Week in Review — Jan. 17

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.

Federal Judge Upholds Health Care Subsidies

A federal judge rejected a legal challenge on Wednesday to a central part of President Obama’s health care law, ruling that millions of low- and moderate-income people could obtain health insurance subsidies regardless of whether they bought coverage through the federal insurance exchange or in marketplaces run by the states. Critics of the law had said that a literal reading of it would allow subsidies only in the 14 states that ran their own exchanges. But the judge, Paul L. Friedman of the Federal District Court here, said that was absurd and contrary to the whole purpose of the Affordable Care Act. Via The New York Times. 

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Coffee lovers perk up: Caffeine may boost memory

Put on the coffee. Brew some tea. Here's another good reason to enjoy a cup of java daily: A new study suggests that caffeine may play a role in enhancing memory. There are many ways people consume caffeine, including in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate, says the study's lead author Michael Yassa. It doesn't matter what the source is, the effect of caffeine will likely be the same, he says. Via USA Today.

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Experimental gene therapy improves sight in patients going blind

Toby Stroh was in his 20s when his doctor told him he would go blind in his 50s, and his years of playing tennis and being able to drive or work could be gone long before that. Now aged 56, two years after his retina was deliberately infected with a virus carrying a gene to correct a protein deficiency that was destroying its cells, he is a regular on the tennis court and has a successful career in law. Via Reuters.

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Minnesota must destroy 1 million newborn blood samples

For more than four years, the Minnesota Department of Health resisted, even defied, legal rulings and sought to retain 1 million blood samples from a newborn screening program designed to detect illness and study genetic diseases. The defiance ended Monday with a deal that requires destruction of the samples. In a settlement with 21 families that sued the state over medical privacy rights, the department agreed to follow a November 2011 Minnesota Supreme Court order to destroy all blood samples in long-term storage — including those from the plaintiff families — and to pay nearly $1 million in legal costs. Via Star Tribune.

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Cleveland Clinic won’t expand past Abu Dhabi until it’s ‘right’

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove said the health system won’t do any more international expansion until they get it right at their often-delayed facility Abu Dhabi. Many of the elite health systems have designs on being global brands. But the big question for expanding beyond the United States, Cosgrove told attendees Tuesday at JP Morgan’s Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, is staffing. Cleveland Clinic has gone “all in” on that issue, he said. Via MEDCITY News.

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The Flu: Everything You Need to Know This Season

“It’s just the flu.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that expression. Yet each time I hear it, I cringe. “Just the flu” is responsible every year for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.  It is a disease that makes those of us who work in public health very nervous. Via ABC News.

Gov. Dayton: Mayo Clinic's DMC initiative 'transformative, priceless'

2013 was a huge year for Rochester, thanks in large part to the passing of the Mayo Clinic Destination Medical Center legislation. It was a project many in the state, including Gov. Mark Dayton, pushed hard to accomplish. Thursday, KTTC NewsCenter's Daniel Wolfe sat down with the Governor to talk about the future of DMC. Via KTTC.

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News Release: Sequenom Laboratories Expands Access to MaterniT21(TM) PLUS Test

Sequenom, Inc., a life sciences company providing innovative testing and genetic analysis solutions, announced today its wholly owned subsidiary, Sequenom Laboratories, entered into an agreement to offer access to its MaterniT21(TM) PLUS laboratory-developed test to Mayo Medical Laboratories. "We are delighted to expand our offerings to our national clients to offer the MaterniT21 PLUS test to physicians who have patients who are at high risk for fetal chromosomal abnormalities," says Dr. Franklin Cockerill, III, M.D, Chief Executive Officer of Mayo Medical Laboratories. Via The Wall Street Journal.

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Twins Winter Caravan stops at Saint Marys Hospital

Children at Mayo Clinic were treated to a real surprise Wednesday morning when they got to spend some time with their favorite baseball players, when theTwins Winter Caravan made a stop at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester. Twins pitchers Kyle Gibson and Caleb Thielbar, along with Twins Hall of Famer Tony Oliva, radio announcer Cory Provus, and Twins mascot T.C. were all excited to meet and sign baseballs for the children. Via KTTC.

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Destination Medical Center seeks community input

Rochester and Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center community-input process will continue through the beginning of February. About 80 community members helped design a framework for that input…Dr. Patricia Simmons, chairwoman of the DMC EDA Board said community input "will be a critical factor in helping to inform the DMC Development Plan. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Dr. John Noseworthy:  The Future of Healthcare


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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.