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NIH-funded study shows clinicians reduced prescriptions following behavioral “nudge”. Clinicians were more likely to reduce the number and dose of opioid drugs they prescribed after learning that one of their patients had died from an overdose from a controlled substance than those not notified, according to a recent study appearing in the August 10 issue of Science. The study was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) are financed by state, county, and federal funds. Depending on your countable income, you may have to pay for a portion of the cost of services. This is known as share of cost.

If you work, you may qualify for no-cost IHSS even if you think you have to pay a share of cost. That’s because if you have a disability, you could sign up for Medi-Cal’s Working Disabled Program (WDP).

In a new study, researchers developed a gene expression predictor that can indicate whether melanoma in a specific patient is likely to respond to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, a novel type of immunotherapy. The predictor was developed by Noam Auslander, Ph.D., with other researchers in the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the University of Maryland, College Park. The study was published Aug. 20, 2018 in Nature Medicine.

Scientists funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) report a novel gene therapy that halts vision loss in a canine model of a blinding condition called autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). The strategy could one day be used to slow or prevent vision loss in people with the disease. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The National Institutes of Health has launched the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program to investigate the biological characteristics underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain. The effort will also seek to determine the mechanisms that make some people susceptible and others resilient to the development of chronic pain. A2CPS is part of the NIH-wide HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-NIH effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The high prevalence of chronic pain in the United States, and the reliance on opioids for its management, has created an urgent need for safer, more effective pain control. Though A2CPS is part of the HEAL Initiative, its anticipated $40.4 million four-year budget is supplied by the NIH Common Fund, and is an additional investment to enhance research on pain and opioid addiction beyond funds already allocated to HEAL.

Study funded by NIH showed a change in use of breathing tube can save more lives.   The study showed that a change in the type of breathing tube paramedics use to resuscitate patients with sudden cardiac arrest can significantly improve the odds of survival and save thousands of lives. More than 90 percent of Americans who experience sudden cardiac arrest die before, or soon after, reaching a hospital.

Depending upon your circumstances, you may be eligible to get up to 283 hours of IHSS each month. The county will do a needs assessment to figure out the services you need and how many hours you qualify for.

Results from a clinical trial of more than 250 participants with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) revealed that ibudilast was better than a placebo in slowing down brain shrinkage. The study also showed that the main side effects of ibudilast were gastrointestinal and headaches. The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

NIH-funded preclinical results suggest returning nerve cells to a younger state could aid in repair.  Microscopic scan of axon regrowth
Researchers have discovered three factors important for helping axons (red) regrow following spinal cord damage. Sofroniew lab
For many years, researchers have thought that the scar that forms after a spinal cord injury actively prevents damaged neurons from regrowing. In a study of rodents, scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health showed they could overcome this barrier and reconnect severed spinal cord nerves by turning back the neurons’ clocks to put them into an early growth state. Once this occurs, neurons could be induced to regrow across the scarred tissue. The research was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of NIH.

Asthma patients, with a specific genetic profile, exhibit more intense symptoms following exposure to traffic pollution, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and collaborators. The study appeared online in Scientific Reports.

Found that asthma patients that lack this genetic profile do not have the same sensitivity to traffic pollution and do not experience worse asthma symptoms. The work brings scientists closer to being able to use precision medicine, an emerging field that intends to prevent and treat disease based on factors specific to an individual.

New findings from mouse models reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought. These insights may inform the development of new NAFLD treatments as well as immune-altering therapies for obesity and related health issues in people with NAFLD.

NAFLD affects an estimated 64 million people in the United States. Over time, it can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), eventually leading to liver damage and scarring. NAFLD is a leading indication for liver transplantation.

In a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, researchers found a higher than expected prevalence of cancer at baseline screening in individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare inherited disorder that leads to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. The research demonstrates the feasibility of a new, comprehensive cancer screening protocol for this high-risk population.

The study was led by Sharon A. Savage, M.D., of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), and was published with a companion meta-analysis on August 3, 2017, in JAMA Oncology.

For many millions of Americans, diabetes is a lifelong burden. But it does not have to be a lifelong barrier to better health. This National Diabetes Month, the National Institutes of Health encourages people with diabetes and those who care for them to find the support they need, and for all people to gain understanding and offer support to those with this challenging disease.

Investigators at the National Institutes of Health and international colleagues have discovered a genetic cause and potential treatment strategy for a rare immune disorder called CHAPLE disease. Children with the condition can experience severe gastrointestinal distress and deep vein blood clots. No effective treatments are available to ameliorate or prevent these life-threatening symptoms.

In the study, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, describe a newly understood mechanism for CHAPLE disease, or CD55 deficiency with hyperactivation of complement, angiopathic thrombosis, and protein-losing enteropathy. The research report was published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. CHAPLE disease is a form of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (PIL), or Waldmann’s disease, first described in 1961 by Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., an NIH Distinguished Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, at NIH.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics and commonly cause skin infections that can lead to more serious or life-threatening infection in other parts of the body. In new findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that two common, inexpensive antimicrobials can help patients heal from MRSA skin abscesses. The findings suggest that current treatment options for MRSA still have a role, even as scientists continue to search for new antimicrobial products. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

An international team of researchers has identified genomic mutations for Carey-Fineman-Ziter (CFZS) syndrome, a very rare congenital myopathy (inherited muscle disorder) characterized by facial weakness, a small or retracted chin, a cleft palate and curvature of the spine (scoliosis), among other symptoms. The researchers determined that CFZS is caused by mutations in the gene MYMK that encodes for the protein myomaker. This protein is necessary for the fusion of muscle cells (myoblasts) into muscle fibers (myotubes) during the development of an embryo and the regeneration of muscle cells after injury. The study was published July 6, 2017, in Nature Communications.

A National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce robust immune responses and be administered safely with an experimental patch of dissolving microneedles. The method is an alternative to needle-and-syringe immunization; with further development, it could eliminate the discomfort of an injection as well as the inconvenience and expense of visiting a flu clinic.

“This bandage-strip sized patch of painless and dissolvable needles can transform how we get vaccinated,” said Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which funded the study. “A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered. In addition, this technology holds promise for delivering other vaccines in the future.”

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