High Deductibles May Threaten Breast Cancer Patients' Survival

High Deductibles May Threaten Breast Cancer Patients' Survival

Even when women have health insurance, high deductibles may delay them from having breast cancer diagnosed and treated, researchers say. In a study of more than 3 million U.S. women with health insurance, the researchers found that those in plans with high deductibles waited several months more for a breast cancer diagnosis or treatment, versus women in low-deductible plans. A deductible is the amount you must pay for a covered health service before insurance coverage kicks in. So if a…

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Guardant’s blood test might replace biopsies for some lung cancer patients, study says

Guardant’s blood test might replace biopsies for some lung cancer patients, study says

Could a blood test help more lung cancer patients get drugs that are targeted to the genetic weaknesses of their tumors? Yes, according to summary results of a 282-patient clinical trial being made available Wednesday. The result is a boon for Guardant Health, the San Francisco-based startup that sells the test, Guardant360, which is a “liquid biopsy” that works by detecting fragments of DNA in the bloodstream. The full study will be presented in full at the annual meeting of…

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Novartis gene therapy would be cost effective up to $900,000: U.S. group

Novartis gene therapy would be cost effective up to $900,000: U.S. group

An experimental gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) developed by Novartis AG would be worth up to $900,000, according to an independent U.S. nonprofit organization that reviews the value of drugs and medical treatments. The Boston-based Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) made the determination using a commonly cited cost-effectiveness threshold that values each “quality-adjusted life year” (QALY) gained at $100,000 to $150,000. If each QALY gained were assessed at $500,000, ICER found the gene therapy, Zolgensma, would…

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Cervical cancer could be eliminated in most countries by 2100, study finds

Cervical cancer could be eliminated in most countries by 2100, study finds

Cervical cancer could potentially be eliminated as a major public health threat in the majority of the world by the end of this century, a new study says. According to the researchers, more widespread use of the human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccine, combined with increased cervical cancer screenings, could prevent millions of cases of the disease worldwide. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women across the globe with an estimated 570,000 new cases reported in 2018. It is responsible…

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FDA Fell Short in Preventing Fentanyl Abuse Crisis, Report Claims

FDA Fell Short in Preventing Fentanyl Abuse Crisis, Report Claims

Drug makers and federal regulators dropped the ball in tracking the use of a potentially deadly fast-acting form of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, putting thousands of patients at risk of a fatal overdose, a new study claims. Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl (TIRF) drugs are approved for use in cancer patients who’ve developed tolerance against the around-the-clock opioids normally used to treat their pain. As many as 55 percent of patients prescribed TIRFs did not meet this criteria and should never have…

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Immunotherapies could change kidney cancer care, studies suggest

Immunotherapies could change kidney cancer care, studies suggest

The way doctors typically approach kidney cancer treatment could be evolving. Two separate studies published Saturday in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that renal cell cancer patients had significantly better outcomes when their treatment combined the targeted therapy drug axitinib, or Inlyta, with an immunotherapy — one study used pembrolizumab, or Keytruda, and the other used avelumab, or Bavencio. “This is a proof of principle that we can do this if the drugs are in the same class…

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CMS unveils CAR-T proposal, with emphasis on patient outcomes

CMS unveils CAR-T proposal, with emphasis on patient outcomes

Dive Brief: Under a proposal released Friday, Medicare would cover CAR-T cell therapies through a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pathway known as Coverage with Evidence Development. The proposal holds a mix of provisions, including that patients must be monitored for at least two years post-treatment. Hospitals administering CAR-T therapy, whether through inpatient or outpatient care, must participate in a CMS-approved registry that collects data on patient outcomes and characteristics and then compares that data to what’s been seen in…

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Compounded Pain Creams Ineffective for Chronic Pain

Compounded Pain Creams Ineffective for Chronic Pain

Compounded topical pain creams work no better than placebo creams and should not be used to treat chronic pain, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center enrolled nearly 400 people with chronic neuropathic, joint or muscle pain in the study. Some received pain creams specially compounded to treat their type of pain, while others received a placebo cream. The compounded pain creams included a blend of…

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For millennials, cancers fueled by obesity are on rise, study says

For millennials, cancers fueled by obesity are on rise, study says

Cancers fueled by obesity are on the rise among young adults in the United States and appearing at increasingly younger ages, according to an analysis released Monday by the American Cancer Society. The study, published in The Lancet Public Health, examined data on 12 obesity-related cancers between 1995 and 2014, as well as 18 common cancers not associated with weight. They found a disturbing trend among adults age 24 to 49. “The risk of cancer is increasing in young adults…

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How to Handle Complex Claims More Effectively

How to Handle Complex Claims More Effectively

Modernizing and streamlining claim adjudication has never been on the back burner for healthcare payers. Rather, they’re continually faced with the challenge of driving efficiency and innovation while simultaneously maintaining payment integrity as the claim processing environment increases in complexity. With modern-day technology at the helm of the healthcare system, it only makes sense to fine-tune claim processing using those same cutting edge resources. The only caveat is that not all claims should be treated equally; particularly for those members…

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