News & Commentary

Headlines On Deadline December 2011

Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, last month launched a think tank called the Optum Institute, whose mission is to focus “on providing analysis and insight on accountable care and the rapidly changing health care landscape,” according to the company. At the same time, Optum published a survey called “Sustainable Health Communities — a Manifesto for Improvement.” 

Over 52 percent of office-based doctors now use electronic prescribing, according to SureScripts, the operator of an e-prescription network that connects doctors’ offices to pharmacies. SureScripts adds that 94 percent of retail pharmacies now accept electronic prescriptions.

The standard of care for type 1 diabetes comes up short when compared with treatment that includes at least three injections of insulin a day or use of an insulin pump, according to a study that followed a group of diabetic patients since the 1980s. The study is by Ian de Boer, MD, a kidney specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. More than 1,400 diabetic patients were followed and those receiving intense treatment were only half as likely to have developed kidney disease than those given the standard treatment, which does not focus as much on getting patients to near-normal blood sugar levels.

A blueprint for high-volume, high-quality lung cancer screening that is detecting cancer earlier—and helping to save lives

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