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U.S. Insurers Experience Growth in Profits and Medicaid Enrollment Surges

IP Blog | Dave Melin | November 2, 2014

BioBlogWeeklyThis week in healthcare, exchange business is booming and Google announces it will tackle cancer with tiny robots.

Aetna, UnitedHealth, WellPoint earnings: Business is growing

Aetna, UnitedHealth, and WellPoint release positive third quarter reports, “provid[ing] more evidence that the Affordable Care Act is generally good for business.” Another trend that emerged from the reports: more small businesses are switching their employees to exchange plans.

Avalere Analysis: Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Set to Grow by 13.5 Million

A recent analysis by Avalere Health stated that “managed care enrollment will increase from 67 percent of total Medicaid and CHIP enrollees in 2013 to 76 percent in 2016.” That works out to about 13.5 million new Medicaid managed care enrollees by 2016.

Google’s Newest Search: Cancer Cells

Internet giant Google has announced recently that it is designing tiny magnetic particles called “nanoparticles” whose purpose will be to “patrol the human body for signs of cancer and other diseases.”

FDA approves cancer drugs without proof they’re extending lives

An investigative collaboration between the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and MedPage Today argues that cancer drugs should be held to a higher standard — extending lives — before receiving FDA approval. “Surrogate measures, which allow for shorter, smaller and cheaper clinical trials, have opened the gates to a steady stream of costly drugs of dubious value.”

Help Solve Health Care’s Biggest Problems by Hacking Medicine

Did you know that hacking can be helpful? Check out this short profile of the rise of “health care hackathons — events in which great minds help solve health care’s biggest problems.”

ASCO Endorses Lung Cancer Guidelines for Molecular Testing

Recently ASCO endorsed a guideline aimed at when to offer molecular testing for lung cancer patients. This guideline “is a joint product of the College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology” and contains 37 separate recommendations regarding molecular testing.

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