Newly discovered drug-like compound may revolutionize treatment of autoimmune diseases

November 21, 2017

University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered a potent, drug-like compound that could someday revolutionize treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases by inhibiting a protein instrumental in prompting the body to start attacking its own tissue.

“We have discovered a key to lock this protein in a resting state,” said Hang Hubert Yin, a biochemistry professor in the BioFrontiers Institute and lead author of a paper, published today in Nature Chemical Biology, describing the discovery. “This could be paradigm shifting.”

Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ Meanwhile, In Other Health News…

Most followers of health policy have been consumed lately by the potential repeal or alteration of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the ongoing open enrollment for individual insurance for 2018.

But that’s far from the only health news out there. In this episode of “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo, and Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News discuss some of the important but under-covered stories you might have missed this fall, including prescription drug price fights and women’s reproductive health.

Years Before Heading Offshore, Herpes Researcher Experimented On People In U.S.

Three years before launching an offshore herpes vaccine trial, an American researcher vaccinated patients in U.S. hotel rooms in brazen violation of U.S. law, a Kaiser Health News investigation has found.

Southern Illinois University associate professor William Halford administered the shots himself at a Holiday Inn Express and a Crowne Plaza Hotel that were a 15-minute drive from the researcher’s SIU lab. Halford injected at least eight herpes patients on four separate occasions in the summer and fall of 2013 with a virus that he created, according to emails from seven participants and interviews with one participant.

Counting the costs: U.S. hospitals feeling the pain of physician burnout

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Reuters) – Dr. Brian Halloran, a vascular surgeon at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, starts planning his garden long before spring arrives in southeast Michigan.

His tiny plot, located in the shadow of the 537-bed teaching hospital, helps Halloran cope with burnout from long hours and the stress of surgery on gravely ill patients.

“You really have to find the balance to put it a little more in perspective,” he said.

Opioid crisis cost U.S. economy $504 billion in 2015: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Opioid drug abuse, which has ravaged parts of the United States in recent years, cost the economy as much as $504 billion in 2015, White House economists said in a report made public on Sunday.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said the toll from the opioid crisis represented 2.8% of gross domestic product that year.

President Donald Trump last month declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. While Republican lawmakers said that was an important step in fighting opioid abuse, some critics, including Democrats, said the move was meaningless without additional funding.

Could New ‘Brain Training’ Program Help Prevent Dementia?

Quick Guide to Dementia

News Picture: Could New 'Brain Training' Program Help Prevent Dementia?By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Alzheimers News

FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) — In what is being billed as a first, researchers report that healthy seniors who tried a new brain-training program were less likely to develop dementia down the road.

“Everyone with a brain is at risk of dementia,” noted study author Jerri Edwards. But “this is the first treatment ever shown in a clinical trial to make a difference.”

Edwards is a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the University of South Florida.

CMS announces a new user-centered resource to help improve alignment: the CMS Measures Inventory Tool (CMIT)

November 20
by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

By Kate Goodrich, MD
Director, CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality & CMS Chief Medical Officer

CMS is actively working to move the needle on improving quality in healthcare without additional burden to those providers on the frontlines. CMS recently launched a new initiative, ‘Meaningful Measures,’ which will streamline current measure sets – so providers can focus on the measures that are most impactful – and will move from process measures to outcome measures where possible. A great deal of attention has also been focused on alignment of quality measures within CMS and with commercial payers, and we are committed to working towards alignment of these measures to ensure delivery of high quality care to all Americans while minimizing burden on providers.

Make life easier: set up automatic premium payments

Most Medicare Prescription Drug Plans charge a monthly fee that varies by plan. This fee is called a premium. You pay this in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. Did you know that you can have this premium automatically deducted from your monthly Social Security payment? Get peace of mind knowing that bills are paid on time each month.