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MANAGED CARE December 2007. ©MediMedia USA

Health insurance for all is essential, but not enough, says the Commonwealth Fund. In the report A High Performance Health System for the United States: An Ambitious Agenda for the Next President, it outlines strategies to contain costs and organize the health care delivery system…. An Ohio House bill may require fully-insured health plans to cover treatment and diagnosis for autism. Many health plans cover the diagnosis, but not the treatment. The proposed bill is modeled on a three-month old health parity law that requires health insurance providers to cover certain psychological conditions…. Combining one well known comparatively low cost synthetic drug with 1 of 6 biologic medications often works best to reduce joint swelling or tenderness, according to a new report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report titled, “Comparative Effectiveness of Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis in Adults,” concludes that combining methotrexate, a synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), with one of the biologic DMARDs works better than using methotrexate or a biologic DMARD alone. The report also found that methotrexate works as effectively as the biologic DMARDs adalimumab and etanercept for patients who have early-stage rheumatoid arthritis. Adalimumab and etanercept, however, show better short-term results as measured by X-rays of joints.

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