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December 2013 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

December 2013 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Emergency Medicine 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 (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=682484 )FDA Urges Tighter Controls on Certain Prescription Painkillers (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=681474 )CDC: Evocative Campaign Motivates Smokers to Quit (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=680336 )Lower Microbial Diversity for Infants Who Develop Colic (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=672411 )Low Gut Bacterial Richness Linked to Obesity (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=679607 )Donor Fecal Infusion Effective for C. difficile Infection (http://www.physiciansbriefing.com/Article.asp?AID=672491 )Full Article - 2013 Top Health News (http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/misc-insurance-news-424/troubled-launch-of-obamacare-tops-health-news-for-2013-683282.html )

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.

Full Text - Modeling Study (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1809424 )Full Text - Recommendation Statement (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1809422 )Editorial 1 (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1809425 )Editorial 2 (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1809426 )

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.

Full Text (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1314691 )

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).

More Information (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0&plckPostId=Blog%3ae38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post%3a5e3230d6-51ea-454a-b883-e26b18bf22a9&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest#.Ur_RHv35E_s )

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.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/health-technology-information-18/misc-computer-health-news-150/white-house-extends-insurance-enrollment-deadline-for-second-time-683423.html )

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).

More Information (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0&plckPostId=Blog%3ae38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post%3a6e5ad51b-807b-484a-a2de-39152eed6a35&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest#.Ur19JMXnbrc )

CDC: Chikungunya Virus Now in the Western Hemisphere

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has been identified for the first time among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More Information (http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p1218-chikungunyas.html )

Performance-Enhancing Drug Use Widespread in U.S.

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) is more widespread than previously thought and can have adverse health consequences, according to a scientific statement published online Jan. 1 in Endocrine Reviews.

Abstract (http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/er.2013-1058 )Full Text (http://press.endocrine.org/doi/pdf/10.1210/er.2013-1058 )

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.

Full Text (http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=105 )

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.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1791502 )

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.

Full Text (http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6879 )Editorial (http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7401 )

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.

Full Text (http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7151 )

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.

Abstract (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/e2.extract )Full Text (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/e2.full )

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.

Abstract (http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1792856#Abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1792856 )

FDA Introduces New Food Defense Rule

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A new rule to protect the nation's food supply from terrorism has been introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Friday.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/food-and-drug-administration-news-315/breaking-brief-12-20-new-food-defense-rule-fda-release-683275.html )

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.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/misc-insurance-news-424/new-rule-may-exempt-millions-from-health-plan-penalty-683276.html )

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.

Abstract (http://www.annfammed.org/content/11/6/508.abstract )Full Text (http://www.annfammed.org/content/11/6/508.full )

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.

Abstract (http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/12/19/STROKEAHA.113.003741.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/12/19/STROKEAHA.113.003741.full.pdf+html )

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.

More Information (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/six-ways-physicians-can-prevent-patient-injury-and-avoid-lawsuits )

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.

Abstract (http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(13)01692-5/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(13)01692-5/fulltext )

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.

More Information (http://www.cdc.gov/features/endofyear/graphic.html )

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.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787692 )

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.

Abstract (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1790870#Abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1790870 )Editorial (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1790876 )

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.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/doctor-news-206/glaxco-to-end-payments-to-prescribing-doctors-683144.html )

FDA: Many ADHD Drugs Linked to Painful Erections

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- In rare cases, Ritalin and some other drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause long-lasting and sometimes painful erections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. If this condition -- priapism -- is not treated immediately, it can cause permanent damage to the penis.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-news-50/many-adhd-drugs-linked-to-painful-erections-fda-683148.html )

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.

More Information (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/nearly-half-physicians-believe-obamacare-will-impact-their-career-time-lines- )

Exposure to Pertussis Common in Peds Health Care Workers

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Health care workers are frequently exposed to pertussis in a pediatric health care setting, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Pediatrics.

Abstract (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/10/peds.2013-0745.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/10/peds.2013-0745.full.pdf+html )

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).

Report - Gindi (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db138.htm )Report - Martinez and Cohen (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/Insur201303.pdf )

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.

More Information (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm378542.htm )

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).

More Information (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0&plckPostId=Blog%3ae38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post%3a1859ea84-fee5-4878-9e96-1fa97af5abc0&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest#.Uq9RnsXnZLM )

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.

Full Text (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6249a2.htm?s_cid=mm6249a2_w )

Urine-Based Assay Diagnoses Chlamydia in 20 Minutes

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A rapid and sensitive assay requiring no special equipment can detect Chlamydia trachomatis directly from urine samples with high accuracy, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

Abstract (http://jmd.amjpathol.org/article/S1525-1578(13)00215-8/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jmd.amjpathol.org/article/S1525-1578(13)00215-8/fulltext )

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.

Abstract (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1914.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1914.full )

Support for Ultrasound First in Pediatric Appendicitis Diagnosis

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- During the transition to an ultrasound-first paradigm for imaging acute appendicitis in pediatric patients, there does not seem to be any increase in complicated appendicitis diagnoses or a longer median hospital length of stay (LOS), according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Abstract (http://www.ajronline.org/doi/abs/10.2214/AJR.13.10678 )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.ajronline.org/doi/full/10.2214/AJR.13.10678 )

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.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/misc-insurance-news-424/new-rule-tweaks-obamacare-deadline-683048.html )

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.

Full Text (http://www.nature.com/news/bibliometrics-global-gender-disparities-in-science-1.14321 )

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.

More Information (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/federal-judge-grants-temporary-injunction-against-unitedhealthcare )

NPs Practicing Without Restrictions Could Lower Costs

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Independently practicing nurse practitioners (NPs) seeing patients at retail health clinics can cut health care costs, according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

Abstract (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1977.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1977.full )

Peds High Chair-Related Injury Increased From 2003 to 2010

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- High chair-associated injury is common among infants, and increased 22.4 percent from 2003 to 2010, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Clinical Pediatrics.

Abstract (http://cpj.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/09/0009922813510599.abstract )Full Text (http://cpj.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/09/0009922813510599.full )

Peds Bronchiolitis Guideline Can Cut Resource Use, Costs

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a bronchiolitis guideline can reduce unnecessary resource utilization and reduce costs in a pediatric emergency department setting, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Pediatrics.

Abstract (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/03/peds.2013-1991.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/03/peds.2013-1991.full.pdf+html )

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).

More Information (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db137.htm )

Weekend Spine Surgery Linked to Longer Stays, Higher Costs

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Patients admitted to the hospital on weekends for cervical spine fusion resulting from trauma have a greater length of stay and total hospital costs than their weekday counterparts, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2013/12010/Comparison_of_Perioperative_Outcomes_and_Cost_of.9.aspx )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2013/12010/Comparison_of_Perioperative_Outcomes_and_Cost_of.9.aspx )

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.

Abstract (http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(13)00393-X/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959(13)00393-X/abstract )

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.

Abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jhm.2093/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jhm.2093/full )

Support for Narrow-Spectrum Antibiotics in Pediatric Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Narrow-spectrum antibiotics, which are recommended as first-line therapy for children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), show similar outcomes compared with broad-spectrum antibiotics, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Pediatrics.

Abstract (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/03/peds.2013-1773.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/12/03/peds.2013-1773.full.pdf+html )

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.

Abstract (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1998.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/11/1998.full )

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).

More Information (http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-Releases/2013-Press-Releases-Items/2013-11-27-2.html )

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.

Abstract (http://www.absame.org/annals/ojs/index.php/annals/article/view/178 )Full Text (http://www.absame.org/annals/ojs/index.php/annals/article/viewFile/178/172 )

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.

Full Text (http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=102 )

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).

More Information (http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-Releases/2013-Press-Releases-Items/2013-11-27.html )

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.

Safety Alert (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm377446.htm )Press Release (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm377433.htm )

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.

Abstract (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787406#Abstract )Full Text (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787406 )Editorial (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787393 )

CDC: Pregnancy Rates Down Over Last Two Decades

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy rates are 12 percent lower in the United States compared with two decades ago, with steep declines seen in teen pregnancy rates, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

More Information (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db136.htm )

ER Visits Involving Ecstasy Up 128 Percent From 2005 to 2011

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- From 2005 to 2011 there was a 128 percent increase in the number of emergency department visits involving Ecstasy in patients younger than 21 years, according to a report published online Dec. 3 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

More Information (http://www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/spot127-youth-ecstasy-2013.pdf )

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.

Full Article (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/ruc-committee-takes-steps-toward-transparency )

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.

Abstract (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1784290#Abstract )Full Text (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1784290 )

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.

Report (http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/global-health-2035 )More Information (http://www.globalhealth2035.org )

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.

Abstract (http://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/publishahead/Use_of_Intensive_Care_Services_and_Associated.97654.aspx )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/publishahead/Use_of_Intensive_Care_Services_and_Associated.97654.aspx )

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.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1784295 )

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.

Abstract (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787408#Abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787408 )

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.

Full Article (http://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/misc-drugs-news-218/fda-starts-regulating-compounding-pharmacies-682688.html )More Information (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/PharmacyCompounding/ )

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.

More Information (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/physician-volunteer-programs-can-revive-your-passion-medicine-while-boosting- )

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.

Abstract (http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(13)01620-2/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(13)01620-2/fulltext )