Fox bigwigs accused of dictating unhealthy rhetoric on healthcare reform. Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, “If you call it a public option, the American people are split. If you call it the government option, the public is overwhelmingly against it" as the healthcare reform debate churned in summer of 2009. The advice went all the way to top brass at the conservative news network and precipitated editorial changes, wrote Howard Kurtz in The Daily Beast.
New blood test could predict heart failure risk. A blood test for level of the protein cardiac troponin T could provide warnings to people at risk for heart failure or death, according to a report in the Dec. 8 Journal of the American Medical Association, reports U.S. News & World Report‘s Science blog.
Report: Smoking can cause immediate damage to DNA. The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach lung tissue every time smokers inhale, causing immediate and lasting damage. Even the smallest amount of smoke can also corrupt your DNA leading to cancer the U.S. Surgeon-General said in a new report, according to Reuters.
Big HIE fish swallow small. With Aetna picking up health information exchange vendor Medicity for $500 million earlier this week, and UnitedHealth Group’s Ingenix buying Medicity’s top competitor, Axolotl, earlier this year, the HIE market is going through a major upheaval with few (one could even argue no) strong, independent vendors left, according to Chilmark Research.
Health reform game changer. The future of health reform will be shaped more by interest group agendas and state-level actions than by the plans of new Republican leadership in the U.S. House, according to a Kaiser Health News opinion piece. Not only has the health reform game changed, but so have the most important players.
Could this be a record? Early Tuesday, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $126.5 million to settle charges of deliberately misreporting pricing information to hike reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, writes Pharmalot blogger Ed Silverman. A few hours later, Abbott agreed to pay $41 million to resolve criminal and civil charges that its Kos Pharmaceuticals unit engaged in kickbacks and off-label marketing.
Med device makers lose clout. Medical-device makers, already battling slumping markets and sliding product prices, are losing their grip on a key tool for driving sales — influence over doctors whose practices increasingly are being bought by hospitals, Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Medtronic subpoenaed over neurostimulators. Fridley, Minnesota’s Medtronic, the largest maker of heart devices, has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney in western New York related to sales, marketing and reimbursement practices for its brain stimulation products, according to Bloomberg.
Age of the $1,000 genome. San Francisco molecular diagnostics company Sequenta Inc. has raised $13 million in a Series B venture round to develop fast, cheap DNA sequencing that could help doctors figure out whether patients’ immune systems have gone out of whack, according to Xconomy.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.