CA Access News

July 2012


In this Issue: Features | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information | Contact Us


New law could shift employee health benefits to private market

The Affordable Care Act could entice companies to give employees a fixed amount to buy their own insurance.

By Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2012

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PDUFA Update

Law will address drug shortages, new drugs

UPI, July 10, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, signed into law Monday by President Obama, should address U.S. drug shortages, officials said.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the legislation, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, should help speed safe and effective medical products to patients and maintain our nation's role as a leader in biomedical innovation.

"This legislation will drive timely review of new innovator drugs and medical devices, implement the program proposed in the 2013 President's Budget to accelerate approval of lower-cost generic drugs, and fund the new approval pathway for biosimilar biologics -- medical product -- created by the Affordable Care Act," Sebelius said in a statement. "The legislation also enhances the tools available to the FDA to combat drug shortages by requiring manufacturers of certain drugs to notify the FDA when they experience circumstances that could lead to a potential drug shortage."

Provisions in the legislation will help enhance the safety of the drug supply chain in an increasingly globalized market, increase incentives for the development of new antibiotics, renew mechanisms to ensure children's medicines are appropriately tested and labeled, and expedite development and review of certain drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases and conditions, Sebelius said.

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Partner Spotlight
ALS Association - Greater Sacramento Chapter

About: The Greater Sacramento Chapter of the ALS Association was founded in September 1987 with the hope of providing an opportunity for ALS patients and their families to come together, share concerns and information, and build awareness in the Sacramento Community.

Mission: Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

Recent News: The ALS Association, Greater Sacramento Chapter’s 25th Anniversary 2012 Summer Soiree on June 23 raised $70,000 to support research, patient services and public policy efforts. The 8th Annual Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS and Walk on June 30, a one-day, fully-supported cycling event and walk, also raised funds to support the organization’s mission.


Webinar: Understanding the California Health Benefit Exchange


Thursday, July 26, 2012
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Speaker: Kim Belshé
Senior Policy Advisor for Public Policy Institute of California California Health Benefit Exchange Board Member

Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

Would you like to see your organization's event listed? Contact Jason Dumont at to help advertise your upcoming event.

Welcome New Partners

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy - California

Join Now

Do you know a group who would be interested in joining CPAT? Please send your referrals to:

Northern California - Contact Jason Dumont at

Southern California - Contact Brandon Stephenson at

In the News

Groups to CMS: Slow down

By Matt Dobias
POLITICO, July 16, 2012

Health care providers and policy analysts broadly agree that the current care environment for dual eligible beneficiaries needs to change -- and fast. The approximately 9 million people on both Medicare and Medicaid tend to have multiple health problems, and their care is both highly fragmented and very expensive.

There's general agreement on what has to change: improve care coordination among the doctors, physicians and nursing homes -- and make sure they share in any resulting savings.

But criticism toward a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-led effort to do just that has been rising. MedPAC recently raised a number of concerns over the size, scope and rapid pace of the program. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who helped shape the effort, has called for its immediate halt.

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Parenthood May Reduce the Risk of Catching a Cold

By Brenda Goodman, MA
Web MD Health News, July 6, 2012

A new study suggests that being a parent may boost immunity to cold-causing viruses, though researchers acknowledge it may not always feel that way.

In a series of experiments where adults had viruses placed directly into their noses, parents were about half as likely to get sick as adults who did not have children.

Researchers are quick to say, however, that the study doesn't mean that parents get fewer colds, overall, than people who don't have kids.

"We're not saying that parents are exposed to fewer viruses. I think people will probably agree that parents are exposed to stuff constantly, whether you have kids going to day care or going to school or being around other children," says researcher Rodlescia S. Sneed, MPH, a doctoral student in the psychology department at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. "But that's a little bit different than the question we're asking."

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300,000 people in U.S. living with Chagas disease

By Steven Reinberg
Health Day, July 5, 2012

As many as 300,000 people in the United States may have chronic Chagas disease -- mostly spread by blood-sucking insects -- health officials report.

However, the first confirmed U.S. case of transmission from a mother to a newborn was recently documented, adding to ongoing concern about this parasitic disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people with Chagas disease in the United States are immigrants from areas in Latin America, where the disease is endemic, the report said.

While Chagas is treatable and curable, it often goes unrecognized. Untreated, the infection is lifelong.

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Interesting Information

Really? My Pets and I Are at Risk of Getting Lyme Disease?

By Joelle Abrams, DVM
Belmont Patch, July 5, 2012

As surprising as it sounds, Lyme disease has been on the rise throughout the United States, including the Bay Area. It is actually one of the most common tick-transmitted zoonotic diseases in the world.

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