March 2014 Briefing - Allergy
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Allergy for March 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
NCHS Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for 2013
THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the first nine months of 2013, 6.7 percent of children and 20.5 percent of adults were uninsured, according to a study published online March 27 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
White House Extends Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline
WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who've started applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but can't complete the process by the March 31 enrollment deadline will be given an extension.
AMA Introduces Medical Education Initiative
WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association's (AMA) Accelerating Change in Education initiative is being introduced in 11 medical schools in an effort to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, according to an AMA report.
Americans Seem Unprepared for Health Insurance Exchanges
WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in the United States seem not to be sufficiently informed about the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Patient Request Impacts Doc Prescribing Behavior
MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients requesting specific medications are more likely to be prescribed those medications, according to research published in the April issue of Medical Care.
Practices Can Take Steps to Improve Care Transitions
FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a rigorous process can improve transitions of care, according to an article published March 10 in Medical Economics.
Phenylephrine + Acetaminophen Ups Plasma Phenylephrine
FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of phenylephrine and acetaminophen results in a pharmacokinetic interaction triggering increased plasma phenylephrine levels, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Penicillin 'Allergy' Complicates Inpatient Care
TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a history of penicillin "allergy," even though that may be inaccurate, spend more time in the hospital and have a greater risk of acquiring antibiotic-associated infections, according to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Insurers Must Offer Same-Sex Couples Spousal Benefits
MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health plans that offer benefits for heterosexual couples must do the same for same-sex married couples, the Obama administration says.
Rx Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014
MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug costs are projected to rise 3 to 5 percent across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.
Improving EHR Interoperability Is a National Priority: HHS
FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a national priority of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to an article published March 4 in Medical Economics.
AMA: CMS Wants Physician Input on Practice Transformation
WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are being given the opportunity to describe what resources they need in order to transition to value-based models of care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).
White House: More Than Four Million Have Signed Up for ACA
TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than four million Americans have signed up for health coverage through state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.
Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House
TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.
Discrepancies ID'd in Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, Journals
TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all clinical trials reported on ClinicalTrials.gov and published in high-impact journals report at least one discrepancy in cohort, intervention, or results, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
For Children, Asthma Exacerbations Peak in September
MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For children aged 2 to 15 years, asthma exacerbations and asthma medication prescriptions peak in September, correlating with the start of the school year, according to a study published online March 10 in Pediatrics.
Keeping Salaries Secret Harms Worker Performance
MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping salaries secret hurts worker performance and increases turnover of top talent, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Academy of Management Journal.
Consultant Offers Tips for Evaluating Staff Pay
MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Setting salaries and dealing with raises for a practice's staff can be tricky, according to an article published Feb. 24 in Medical Economics.
Outpatient Abx Culprit in Most Childhood C. Difficile Cases
FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics prescribed in doctors' offices are linked with a majority of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection cases in children, according to a new study published online March 3 in the Pediatrics.
Indoor Air Pollution Tied to Asthma, Asthma-Related Symptoms
FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Indoor air pollution, specifically mold and environmental tobacco smoke, is associated with asthma and asthma-related respiratory symptoms in middle-aged adults, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Respirology.
AMA Grants Curriculum Efforts to Address Health Disparities
FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools are beginning to change their curriculum to address ways to eliminate health disparities, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).
Gender Gap Exists in Domestic Duties of Working Physicians
FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in domestic activities among career-oriented academic physicians with children, according to a study published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Relative Value Units Useful In Evaluating Practice Finances
THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a useful tool for managing practice finances, according to an article published Feb. 25 in Medical Economics.
Drop in Compensation Gap for Primary Care Docs, Specialists
THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, there was a 5.7 percent increase in the median total cash compensation for primary care physicians, with a smaller gap seen for medical and surgical specialists, according to the results of a recent survey from SullivanCotter.
Value-Based Insurance Plans Can Up Rx Adherence
WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans with certain features aside from solely lowering cost sharing can increase medication adherence, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.
Gap in Regulatory Coverage Affects 5 to 16 Percent of Trials
WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Human subjects protections (HSP) policies do not provide regulatory coverage for all clinical trials, while up to about a quarter of trials are considered overlap trials, according to a research letter published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
WHO Program Improves U.S. Medical Facility Hand Hygiene
WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. health care facilities, participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene practices is associated with improved hand hygiene, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
Women-Specific Research Is Still Inadequate
MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are still underrepresented in medical science and research, and sex differences are often ignored, according to a report published March 3 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital.
CMS: No More Delays to ICD-10 Implementation Deadline
MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no more delays to the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Feb. 27 in Medical Economics.