Developmental Genes Have More Than One Way To Stop, Just Like Cars

Main Category: Genetics
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology;  Diabetes;  Arthritis / Rheumatology
Article Date: 28 Feb 2011 – 0:00 PST

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There’s more than one way to silence gene activity, according to a Michigan State University researcher.

Downregulating activity is how healthy genes should shift out of their development cycle. The results, published in Current Biology, discuss how specific repressor proteins – which researchers have named Hairy and Knirps – slow genes during development and how the process is comparable to slowing down a car, says molecular biologist David Arnosti.

HHS Issues Additional Information To States About Medicaid Eligibility Under The Affordable Care Act

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 28 Feb 2011 – 2:00 PST

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today issued a new letter and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that explain Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions in the Affordable Care Act in ways that afford greater flexibility to States. The new guidance clarifies aspects of the maintenance of effort (MOE) rules for Medicaid and CHIP. Further guidance will follow.

Medicare Locals: Not The Magic Pill For Rural After-hours Care, Australia

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 28 Feb 2011 – 3:00 PST

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The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that after-hours services are under severe
threat in many rural areas and that funding for Medicare Locals to address this issue may not solve the
problem.

Elderly And Disabled STD Testing Considered By Medicare And Medicaid Services

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Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Sexual Health / STDs;  Seniors / Aging
Article Date: 26 Feb 2011 – 13:00 PST

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Apart from already covering beneficiaries for HIV tests, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service) says it is considering whether to cover screenings for other STDs, such as chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, and gonorrhea. CMS is also considering paying for preventive counseling.

Medicare Continues To Impose Conditions When Covering New Technologies

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Medical Devices / Diagnostics
Article Date: 27 Feb 2011 – 0:00 PST

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the government agency that administers the Medicare program, made 11 National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) for medical technologies and procedures in 2010. NCDs permit or prohibit Medicare coverage for new technologies on a nationwide basis. Since Medicare is the largest single purchaser of healthcare in the country, these decisions have far-ranging effects, influencing health coverage by private plans and the development of medical technologies.

Pharmacists Have Much To Offer Medicare Locals, Australia

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Pharmacy / Pharmacist
Article Date: 24 Feb 2011 – 4:00 PST

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The release of guidelines for the establishment of Medicare Locals clearly shows pharmacists have an integral role to play in the organisations, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia says.

National President of the PSA, Warwick Plunkett, said the guidelines specified the criteria that will establish Medicare Locals.

The guidelines have been developed following a consultation process in which PSA participated.

Seniors Group Asks Medicare Part-D Plans To Provide Affordable Gout Medication For Patients

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Gout
Article Date: 25 Feb 2011 – 2:00 PST

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As part of the 60 Plus Association’s “Keeping Seniors Safe” project, the organization’s chairman, Jim Martin, recently sent letters to the CEOs of five Part-D Medicare plans, urging them to provide accessible colchicine-based medications to gout patients after untested and potentially harmful options were removed from the marketplace as part of an important Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety-initiative.

HHS Announces $100 Million In Affordable Care Act Grants To Prevent Disease

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 25 Feb 2011 – 4:00 PST

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As part of the nation’s efforts to prevent an increase in the number of people with chronic health conditions, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new, $100 million program allowing states to offer incentives to Medicaid enrollees who adopt healthy behaviors such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

Obesity And Knee Osteoarthritis Shorten Healthy Years Of Life

Main Category: Arthritis / Rheumatology
Also Included In: Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness;  Heart Disease;  Diabetes
Article Date: 17 Feb 2011 – 0:00 PST

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An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis (OA), making it one of the most common causes of disability in the US. Due to obesity and symptomatic knee OA, Americans over the age of 50 will together lose the equivalent of 86 million healthy years of life, concluded researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), who investigated the potential gains in quality and quantity of life that could be achieved averting losses due to obesity and knee OA. These findings are published in theAnnals of Internal Medicine.

Medicare Locals: Guideline Number One

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Primary Care / General Practice
Article Date: 23 Feb 2011 – 3:00 PST

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AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said that Medicare Locals could enhance primary care and benefit patients if they are established according to the core guideline that GPs must remain the coordinators of patient care.

“Medicare Locals will only work to improve primary care if their main purpose is to support the central role of GPs in caring for patients,” Dr Pesce said.