January 18, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights

By Karl Oestreich



January 18, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

Thank you.

Karl Oestreich, manager enterprise media relations

Wall Street Journal
Researchers Mine Data From Clinic, Big Insurer
by Anna Wilde Mathews

UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Mayo Clinic are set to unveil a new research initiative that will draw on millions of health-insurance claims and in-depth clinical patient records, part of a broader effort in the health industry to glean insights about care from a growing flood of data…The initiative will focus on research into "best outcomes for patients at lower costs," said John H. Noseworthy, M.D., chief executive of Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit. Some initial projects include analyzing how to improve the diagnosis of hepatitis C and looking at the relative cost-effectiveness of certain medical devices, the partners said.

Circulation: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, is tops in newspaper circulation in America with an average circulation of 2 million copies on weekdays.

UnitedHealth Joins Mayo Clinic in Pact to Improve Care
By Michelle Fay Cortez

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the largest U.S. provider of medical coverage, will join the Mayo Clinic in a research alliance designed to merge insurance records and medical data to find more efficient ways to deliver care. The venture will focus on fundamental issues that may help standardize care in a way that will lower costs, said Veronique Roger, M.D. head of the clinic’s Center for the Science of Health Delivery. This could include things such as analyzing the steps needed for successful hip replacement surgery or ways to get patients to consistently take their medicines, she said.

Circulation:  Bloomberg has 2,300 media professionals in 146 bureaus across 72 countries. Bloomberg delivers its content across more than 400 publications, over 310 million households worldwide through Bloomberg Television and 500,000 in the New York metro area and 18.5 million subscribers through satellite radio.

Star Tribune
United and Mayo pool info to drop cost of care
by Maura Lerner

The Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealth Group announced a new research institute Tuesday that will pool data on more than 110 million patients as part of an effort to help scientists study ways to improve medical care and lower costs. The two Minnesota powerhouses said the project, called Optum Labs, could become health care's version of "Bell Labs," the 20th-century idea factory that sparked such innovations as the transistor and the laser… Dr. John Noseworthy, Mayo's president and CEO, called the project the "largest effort of this type in the country." He said it would help scientists see how patients fare over time, comparing treatments and outcomes.

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 514,457 copies and weekday circulation is 300,330. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Pioneer Press 
Mayo Clinic, UnitedHealth form health research lab in Massachusetts
By Christopher Snowbeck

Until a few years ago, the world-famous Mayo Clinic wasn't even an "in-network" option for people with insurance from UnitedHealth Group. But now, amid more examples of collaboration between insurers and health care providers across the country, Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealth have decided to jointly open a research lab in Massachusetts that will analyze how to get more value from health care spending.

Circulation: The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a daily circulation of 226,108 and its Sunday newspaper circulation is 270,811. Its TwinCities.com website had approximately 18.6 million page views (March 2011) and the Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com reaches about 3.3 million people each month.

Two Minn. health giants announce collaboration
by Elizabeth Baier

A new collaborative research initiative between two Minnesota health giants will work to improve patient care and lower costs. Announced Tuesday morning, the partnership between Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealth Group's Optum division is the largest health data-sharing effort of its kind in the country. The new alliance is called Optum Labs. Think of it as a massive database that combines Optum's claim records from more than 100 million patients over the last 20 years, with five-million of Mayo's clinical records from the last 15 years.

Reach: Minnesota Public Radio operates 43 stations and serves virtually all of Minnesota and parts of the surrounding states. MPR has more than 100,000 members and more than 900,000 listeners each week, which is the largest audience of any regional public radio network.

CBS Boston-WBZ NewsRadio 1030
Mayo Clinic, UnitedHealth Announce Massive Research Project
By Anthony Silva

Two of the largest names in healthcare have announced a massive medical research project to be centered in Cambridge. Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealth Group will form a company called Optum Labs to research millions of medical records in search of the best outcomes, procedures and practices.

Reach: WBZ-AM 1030 is a commercial news and talk radio station in the Boston, Mass., area. The station is owned by CBS Radio. WBZ-AM uses the tagline "News Radio 1030."

Additional Coverage: AP, Bloomberg Businessweek, Pioneer Press, Post Bulletin, WCCO, KARE 11KAAL, KTTC, Boston Herald, ModernHealthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, Kaiser Health News, Mankato Free Press, iHealthBeatUPI, NECN.com, Insurance News Net, Financial Content, Toronto Telegraph, TMCnet, Mpls St. Paul Business Journal, Twin Cities Business, Healthcare IT News, Hartford Courant, Hispanic Business, FierceHealthPayer, Information Week, Mpls St. Paul Business Journal, MedCity News

Context: These stories were the result of the annoucement this week by Optum and Mayo Clinic about the launch of Optum Labs, an open, collaborative research and development facility with a singular goal: improving patient care. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Optum Labs provides an environment where the health care industry can come together to combine information and ideas that benefit patients today while also driving long-term improvements in the delivery and quality of care.

News Release: Optum, Mayo Clinic Partner to Launch Optum Labs: An Open, Collaborative Research and Innovation Facility Focused on Better Care for Patients

Mayo Clinic News Blog: Transforming Health Care in the U.S.

Website: Welcome to Optum Labs

Website: Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Sharon Theimer, Karl Oestreich, Jeffrey Smith (Optum)

Wall Street Journal
Find the Perfect Sleep Position
by Sumathi Reddy

Tossing and turning all night to find that perfect sleeping position? Experts say there is no one right way to sleep…Roughly 10% of sleep apnea patients can be cured by changing their sleep position, said Eric Olson, co-director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, Minn. While there are many sleep products designed to keep people off their backs, Dr. Olson and other experts recommend sewing a tennis ball onto the back of your night shirt to avoid rolling on to your back. And for people who want to stay on their back, he suggests elevating the head by at least 30 degrees or using a wedge pillow.

Circulation: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, is tops in newspaper circulation in America with an average circulation of 2 million copies on weekdays.

Context: Eric Olson, M.D., has joint appointments in Mayo Clinic Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and the Center for Sleep Medicine. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep disorders evaluate and treat adults and children in the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The Center for Sleep Medicine is one of the largest sleep medicine facilities in the United States. Staff in the center treat about 6,500 new people who have sleep disorders each year. The Center for Sleep Medicine is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Olson's research focuses on sleep disorders and interstitial lung disease.

Public Affairs Contacts: Alyson Fleming, Traci Klein

Wall Street Journal
A Good Way to Measure Obesity? Fat Chance

by Carl Bialik

A report last week that people who are slightly overweight have less chance of dying than those of normal weight had some researchers calling for further study of how a little extra fat can apparently be good for you. But others saw it as another sign thatthe standard way of measuring who is too heavy should be scrapped… "I suspect it's primarily an issue with BMI being unable to measure the things it's intended to measure, or what really matters," said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Circulation: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, is tops in newspaper circulation in America with an average circulation of 2 million copies on weekdays.

Context:  Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D. is a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. People who are of normal weight but have fat concentrated in their bellies have a higher death risk than those who are obese, according to  his Mayo Clinic research. Dr. Lopez-Jimenez presented research on the topic at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich last August. A news release contains highlights of that reserach presented at the meeting.

Public Affairs Contact: Traci Klein

New York Times
As Flu Rages, Caregiving Suffers
by Judith Graham

Nationally, about 60 percent of health care workers get flu vaccines, which are voluntary in most hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, according to Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group. And when workers are struck by the flu, infections among residents can follow. “The disruptions, the costs, the complications from this virus, no one should confuse it with a minor illness,” said Dr. Poland, who has advocated for mandatory immunizations for health care workers.

Circulation: The New York Times has the third highest circulation nationally, behind USA Today (2nd) and The Wall Street Journal (1st) with 1,150,589 weekday copies circulated and 1,645,152 circulated on Sundays.

Star Tribune
Flu shot flaws leave experts queasy
by Maura Lerner
The flu shot, it might be said, is the black sheep of the vaccine family. In good years, people ignore it because they think the flu is no big deal. In bad years -- like this one -- they complain that it doesn't work well enough. But the biggest problem, says Dr. Gregory Poland, a leading vaccine researcher, is that scientists are still scrambling to understand the elusive virus and come up with a better alternative…"Like every single man-made product, influenza vaccine is imperfect,'' said Poland, head of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic. "But I liken it to seat belts. Who would want to be in a crash without a seat belt?"

Related Coverage: KEYC, KSTP, WOWK, KAAL, Red Wing Republican Eagle, KIWA, USA Today

Context: Gregory Poland, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic General Internal Medicine and an infectious diseases expert and advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mayo Clinic News Blog: Mayo Clinic Evaluates this Flu Season’s Outbreak

Public Affairs Contact: Bryan Anderson

Fox News
New saliva gland test may better diagnose patients with Parkinson's
by Loren Grush

It’s difficult for patients to absolutely know if they have Parkinson’s disease. To date, the only way to diagnose someone with Parkinson’s is to do a clinical exam to access his or her symptoms.  And in order to definitively get an answer, an autopsy is performed on the brain – only after the person has died. But now, a conclusive clinical test may soon be available.  Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona have found that examining a specific portion of a person’s saliva gland may be able to diagnose someone with Parkinson’s.

Reach: FoxNews.com has more than 13 million unique visitors each month.

Context: Described as a "big step forward" for research and treatment of Parkinson's disease, new research from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Banner Sun Health Research Institute suggests that testing a portion of a person's saliva gland may be a way to diagnose the disease. The study was released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in San Diego in March. "There is currently no diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease," says study author Charles Adler, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "We have previously shown in autopsies of Parkinson's patients that the abnormal proteins associated with Parkinson's are consistently found in the submandibular saliva glands, found under the lower jaw. This is the first study demonstrating the value of testing a portion of the saliva gland to diagnose a living person with Parkinson's disease. Making a diagnosis in living patients is a big step forward in our effort to understand and better treat patients."

News Release: Saliva Gland Test for Parkinson's Shows Promise, Study Finds

Public Affairs Contact: Jim McVeigh

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Tags: AAN, American Academy of Neurology, AP, Becker’s Hospital Review, Bell Labs, belly fat, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek, BMI, Boston Herald, Cambridge, Cardiology, CBS Boston, data, Dr. Charles Adler, Dr. Eric Olson, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Dr. Gregory Poland, Dr. John Noseworthy, Dr. Veronique Roger, European Society of Cardiology Congress, FierceHealthPayer, Financial Content, flu, Fox News, General Internal Medicine, Hartford Courant, health-insurance claims, Healthcare IT News, Hispanic Business, iHealthBeat, immunizations, Infectious Diseases, Influenza, Information Week, Insurance News Net, KAAL, Kaiser Health News, KARE 11, KEYC, KIWA, KSTP, KTTC, Mankato Free Press, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Mayo Clinic in the News, Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, MedCity News, Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, ModernHealthcare, Mpls St. Paul Business Journal, MPR, NECN.com, Neurology, Obesity, Optum, Optum Labs, parkinson's disease, Pioneer Press, Post Bulletin, Red Wing Republican Eagle, Research, research lab, saliva gland, Sleep Medicine, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TMCnet, Toronto Telegraph, Twin Cities Business, UnitedHealthGroup, UPI, USA Today, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, WCCO, WOWK

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