12/18/2014
According to an annual survey from Mercer, the average per-employee cost of health benefits rose 3.9% in 2014. | Read More
12/18/2014
A report from the Commonwealth Fund found that 87% of US adults ≥65 years of age have at least 1 chronic illness and 68% have ≥2, the highest rates in a new 11-country survey. | Read More
12/18/2014
The CMS is preparing to send letters to healthcare providers in the coming weeks warning about penalties surrounding failure to achieve meaningful use of EHR technology. | Read More

WEEKLY TOP ARTICLES

12/18/2014

Long-term use of benzodiazepines has steadily increased with age among US residents in spite of risks and questionable efficacy, according to a recent study.

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12/18/2014

Prasugrel treatment should be delayed until after a decision is made about revascularization in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

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12/18/2014

The HHS is funding more than $665 million to design and test healthcare payment and service delivery models that will improve healthcare quality and lower costs.

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12/18/2014

Neither lipid levels nor statin use appears to affect the incidence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, according to a new study.

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12/18/2014

A new study shows every annual 1% cut in government health care spending is associated with 89 excess maternal deaths in the EU.

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12/17/2014

Colorado health officials awarded $8 million in research grants to study the use of medical marijuana for Parkinson's disease, childhood epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Healthcare Reform

The HHS is funding more than $665 million to design and test healthcare payment and service delivery models that will improve healthcare quality and lower costs.

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Several health information technology projects are set to receive funding under the fiscal 2015 federal appropriations budget recently passed by Congress.

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Insurers can no longer deny coverage of gender reassignment surgery or other sex change treatment for transgender New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.

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Medicare/Medicaid

The CMS is preparing to send letters to healthcare providers in the coming weeks warning about penalties surrounding failure to achieve meaningful use of EHR technology.

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Almost 9% of births covered under Medicaid are early-term elective deliveries, according to new research.

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According to a recent study, physicians who train in areas with higher than average Medicare spending are likely to also spend more when they are out on their own.

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Pharmaceutical News

Long-term use of benzodiazepines has steadily increased with age among US residents in spite of risks and questionable efficacy, according to a recent study.

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Amgen Inc said its new type of treatment for a deadly form of leukemia would cost about $178,000, which would make it one of the world's most expensive cancer drugs.

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The number of Americans taking opioids long-term remained stable between 2009 and 2013, steadying a decades-long upward trend.

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FDA Activity

Two US senators recently introduced a bill to permit the FDA to speed the approval of antibiotics through a new drug approval pathway.

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According to the FDA commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, the agency has approved 35 novel drugs so far in 2014 compared to 27 in 2013.

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The FDA approved lanreotide for the treatment of patients with unresectable, well or moderately differentiated, locally advanced or metastatic gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

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Healthcare News

A new study shows every annual 1% cut in government health care spending is associated with 89 excess maternal deaths in the EU.

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A new report found that 80% of physicians have adopted or plan to adopt electronic health record technology.

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Infectious diseases are very common in the long-term care setting and are associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality among institutionalized older adults.

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Guideline Updates

The CDC published an updated guideline on recommendations for preventing HIV transmission.

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There is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults, according to the USPSTF.

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Controversial heart disease prevention guidelines that abandoned specific targets for reducing LDL cholesterol are under fresh assault after a major study highlighted the benefits of taking LDL to very low levels.

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In the past 22 years, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by retail pharmacies has nearly tripled, according to data from the Department of Health & Human Services. There were 207 million opioid prescriptions in 2013, down from a peak of 219 million in 2011 but up from 76 million in 1991. continue reading
Although patients with mental illness are typically prescribed medications, adherence is a major issue, as more than half of patients in some cases do not take their medications as advised. However, they are more likely to adhere to doctors’ orders if they believe physicians are competent, approachable, and interested in them. continue reading