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Week In Review — May 30

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week’s top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

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Hospitals look to health law, cutting charity

Hospital systems around the country have started scaling back financial assistance for lower- and middle-income people without health insurance, hoping to push them into signing up for coverage through the new online marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act.Via NY Times. 

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10 years of hormones for breast cancer, ASCO says 

All women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer should have the option to continue adjuvant hormonal therapy for as long as 10 years, according to an updated guideline from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Pre- and perimenopausal women who have completed 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen should be offered an additional 5 years of the drug. Via MedPage Today.

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Severe report finds V.A. hid waiting lists at hospitals

In the first confirmation that Department of Veterans Affairs administrators manipulated medical waiting lists at one and possibly more hospitals, the department’s inspector general reported on Wednesday that 1,700 patients at the veterans medical center in Phoenix were not placed on the official waiting list for doctors’ appointments and may never have received care. Via NY Times.

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Insurers push to rein in spending on cancer care

The largest effort yet is set to be unveiled by WellPoint Inc., WLP -0.55% which will begin offering oncologists a $350-per-month payment for each patient who is on one of the insurer’s recommended regimens. WellPoint, the No. 2 insurer in the U.S., will roll out its new program July 1 in six states and through its entire network by the middle of next year. Initially, it will focus on breast, lung and colorectal cancer, but it will expand to other forms of the disease. Via Wall Street Journal.

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With special clinics, hospitals vie for hesitant patients: Men

A new clinic in Midtown Manhattan exudes masculinity, and that is no accident. Still smelling of fresh paint, it is NYU Langone Medical Center’s health center devoted to men…Now men are beginning to get equal treatment as hospitals try to take advantage of an enormous untapped market: men who, studies show, avoid doctors for virtually anything short of a bullet wound. The new clinics offer one-stop shopping for services ranging from heart monitoring to hair removal to hormone therapy, from the life-prolonging to the life-enhancing, if medically debatable. Via NY Times.

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Mayo Clinic says sideline test detects youth concussions

On the sidelines of youth sports, a new Mayo Clinic study shows a simple test, known as the King-Devick, can detect concussions. Dr. Amaal Starling of the Mayo Clinic is co-author of the study. She said for youth athletes, “This is really the first accurate, rapid, cost effective, removal-from-play tool that is available for concussion screen.” Via KARE11. 

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Microscopic army helps body fight premature death

Strains of microscopic organisms that live in communities inside — and upon — our bodies soon might get tested to help diagnose and prevent illness. Mayo Clinic has announced a new collaboration with a San Francisco-based startup biotech company calledWhole Biome, which has developed a product called “Complete Biome Test” that is able to generate microbiome profiles at a low cost. “The ‘microbiome’ refers to the totality of microbes and genetic information that they have, their DNA, that kind of inhabit our bodies,” said colorectal surgeon Dr. Heidi Nelson, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Microbiome Program. Via Post-Bulletin

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Stem cell research gets a multimillion-dollar boost at the Capitol

The new law will place Minnesota among about 15 other states that have backed such research with special taxpayer funds, according to Dr. Andre Terzic, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, who testified before a Senate committee in March. California was the first, when voters passed Proposition 71 in 2004 to set up the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) with $3 billion in funding. Via Star Tribune

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Mayo Clinic, U of M to get millions for regenerative medicine research

Millions of state dollars soon will start flowing to Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to support a new regenerative medicine partnership aimed at finding cures for illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and heart disease. Tucked within a budget bill passed by the DFL-led Legislature this month and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton is $4.5 million for the regenerative medicine partnership and ongoing annual funding of $4.4 million. Dr. Andre Terzic, director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, said these dollars will help Minnesota become a hub for regenerative medicine. Via Post-Bulletin.

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National Cancer Survivor Day is June 1st

Take part in an annual national celebration that honors people whose lives have been touched by cancer. National Cancer Survivors Day is June 1st. Via Mayo Clinic News

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