MANAGED CARE June 2011. ©MediMedia USA
The National Institutes of Health stopped a cardiovascular clinical trial early for lack of benefit. The trial was halted after it was determined that a combination treatment of a statin with Niaspan didn’t reduce the rate of heart attacks, strokes, heart-related hospitalizations, or the number of procedures needed to improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart and brain.... Primary care providers anywhere can be trained with videoconference technology to manage complex chronic conditions formerly outside their expertise, thus expanding their ability to treat very sick patients. These findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, evaluate data from Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). Sanjeev Arora, MD, the hepatologist who created Project ECHO, says, “This model empowers primary care clinicians to provide high-quality specialty care locally, and holds promise for dramatically changing clinical practice and medical education nationally.”… Four of the seven largest health plans, in terms of enrollment, had greater profits in 2010 than in 2009, according to a recent “Healthcare Business Strategy” report from Mark Farrah Associates, a market data aggregator.