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End-of-life planning makes it – one way or another (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: “Death panel” supporters get their way by going stealth; a new blood pressure drug is approved; a key angel investor says startups need to value that early stage cash; and CEOs may never, ever have the same star power as rock stars.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone that cares about the healthcare industry:

DEATH PANELS ARE BACK. The U.S. healthcare reform bill approved earlier this year said Medicare could cover annual physical exams or wellness visits. The New York Times says the new rule allows Medicare to reimburse discussions of end-of-life treatment as part of the annual visit. It will begin Jan. 1.

But for fear a death panel backlash, leaders e-mailed other supporters: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.

“Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

AMTURNIDE FDA APPROVAL. Novartis received FDA approval for Armturnide, a blood pressure medication. It’s  only the third high blood pressure treatment to combine three drugs in a single pill.

LATEST “OBAMACARE” CONSTERNATION… in Pennsylvania and Montana.

VALUE ANGEL INVESTORS. Brian Cohen, vice chairman of New York Angels, says the city’s startup scene  is now a “cauldron that’s just bubbling over like I’ve never seen before.” Cohen’s key to startup success: understand the value of the angels. “If a young startup entrepreneur doesn’t start understanding from the beginning a good, quality early stage investment, it could really hurt him going forward,” he said.

MED-BLOGGER TOP 10. Uber physician blogger KevinMD revealed his top posts from 2010, including  one on common healthcare social media mistakes and news that doctors’ average pay is $28 an hour.

CEOs WILL NEVER HAVE JUSTIN BEIBER STATUS. It turns out there’s a psychological reason why billionaire CEOs are not oggled like rock stars by teenage girls. Here’s the creepy question of the day: “Why don’t parents encourage their daughters to date middle-aged billionaires, so that they wouldn’t have to raise their grandchildren themselves? ”

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The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”