December 2013 Briefing - Geriatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for December 2013. 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.

Troubled Launch of ACA Tops Health News for 2013

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- As 2013 nears to a close, the year's top health news story -- the fumbled debut of the Affordable Care Act continues to grab headlines. President Barack Obama, in November, said he was "sorry" to hear that some Americans were being dropped from their health plans due to the advent of reforms -- even though he had repeatedly promised that this would not happen.

CDC: More Than One in 10 Kids Diagnosed With ADHD
FDA Urges Tighter Controls on Certain Prescription Painkillers
CDC: Evocative Campaign Motivates Smokers to Quit
Lower Microbial Diversity for Infants Who Develop Colic
Low Gut Bacterial Richness Linked to Obesity
Donor Fecal Infusion Effective for C. difficile Infection
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What Yoga Can and Can't Do for You

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Results from medical research on yoga are mixed, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, though the findings tend to be more positive than negative.

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Extra Steps Urged for Regulating Compounding Pharmacies

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Additional steps are needed for regulating compounding pharmacies, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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USPSTF Recommends Lung CA Screening for High-Risk Adults

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that high-risk asymptomatic adults aged 55 to 80 years should undergo low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer. This recommendation statement is based on the results of a modeling study published online Dec. 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Inactivity Linked With Depression After Cardiac Surgery

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Physical inactivity is associated with increased risk of depression both before and after cardiac surgery, according to research published in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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Alendronate Reduces Adjacent-Level Vertebral Fractures

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For females with osteoporosis, the rate of adjacent-level vertebral fractures is relatively low, with reduced odds with bisphosphonate therapy, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Uncertainty Noted in Seemingly Stable Medical Liability Climate

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Although the medical liability climate seems stable, the impact of health care reform on the market is uncertain, according to an article based on two reports published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Nortriptyline Doesn't Provide Gastroparesis Symptom Relief

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Use of nortriptyline is not associated with improvement in overall symptoms of idiopathic gastroparesis, according to a study published in the Dec. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Surge in Federal Health Insurance Exchange Enrollments

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than 1.1 million people enrolled in a qualified health plan through the federally operated marketplace, or exchange, from Oct. 1 through Dec. 24, government officials said Sunday. More than 975,000 of those enrollments came in December, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a blog post.

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AMA IDs Five Issues Relating to Progress in SGR Repeal

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The implications of progress toward repeal of the Medicare sustained growth rate (SGR) formula are discussed in a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Changes in Pain Noted for Many Ambulatory Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For ambulatory patients with solid tumors, pain is prevalent and changes over time, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Head Trauma Linked to Amyloid Deposition in MCI

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but not those with normal cognition, self-reported head trauma involving at least a momentary loss of consciousness is associated with greater amyloid deposition, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in Neurology.

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Most Dementia Patients Living at Home Have Unmet Needs

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Most individuals with dementia residing in the community -- and their caregivers -- have unmet needs, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Daily Walking Linked to Decreased Cardiovascular Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For adults at high cardiovascular risk with impaired glucose tolerance, baseline and change in objectively-assessed ambulatory activity are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in The Lancet.

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Odds of Uncontrolled and Unreported HTN Up for Blacks

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks are more likely to have hypertension and to have uncontrolled and unreported hypertension than whites, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Frequency of Preoperative Cataract Visits Increasing

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The frequency of preoperative consultations for cataract surgery has increased substantially, even though there are no national guidelines specifying when a referral is needed, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Impact of Planned Medicaid Expansion Discussed

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The planned expansion of Medicaid will offer benefits to those in participating states, according to an article published online Dec. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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ACA Success Hinges on Young Adult Enrollment

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Enrollment of young adults is a crucial component of the viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a health policy brief published Dec. 16 in Health Affairs.

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Physician Pay Increasingly Tied to Quality Metrics

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Physician groups are increasingly incorporating quality metrics into their internal reimbursement structure, according to an article published Nov. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Greater Fiber Intake Leads to Lower Risk of Cardiac Events

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Increased dietary intake of fiber is linked with lower risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, with every 7 g per day intake of total dietary fiber associated with a 9 percent lower relative risk, according to research published online Dec. 19 in BMJ.

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Testosterone May Undermine Flu Vaccine Effectiveness for Men

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Differences in expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism regulated by testosterone may explain why men have less robust immune responses than women, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Toxic Employees Are Damaging to Medical Practices

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Toxic behavior can harm medical practices and should not be tolerated, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Public Tends to Follow Celebrities Even on Medical Issues

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Celebrities have credibility as sources of medical advice, even if they are ill-informed or are spreading potentially harmful information, according to research published online Dec. 17 in BMJ.

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ACEI/ARB Rx Safe, Beneficial in Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stable hypertension and advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) use is associated with renal benefits, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Burden of Heart Disease, Stroke Quantified in United States

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of heart disease and stroke is considerable in the United States, according to a American Heart Association Statistical Update published online Dec. 18 in Circulation.

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Many Patients With Diabetes Not Getting Needed Eye Care

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Many people living with diabetes are not receiving the eye care they need to prevent visual impairment or blindness, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Free Preventive Services for >25 Million Medicare Beneficiaries

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of the Affordable Care Act, during the first 11 months of 2013, more than 25.4 million people covered by Original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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No Evidence for Clinical Effectiveness of Many Hip Implants

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- About one-quarter of all hip replacement implants available for use in primary hip replacements in the United Kingdom have no evidence for their clinical effectiveness, according to a review published online Dec. 19 in BMJ.

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Cardiovascular Disease Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Women

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly, postmenopausal women, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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New Rule May Exempt Many From Health Plan Penalty

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers whose individual health insurance policies have been cancelled for failing to meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act may now apply for a "hardship exemption," Obama administration officials announced late Thursday.

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High Patient Satisfaction With Patient-Centered Medical Homes

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A significant majority of patients report experiencing a high quality of care at federally-supported health centers, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Higher Levels of Anxiety Linked to Incident Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Higher anxiety symptom levels are independently associated with increased risk for incident stroke, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in Stroke.

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Evidence-Based Guidelines Issued for Hypertension Management

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based guidelines for the management of hypertension in adults for 2014 have been issued by the Eighth Joint National Committee, according to a special communication published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Docs Must Help Patients Take Responsibility for Medical Costs

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Given that increasing numbers of patients have high-deductible health insurance, doctors and practice staff need to help patients assume financial responsibility for costs relating to medical services and procedures, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Criteria Issued for Tests for Stable Ischemic Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Appropriate use criteria have been released for tests used to diagnose or evaluate stable ischemic heart disease, in a document published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Heart Failure Society of America, Heart Rhythm Society, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons all partnered in the development of the document.

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Physicians Must Be Proactive in Risk Management

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Risk is inherent in the practice of medicine, but physicians can take steps to prevent patient injury and avoid lawsuits, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Aids Driving With Parkinson's

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the of subthalamic nucleus (STN) seems to have a beneficial effect on driving ability in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Neurology.

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Pre-Op Depression Linked to Narcotic Use Before Spinal Sx

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing spinal surgery for a structural lesion, preoperative depression and anxiety are associated with increased preoperative narcotic use, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Modeling Study: Similar Effects for Statin or Apple a Day

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An apple a day or a statin a day are equally likely to keep the doctor away, according to a modeling study published online Dec. 17 in BMJ.

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White Blood Cell Count Predicts Infarct Size in STEMI

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with anterior wall ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), elevated white blood cell count (WBCc) on presentation is associated with increased infarct size, according to a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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CDC Highlights Achievements of 2013, Goals for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The top five gains made in improving health security at home and around the world in 2013, and the top five areas for improvement in 2014 have been highlighted in an end-of-year report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Older Women Spend Two-Thirds of Waking Time Sedentary

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For older women, more than 65 percent of waking hours are spent in sedentary behavior, although the sedentary bouts are usually of short duration, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Few Residency Programs Teach Cost-Conscious Medicine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Few residency programs have a formal cost-conscious care curriculum, according to a research letter published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Exercise Ups Sexual Function in Women on Antidepressants

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise improves sexual function in women experiencing sexual side effects due to antidepressants, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in Depression and Anxiety.

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Public Support for Physician-Assisted Death Analyzed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- About a fifth of the Dutch public supports physician assistance in dying for older people who wish to die but do not have a serious medical condition, according to research published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Funding for Medical Communication Firms Analyzed

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical communication companies (MCCs), responsible for medical education programs, may receive substantial financial support from pharmaceutical and medical device companies, according to research published in the Dec. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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GlaxoSmithKline to End Payments to Prescribing Doctors

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) says it will stop paying doctors to market its drugs at conferences and will no longer reward sales agents whose physician customers write the most prescriptions. Monday's announcement is apparently a first for a major drug company. But other companies may be considering similar moves, The New York Times reported.

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Oral Multivitamin, Multimineral Safe, Not Effective After MI

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI), a high-dose oral multivitamin and multimineral mixture is safe, but does not significantly reduce cardiovascular events, according to a study published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Conclude Multivitamins Should Not Be Used

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Multivitamins do not prevent chronic disease and should not be used by well-nourished adults, according to an editorial published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Physicians Will Stop Practicing Due to ACA

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- About half of physicians say that they plan to practice medicine for a shorter time or leave as soon as feasibly possible due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an article published Nov. 29 in Medical Economics.

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Gene Expression Changes Seen After Mindfulness Meditation

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Proficient meditators experience changes in specific gene expression after intensive mindfulness meditation, according to a study published in the February issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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Prognostic Tool ID's Risk of Death for Hospital Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A validation study has confirmed that the CARING criteria may be used upon admission to estimate the risk of death at one year for inpatients in broad hospital settings, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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FDA Questions Effectiveness, Safety of Antibacterial Soap

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule requiring antibacterial soap manufacturers to demonstrate that their products are both effective at preventing illness and safe for long-term daily use.

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Physician Access Challenges Up for Those With Public Insurance

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse experiences with physician availability are more likely among those with public insurance, and almost 15 percent of people in the United States were uninsured in the first half of 2013, according to two December data briefs issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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No Cognitive Benefit for Long-Term Multivitamin Supplement

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For older male physicians, long-term multivitamin supplementation is not associated with cognitive benefit, according to a study published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Bills for SGR Repeal Pass Senate, House Committees

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee have passed their versions of the bill to repeal Medicare's failed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Comorbidity Strongly Influences Survival in Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Death rates from cancer continue to decline in the United States, but the presence of comorbidity can be an important influence on overall survival, according to a report published online Dec. 16 in Cancer.

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Word of Mouth Still Tops Ways People Find Physicians

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly three-quarters of young adults use personal recommendations to select a physician, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Medicare's Graduate Medical Education Spending Imbalanced

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- There is an "imbalance" in how Medicare distributes its $10 billion a year for graduate medical education (GME), according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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CDC: Flu Vaccine Reduced Adverse Outcomes by 17 Percent

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- About 17 percent of adverse health outcomes associated with influenza were prevented in the most recent flu season, with a greater number of serious outcomes averted compared with previous flu seasons, according to a report published in the Dec. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Determinants of Patient Loyalty to Provider Identified

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Determinants of patient loyalty have been identified and include confidence in care provider and coordination of care, according to a report published by Press Ganey.

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New Rule Tweaks Affordable Care Act Deadline

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration is taking steps to prevent consumers who buy health plans sold through state and federal exchanges from experiencing any gap in coverage this January. Under new rules, health insurers must accept payment up until Dec. 31 for coverage that begins the following day. Earlier guidance did not establish a payment deadline, allowing insurers to set their own dates. "And we're recommending that insurers extend this deadline further," U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a Thursday news conference to announce the changes.

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Majority of Elderly Need Aid for Mobility, Self-Care Functions

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than two-thirds of older adults are not fully able to complete mobility and self-care activities, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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ASCO Report Highlights Progress Against Cancer in Last Year

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Progress against cancer is described in the ninth annual report of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Race Affects Risk of Dementia in Older Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic differences influence the risk of dementia in older individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Nov. 22 in Diabetes Care.

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Study Quantifies Male Dominance in Scientific Production

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Men dominate scientific production worldwide, accounting for a higher percentage of authorships and greater impact, according to research published in the Dec. 12 issue of Nature.

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Injunction Stops Insurer From Dropping Physicians

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- United Healthcare has been given a last-minute temporary restraining order preventing it from removing thousands of physicians from its Medicare Advantage networks in Connecticut, according to an article published Dec. 6 in Medical Economics.

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Discharge Destination Alters Rehospitalization Rates

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Destination of discharge alters the association between cognitive impairment and rehospitalization, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Risk of Developing Diverticulitis Lower Than Thought

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 4 percent of patients with an incidental finding of diverticulosis progress to acute diverticulitis in the long term, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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FDA Approves Generic Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of the antidepressant drug Cymbalta (duloxetine delayed-release capsules) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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BMI Not Linked to Pain After Exercise Rehab for Back Pain

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with chronic low back pain (cLBP), body mass index (BMI) is not significantly associated with self-reported pain and disability, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

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Physician Practices Often Do Not Plan for Future

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Most physician practices do not treat their practices as businesses and plan for the future, but they should develop and follow a strategic plan, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Factors in Choice of Opioid for Abuse Analyzed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The choice of hydrocodone versus oxycodone as a primary drug of abuse is based on multiple factors, according to a study published in the December issue of PAIN.

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CDC: Health Insurance Among Young Increased After ACA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Since the Affordable Care Act extended dependent health coverage to young adults up to 26 years old, the percentage of this age group with private health insurance has increased and the percentage with gaps in insurance coverage has decreased, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Duration of Diabetes Impacts Outcomes at Any Age

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes morbidity and mortality are associated with disease duration and advancing age, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment Found to Improve Resistant Hypertension

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment significantly improves blood pressure and the nocturnal blood pressure pattern, according to a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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ACP Provides Guidance for Addressing Rx Drug Abuse

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations to effectively address the problem of prescription drug abuse are presented in a policy position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP), published online Dec. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Outpatient Docs Report More Burnout Than Inpatient Docs

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Outpatient physicians report more emotional exhaustion than inpatient physicians, according to a review published in the November issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Pain, Often in Multiple Sites, Is Common in Elderly in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults pain is common and is associated with clinically significant declines in physical function, according to a study published in the December issue of PAIN.

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Health Information Technology May Cut Demand for Physicians

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Health information technology (IT) may cut demand for physicians in the future, according to a review published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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Mortality High for Moderate, Severe Heart Failure Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 9. 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients aged 80 years and younger with moderate or severe heart failure, mortality is mainly associated with heart failure and its comorbidities, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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With Looming ACA Uncertainty, Budget Exercise Necessary

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Constructing a budget for 2014 is critical for physicians even with the uncertainties surrounding the Affordable Care Act, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Global Burden of Dementia Shifting to Poorer Countries

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- In the coming decades, the global burden of dementia will shift even further from richer countries to poorer countries, especially rapidly developing middle-income countries, according to an Alzheimer's Disease International policy brief. The brief is being published ahead of the G8 Dementia Summit, which will be held in London on Dec. 11.

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Meta-Analysis: Healthier Diet Patterns Do Cost More

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy food/diet patterns cost more, according to a meta-analysis published online Dec. 5 in BMJ Open.

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CMS Finalizes 2014 Physician Payment Rates, Policies

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The final payment rules for 2014 include a proposal to support care management outside the routine office interaction and policies to promote high quality care and efficiency, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Medical Students Find Mind-Body Regulation Training Helpful

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A practical approach may be used to offer mind-body regulation training to medical students, according to research published in the Fall issue of the Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education.

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Issues Surround Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Concerns surround implementation of the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), according to a policy brief published online Nov. 12 in Health Affairs.

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Serum 25(OH)D Marker of Ill Health, Not Causative Agent

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) seems to be a marker of ill health and not a causal factor, according to a review published online Dec. 6 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Final Rule Aims to Lower Costs, Simplify Outpatient Payments

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The final hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment rule will give hospitals and ASCs the ability to lower costs, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Effect of Serum Magnesium on Heart Failure Outcomes Unclear

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline serum magnesium levels do not independently predict post-discharge outcomes in patients hospitalized for heart failure, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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FDA: Certain Automated External Defibrillators Found Faulty

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- All owners of Philips HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) devices are advised to contact the company to ascertain whether their device is among those that might be unable to deliver the defibrillator shock needed in a cardiac emergency, according to a Dec. 3 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Handoff Program Cuts Medical Errors, Adverse Events

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a multifaceted handoff program can reduce medical errors and preventable adverse events, according to a study published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Exercise May Improve Cognition in Dementia

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise programs may improve cognition and the ability to perform daily tasks in older adults with dementia, according to a review published online Dec. 4 in The Cochrane Library.

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AMA's RUC Committee to Work on Improving Transparency

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The 31-member Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) of the American Medical Association will begin publishing minutes, dates and locations of meetings, and votes for individual current procedural codes, according to an article published Nov. 11 in Medical Economics.

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Results Mixed for Liberal Transfusions in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The effects of liberal transfusion protocols on outcomes in heart disease patients with anemia are mixed, according to a review published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Investment Program Can Cut Global Health Disparities by 2035

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Global health disparities could be reduced considerably by 2035 using an investment framework, according to a report published Dec. 3 in The Lancet.

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Health Reform in Mass. Didn't Change ICU Utilization

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Initiation of health care reform in Massachusetts correlated with a reduction in intensive care unit (ICU) patients without insurance but did not significantly change ICU use or mortality among ICU patients, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in Critical Care Medicine.

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Disability Decreased in Arthritis Patients Over Past 20 Years

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience significantly less psychological stress and physical disability compared with two decades ago, which may be partially due to a reduction in disease activity, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Varicella Vaccination Program Has Not Increased Herpes Zoster

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Introduction of a universal varicella vaccine program for U.S. children in 1996 has not correlated with a significant increase in herpes zoster incidence in older U.S. adults, according to a study published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lifestyle Factors Impact Risk of Hearing Loss in Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference are positively associated, and physical activity is inversely associated, with the risk of self-reported hearing loss, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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Modest Increases in Minority Faculty Seen at Med Schools

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Underrepresented minority faculty made only modest gains in increasing their presence at U.S. medical schools from 2000 to 2010, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Physician Texting While 'Doctoring' May Be Hazardous

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Physician texting while doctoring could be hazardous, according to an ideas and opinions piece published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Nonantibiotic Prophylaxis Can Benefit Recurrent UTI

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Various nonantibiotic prophylaxis options are available, some of which may be beneficial for adults with recurrent urinary tract infections, according to a review and meta-analysis published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Fragility Impacts Quality of Life in Heart Failure

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with heart failure, fragility is associated with the perception of quality of life, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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FDA Starts Regulating Compounding Pharmacies

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday began the process of regulating compounding pharmacies. Under the Drug Quality and Security Act, signed into law Nov. 27 by President Barack Obama, these pharmacies are being encouraged to register with the FDA. The agency will then classify them as outsourcing pharmacies, enabling them to sell bulk drugs to hospitals and other health care facilities.

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Screening Tools Predict Elderly Cancer Patients' Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Two geriatric screening tools show effectiveness at predicting functional decline and overall survival (OS) in an older population with cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Volunteering Overseas Revives Physicians' Outlooks

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Physician volunteer programs can revive doctors' passion for medicine, according to an article published Nov. 11 in Medical Economics.

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Oral Disease May Be Linked to Lower Cognitive Function

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Markers of oral disease seem to be associated with lower cognitive status, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

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Geriatric Consultation Ups Post-Trauma Functional Recovery

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Geriatric consultation is associated with improved functional recovery among older trauma patients, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in JAMA Surgery.

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Comorbidities, Meds Factor Into Recurrent Syncope

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Certain comorbidities, age, gender, and use of multiple medications that cause orthostatic hypotension are associated with increased risk of recurrent syncope, according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Racial Disparities Persist in Diabetes Care Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients do not receive the same quality of care, and experience poorer intermediate outcomes in the practice setting of a patient-centered medical home (PCMH), according to research published online Nov. 19 in Diabetes Care.

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