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North Carolina Health Link Weekly – April 10, 2015

By Blue Cross NC | April 10, 2015 | Uncategorized

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The health care industry is one that begs discussion — it’s personal, it’s social, and it impacts us all. Every week we come across hundreds of articles, tweets, updates, and briefs. We thought you’d like to read some of what we’re seeing right now, and start a conversation. Tune in Fridays for your weekly dose of all things North Carolina health care news related.

Got a link to share? Tweet us at @bcbsnc with #NCHealthLinkWeekly, and we could feature your story in an upcoming Friday edition.

Innovation and Trends

Here’s an Inside Look at the New Clear Choices Transparency Initiative (MedCity News, 04/9/15)
As consumers increasingly are being asked to pay a larger share of their health bills, a coalition of insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and provider and consumer advocacy groups launched Thursday a new push for greater transparency regarding the actual costs of services.

Tracking Your Own Health Data Too Closely Can Make You Sick (NPR, 04/6/15)
Last week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused quite a stir on Twitter by suggesting that people, if they could afford it, get quarterly bloodwork to establish a baseline of their own health.

Healthcare Technology

Can the Apple Watch Really Keep the Doctor Away? (Forbes, 04/09/15)
At a little after 12:00 AM Pacific Time consumers will be able to pre-order the Apple AAPL Watch online for delivery on April 24th. It is the first new Apple product since the iPad was introduced five years ago and eight years since the introduction of the iPhone.

Doctors Make House Calls on Tablets Carried by Houston Firefighters (NPR, 04/9/15)
It seems like every firefighter you ask can rattle off examples of 911 calls that didn’t come even close to being life-threatening.


Health and Fitness

Mobile Farmers Market to Increase Access to Food (Greensboro News & Record, 04/8/15)
The Mobile Oasis Farmers Market will expand its footprint after receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Initial funding for the project came from the United Way of Greater Greensboro, with additional money from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

Link Between Heart Disease and Height Hidden in Our Genes (NPR, 04/8/15)
Shorter people are more likely than taller folks to have clogged heart arteries, and a new study says part of the reason lies in the genes.

Roche’s Arthritis Blockbuster Holds Promise for Diabetes (Bloomberg, 04/9/15)
When the body attacks itself the consequences can be debilitating. Think arthritis. Now researchers in Seattle are testing whether a blockbuster arthritis drug can take on an even more dangerous disease: diabetes, one of the world’s biggest killers.

Industry News

Four Largest States Have Sharp Disparities in Access to Health Care (LA Times, 04/10/15)
The national divide over the Affordable Care Act is beginning to affect Americans’ access to medical care and perhaps even their ability to pay medical bills, a new study of the country’s four largest states suggests.

Medical Schools Try to Reboot for 21st Century (Kaiser Health News, 04/9/15)
Medicine has changed a lot in the past 100 years. But medical training has not.

Californians Increasingly Visiting Hospital ERs for Non-Injury Care (Los Angeles Times, 04/6/15)
Californians are increasingly likely to visit a hospital emergency room for complex medical problems rather than an injury, according to new research.


Were humans born to run?