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Healthcare Reform Updates, This Week on Sound Medicine

November 3, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- This week on Sound Medicine, Indiana University healthcare policy observer Aaron Carroll, M.D., will discuss the recent elimination of the CLASS Act from the healthcare reform law. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield medical director Kimberly Roop, M.D., then will explain how the new law is spurring Anthem to update insurance policies for low-income patients.

Sound Medicine airs Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. on WFYI, 90.1FM. For the airtime on a public radio station near you, check the Sound Medicine website

Demise of the CLASS Act. Recently, the Obama administration announced it was scrapping the CLASS Act, an insurance plan designed to provide home-based care to people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. The Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act was a component of the new healthcare reform law. IU healthcare policy analyst Aaron Carroll, M.D., joins Barbara Lewis to explain why the program’s termination is not surprising. Dr. Carroll is vice chair of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Research at the IU School of Medicine. He’s a regular guest on Sound Medicine.

Health insurance changes for low-income patients. The healthcare reform law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, takes effect in 2014. But insurance companies aren’t waiting to adjust. One major insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently rolled out its Practice Consultant program, a plan to solve common problems in providing healthcare to low-income patients. Kimberly Roop, M.D., is medical director for Anthem’s Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana plans. She provides details about the new initiative, which includes giving swipe cards to Medicare and Medicaid patients. Dr. Roop chats with Sound Medicine’s Steve Bogdewic, Ph.D.

A drug for the common cold.  MIT researcher Todd Rider, Ph.D., is working on a drug that can identify cells infected by any type of virus and kill those cells to destroy the infection. This antiviral drug, called DRACO, could target the cold virus -- and other diseases such as polio and dengue fever.  Dr. Rider discusses his research with Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D. Dr. Rider is senior staff scientist in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group.

Hospitals to encourage breastfeeding. For years, public health organizations have been urging new mothers to breast feed their babies. Even so, according to the Centers for Disease Control, just 15 percent of mothers in the U.S. breastfed exclusively in 2008, and fewer than half of all U.S. mothers breastfed at all that year. On this week’s show, Barbara Lewis talks with CDC breastfeeding expert Cria Perrine, Ph.D., about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative – 10 steps that hospitals can take to help mothers start breast feeding and to continue once they're at home. Dr. Perrine is an epidemiologist in the CDC’s division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

Anita Diamant on self-image. Author Anita Diamant sits down with Barbara Lewis to discuss how, historically, views of the female body have shaped – and limited -- women’s perceptions of themselves. Diamant is part of this year’s Spirit & Place festival in Indianapolis.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health Physicians, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Did You Know is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

Twittercue: On @soundmedicine, @aaronecarroll on the CLASS Act; insurance changes for low-income patients; an amazing antiviral drug from MIT, &etc
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