April 2014 Briefing - Otolaryngology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology for April 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.
FDA Considering OTC Use of Singulair for Allergies
WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Over-the-counter use of Singulair as a treatment for allergies is being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
ALA: More Americans Breathing Unhealthy Air
WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 148 million Americans live in regions where air pollution levels are a threat to their health, according to the American Lung Association's 2014 State of the Air report. The number of people found to be breathing unhealthy air is nearly 16 million more than in the 2013 report.
Alcohol + Tobacco Combo Markedly Ups Esophageal CA Risk
WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combined use of alcohol and tobacco has a synergistic effect on the risk of developing esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), according to research published in online April 22 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Winter's Polar Vortex Ushers in Spring's 'Pollen Vortex'
TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allergy experts say that the long, cold winter kept trees dormant for longer than usual, which means tree pollen season will overlap with grass pollen and mold seasons this year.
High Prevalence of Oncogenic Oral HPV in HPV-OPC Patients
TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC), but not their partners, have a high prevalence of oncogenic oral HPV DNA and oral HPV16 DNA, according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Docs, Patients Have Different Attitudes Toward End-of-Life Care
FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Attitudes toward end-of-life resource allocation differ for patients with cancer and their caregivers and for physicians, according to a study published online April 24 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
Physician Groups Find Fault With Medicare Payment Data Release
THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physician groups cite major problems associated with the release of Medicare payment data, according to an article published April 16 in Medical Economics.
Educational Changes Suggested for Patient-Centered Medicine
THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in medical education and training are suggested to help new physicians address the needs of patients and their families, according to an ideas and opinions piece published in the April 22 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
FDA Proposes Accelerated Medical Device Approval Plan
WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new program that would provide expedited access to high-risk medical devices intended for patients with serious conditions whose medical needs are not met by current technology.
Some Docs Still Prescribe Codeine for Peds Cough/URI
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite national guidelines recommending against its use in children, some physicians continue to prescribe codeine for pediatric cough or upper respiratory infection (URI), according to research published online April 21 in Pediatrics.
Pre-HPV Vaccine, Most Oropharyngeal Cancers HPV+
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most oropharyngeal cancers in the United States diagnosed between 1995 and 2005 were positive for human papillomavirus (HPV), specifically HPV 16 or 18, according to a study published in the May issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Task Force Recommends Ways to Improve Price Transparency
MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Price transparency frameworks, which provide price information presented in the context of other relevant information, should be developed to meet patients' needs, according to recommendations presented in a report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).
Some Children Gain Weight After Tonsil Removal Surgery
MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Younger children and those with lower pre-surgery weight percentiles are most likely to gain more weight than expected following adenotonsillectomy, according to a study published online April 17 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
AMA Examines Economic Impact of Physicians
FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.
Int'l Medical Education Standards Not Equivalent to U.K. Standards
FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- International medical graduates passing the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) of the General Medical Council (GMC) have lower performance on MRCP(UK) (Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians) and MRCGP (Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners) and on annual review of competence progression (ARCP) examinations, according to two studies published online April 17 in BMJ.
White House: 8 Million People Signed Up for Health Insurance
FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eight million Americans signed up for private health insurance during the just-concluded first enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Thursday afternoon.
One in 20 U.S. Adults a Victim of Diagnostic Errors
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnostic errors affect at least one in 20 U.S. adults, according to research published online April 17 in BMJ Quality & Safety.
Leeches Help Save Woman's Ear After Pit Bull Mauling
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection of a 0.3 millimeter-thick arterial branch. Stephen Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of plastic surgery at Brown University in Providence, R.I., joined his colleague Helena Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., to present the case in the April 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tracheal Allograft Stable After Immunosuppressive Therapy
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A composite-tissue tracheal allograft appears to have retained its structural integrity after the withdrawal of immunosuppressive therapy, according to a letter to the editor published in the April 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Educator Discusses Key Issues for Future Doctors to Consider
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The key issues for future physicians are discussed in an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).
Patient-Clinician Relationship Impacts Health Care Outcomes
THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The patient-clinician relationship has a small but significant effect on health care outcomes, according to a study published online April 9 in PLOS ONE.
Continued Reliance on Windows XP May Threaten Data Security
WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who use Windows XP in their practices may be affected by Microsoft's recent discontinuation of support for the program, according to an article published April 8 in Medical Economics.
Patients Paying Much More for Specialty Drugs
TUESDAY, April 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans are paying less for prescription drugs, but some are having to deal with sharp rises in the cost of specialty medicines for rare or serious diseases, according to a new report.
New Health Secretary to Confront Health Care Reform Hurdles
MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday, the Affordable Care Act will get a fresh face. But turning around public perception of the controversial health care reform law in a politically charged mid-term election year poses an enormous challenge for the department's next leader, policy experts said.
Engineered Cartilage Feasible for Nasal Reconstruction
MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Autologous nasal cartilage tissues can be engineered and clinically used for functional restoration of alar lobules after tumor resection, according to a study published online April 11 in The Lancet.
Sebelius Stepping Down As HHS Secretary
FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down from her position, after overseeing the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act that remains unpopular with some Americans and virtually all Republican lawmakers.
1,440-nm Laser Beneficial for Photodamage in Asians
THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Four treatments with 1,440-nm fractional laser produce mild improvement in select signs of photodamage in an Asian population, according to a study published March 14 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.
Fewer Americans Overwhelmed by Medical Bills
WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- While millions of Americans still feel hamstrung by medical expenses, a new government report shows that some people are getting relief.
More Justification Needed for Choosing Wisely Selections
WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most services included in specialty medical societies' Top 5 lists for the Choosing Wisely campaign are based on evidence demonstrating equivalent but not superior benefit, with higher risk or higher costs compared to other options, according to a research letter published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Some Doctors Paid at Least $3 Million Each by Medicare
WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A small number of doctors received at least $3 million each in Medicare payments in 2012, for a total of nearly $1.5 billion, according to an analysis of Medicare claims data released Wednesday by the White House. In total, Medicare paid individual physicians nearly $64 billion in 2012. The median payment was just over $30,000, the Associated Press reported.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Ups Risk of Barrett's Esophagus
WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is independently associated with increased risk of Barrett's esophagus (BE), according to a study published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Newly Eligible for Expanded Medicaid Are Healthier
MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Persons newly eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not sicker than pre-ACA enrollees, according to research published online March 26 in Health Affairs.
Complications for One in Five Adults Undergoing Tonsillectomy
MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 20 percent of adults undergoing tonsillectomy experience complications, according to a study published in the April issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Patients Select Fewer New Docs at Bottom of Tiered Ranking
MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients are less likely to select a new physician ranked in the bottom of a tiered network, but often don't switch if their current physician is ranked at the bottom, according to research published online March 11 in Health Services Research.
Hearing Aid Use in Children With Mild Loss Improves Speech
FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The level of hearing improvement achieved by hearing aid (HA) use in children correlates with better speech and language development, according to a study published online April 3 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
AMA Provides Resources to Aid Physicians' Collections
FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) has released resources to help doctors confront policy jumpers who may pose a financial risk to physicians during the Affordable Care Act's 90-day premium grace period, according to an article published March 25 in Medical Economics.
Half of Uninsured Don't Intend to Sign Up for Health Coverage
WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 50 percent of uninsured adults do not intend to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges, according to an article published March 26 in Medical Economics.
CMS: Medicare Beneficiaries Saved $3.9B on Meds in 2013
TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In 2013, 4.3 million seniors and people with disabilities saved an estimated $3.9 billion on prescription drugs, an increase from the 2012 savings, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.