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Save the Date! 91st Annual Meeting - Oct. 25-29, 2015
Indian Wells, CA.
David Brin, Ph.D to deliver Keynote Address
The Western Section is pleased to announce David Brin, Ph.D to be the Keynote speaker for the 2015 annual meeting. David Brin is a scientist, best-selling author and tech-futurist. His novels include "Earth, The Postman" (filmed in 1997) and Hugo Award winners "Startide Rising" and "The Uplift War." A leading commentator and speaker on modern trends, his nonfiction book "The Transparent Society" won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Brin's newest novel "EXISTENCE" explores the ultimate question: Billions of planets are ripe for life. So where is Everybody? David Brin's presentation is not to be missed as he will speak on technologies making the difference in the future.
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Counterfeit Cialis Found Entering US by Mail: FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said counterfeit versions of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis were found in the mail en route to a customer in the United States, and it is alerting consumers and doctors to be on the lookout for fakes. FDA laboratory analysis showed the counterfeit versions contain multiple active ingredients, which if used could result in adverse effects or harm, the agency said in a notice posted on its website.
Is There a Moral Way to Fix America's Kidney Shortage?
For those who need a transplant, the wait for an organ in America is growing longer: As Nobel economist Gary Becker lays out in a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, 95,000 Americans were on the waiting list for new kidneys in 2012, but only 16,500 kidney transplants occurred that year. Today, there are over 78,000 candidates waiting for an organ transplant.
PDE5 Use and Prostate Cancer, H&N, Cervical Ca
Men who used phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors after radical prostatectomy had a significantly greater risk of PSA recurrence of prostate cancer compared with nonusers, German investigators reported. During a median post-prostatectomy follow-up of 5 years, the biochemical relapse-free survival was 84.7 percent in PDE5 users and 89.2 percent in nonusers. In a multivariate analysis, PDE5 use after radical prostatectomy was an independent predictor of biochemical relapse, as reported online in the Journal of Urology.
Prostate Cancer Patients Who Smoke Fare Worse, Study Finds
Smoking doubles the chances that a prostate cancer patient will see his disease spread and that he will eventually die from his illness, a new study finds. "Basically we found that people who smoke had a higher risk of their tumor coming back, of it spreading and, ultimately, even dying of prostate cancer," said study co-author Dr. Michael Zelefsky. He is vice chair of clinical research in the department of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Overused for Urological Surgeries
Renal & Urology News
Utilization patterns indicate that antimicrobial prophylaxis is overused for urological surgeries in the community practice setting, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology. In an effort to assess patterns of use for antimicrobial prophylaxis in a large, community-based population, Matthew Mossanen, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data for patients undergoing certain urological surgeries. Index urological surgeries included radical prostatectomy, partial or radical nephrectomy, radical cystectomy, ureteroscopy, shock wave lithotripsy, transurethral resection of the prostate, percutaneous nephrostolithotomy, transvaginal surgery, inflatable penile prosthesis, brachytherapy, transurethral resection of bladder tumor, and cystoscopy.
6 Questions Every Doctor Should Be Asking Patients
End-of-life care for sick patients is garnering more attention from hospitals and health systems because of its impact on costs. Now leaders need to invest in training physicians to talk to patients about their concerns and wishes.
SGR: Work Resumes on Elusive 'Doc Fix'
With a two-day hearing being held this week in Congress, the annual scramble has begun to plug a gaping hole in the formula Medicare uses to calculate physician reimbursement.
In 1997, Congress crafted the Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR), which ties Medicare's payment rates for doctors to the projected growth of the national economy. But healthcare spending quickly outpaced economic growth, opening a multibillion-dollar gap in funding for Medicare payments to physicians.
Healthcare is Headed Down a New Road with New Rules in 2015
Every year I sit down with our team of healthcare futurists to carefully choose the right cards and place our bets on what we can expect to see in the coming year. It's always both a terrifying and exciting experience because at the end of the year, you can always go back to validate what trends our team was able to key in on and the degree it shaped the events of that year, and, yes, even identify what might have caught us by surprise.
Medicare Unveils Timetable for Changing How it Pays Doctors, Hospitals
Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration outlined ambitious new goals on Monday, Jan. 26 to transform the way the gargantuan Medicare program pays doctors and hospitals in the next four years, rewarding providers that achieve better outcomes for patients rather than just do more. The move away from so-called fee-for-service medicine is a central, if little recognized, goal of the Affordable Care Act, which the president signed five years ago.
Vice President Joe Biden calls for Renewed Focus on Patient Safety
Kaiser Health News
Hospitals need to focus more on reducing preventable errors and infections and the government must create more economic incentives to improve patient safety, Vice President Joe Biden said at a conference in Irvine, California over the weekend. "Up until now, our healthcare system, in my humble opinion, hasn't sufficiently linked quality ... with safety," he said. "Not enough time has been focused on keeping bad things from happening."
Americans See Healthcare, Low Wages as Top Financial Problems
Healthcare costs and lack of money or low wages rank as the most important financial problems facing American families, each mentioned by 14 percent of U.S. adults. Fewer Americans than a year ago cite the high cost of living or unemployment, and the percentage naming oil or gas prices is down from 2012.
4 Ways to Reduce Unnecessary Care
As reducing unnecessary care becomes increasingly important in a value-based care environment, healthcare providers must take action--and stop making excuses, according to a post from consulting firm Navigant. Despite the high cost of unnecessary care, reducing it is a challenge for healthcare providers. For one thing, the post notes, there is so much clinical evidence and data that it's difficult to sort through it to find what works and what doesn't. Meanwhile, the existing evidence for effective practices for complex cases, such as patients with co-morbidities, is often weak.
2015 Medical Billing Resolutions for Your Medium-Sized Practice
Many New Year's resolutions focus on personal health, like increasing exercise or losing weight. But some resolutions focus on financial health. Here are three medical billing resolutions to increase your practice's financial health this year.
Audit Ordered for Los Angeles County Nonprofit Health Plan
The Associated Press via The Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles County lawmakers have ordered an audit of a nonprofit health plan that handles coverage for 1.6 million residents.
The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday for a financial review of L.A. Care, which administers Medi-Cal coverage and handles more than $4 billion in public funds. Supervisor Michael Antonovich says state law requires the county auditor-controller to conduct annual audits but none has been performed since L.A. Care's inception in 1994.
Health Insurers May Face Tougher Rules on Obamacare Doctor Lists
Los Angeles Times
In response to complaints about Obamacare doctor networks, a California lawmaker and three consumer groups are seeking legislation that would require health plans to improve provider directories. State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, said on Friday, Jan. 23 that he introduced legislation that would force health plans to update their provider lists weekly and make them more widely available online to insurance shoppers.
1st US Doctors' Strike in Decades
U-T San Diego
A handful of doctors providing medical services to students at UC San Diego — and their colleagues at nine other University of California campuses — went on strike Tuesday, Jan. 27. It's the first time in 25 years that fully licensed doctors are picketing a U.S. employer, according to the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents the physicians at the UC schools.
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