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Does Obamacare Provide Better Access for Patients?


IP Blog | Dave Melin | March 30, 2014

BioBlogWeeklyThis week, an announcement about Obamacare copays and a dive into data: from ASCO’s massive State of Cancer Care report to a study about gene testing, learn what’s new in health research.

Merck, GlaxoSmithKline halt copay help for Obamacare patients

First, on Thursday both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline announced that they would be discontinuing their copay assistance for Obamacare patients. The two companies cited caution about federal anti-kickback laws.

ASCO’s State of Cancer Care in America: 2014

If you haven’t already, give this extensive report by ASCO a read. It digs into data about current needs in cancer care, the oncology workforce, the state of oncology practice, and quality in cancer care before ending with ASCO major recommendations for the future.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: January 2014

How does the public feel about Obamacare? How much do they understand about its implementation? Check out this Kaiser health poll for a snapshot of public opinion from this January. Then compare it with Pew Research Center’s ACA at Age 4 to see how things have shifted over the last few months.

Oncologists Differ on Cancer Gene Testing, Study Says [includes video]

A recent study by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that physicians were divided on whether or not to have patients tested for genetic dispositions to diseases like breast cancer. “Physicians who had a lot of confidence in their ability to use and explain genomic findings were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations. Physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were more reluctant to offer such testing.” This suggests that many physicians may be unsure about the function or meaning of these gene tests.

Most cancer survivors not exercising enough to benefit

Despite the established benefits of exercise, a new study from Yale says that “a mere 10% of cancer survivors are exercising enough to reap those benefits.” Said one of the study’s co-authors, “This rate is similar to what we see in the healthy adult population, so we need to make huge efforts to increase physical activity for everyone.”

Long-Term Financial Burden of Breast Cancer: Experiences of a Diverse Cohort of Survivors Identified Through Population-Based Registries

This study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that over time, “25% of women [survivors] experienced financial decline at least partly attributed to breast cancer.” The study also found that this financial decline was particularly devastating among racial and ethnic minority populations. Want more health care landscape updates and insights? Follow us on Twitter @innovpartners.


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