With three to five new tests being introduced each month, the market for genetic testing could have a value of $25 billion within a decade. A report issued by UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. insurer, says the tests hold great potential for identifying diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer early on but also raise significant challenges to a health system that’s already unaffordable. The report calls for cheaper ways to evaluate the quality of new technology and more consumer education about privacy protection.
After wading through some 25,000 comments, the Department of Health and Human Services released the final rules for health insurance exchanges, part of the Affordable Care Act, on Monday. The rules allow states flexibility in building their regional insurance markets, which they’re required to implement by January 2014. Several states including Ohio appear to be waiting until the Supreme Court makes its decision on the individual mandate to being setting up their exchanges.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements like the ones that got Johnson & Johnson and other med device companies into trouble a few years ago should be banned, says a team of UK researchers. Looking at data from more than 400,000 hip replacement procedures, they found that 6.2 percent of patients implanted with metal-on-metal hips needed a second operation five years later.
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron got the nod from an FDA advisory panel to continue developing their experimental pain drugs that have been linked to joint failure. Trials of the drugs were halted at various points in 2010.
The largest commercial ACO is already declaring success with six months of data, reporting that hospital admissions per member dropped more than 10 percent and emergency department visits fell more than 5 percent.