January/February 2013 Vol 6, No 1

Dutch researchers have peered into the minds and wallets of a group of men aged 55 to 75 years to determine what they are willing to trade for a reduced risk of prostate cancer–related death or to avoid unnecessary procedures and treatment.

On January 17, 2013, nearly 3 years after its initial proposed rule, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the long-awaited and much-anticipated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) “omnibus” rule, extending the scope of the privacy law beyond healthcare providers to their business associates and subcontractors, and adding increased penalties for noncompliance.1

Applying the approach of personalized medicine to cancer care is gradually becoming crucial for ensuring the correct use of targeted therapies and individualizing the management of patient care. The role of genetics in breast cancer is not new, but the ever-increasing numbers of new molecular diagnostics and targeted therapies are making this disease a growing focus of personalized medicine.

I have been fascinated by new technology ever since our parents took my younger brother and me to the amazing 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, NY. We especially loved the “Theatre of Tomorrow” exhibit sponsored by General Electric. I can still see the futuristic family room rotating in front of my eyes. Perhaps that is why I am always drawn to the Technology Quarterly section in the British news magazine, The Economist. It provides a broad overview of technology trends across many different industries.

On December 12, 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius mused in her blog on the progress made by health plans toward the establishment of the health insurance exchanges, which will open the world of health insurance to many currently uninsured, as well as insured, Americans. States can choose to establish their own exchange, enter into a state-federal partnership, or default to an exchange that will be set up and run by the federal government, under the auspices of the HHS Secretary.

Over time, the costs associated with the Medicare program have increased steadily and have contributed to the growth in national health expenditures.

Medicare Part D and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Prostate cancer is the most frequently detected cancer in men, and 1 of 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime based on Medicare enrollment data.1 In the United States, approximately 19 million men annually are screened by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing,2 resulting in approximately 4.7 million abnormal PSA test results (≥4.0 ng/mL)3 leading to approximately 1.3 million biopsy procedures.4 According to the National Cancer Institute, 241,740 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually, and 28,170 prostate

Molecular Epigenetic Tests Can Improve Clinical Outcomes While Reducing Healthcare Costs

The large and growing cost of healthcare, which amounted to 17.9% of the gross domestic product in 2011,1 will continue to be a burden for all payers in the US healthcare system, not only for states that are struggling to meet Medicaid costs and the federal government’s requirements, but also for private health plans that serve commercial, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid beneficiaries.2,3 Costs will continue to grow as millions more people become newly insured because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Enhancing Health Outcomes and Quality of Care with the Medical Home Model in Primary Care

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