WSAUA Insights
May. 8, 2015

New Drug 'Helps Healthy Cells Kill Prostate Cancer'
Daily Mail
Prostate cancer resistant to conventional treatment could be all but wiped out by a therapy that boosts the immune system, claim researchers. Tests carried out in combination with chemotherapy drugs achieved almost complete remission in mice. The U.S. scientists used low doses of the drug oxaliplatin, which has a unique ability to activate cancer-killing immune cells in small tumors but works less well in large, aggressive tumors.More

Donor Kidneys Usable Despite Acute Kidney Injury
Renal & Urology News
Transplanted kidneys from deceased donors with acute kidney injury (AKI) are associated with patient and graft survival rates similar to those of non-AKI deceased-donor kidneys, according to study findings presented at the 2015 American Transplant Congress. Carlo B. Ramirez, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues compared outcomes from 65 transplanted kidneys from a donor with AKI with the transplant outcomes of 62 expanded criteria donor (ECD) kidneys and 270 standard criteria donor (SCD) kidneys. The researchers defined AKI as a donor terminal creatinine level of 2 mg/dL or higher.More

Urinary Control After Robotic Prostate Surgery
Men evaluating the option of surgery for treating prostate cancer may worry about the risk of damaging urinary control. Renowned robotic prostate cancer surgeon, Dr. David Samadi, innovated the SMART Surgery Technique (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) specifically to avoid issues of incontinence after prostate cancer surgery. Employing the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, he uses his SMART Technique to remove the prostate, sparing urinary functions.More

Why the Urologist is Usually a Man, but Maybe not for Long
"It's not all male genitalia!" says Dr. Leslie Rickey, a practicing urologist and associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine. "It's the kidneys and the urinary tract. And as you may or may not be aware, there are a lot of women leaking urine out there." Rickey is the president of the Society for Women in Urology, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting women in urology. It started in the 1980s with just a handful of women. Even though both the society and the number of female urologists have grown, there's still room to improve.More

Rep. Reintroduces Bill To Ban HHS From Implementing ICD-10 Codes
Last week, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, introduced legislation (HR 2126) that seeks to halt the implementation of new ICD-10 code sets. The measure, called the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, would prohibit HHS from adopting ICD-10 as a replacement to ICD-9. According to EHR Intelligence, the bill is similar to legislation Poe introduced in April 2013, which failed to move out of committee.More

Unearthing Hidden Treasures in Meaningful Use, Despite EHRs' Troubles
HealthLeaders Media
The electronic health record got a grilling at a session at a national healthcare journalists' conference. At the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference, held in Silicon Valley, the most intense interest was reserved for a panel in which the e-cigarette industry defended its products. More

The Certainty of Analytics
HealthLeaders Media
Information technology provides healthcare organizations with an essential infrastructure. But from an evolutionary perspective, healthcare IT has its roots in finance and administration, with clinical IT applications developing along a separate path. The shift to delivering value-based care challenges IT in two principal ways. First, as organizations respond to the industry's push toward capitated or at-risk payments, decision-makers depend on analysis that is based on both clinical and financial data, so organizations are challenged to integrate data.More

US Medicare Test Program Saved Hundreds of Million of Dollars-Study
A U.S. government test program with doctors and hospitals slowed healthcare spending in Medicare coverage for the elderly and disabled by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012 and 2013 but savings were less in the second year, a study said. The Journal of the American Medical Association study looked at beneficiaries in 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), in which hospitals and doctors follow 33 quality and care standards for Medicare fee-for-service patients. In return they can receive a portion of any healthcare savings back from the government.More

Aetna to Stop Covering Routine Use of Power Morcellator
The Wall Street Journal
Aetna Inc., will stop covering routine use of the laparoscopic power morcellator in May, marking the most direct blow from a major health insurer to a surgical tool that regulators determined can spread hidden cancer in women. The nation's third-largest health plan with about 23 million medical members, Aetna will implement its new policy starting May 15, a spokeswoman said. Power morcellation — which is used to remove common uterine growths called fibroids, often in hysterectomies — won't be covered under most circumstances, the spokeswoman said.More

Physician Burnout Heavily Influenced by Leadership Behaviors
HealthLeaders Media
Physician burnout is prevalent throughout the U.S. healthcare system — experienced by nearly half (46 percent) of physicians, according to data published in JAMA in 2014. But effective leadership appears to alleviate it, according to new research from Mayo Clinic and published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. More

Hospitals Increasingly Turn to Patients for Advice
Kaiser Health News
Patient advisory councils often serve as sounding boards for hospital leaders — offering advice on a range of issues. Members are usually patients and relatives who had bad hospital experiences and want to change how things work, or who liked their stay and want to remain involved. This hunt for patient perspective, which is becoming more and more common, is fueled in part by the health law's quality-improvement provisions and other federal financial incentives, such as the link between Medicare payments and patient satisfaction scores.More

Floor Vote Next for Nurse Practitioner Bill
California Healthline
A bill that would allow nurse practitioners in California to practice without physician supervision under certain circumstances passed the Senate Committee on Appropriations in a 5-0 vote on Monday and now heads to the Senate floor. SB 323, by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, would allow nurse practitioners to practice without the supervision of a physician if certified by an authority such as a hospital, medical group, accountable care organization or clinic. Under the bill, nurse practitioners could manage the health of patients, conduct assessments and order and prescribe medications, lab tests and medical devices.More

California Among Most Expensive States for Hospital Care
California Healthline
California has the second-highest hospital care costs in the U.S., according to a list compiled by San Francisco-based The list used data from CMS to analyze hospital-specific charges for the 100 most-frequently-billed treatments at about 3,000 hospitals nationwide.More