Emron Managed Care News 6-26-15


A year after VA scandal, little progress on wait-lists

One year after reports of long wait-list and cover-ups of care delays rocked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), not only have wait-lists only grown longer, but a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion could affect care for many veterans, according to a report in The New York Times.



Cancer drugs get a new consumer’s guide

In a bid to inject clarity into the fast-moving, high-stakes world of cancer drugs, a task force of cancer doctors announced Monday that it has devised a decision-making aid to help physicians and their patients weigh the pluses and minuses of newly available options for treating malignancy, including their costs.



Generic heart disease medications offer promise for Ebola treatment

Generic medications used frequently in the management of heart disease patients also have the potential to bolster the immune systems of patients with Ebola virus and some other life-threatening illnesses, researchers report this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.



Google developing health-tracking wristband for use in clinical trials

Google’s life sciences group is developing a health-tracking wristband that could be used in clinical trials and drug tests to measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature, along with environmental information such as light exposure and noise levels.



Medicare Slow To Adopt Telemedicine Due To Cost Concerns

Donna Miles didn’t feel like getting dressed and driving to her physician’s office or to a retailer’s health clinic near her Cincinnati home.For several days, she had thought she had thrush, a mouth infection that made her tongue sore and discolored with raised white spots. When Miles, 68, awoke on a wintry February morning and the pain had not subsided, she decided to see a doctor. So she turned on her computer and logged on to www.livehealth.com, a service offered by her Medicare Advantage plan, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Ohio. She spoke to a physician, who used her computer’s camera to peer into her mouth and who then sent a prescription to her pharmacy.



ASCO unveils tool to calculate value of cancer drugs
The American Society of Clinical Oncology has designed a new conceptual framework to help doctors and patients better assess the value of new cancer treatment options based on clinical benefit, side effects, and cost.



Oxygen Chamber Therapy May Ease Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests

The majority of women with fibromyalgia who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy — best known for treating “the bends” in scuba divers — experienced relief from pain and other symptoms, a small study found.



AbbVie’s hepatitis C regimen Viekirax, Exviera achieves 100 percent cure rate in genotype 1b patients

AbbVie on Wednesday announced that its all-oral ribavirin-free hepatitis C regimen of Viekirax (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) and Exviera (dasabuvir) achieved a sustained virologic response rate at 12 weeks of 100 percent in patients with genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C and compensated liver cirrhosis. Results from the study are scheduled to be presented at the upcoming Annual International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Diseases.



Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis May Also Help Ease Vitiligo


It’s only been tested in one patient so far, but researchers report that a drug forrheumatoid arthritis may be a promising treatment for the discoloring skin condition known as vitiligo


When Turning 65, Consumers With Marketplace Plans Need To Be Vigilant In Choosing Health Coverage

Before the Affordable Care Act, older adults who couldn’t afford to buy their own health insurance would count the days until their 65th birthday, when Medicare would kick in. Now, 10,000 Americans hit that milestone every day, but for some who have coverage through the ACA’s insurance marketplaces, Medicare may not be the obvious next step.



Supreme Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies

The high court issued its decision in King v. Burwell. Check back here often as KHN rounds up news stories on the case from around the web.



Community pharmacists get access to Summary Care Record

Community pharmacists are to get access to Summary Care Records under new plans unveiled this week by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.



Healthcare stocks surge after King v. Burwell decision

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding Affordable Care Act subsidies in King v. Burwell is already having a positive impact on healthcare stocks in the hospital and insurance sectors, according to the Associated Press.



FDA OKs Eisai’s Fycompa for severe epileptic seizures

US regulators have expanded the scope of Eisai’s first-in-class epilepsy drug Fycompa to include the treatment of patients with a severe form of epileptic seizures.