CA Access News

May 2012

    


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

 

Hepatitis C is a new worry for baby boomers, study shows

By Anna Gorman
The Californian, May 7, 2012

The number of baby boomers dying from a "silent epidemic" of hepatitis C infections is increasing so rapidly that federal officials are planning a new nationwide push for widespread testing.

Three in four of the estimated 3.2 million people who have chronic hepatitis C — and a similar proportion of those who die from the disease — are baby boomers. Deaths from the virus nearly doubled between 1999 and 2007 to more than 15,000, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

Hepatitis C is the leading infectious cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States, according to the CDC. In 2007, deaths from the disease surpassed those linked to HIV, and the numbers of fatalities are expected to continue increasing, researchers reported.

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Partner Spotlight

Challenges of the 21st Century

By John Kehoe

Last year, as with the year before, 80 percent of the over-65 seniors surveyed voiced their preference to live independently in their own homes. This choice offers a great challenge to planners in the social, economic and government arenas with tele-medicine being factored into a new wave of housing construction.

Countries in Europe are using this system to effectively monitor and advise patients on a daily basis. Architectural standards and choices need to be updated with this new concept. Laws need to be amended and updated, where daily care can be administered on a collective basis.

The cost effectiveness of this efficient direction is obvious. The rising cost of health care needs to be curbed, and this is a giant step in that direction, using technology as the means to achieve quality health care, compatible with the seniors desire to live in their own homes will achieving this goal.

Calendar

Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

If you have missed any of CPAT's programming, be sure to check our Program Materials section on the website.

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

Welcome New Partners

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 jason@perrycom.com

Southern California - Contact Brandon Stephenson at brandon@cerrell.com

In the News

Risks, Rewards Higher for Managing Dual Eligibles

By George Lauer
California Healthline, May 7, 2012

Lessons learned in a year's worth of managing care for Medi-Cal seniors and persons with disabilities will help inform the process of moving California dual eligibles and other seniors into managed care plans, according to health plan officials. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

The state is working to shift older, low-income Californians eligible to receive Medi-Cal and Medicare -- known as dual eligibles -- into managed care plans, hoping to coordinate and improve care, as well as save money. The state also is shifting Medi-Cal beneficiaries participating in the Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program into managed care.

About 70% of Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide already are enrolled in some form of managed care, but most of that 70% are relatively healthy, young people, according to the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

Read more

Coffee drinking linked to longer life

By Amanda Gardner
CNN, May 17, 2012

Drinking a daily cup of coffee -- or even several cups -- isn't likely to harm your health, and it may even lower your risk of dying from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests.

The relationship between coffee drinking and health has been a hot topic in recent years, but research has produced mixed results.

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Congress edging closer to passing a very important health policy

By Sarah Kliff
Washington Post, May 17, 2012

Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) could play a big part in determining the safety of drugs in the United States, as well as how quickly we get access to them — and it could start moving through Congress as soon as this evening.

FDASIA is a new acronym, not to mention a pretty clunky one (congressional staffers are, reportedly, still trying to figure out how to pronounce it). Its policies, however, stretch back to the mid-1990s, when pharmaceutical firms were getting frustrated with the long wait times for drug approvals. The FDA said it didn’t have enough resources to move any faster. So pharmaceuticals settled on a system in which they would pay a “user fee” to help expedite the process.

Research suggests that the resulting law — known as the Prescription Drug User Fee Act — has worked: The FDA increased its reviewer staff by 77 percent and drug approval times dropped from 27 months to 14 months over the first eight years of the act, according to the GAO. Drugs in the United States now get reviewed two months faster than in Canada or Europe, according to a study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

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Interesting Information

Doctors ditching the prescription pad as more than a third of prescriptions now are electronic

Associated Press, May 17, 2012

At the end of 2011, 36 percent of all prescriptions were electronic — the doctor wrote it by computer and sent it directly to the pharmacy with the push of a button, the report found. That’s up from 22 percent of prescriptions that were paperless a year earlier.

Read more

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