This Week in Managed Care: November 9, 2018

Medicaid expansion wins at the ballot box, new melanoma guidelines discuss genetic testing, and high blood pressure in young adults predicts future cardiovascular events.
Welcome to This Week in Managed Care. I’m Samantha DiGrande.

Healthcare at the Ballot Box
Healthcare was a key factor in Tuesday’s midterm elections, giving Democrats control of the House of Representatives and bringing Medicaid expansion to more states. Voters in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska approved expansion and it appeared that Medicaid expansion would continue in Montana.
Said Jonathan Schleifer of the Fairness Project, “This election proves that politicians who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act got it wrong. Americans want to live in a country where everyone can go to the doctor without going bankrupt. Expanding access to health care isn’t a blue state value or a red state value; it’s an American value.”
Update to Melanoma Guidelines
New guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology will help physicians treating patients with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. New treatments developed over the past decade can cure this disease if it is caught early.
The guidelines call for education and counseling in families with a history of melanoma, but caution that genetic testing is not always appropriate.
Said Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD, FAAD, co-chair of the guidelines group, “Every case is unique, so physicians should work with their patients, and other specialists if necessary, to explain the available options and determine the best possible treatment plan for each patient.”
High Blood Pressure in Young Adults
Young adults with high blood pressure at a higher risk of having heart disease or strokes later in like, according to a new study.
Authors reporting in JAMA found that having elevated blood pressure before age 40, based on new blood pressure guidelines updated in 2017, increased the risk of cardiovascular events by age 60. The risk was highest for those who had a systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher the authors found.
More discussion of the effects of high blood pressure will take place this weekend at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago.
Opioid Risk in Veterans
No population has been spared from the nation’s opioid crisis, but it has hit especially hard among veterans. In an interview with The American Journal of Managed Care®, Elizabeth Stringer, PhD, explains why veterans may be at particular risk.
Via American Journal of Managed Care.

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