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April 2013 Briefing - Radiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Radiology for April 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.

Renewed Efforts From AAFP to Repeal OTC Provision in ACA

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and other medical associations are urging further consideration of Section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires holders of tax-preferred health care accounts to obtain a physician's prescription to use funds from those accounts to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The concerns have been laid out in a letter to the chair and the ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

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Novel System Proposed for Accountable Cancer Care

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A novel structural and payment-reform system is proposed to foster accountable cancer care, according to a viewpoint piece published online April 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Announces New Network to Focus Exclusively on Patients

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new interactive tool for educating patients, their advocates, and consumers about the processes involved in medication development.

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Medical Interns Spending Less Time With Patients

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Medical interns are spending less time with patients and more time at a computer since new rules limiting total work hours were instituted in 2011, according to a study published online April 18 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Standard Criteria Needed for Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- There is a need for a consensus on criteria to define and classify lumbar spinal stenosis, according to a review published in the April 15 issue of Spine.

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Integrated 2D, 3D Mammogram Improves Cancer Detection

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Mammography with integrated two-dimensional (2D) imaging together with tomosynthesis with three-dimensional (3D) imaging is associated with improved breast cancer detection, according to a study published online April 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Physicians Less Empathetic in Talking to Heavy Patients

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians (PCPs) are less likely to bond with overweight and obese patients, according to research published online March 20 in Obesity.

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Review Looks at Best Modality for Diagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- For pregnant women with abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, transvaginal sonography is the best modality for diagnosing ectopic pregnancy, according to research published in the April 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diagnostic Errors Are the Leading Type of Malpractice Claim

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 25 years, diagnostic errors have been the leading type of malpractice claim and account for the highest proportion of total payments, according to a study published online April 22 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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MRI Atrophy Measures May ID Patients Progressing to MS

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers may identify patients who are at high risk for conversion from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (CDMS), according to a study published online April 23 in Radiology.

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Outcomes No Worse With Home Call for Surgical Interns

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- For surgical interns, being on call from home is not associated with increased rates of postoperative morbidity or mortality, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Surgery.

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Mammogram Rates Unchanged Since USPSTF Recommendations

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- There has been no change in mammography screening rates among women aged 40 years or older following publication of the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations, according to research published online April 19 in Cancer.

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Tonsillectomy Pre-Radiation Ups Survival in Early Tonsil CA

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stage I and II primary tonsil carcinoma, radiotherapy after tonsillectomy is associated with improved overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS), compared with radiotherapy after biopsy, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Patient-Centered Decision Making Ups Health Outcomes

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-centered decision making (PCDM) is associated with improved health care outcomes, according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Ultrasound Model IDs Residual Joint Inflammation in RA

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A model including ultrasound (US) assessment of the wrist, metacarpophalangeal (MCP), ankle, and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints is highly sensitive for detecting B-mode and Doppler joint inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Guidelines Issued Relating to Online Medical Professionalism

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be aware of the benefits on online media and should recognize the implications for patient confidentiality and public perception, according to a position paper published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Family-Centered Teaching Rounds Good for Patients, Students

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching and conducting rounds in the presence of patients and their families can be beneficial for patients and learners, according to research published online April 15 in Pediatrics.

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Community Benefit Spending Varies for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in the level of community benefit expenditure by tax-exempt hospitals, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Aerobic Exercise Reduces Brain Damage From Alcohol

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with greater white matter damage in people who do not regularly do aerobic exercise, according to a study published online April 2 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Computer-Aided Detection Tied to Increase in DCIS Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of computer-aided detection (CAD) for screening mammography has increased in prevalence and is associated with increased diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Routine CT Imaging Can Be Used to Identify Osteoporosis

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal computed tomography (CT) imaging, conducted for other indications, can be used to identify patients with osteoporosis, according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Review Suggests Breast Cancer Screens Should Be Personalized

FRIDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Optimal breast cancer screening should be personalized for each woman and may go beyond mammography, according to a review published online April 4 in the American Journal of Medicine.

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Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction Policy Needs Work

FRIDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) policy overestimated the work efficiencies in physician services when same-session, multiple imaging services are provided by different physicians in the same group practice, according to research published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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Surgeons Reach Radiation Limits With 291 PELDs Per Year

FRIDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons performing minimally invasive transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD), involving fluoroscopy, are exposed to the maximum allowable radiation dose after 291 procedures performed without protective shielding, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Spine.

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ACS: Room for Improvement in Cancer Prevention, Detection

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Despite improvements in aspects of cancer prevention and early detection, more systematic efforts to reduce tobacco use and obesity, and expand the use of screening tests could prevent much of the suffering and death of cancer, according to a report published online April 11 by the American Cancer Society.

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Speech Details Practices to Improve U.S. Health Systems

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- There are specific steps health care providers and policymakers should take to create high-quality, patient-centered care at lower costs, according to remarks made in an April 9 speech to the National Press Club.

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Functional MRI Can Be Used to Assess Physical Pain

WEDNESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to as a sensitive and specific tool to assess pain elicited by noxious heat in healthy persons, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Radiation-Linked Heart Disease Ups Death in Cardiothoracic Sx

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation-associated heart disease (RAHD) correlates with an increased risk of death in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery (CTS), according to a study published online April 8 in Circulation.

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Most Partners of U.S. Docs Satisfied in Their Relationships

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most spouses/partners of U.S. physicians report being satisfied with their relationships, with satisfaction linked to time spent together each day, according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Physician's Briefing