MANAGED CARE February 2005. ©MediMedia USA
The skinny on why data used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the number of obesity-related deaths is that a computer error caused a CDC study to overstate the number by 35,000. Four agency researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that a software glitch led to the false conclusion that obesity would overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death by this year.... Health care Web sites may be chock full of information, but many people 65 or older haven't taken advantage, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey finds that 31 percent of this group have used the Internet and 21 percent have searched for health information online. Income plays a role: 65 percent of elderly with annual household income of $50,000 or more have used the Internet. Only 15 percent of those with annual household income of $20,000 or less have done so.... The good times keep rolling along at UnitedHealth Group. The Wall Street Journal reports that the plan's 2004 fourth-quarter earnings jumped 46 percent, while the insurer added 6 million new members. Revenue rose 40 percent to $10.51 billion, from $7.52 billion.