June 2014 Briefing - Neurology

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

Exposure to Violent TV Linked to Poorer Executive Function

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to violent television is associated with poorer executive functioning and slower white matter growth in young adult males, according to a study published in the July issue of Brain and Cognition.

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FDA Approves First 'Exoskeleton' to Help Paralyzed Walk

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An "exoskeleton" motorized device that uses leg braces, motion sensors, motorized joints, a computer, and a wireless remote control to help paralyzed people stand, sit, and walk has been approved for home use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health Highlights: June 27, 2014
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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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UnitedHealth Cutting More Docs From Medicare Advantage

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- UnitedHealth Group's Medicare Advantage network has begun notifying physicians of a new wave of cuts to its network, according to an article published June 17 in Medical Economics.

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Tips Offered for Improving Practice Productivity

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Four steps can be utilized to improve practice productivity, according to an article published June 24 in Medical Economics.

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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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30-Day ECG Monitoring Ups A-Fib Detection After Stroke

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring with a 30-day event-triggered recorder improves detection of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published June 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Higher Plasma Vitamin D May Cut Hypertension Risk

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who have genetic variants tied to low production of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have an increased risk of hypertension, according to a study published online June 26 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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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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Brain Iron Levels May Indicate Response to ADHD Treatment

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging measures of brain iron levels may be an indicator of response to treatment in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published online June 17 in Radiology.

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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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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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Shared Medical Appointments Can Improve Quality of Life Measures

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Shared medical appointments (SMAs) with a group of patients with the same disorder can improve aspects of quality of life (QOL) in patients with a chronic neuromuscular conditions, according to a study published online June 18 Neurology.

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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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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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No Harm to Child IQ Seen With AED Use in Breastfeeding Moms

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- At six years of age, no adverse effects on IQ can be seen from antiepileptic drug (AED) exposure via breast milk, according to a study published June 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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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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Microwave Helmet Can Detect Strokes

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A helmet that uses microwaves to quickly determine whether a person has had a stroke has been developed by Swedish scientists.

Health Highlights: June 17, 2014

FDA to Issue Salt Reduction Guidelines for Food Industry

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Voluntary guidelines to reduce the amount of salt in grocery and restaurant foods are being prepared for release by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health Highlights: June 17, 2014

Guidelines Issued for Stroke Prevention in Women

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines have been released that highlight unique stroke risk factors for women and address prevention strategies, according to a synopsis article published in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Tips Offered for Finding Buyer for Medical Practice

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Suggestions are provided for finding a buyer for a medical practice in an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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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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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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Basal Ganglia Network Connectivity May ID Parkinson's

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Resting-state assessment of the connectivity of the basal ganglia network (BGN) may be a useful biomarker for early Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online June 11 in Neurology.

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Inverse Link for Cognitive Impairment, Heart Health

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Intermediate and high cardiovascular health (CVH), measured with Life's Simple 7 scores, correlate with lower incidence of cognitive impairment, according to a study published online June 11 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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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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Higher Protein Intake Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate dietary protein intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online June 11 in Neurology.

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Patient-Rated Mobility in Parkinson's Better With Levodopa

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, patient-rated mobility scores are better for those assigned to levodopa versus levodopa-sparing therapy, according to a study published online June 11 in The Lancet.

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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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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

Bilingualism May Aid Later-Life Cognition

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bilingualism may have a positive effect on later-life cognition, according to a study published online June 2 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Midlife HTN Affects Late-Life BP, Brain Pathology Link

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older men and women without dementia, the impact of late-life blood pressure on brain pathology varies with their history of midlife hypertension, according to a study published online June 4 in Neurology.

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No Difference in Stroke Risk Based on Body Mass Index

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence of an obesity paradox in patients with stroke, suggesting that previous findings were an artifact of selection bias, according to a study published online June 2 in JAMA Neurology.

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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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Holistic Exercise Program Seems Feasible in Dementia

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A holistic exercise program seems feasible and acceptable for people with dementia, according to a feasibility study published online April 25 in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

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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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Post-Chemo Cognitive Complaints Tied to Brain Activity Changes

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, cognitive complaints after treatment may be associated with changes in brain activity, according to a study published online May 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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