography imaging. The multifunctional catheter is designed to help doctors view inside arteries when treating patients with peripheral artery disease. (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Self-healing material may find application in prosthetics
    Scientists at Stanford University created a material that can feel pressure and heal itself when burned, torn or cut. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which provided partial funding for the project, hopes to use the material in prosthetics, where it could quickly heal exterior damage to artificial limbs. An article about the invention was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. ABC News/Science blog (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
MedfusionRx Ascend is now BriovaRx™
Catamaran™ takes a hands-on approach to personalized care with new specialty pharmacy: BriovaRx™. We transcend patient care and take care of people, so every patient achieves not only successful treatment, but a healthy, vibrant life. Learn about our services for providers, payers and manufacturers at
  Health Insurance Plan Company News 
  Vendor Company News 
  Pharma News 
  • EHR review identifies cases of high acetaminophen intake in hospitals
    An analysis of EHRs in two Boston-area hospitals showed that 4% of patients received higher-than-recommended doses of acetaminophen, elevating the odds of toxicity and acute liver failure. Researchers recommended greater use of clinical decision-support systems to ensure appropriate usage of acetaminophen. The results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • CMS posts specification sheets for stage 2 MU
    The specification sheets for the second stage of EHR meaningful use have been posted by CMS for eligible hospitals and professionals. The sheets are created to help them calculate the numerator and denominator for every MU objective and judge whether they qualify to be excluded from an objective. Health Data Management (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn More — Spend Less
Now is a great time to enhance your health insurance education and work toward a professional designation. You'll learn more while spending less: Save 30% between now and Dec. 31, 2012 ET on nearly 40 courses, many online, and publications crafted by top business and health care experts. Visit the Web site for details.
  AHIP News 
  • Exchange preparation: From plan management to consumer engagement
    At AHIP’s Exchange Conference, Dec. 5 and 6 in Chicago, speakers will address both the immediate steps required, and mid- to longer-term decisions necessary to successfully participate in Exchanges. You’ll enjoy general sessions including “Enabling and Empowering Consumer Decision-making” and “Are you Ready for 2014? Considerations for Health Plans.” Learn more and register.   LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Learn more about Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage
    “Medicare” may be a household term, but are you familiar with its eligibility guidelines, enrollment processes, benefits and costs? AHIP’s new online course, Understanding Medicare, will educate you about traditional Medicare (Parts A and B), Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Part D, the prescription drugs program. It makes a complicated subject easier to understand. Enroll today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Improved business operations for better care. TPA Direct
    The TPA Direct program is comprised of AHIP member companies—the industry’s leading third party administrators—and offers guidance to health insurance plans and administrators interested in outsourcing. CHCS Services, Inc., a leading administrator of senior market and eldercare programs, uses state-of-the-art information technology and highly trained personnel to deliver high-quality service to its clients and their members.  LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Vice President, Network Development and Provider RelationsLouisiana Health Cooperative, Inc.New Orleans, LA
Chief Executive OfficerLouisiana Health Cooperative, Inc.New Orleans, LA
Director - Corporate CounselDelta Dental of CaliforniaSan Francisco, CA
CounselDelta Dental of CaliforniaSan Francisco, CA
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The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."
--Ernest Hemingway,
American author and journalist

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