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March 2014 Briefing - Anesthesiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Anesthesiology 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.

Long-Acting Clotting Agent Approved for Form of Hemophilia

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Alprolix has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first long-acting hemophilia B clotting agent, the FDA said in a news release.

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One in 12,000 Hospital Deliveries Result in Cardiac Arrest

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac arrest occurs in approximately one of every 12,000 hospitalizations for delivery, according to a study published in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

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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).

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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.

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1 in 25 Inpatients Has Health Care-Associated Infection Daily

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, according to research published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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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.

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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.

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Many Women in Latent Labor Don't Want to Be Sent Home

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many women in latent labor do not want to be discharged home, and women would like detailed and specific instructions about staying comfortable and when to come to the hospital, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.

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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.

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Blood Transfusions for Spinal Fusion Holding Steady

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. patients undergoing spinal fusion, the rates of allogeneic blood transfusion (ALBT) increased from 2000 to 2009, while predonated autologous blood transfusion (PR-ABT) rates decreased, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Electrolarynx Allows Speech in Orally Intubated Patients

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An electrolarynx can be used successfully in orally intubated patients receiving mechanical ventilation, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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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.

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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.

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Better Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Outcomes in U.S.

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes for patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) are better in the United States than in England, with common factors suggesting strategies for outcome improvement, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of The Lancet.

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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.

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Chronic Hyperglycemia Tied to Worse Surgical Outcomes

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic hyperglycemia (A1C >8 percent) is associated with poor surgical outcomes, as measured by an increased hospital length of stay (LOS), according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Adoption of Surgical Safety Checklists Doesn't Cut Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of surgical safety checklists is not associated with significant reductions in mortality or surgical complications, according to a study published in the March 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Lumbar Sx Complications at Teaching Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery at teaching hospitals incur longer hospitalizations and have more postoperative complications compared to those treated at nonteaching hospitals, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Spine.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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CDC: Out-of-Hospital Births Continuing to Increase

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of out-of-hospital births is continuing to increase, and in 2012 these births had a lower risk profile than hospital births, according to a March data brief published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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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.

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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.

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Dental Extraction Pre-Cardiac Surgery Can Be Risky

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with planned dental extraction before cardiac surgery, the risk of a major adverse outcome is 8 percent, including a 3 percent risk of death before surgery, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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