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WESTERN SECTION UPDATE


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UROLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS
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The New York Times is Wrong Again on Urology Health Care Fraud
Forbes
Urologists in Florida have recently been challenged in the New York Times. Greedy Greedy people, we are told. Meet Mr. Levich, the handsome gentlemen in this article "Medical Costs Rise as Retirees Winter in Florida," who is a patient about to be harmed. According to the article Mr. Levich AVOIDED a nasty prostate biopsy by rejecting his Florida urologist’s sage advice and — thankfully — heeded his New York physician to not get it.
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Hypothyroidism Risk Rises with Declining Kidney Function
Renal & Urology News
As kidney function decreases in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease (CKD), the risk of hypothyroidism increases, according to a new study. In a study looking at a nationally representative cohort of 461,607 veterans with Stage 3–5 CKD, researchers found that each 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of hypothyroidism in adjusted analyses.
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Bladder Cancer Screening Only Requires Urine Sample
HCPLive
Urine metabolites may provide the link to noninvasive bladder cancer (BCa) diagnostic screenings and recurrent disease management, according to research published in PLOS One. Researchers from Metabolon, Inc., in Durham, North Carolina and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center conducted a study of 332 urine samples, of which 66 were BCa positive, in order to test their novel biomarker test for BCa.
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Pentagon Spent $504,816 on Viagra for Troops in 2014
Headlins & Global News
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense spent $504,816 on the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra in what was labeled as "troop support," according to government contracts obtained by the Washington Bree Beacon. More than 60 contracts were issued by the Pentagon for the drug, with all 60 being awarded to the pharmaceutical company Cardinal Health Inc., in Dublin, Ohio.
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HEALTHCARE NEWS


American Medical Association Opposes Mandatory Vaccines: Medical Ethics Statement
NaturalNews
According to the "Informed Consent" section of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics posted at the American Medical Association website, the AMA is fundamentally and unambiguously opposed to mandatory vaccine programs in America. Read the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics statement here. A mandatory vaccination policy — forced vaccination of unwilling recipients — is, by definition, a medical intervention carried out without the consent of the patient or the patient's parents. This directly violates the very clear language in the Informed Consent section of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics which states.
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Before Medicaid, How did Doctors Treat the Poor?
NJ.com
While Medicaid is the primary way to cover the poor, charity care used to be a far simpler proposition for doctors, said David S. Jones, the A. Bernard Ackerman professor of the culture of medicine at Harvard University. In the era before modern surgery and antibiotics, care for all but the very elite was provided by unschooled healers such as midwives, "bone-setters," and apothecaries. Their fees were low, and many would barter their services for crops or food.
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AAOS and Medical Specialties Urge Congress to #FixSGR Now
American Acadmeny of Orthopaedic Surgeons
On Wednesday, Feb. 4, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) leadership together with representatives from other medical specialty associations will converge in Washington, D.C. to urge members of Congress to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula before the current SGR patch expires. Physicians from around the country will also be participating virtually, using email, twitter, and phone calls, to tell their representatives about the importance of a permanent SGR repeal to practices and their patients.
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EHR Use by Physicians Lagging
HealthLeaders Media
More than half of physicians regularly get patient information necessary to coordinate patient care from sources other than EHRs, a study finds. The study found that more than half (54 percent) of physicians who regularly received information regarding care coordination did not receive that information electronically. While 64 percent of physicians surveyed said they routinely receive the results of a patient's consultation with a provider outside of their practice, they were often just as likely to receive the patient information through non-electronic means as they were a an electronic health IT system.
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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT


The Budget Gimmick that Actually isn't so Bad
The New York Times
Here comes one of Washington's least favorite rituals: The "doc fix." Every year, and sometimes more often, Congress passes a bill to make sure that doctors don't absorb a big pay cut from Medicare. The many, many "doc fix" patches are meant to counteract a law passed in the 1990s that sought to restrain costs by tying doctors' pay to a formula.
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When Hospitals Buy Doctors' Offices, and Patient Fees Soar
The New York Times
Imagine you're a Medicare patient, and you go to your doctor for an ultrasound of your heart one month. Medicare pays your doctor's office $189, and you pay about 20 percent of that bill as a co-payment. Then, the next month, your doctor's practice has been bought by the local hospital. You go to the same building and get the same test from the same doctor, but suddenly the price has shot up to $453, as has your share of the bill.
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Survey Examines ICD-10 Implementation Costs in Small Physician Offices
Journal of AHIMA
The cost of implementing ICD-10-CM/PCS in small physician offices is drastically lower than previous and widely disseminated estimates, according to a new white paper. With so much speculation swirling about the cost of implementing ICD-10 for small physician practices, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) conducted a survey of its membership to assess the ICD-10-related costs actually being incurred by small physician practices — focusing on practices with six or fewer direct care providers.
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NEWS IN CALIFORNIA


UnitedHealthcare's Efforts To Join California Marketplace Meet Resistance
Kaiser Health News
UnitedHealthcare can't have its cake and eat it too. That's the message from the California health insurance marketplace, which turned aside a request from the nation's largest health insurer to sell statewide on the exchange because it opted not to join when the effort was getting off the ground in 2014. California is one of a handful of states that adopted policies to encourage insurers to participate in the marketplace by creating waiting periods of up to three years if insurers didn’t participate the first year.
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California Study Finds it Cheaper for Students to Buy Insurance than Go Without
McClatchyDC
As this year's deadline for Obamacare fast approaches, California State University officials are trying to show students that buying health insurance makes financial sense. A new analysis from the CSU Health Insurance Education Project found that half the approximately 445,000 students in the CSU system are able to purchase health insurance for less than they would have to pay in fines for remaining uncovered.
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WSAUA Insights
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lonny Alfred, Content Editor, 469.420.2663  
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