Steer clear of the flu before it stops you

Flu months are back, meaning it’s time for you to safeguard yourself and family members through getting a free flu shot.

Flu infections vary from year upon year, so it’s important to obtain a flu shot each flu season. It’s free for those who have Medicare, once per flu season when you are getting it by doctors or any other medical service providers (like senior centers and pharmacies) that take Medicare.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 3–9. Don’t allow the flu prevent you from experiencing the holidays. Get the free flu shot today!

Food and drug administration approves Foundation Medicine’s genetic diagnostic test as CMS makes way for coverage

Just a little over two several weeks after it had been hinted so good regulatory news maybe headed Foundation Medicine’s way, the organization announced late Thursday the Food and drug administration had approved their genomic diagnostic test for those solid tumors.

In parallel, the Centers for Medicare and State medicaid programs Services also issued an initial National Coverage Decision to pay for the FoundationOne companion diagnostic test. Per their news release the “draft NCD provides coverage for Food and drug administration-approved companion diagnostic claims, in addition to a path for further coverage with evidence rise in other solid tumor types.”

Your final policy is anticipated to be issued within the first quarter of the coming year after an administrative period and to match public comment. It will likely be interesting to determine how insurers view this development.

In August 2016 the Cambridge, Massachusetts- based Foundation Medicine announced that it is FoundationOne test have been recognized in to the Parallel Review program.

For individuals who’re not aware, Parallel  Review is really a program that companies can undergo to concurrently seek Food and drug administration approval and CMS National Coverage Decision for any novel product. The very first illustration of it was Exact Sciences and it is Cologuard product, which got Food and drug administration approval in 2014.

The need for FoundationOne lies in the possibility to further precision medicine in the area of oncology. It asses genomic modifications in 324 genes and may advise a treatment path according to exactly what the DNA sequencing reveals. The exam can also be indicated like a companion diagnostic for patients with certain kinds of non-small cell cancer of the lung (NSCLC), melanoma, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer or cancer of the breast to recognize individuals patients who will benefit from treatments presently available.

Covering a sizable-panel gene test may be the solution to tackle cancer, the Food and drug administration noted in the announcement.

When compared with other companion diagnostics previously authorized by the Food and drug administration that match one test to 1 drug, the F1CDx is really a more extensive test that gives info on a variety of genetic mutations that might help within the clinical control over patients with cancer.

A specialist addressed what size-panel gene tests are answer to precision medicine.

“Comprehensive genomic profiling may be the gateway to precision medicine. This decision in the Food and drug administration and CMS, which can lead to coverage for Medicare patients, represents an essential advance in improving patient and clinician use of precision medicine – in setting a brand new quality standard for this kind of testing and offering potentially improved healthcare coverage,” stated Ankur R. Parikh, DO, Medical Director of Precision Medicine, Cancer Centers of the usa.

The CMS preliminary decision is probably likely to pressure insurance providers to reevaluate the way they consider the effectiveness of huge-panel gene testing. While oncologists are prescribing such tests, many insurers won’t cover them frequently departing patients with large bills. To date, they’ve chosen over take an incremental method of precision medicine by covering tests that concentrate on one or a number of genes at most.

Photo: bandit2523, Getty Images

With $44M fundraise, could Fractyl make wls the penicillin in our generation?

There isn’t any lack of uncomfortable surprises in medicine, but every occasionally the die roll in humanity’s favor. One recent example: wls.

Initially designed to lose weight, experts found gastric bypass procedures suddenly resolved Diabetes type 2 inside a subset of patients, pointing to some potential strategy to the actual disease, not only the signs and symptoms.

Fractyl Laboratories began this year to consider that discovery and gone with it. On Thursday, the Lexington, Massachusetts-based company announced it’d elevated $44 Million in new equity financing. The Series D was brought by an undisclosed first-time Fractyl investor, with GV (formerly Google Ventures), True Ventures, and also the IDO Fund, joining a recognised syndicate from previous models.

Inside a phone interview, Fractyl Co-founder and Chief executive officer Harith Rajagopalan stated the funding can help advance their Revita DMR technology a “minimally invasive procedural therapy” that seeks to imitate the metabolic results of bariatric surgery. The issue? Science continues to be untangling the actual mechanisms playing.

“You possess the wls that does not touch the pancreas that’s reversing diabetes before people even lose an oz of weight,” Rajagopalan stated. “[It] can make you say ‘what the heck is happening within the intestine that we’re missing?’”

Individuals real cause

Wls encompasses a number of techniques that shrink the patient’s stomach and/or bypass parts of the stomach and small intestine they are driving lengthy-term weight reduction. This, consequently, might help the individual prevent or manage various chronic conditions, for example Diabetes type 2 and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

However, as NIH Director Francis Collins noted in the blog, patients frequently prosper regardless of the load loss.

“One of the very most intriguing effects from the surgical treatment is that patients’ bloodstream sugar levels normalize within days—long before any weight reduction has happened. Patients can frequently quit taking their diabetes medication before departing a healthcare facility,Inches Collins noted.

Scientists have spent a long time attempting to find out the underlying mechanism. Fractyl has too, balancing fundamental research while the introduction of its procedural platform. To really make it more manageable, the organization has focused its research efforts around the role of insulin resistance in Diabetes type 2 and, to some lesser extent, NAFLD/NASH.

Based on the CDC, around million new installments of diabetes are diagnosed within the U.S. every year. If the trajectory continues, as much as one inch every three adult Americans might have diabetes by 2050. Meanwhile, the marketplace for NASH is anticipated to swell forty-fold within the next ten years, from $618 million in 2016 to $25.3 billion in 2026.

Fractyl has designed an endoscopic catheter-based method that recreates the advantages of gastric bypass surgeries by looking into making targeted changes towards the duodenum — the uppermost area of the small intestine. A heated-balloon can be used to modulate the intestinal lining while departing the dwelling intact. Once completed, patients can frequently check-from the hospital within 24 hours.

In Diabetes type 2, cells in your body don’t adequately react to the insulin created through the pancreas, causing bloodstream sugar levels to increase. 50 Plus medicine is now approved to assist manage the problem, frequently by presenting more synthetic insulin. If Fractyl can capture the results of wls, it might really re-sensitize the individual so their natural levels of insulin work.

According to follow-up data on from patients within an earlier trial, the process seems safe and also the benefits durable — for the time being, based on Rajagopalan. Fractyl is presently recruiting for any new randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled study in Europe.

Rajagopalan is conservative as he discusses we’ve got the technology: It isn’t a cure all for that growing population of patients with Diabetes type 2 and NAFLD/NASH. But he is doing accept is as true may benefit lots of patients. Simultaneously, the understanding that Fractyl along with other scientists are responsible for may help the area develop a lot more therapeutics within this space.

“I tell people who gastric bypasses are just like our generation’s penicillin,” Rajagopalan stated, talking about the serendipitous discovery from the first-ever antibiotic in 1928.

Both of them are accidental breakthroughs that shift the main focus from the field, from managing signs and symptoms to addressing the main reason for the condition or infection, he described. Because of its part, penicillin sparked another field of antibiotics and decades of innovation for infectious illnesses. Rajagopalan hopes gut interventions can perform exactly the same for that 21st Century’s plague: metabolic illnesses.

A minumum of one other company, GI Dynamics, is searching to translate the metabolic advantages of wls — although it were built with a major setback in November when its CE Certificate of Conformity was revoked.

Fractyl provides extensive try to do in order to gain market approval, but Rajagopalan stated increasing numbers of people have become conscious of the approach and therefore are tracking their progress. Whether it succeeds, the following major tool in fighting against Diabetes type 2 and NAFLD/NASH might be a device, not really a drug. Sometimes medicine surprises us.

Put on your red ribbon – Support World AIDS Day

Are you aware that 40,000 individuals are identified as having Aids within the U.S. every year? From the 1.a million people presently coping with Aids within the U.S., one in 7 have no idea they’ve it. Medicare covers HIV screenings for individuals with Medicare 15-65 years of age who request the exam, people more youthful than 15 or over the age of 65 who’re at elevated risk, and women that are pregnant.

Aids may be the virus that can result in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. Early testing and diagnosis play key roles in lessening multiplication from the disease, extending existence expectancy, and cutting costs of care. Because of better treatments, lots of people with Aids and Helps with the U.S. live longer. Testing is a vital initial step to get Aids-infected people the health care and support they have to enhance their health insurance and enable them to maintain safer behaviors. To understand more about the best way to lower your chance of Aids, browse the CDC’s Aids Risk Reduction Tool.

Visit to find out more about their Act Against AIDS campaign. To locate an Aids test site, visit, or text your zipcode to “KNOWIT” (566948).

December 1st is World AIDS Day, so put on your red ribbon and together we are able to raise awareness and fight Aids.

Medicare Open Enrollment: time’s drained

Medicare Open Enrollment ends in a few days on December 7. If you were considering altering your Medicare coverage, this is the time to do something. You know you’ve choices in the way you get Medicare hospital, medical, and prescription medication coverage, but do you know could possibly get help online? By answering only a couple of questions regarding your wellbeing care needs, you can observe what Medicare choices would be better for you personally. Then make use of the Medicare Plan Finder to determine the program options in your town and choose the very best mixture of benefits and charges that suit your needs and budget.

During these last couple of times of Medicare Open Enrollment, have a minute to examine your choices. If you want your present healthcare coverage and it is still readily available for 2018, its not necessary to complete anything. But when you’re considering coming to a changes, now’s time to do something.

Make existence simpler: setup automatic premium payments

Most Medicare Prescription Medication Plans charge a regular monthly fee that varies by plan. This fee is known as reasonably limited. You have to pay this additionally towards the Medicare Medicare Part B premium. Are you aware that you could have this premium instantly deducted out of your monthly Social Security payment? Get reassurance understanding that bills are compensated promptly every month.

All that you should do is speak to your Medicare Medicare Part D drug plan (not Social Security). The first deduction will often take 3 several weeks to begin, and three several weeks of premiums will probably be deducted at the same time so make certain you’ve enough inside your Social Security payment to pay for this. Next, just one premium is going to be deducted every month. You may even visit a delay in premiums being withheld should you switch plans. If you wish to stop premium deductions and obtain billed directly, let your Medicare drug plan know.

Go ahead and take worry and uncertainty from when you should pay your premium bills, and phone your drug plan today. Be assured understanding that your instalments is going to be deducted as scheduled—on time, each time.

Medicare Open Enrollment: The need for Convenience

When selecting any adverse health plan, sometimes convenience matters. Additionally to cost, coverage, and benefits, here are a few other activities you might want to consider while you compare Medicare options this season:

Physician and hospital choice

Do your doctors accept the policy? Would you pay less when you purchase your hospital and medical service providers in the plan’s network?

Pharmacy access

May be the pharmacy you utilize incorporated inside your drug plan’s network? Will they use e-prescribing? Are you able to get refills by mail? Keep in mind that plan systems can alter from year upon year. If it is vital that you you to stick with exactly the same pharmacy, it’s worth checking to make certain they’ll be inside your plan’s network.


You may travel a great deal, or spend area of the year inside a different condition. Should you choose, find out if your plan covers you when you are out of all states in which you travel.


Consider if you’re pleased with your present plan and also the coverage you’ve to suit your needs. Not every healthcare is produced equal, and also the doctors, hospitals and facilities you select could affect your wellbeing. Search for plans having a 5‑star performance rating—the right expertise and care might help speed your recovery and get a lean body outcomes.

Your time and effort is valuable—and same with your wellbeing. Known only to you what mixture of coverage and convenience is most significant to your family.

We’re spending so much time to make certain you’ve choices in the manner you receive your Medicare benefits. Make use of the Medicare Plan Finder to check out all the health insurance and drug plan options in your town.

Caregivers need assistance, too

Are you currently taking care of a vintage, ill, or disabled member of the family? If that’s the case, you’re certainly one of about 43.5 million Americans who take care of family members having a chronic illness, disability, or frailty. Family caregivers provide typically 24 hrs of care each week – when you are the caregiver, which will make it tough to look after yourself.

November is National Family Caregiver Month – an ideal chance to achieve out for help if you are taking care of someone with Medicare. If you are a caregiver, listed here are 3 steps you can take this month to help you help the one you love:

  1. Visit to locate programs and sources that will help give you support.
  2. Make certain your loved one’s Medicare coverage still meets their demands. Medicare Open Enrollment comes from now until December 7, and it is vital that you have a couple of minutes to review coverage and choose a plan that actually works for the one you love.
  3. Find sources in your area by going to the Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator.

This month is another perfect chance to make certain you are receiving the concern you’ll need on your own. Should you or someone you’re taking care of is uninsured, learn much more about the Insurance Marketplace.

Know when you should use antibiotics

It’s that point again—flu season! When you get sick, antibiotics won’t always assist you to. If you receive a cold or flu, antibiotics could do more damage than good. That’s since these are infections, and antibiotics only cure microbial infections. Any time you take antibiotics, they kill sensitive bacteria, but resistant germs can survive to develop and multiply. These resistant germs are known as “antibiotic-resistant,” plus they can result in severe infections, hospitalizations, and dying, especially among quickly 65.

Now is Antibiotic Awareness Week. Here are 3 stuff you can do to make certain you’re using antibiotics the proper way:

  1. Always speak to your physician before you take an antibiotic to be certain it’ll treat the problem you’ve.
  1. Take antibiotics simply to treat microbial infections. It ought to be for just as lengthy as the physician prescribed to deal with the problem, to take down chance of obtaining the infection again, in order to lessen the risk to individuals surrounding you.
  2. Never take antibiotics for a viral infection, just like a cold, cough, or flu. Antibiotics won’t cure your virus, they won’t keep individuals surrounding you from getting sick, plus they won’t assist you to feel good. Actually, taking antibiotics if you have the herpes virus may improve your chance of through an antibiotic-resistant infection later.

Antibiotics won’t assist you to get over a chilly or flu, but you can preserve yourself from catching the main flu infections through getting your flu shot! It’s free for those who have Medicare, once per flu season when prescribed by doctors or any other medical service providers (like senior centers and pharmacies) that take Medicare.

Keep yourself strong against germs and infections, and discover when antibiotics can meet your needs!

It’s usually time for you to quit tobacco

Smoking cigarettes may cause many health issues, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory system illnesses, and cancer of the lung —the leading reason for cancer dying within the U.S. Near to 40 million individuals the U.S. still smoke tobacco, but quitting might help prevent these health issues. You are able to stop smoking today, and Medicare really wants to help.

Besides being renowned for Thanksgiving, November can also be Cancer Of The Lung Awareness Month and the Great American Smokeout. While you’re making lists for that approaching holidays, remember to talk to your physician about quitting should you smoke. Medicare covers 8 face-to-face smoking cessation counseling sessions during a 12-month period. Should you haven’t been identified as having a disease caused or complicated by tobacco use, you have to pay nothing of these counseling sessions, as lengthy as you become them from the qualified physician or any other Medicare provider.

Each year, more and more people die from cancer of the lung than any other kind of cancer and smoking may be the leading cause. Don’t be a statistic. Watch our video to find out more about Medicare’s benefits that will help you quit.