Company news: Biogen Idec, HHS, Televox

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Biogen Idec has created an academic consortium to explore new approaches to treat Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The consortium includes Columbia, Harvard, Rockefeller and Yale universities. The company said in a statement that this ALS effort will build on a collaboration Biogen Idec started this year with Duke University and the Hudson Alpha Institute to sequence the genomes of 1,000 ALS patients. Biogen Idec has committed more than $10 million over the next three years to this latest effort.

Eight state health exchanges have passed muster, and been approved by HHS, reported FierceHealthPayer. New York, Kentucky and the District of Columbia are among the good-to-go list, but with conditional approval. The Feds are currently on the hook to create and run exchanges in 30 states.

Consumers value face time with doctors less than arms-length communications, according to a report by communications firm Televox. Further, the firm said that 34% of the people polled indicated that they were more likely to be honest about their medical needs if they were responding through an automated call, email or text message than they would when sitting across from their doctor at the office. This honesty also flowed into lifestyle habits, with the polled patients saying they would be more forthright about nutritional habits, fitness regimens and “vices” if they could transmit responses digitally. The findings indicate that patients don't just prefer the digital channel as a medical confessional – the report said getting texts, emails and phone calls from healthcare professionals made patients feel more valued as patients and would make them more likely to feel they could trust their providers.
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