June 2014 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Emergency Medicine for June 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.

New Plan Would Permit Doctors to Treat Patients in Other States

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A proposal to make it much easier for doctors licensed in one state to treat patients in other states in person, online, or by videoconference has been prepared by the Federation of State Medical Boards, which includes the agencies that license and discipline doctors.

Health Highlights: June 30, 2014

Noroviruses Causes One-Fifth of Worldwide Gastroenteritis

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Worldwide, across all age groups, noroviruses are responsible for almost one-fifth of acute gastroenteritis cases, according to a study published online June 27 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Court: Patients Responsible for Outcomes of Risky Behavior

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that patients can be at least partially responsible for their health outcomes resulting from their own unhealthy behavior, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), which supported the physicians in the case.

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FDA: Acne Products Can Trigger Severe Allergic Reactions

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some popular over-the-counter acne treatments can cause severe irritation or even potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. These topical products contain the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and are marketed under brand names such as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, and Clean & Clear, the FDA said.

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One in Five Children With Persistent Cough Have Pertussis

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One-fifth of school-aged children with persistent cough have evidence of pertussis, even among those who are fully vaccinated, according to a study published online June 24 in BMJ.

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Wikipedia Drug Entries Often Not Up-to-Date

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients frequently turn to digital media for drug information; however, many Wikipedia entries about medications aren't up-to-date and accurate, according to a perspective piece published in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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MERS-Related Abnormality Distribution ID'd on CT

WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Airspace opacities are commonly seen in CT images of patients hospitalized with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, according to a clinical perspective published online June 18 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Medicaid Backlog May Have Financial Ramifications

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a considerable backlog in Medicaid enrollment applications, which may have financial ramifications on physicians and practices, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Exclusion From Child Care May Spur ER/Urgent Care Visits

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of sick children excluded from child care frequently seek evaluation in the emergency department or urgent care setting, according to research published online June 23 in Pediatrics.

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CMS Launches Initiative to Assist Newly Insured

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A national initiative has been launched to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage and to offer health providers the tools needed to promote patient engagement, according to a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Variation in Use of Imaging Tests in Newly Diagnosed Heart Failure

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular testing in patients with newly diagnosed heart failure (HF) varies among U.S. hospitals, according to research published online June 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Complex Electronic Record Safety Issues Surface Long After Launch

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health record-related safety concerns involving both unsafe technology and unsafe use of technology persist long after "go-live," according to a study published online June 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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Frequent Prior Hospitalization May Predict Stroke Readmission

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent prior hospitalization and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) rating at admission may predict 30-day readmission after ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published online June 11 in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

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Guidance Offered for Protection When Firing Employees

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Steps can be taken to protect employers in the case of termination of an employee, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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CDC Lab Workers May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As many as 75 staffers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may have been exposed to anthrax because safety procedures weren't followed properly, the agency said Thursday.

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Sharp Rise in 'Meth'-Linked ER Visits in U.S.

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of methamphetamine-related visits to U.S. hospital emergency departments jumped from about 68,000 in 2007 to almost 103,000 in 2011, the latest year for which such data is available, a new federal government report finds.

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NCHS: Insurance Coverage Expands, Gaps Remain

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two new U.S. government reports provide a statistical snapshot of health and health insurance coverage in 2013, before new coverage options took effect under the Affordable Care Act.

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Docs Asked to Judge Patients' Competency to Carry Guns

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some U.S. jurisdictions are now requiring a doctor's OK for people to carry a concealed gun, but a new survey suggests many doctors aren't comfortable with that role. The new survey is reported in the June 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Teen Suicide Attempts Up Post-Antidepressant Warnings

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Teen suicide attempts rose nearly 22 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about dangers of antidepressants, a new study finds. The report was published June 18 in BMJ online.

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Preop β-Blockers Don't Improve CABG Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative β-blockers do not improve perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing nonemergent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, according to a study published June 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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ACA May Mean Healthier Young Adults, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A popular provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on a parent's health insurance plan up to age 26 may be good for their health and financial security, a new study suggests. The study was published as a research letter in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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MERS Virus Did Not Spread in Two U.S. Cases: Health Officials

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The potentially deadly MERS virus did not spread from two patients in the United States to any people in their homes or to health care workers who treated them, federal health officials said Tuesday.

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Thrombolytic Tx Cuts Mortality Rate With Pulmonary Embolism

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with pulmonary embolism, thrombolytic therapy is associated with lower rates of all-cause mortality but increased risks of major bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) compared with anticoagulation therapy, according to research published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Health Care System Ranked Last Again: Report

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The United States' health system once again comes in last when compared to 10 other rich nations, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund report on the issue.

Health Highlights: June 16, 2014
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Clinicians Often Fail to Empathize After Adverse Event

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The health care industry is recognizing the benefits of prompt and transparent physician communication with patients and families about bad outcomes, according to an article published June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Physician Leadership, Ownership Dominates ACOs

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are playing strong leadership and ownership roles in accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to research published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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Compliance With Child Asthma Care Measures Cuts Readmission

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For children hospitalized with asthma, compliance with care measures is associated with a reduction in readmission rates, according to a study published online June 16 in Pediatrics.

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Pertussis Epidemic Reported in California

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 3,400 new cases of pertussis were reported in California between January 1 and June 10, which means the outbreak is officially an epidemic, according to the state's department of health.

Health Highlights: June 16, 2014

HHS Inspector General Finds Big Problem With Medicare Coding

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 42 percent of Medicare claims for evaluation and management (E/M) services are incorrectly coded, according to an article published June 2 in Medical Economics.

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Frailty Index Predicts Adverse Outcomes in Geriatric Trauma

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frailty index is an independent predictor of in-hospital complications and adverse discharge disposition among geriatric trauma patients, according to a study published online June 11 in JAMA Surgery.

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Life Expectancy Affects Treatment for Acute MI

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based treatment for acute myocardial infarction is strongly influenced by the clinician's assessment of life expectancy of a patient, according to a study published online June 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

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Researchers Hesitant to Use Social Media to Show Findings

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers remain uncertain about the use of social media to communicate their findings to policy makers, according to research published online June 6 in Health Affairs.

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Data From EHRs Should Be Used to Improve Patient Care

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The data from electronic health records (EHRs) should be utilized to improve the quality of patient care, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Current Bird Flu Has Pandemic Potential

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Flu viruses currently circulating in birds closely resemble the one that caused the 1918 pandemic that killed about 50 million people worldwide, researchers say.

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Millions Will Not Have to Pay ACA Tax Penalties: Report

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although an estimated 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2016, only four million are expected to pay penalties, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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Incentives May Lead to Greater Support for Practice Goals

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Incentives may aid employees in meeting practice goals, according to an article published May 23 in Medical Economics.

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AAFP Joins White House Summit on Concussion

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable funding will be devoted to research into concussion injury and promotion of sports safety, according to a report from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

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Fourth U.S. Case of Mad Cow-Related Disease Reported

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A fourth U.S. case of a fatal brain disorder that's related to mad cow disease has been confirmed by federal health officials.

Health Highlights: June 6, 2014

Veterans Affected by Scandal May Seek Private Care

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The recent scandal at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may lead to more veteran visits to private physicians and community health centers, according to an article published June 2 in Medical Economics.

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Physician Political Contributions Are Increasing, Shifting

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The political alignment of physicians in the United States has shifted from predominantly Republican to predominantly Democrat, based in part on the larger number of women physicians and smaller percentage of physicians practicing solo or in small practices, according to research published online June 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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High Recurrence Risk With Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of recurrent episodes of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is substantially higher than the risk of a first episode in the general population, according to a research letter published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Air Pollution Has Short-Term Impact on Specific Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ambient air pollution has short-term effects on specific cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to a study published online June 4 in Heart.

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Many 'Inconsistencies' in ACA Sign-Ups: Report

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new government document finds that more than a quarter of the eight million people who signed up for coverage under the Obama Administration's new health care law have "inconsistencies" in the data they supplied.

Health Highlights: June 5, 2014

Camels Confirmed as Source of Human MERS Infection

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Saudi Arabian doctors say they've identified camels as one source of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infections in humans. The scientists report they matched genetic samples from the virus that killed a Saudi man last November to virus samples present in one of nine camels that he owned.

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Risk of Unnatural Death Is Higher in Diabetes Patients

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Unnatural deaths occur more frequently among individuals with diabetes, according to research published online May 21 in Diabetes Care.

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Claim Denials Expected to Increase

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Even with good office procedures, most practices are plagued by claim denials, a hassle that is expected to increase in the coming years, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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Most Physicians Would Forgo Aggressive Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although physicians regularly recommend high-intensity, aggressive, life-prolonging care for their terminally ill patients, the vast majority would choose to forgo such care for themselves at the end of life, according to a study published online May 28 in PLOS ONE.

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CDC: Food Handlers Cause Most Food-Poisoning Cases

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Norovirus illness is more often caused by infected restaurant workers than outbreaks on cruise ships, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.

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β-Blockers Have No Impact on Cocaine-Related Chest Pain

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cocaine-associated chest pain, there are no differences in outcome for those treated with or without β-blockers, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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EHRs Can Be Used to Boost Practice Revenue

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practices can achieve return on investment (ROI) for implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems if they participate in alternative delivery models, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Generic Version of Celebrex

MONDAY, June 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave its approval to the first generic version of the pain reliever Celebrex (celecoxib).

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Physician's Briefing