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Morning Read: Wellpoint suffers third security glitch of last 3.5 years

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Wellpoint suffers third security glitch of last 3.5 years: A security glitch at a WellPoint website may have publicly exposed the medical records and credit card numbers of about 470,000 customers, the third such breach the Indianapolis-based health insurer has reported in the […]

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

Wellpoint suffers third security glitch of last 3.5 years: A security glitch at a WellPoint website may have publicly exposed the medical records and credit card numbers of about 470,000 customers, the third such breach the Indianapolis-based health insurer has reported in the last 3.5 years. Each time the company has blamed outside vendors. This time, the company says an outside vendor had completed an upgrade on Wellpoint’s website in October and validated that needed security measures were in place, when in fact they were not.

Is the U.S. unprepared for a wave of geriatric patients? The National Institutes of Health is devoting only 11 percent of its budget to research that involves health concerns of elderly patients, despite an expected surge of aging Baby Boomers in the nation’s hospitals in the coming decades. Indeed, the nation’s fastest-growing age demographic is 85 and older. “In every area of aging–education, clinical care, research–people just don’t realize how dire the situation is,” said one geriatric medicine expert.

Sanofi goes shopping: Sanofi-Aventis has reached a deal that could be worth up to $635 million for San Diego-based TargeGen, a developer of blood disease therapeutics.

America’s least-fat state: A round of applause for Colorado, the only state in which fewer than 20 percent of adults (19.1 percent) are obese. There wasn’t much else to be happy about in a report that showed obesity rates haven’t declined in any of the 50 states since last year, but they’ve gone up in 22.

Forget about IPOs: Once upon a time entrepreneurs dreamed of striking it rich in the IPO market. Now, with the IPO market notoriously weak, some probably still do–but they really shouldn’t. “Increasingly, the exit pendulum has swung in long-term favor of M&A transactions as multinational corporations have retuned their own innovation models in favor of acquiring outside companies versus internal development of innovation,” writes Robert Ackerman of Allegis Capital. Startups should readjust their expectations accordingly.

Everything will be different after Avandia: GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia–and its propensity to cause heart attacks–have dominated the health news cycle in recent days. And for good reason, as a Forbes blogger says the FDA’s handling of the case will change the drug industry. “The FDA’s choice will set a precedent for how it deals with uncertain situations, where there is smoke, but not fire, and that means patients and drug companies will feel its effects for years.”

Paul Jacobs at TedMed: The Qualcomm CEO discusses the future of wireless healthcare. “You’re not going to be in touch with your doctor  or health provider directly, but you’re going to feel like that person can monitor you at all times.”

Photo from flickr user subcircle

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