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July 2013 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for July 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.

HIV-Associated Lymphoma Characterized As Heterogeneous

WEDNESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-associated lymphoma is highly heterogeneous in the current treatment era, but mortality has remained steady, according to a study published online July 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Health 'Mutual Accountability' Pilot Program Launching

WEDNESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- The State of Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services has chosen MedEncentive to conduct a three-year heath improvement program pilot among HealthChoice beneficiaries.

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Reversal of Medical Practices Common Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Over 100 contemporary medical practices have subsequently been reversed over the last 10 years, according to a review published online July 22 in Mayo Clinical Proceedings.

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Review Explores HPV Link to Higher Risk of Esophageal Cancer

TUESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA is associated with a three-fold higher risk of esophageal cancer, according to a study published online July 24 in PLOS ONE.

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No Change in HPV Vaccine Coverage for Teen Girls in 2012

MONDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012 there was little increase in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among teenage girls, according to a report published in the July 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Updates Oral Nizoral Label to Reflect Safety Concerns

MONDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved label changes for Nizoral (ketoconazole) oral tablets and added a Medication Guide detailing various associated safety concerns.

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Automated EHRs Improve Immunization Reporting

FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Automated public health reporting of immunization data via electronic health records (EHRs) significantly improves timeliness of reporting, according to a study published in Applied Clinical Informatics.

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Maternal Infection Rates Vary Considerably Among Hospitals

FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetric infection rates vary considerably between hospitals, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA: New Test Detects TB and Antibiotic Resistance

FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- A new test to detect bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) and simultaneously determine if the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic rifampin has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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CDC: U.S. Patients Suffering Tropical Infection

THURSDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- The intestinal infection cyclosporiasis is generally seen in people living or traveling in tropical or subtropical areas, but two cases brought to the attention of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in June occurred in individuals who had not been traveling internationally at the time infection would have occurred.

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IOM Confirms Geographic Variation in Health Spending

THURSDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable geographic variation exists in health care spending and utilization, but a geographically-based value index is unlikely to promote value improvement, according to a report published July 24 by the Institute of Medicine.

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HPV Vaccine Effective Against Oral Infections

WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- The bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18 vaccine is effective against oral infection, according to a study published online July 17 in PLOS ONE.

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Docs Need to Follow Patients' Lead, Embrace Social Media

WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- As more patients discuss and manage their health care online, doctors need to keep up and use social media, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Rabies, Fatal Encephalitis Caused by Donated Kidney

WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Eighteen months after receiving a kidney transplant, a recipient died from acute progressive encephalitis caused by rabies infection that had been undiagnosed in the donor, according to research published in the July 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Physicians Not Supportive of Changes in Payment Models

TUESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. physicians accept some responsibility for reducing health care costs in their practice, but most do not want to change payment models, according to research published in the July 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pros and Cons of Electronic Cigarette Regulation Discussed

TUESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The pros and cons of electronic cigarette (EC) regulation are discussed in to two editorials published online July 23 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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Maternal Health Behaviors Affect Teen Boys' HPV4 Uptake

TUESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal utilization of preventive care and a history of genital warts may influence utilization of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4) among adolescent boys, according to a study published online July 18 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Tick Vector of Heartland Virus Identified

TUESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The tick Amblyomma americanum has been identified as the vector of the heartland virus (HRTV), the first pathogenic Phlebovirus (Family: Bunyaviridae), according to a study published online July 22 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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Ischemic Stroke Described in Patients With Fungal Meningitis

MONDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke may have fungal infections attributable to contaminated methylprednisolone associated with epidural injections, according to a case series published online July 22 in JAMA Neurology.

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Premiums Expected to Be About 20 Percent Lower in 2014

MONDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Premiums in the Health Insurance Marketplace are likely to be about 20 percent lower than anticipated in 2014, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Tablets Help Physicians Keep Up With Medical Research

MONDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians find keeping up with the latest research to be challenging, but the use of tablets and smartphones may help, according to a report published by Wolters Kluwer Health.

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Top Challenges for Docs Include Financial Management

FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The top issues and challenges facing physicians include managing changing reimbursement models with payors and financial management, according to a report published by Wolters Kluwer Health.

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Missed Diagnoses, Med Errors Most Common Malpractice Claims

FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The most common medical misadventures resulting in malpractice claims in primary care are missed or delayed diagnoses and medication errors, according to a review published online July 18 in BMJ Open.

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Closer Look at the H7N9 Virus Reveals New Details

FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The influenza virus H7N9 isolated from poultry and humans can bind human airway receptors and can transmit between ferrets by respiratory droplets, according to research published online July 18 in Science.

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Financial Incentives Can Drive Health IT Adoption

WEDNESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Financial incentives can drive providers' adoption of health information technology, including e-prescribing, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Redesign of Medical Education Needed for Chronic Disease Era

TUESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Medical education programs should be redesigned to address the current complex chronic disease era, with emphasis on appropriate basic sciences and clinical skills, according to a special communication published online July 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CMS Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Could Benefit Docs

TUESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released the 2014 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule, which could help create a more equitable payment system by adjusting misvalued codes and proposing new complex management codes, according to a report published by American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Improvements Made to CMS Online Directory of Physicians

TUESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reworked and redesigned their online directory of physicians (Physicians Compare) after errors were discovered throughout the site.

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In U.K., Experts Call for HPV Vaccination for Young Gay Men

TUESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- In the United Kingdom, young men who have sex with men (MSM) should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection to reduce their risk of developing anal cancer, according to an editorial published in the August issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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EHRs May Slow Growth in Ambulatory Health Care Costs

MONDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) modestly slows growth in ambulatory health care costs, according to research published in the July 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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More Job Opportunities Available for Physicians

MONDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of physicians are receiving up to three employment solicitations per week, according to a report published by American Medical Association (AMA).

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Physicians Frustrated by Third-Party Interference

FRIDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Third-party interference is the most commonly cited key frustration for physicians, according to the results of a survey published in Physicians Practice.

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AMA Offers Guidance for Improving EHR Effectiveness

FRIDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has voted for policies to help physicians navigate patient interaction while using electronic devices and to improve the interoperability of electronic health records (EHRs).

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Grants of $150 Million for Community Health Centers

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Grants totaling $150 million are to be shared by 1,100 community health centers to help enroll patients in insurance programs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Health Searches May Be Leaked to Third Parties

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Free health-related websites often have third-party tracking elements and leak search terms to third-party tracking entities, unlike U.S. government or physician-oriented websites, according to a research letter published online July 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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U.S. Adults Value Health Care Provider Skill Evaluation

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Most adults feel that health care providers who treat them should adhere to a recertification program, including passing examinations, attending educational programs, and undergoing certification, regardless of time in practice, according to a report published by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and the Citizen Advocacy Center.

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Docs Don't Often Talk to Patients About Dietary Supplements

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although primary care physicians are discussing dietary supplements with patients during outpatient visits, these exchanges happen infrequently, according to research published in the June issue of Patient Education and Counseling.

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One in Five U.S. Adults Will Have Trouble Paying Medical Bills

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- About one in five U.S. adults will have problems paying health care bills in 2013, including about 10 million adults with year-round insurance coverage, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood Donors

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- The American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donors of all blood types, according to report posted July 9.

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Quality Metrics Play Small Role in Physician Compensation

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Quality measures play a small but emerging role in physician compensation, according to a report published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

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Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection Low in Healthy Men

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Newly acquired oral infections with oncogenic human papilloma virus (HPV) are rare, and infections typically clear within a year, according to a study published online July 2 in The Lancet.

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Operating Room Wait Time Increases Infection Risk

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) is significantly elevated with lengthier waits in the operating room prior to surgical incision, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Spine.

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Health Insurance Marketplaces Not Required to Verify Claims

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurance marketplaces will not be required to verify consumers' income and health insurance status and can rely on self-reported information, the Obama administration announced Friday.

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Tablets More Useful Than Smartphones for Docs Using EHRs

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although tablets are less often used by physicians than smartphones, they are more frequently used for accessing electronic health records (EHRs), and time spent on tablets is much higher, according to two reports published by AmericanEHR Partners.

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Improvement Needed in Drug Post-Marketing Studies

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Since the requirement in 2007 that drug makers conduct post-marketing studies, the number of studies not yet started has declined while the number of studies fulfilling obligations has nearly doubled, according to a report published in the July 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, more than 40 percent of studies had not yet been started in 2011, and the number of studies with delays doubled as of 2011.

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Digital Divide Plagues Underserved Areas

TUESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health record (EHR) adoption is uneven, with traditionally underserved areas having lower adoption rates across the United States, according to a study published online June 26 in Health Services Research.

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Adoption of Electronic Health Records Is Progressing

TUESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012, 44 percent of hospitals reported having at least a basic electronic health record (EHR), according to an annual report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Practices Are Not Ready for Implementation of ICD-10

MONDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Most practices are not ready for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), according to a report published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

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Middle East Coronavirus Does Not Have Pandemic Potential

MONDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) does not yet have pandemic potential, according to a study published online July 5 in The Lancet.

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Decrease in Beach Closing/Advisory Days in 2012

THURSDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- There was a 14 percent decrease from 2011 to 2012 in the number of beach closing and advisory days, according to a report from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

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Ice Pops Can Cause False-Positive Galactomannan Test

WEDNESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- A case of a false-positive serum aspergillus antigen (galactomannan) test in a patient who underwent a stem-cell transplant and ate flavored ice pops is described in a letter published in the July 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Than 40 Percent of Docs Report Work Dissatisfaction

WEDNESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians are dissatisfied and are unlikely to recommend the medical profession to young people, according to a report published by Jackson Healthcare.

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Obama Administration: ACA's Employer Mandate Delayed

WEDNESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration is postponing a major Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision, the employer mandate, according to an announcement made Tuesday via the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.

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Docs Impact Comparative Effectiveness Research Opinion

TUESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors' support of comparative effectiveness research (CER) influences public opinion and has a greater impact on public opinion than cues from political players, according to research to be published this fall in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

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New Tickborne Illness Identified in Northeastern U.S.

TUESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Tick-exposed patients who present with acute febrile illness but have delayed response to doxycycline therapy or negative confirmatory test results for human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) should be analyzed for evidence of infection with the newly recognized spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi, according to a case report published in the July 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Early Respiratory Infections Linked to Type 1 Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Respiratory infections in the first year of life are associated with an increased risk of islet autoantibody seroconversion among children at high risk of type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online July 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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