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UROLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS
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Non-Invasive Device Instantly Diagnoses Urinary Tract Infections
The University of British Columbia
A wireless, credit-card sized optical device shows promise for diagnosing lower urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially in children, the elderly and people with neurological conditions. Babak Shadgan and his colleagues were able to diagnose UTI in 12 pediatric patients using the device, which sends near-infrared beams of light to measure tissue oxygenation in the bladder wall. By comparing these results with measurements from patients' thigh as a control site, researchers were able to determine when infections were present.
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Bladder Cancer-Obesity Link Confirmed
Renal & Urology News
A new systematic review and meta-analysis confirms an association between obesity and bladder cancer. Pre-obese individuals also may be at risk. For the meta-analysis, Yong-Bing Xiang, M.D., and colleagues from the Shanghai Cancer Institute at Renji Hospital in China, pooled results from 15 cohort studies published by September 2014 from North America, Europe (including Scandinavia), Asia, and Australia. Among 14 million people, 38,072 bladder cancer cases were identified.
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Vitamin D Acts As Biological 'Brake' For Low-Grade Prostate Cancer
Prostate Cancer News Today
During the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the largest scientific society worldwide held in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Bruce Hollis from the Medical University of South Carolina will present a clinical study entitled “Vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of cancer.” In this study, the research team shows that supplementation with vitamin D can have a significant impact on disease progression, with the ability to alter molecular and biochemical pathways, slowing or even decreasing the development of less aggressive, or low-grade, prostate tumors without undergoing surgery or radiation.
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High Fluid Intake Lowers Kidney Stone Risk
Renal & Urology News
Data from separate studies presented at the National Kidney Foundation's 2015 Spring Clinical Meetings may help improve clinicians' ability to manage kidney stones. In a meta-analysis, researchers found that high fluid intake is effective and appears to be safe for the prevention of incident and recurrent kidney stones. The other study, in which investigators analyzed 24-hour urine specimens from non-Hispanic whites, demonstrated that age and sex influence the excretion of key urinary factors related to kidney stone risk.
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Advanced Bladder Cancer Increases Suicide Risk, Study Says
OncLive
Older, single white males with advanced bladder cancer have the highest suicide risk among those with other cancers of the male genitals and urinary system, researchers report. When compared with the general population, overall suicide risk was 2.7 times higher for bladder cancer patients, rates were 1.86 times higher in kidney cancer patients, 1.27 times higher in prostate cancer, 1.23 times higher in testicular cancer, and 0.96 times higher in penile cancers.
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HEALTHCARE NEWS


SGR Permanent Fix Bill Filed in Congress
HealthLeaders Media
The sweeping package introduced in the U.S. House and Senate Thursday, March 26, repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate funding formula and adds an automatic 0.5 percent payment update each year for five years. Proponents say it will stabilize Medicare payments to physicians.
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Seniors Rattled by Endless Risk of Medicare Cuts to Doctors
The Associated Press
New momentum for a lasting fix to Medicare's doctor-payment problem shows that lawmakers may finally be recognizing what has long bothered their constituents. Year after year, the threat of 20-percent payment cuts averted at the last minute has seemed a curious way to run a program that lives depend on. A failed budget formula fed anxiety into the relationship between patients and doctors.
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House Provision Offers Doctors More Protection Against Malpractice Suits
The New York Times
A little-noticed provision of a bill passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support would provide doctors new protections against medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill, which requires the government to measure the quality of care that doctors provide and rate their performance on a scale of zero to 100, protects doctors by stipulating that the quality-of-care standards used in federal health programs — Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act — cannot be used in malpractice cases.
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RAC Court Ruling Deals Blow to CMS
HealthLeaders Media
A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling earlier in March that invalidates a provision of Medicare's 2014 Recovery Audit Program contracts is the latest setback for federal officials who administer the program. The 2014 contracts were slated to be awarded in 2014, but a series of challenges from Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) has delayed the rollout of the new contracts. In the meantime, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has temporarily extended the original round of RAC contracts awarded in 2008.
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Report: Arizona Hospitals Experiencing Operating Losses
Miami Herald
Operating margins at Arizona hospitals are declining despite a recent financial boost from an expanded Medicaid program, according to a new report. The report by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association says expenses are up although uncompensated care in Arizona hospitals dropped by one-third since the Medicaid expansion, the Arizona Daily Star newspaper in Tucson reports. In addition, the report shows that nearly a third of the state's hospitals incurred a loss from operations in January.
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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT


Patients Bounce Back Faster From Surgery With Hospitals' New Protocol
The Wall Street Journal
Hospitals are starting to abandon the time-honored drill for surgery patients — including fasting, heavy IV fluids, powerful post-op narcotics and bed rest — amid growing evidence that the lack of nutrients, fluid overload and drug side effects can do more harm than good. Instead, they are turning to “enhanced recovery” protocols that are easier on patients, help them get better faster with fewer infections and other complications and reduce healthcare costs.
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Survey: 97 Percent of Patients OK Docs Using Technology During a Visit
MobiHealthNews
A new survey conducted by voice recognition software company Nuance Communications shows that patients don't have a problem with their doctors using technology during visits, as long as technology doesn't get in the way of a meaningful interaction with their physician. Nuance surveyed 3,000 patients in three countries: The United States, the U.K. and Germany. They found that 97 percent of patients approved of their doctor using technology (including desktop computers and mobile devices) during a consultation, and an additional 58 percent said technology positively impacts their overall experience, especially when it's "used collaboratively to educate or explain."
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3 Tips to Maximize the Power of Practice Meetings
FiercePracticeManagement
Experts agree: Meeting with your employees regularly is crucial for practice success. Advice for keeping these gatherings streamlined and productive abounds as well, but a well-planned agenda alone doesn't leverage meetings' maximum potential. Important ingredients that are often missing in meetings, according to a recent post from Harvard Business Review, include leaders' ability to demonstrate empathy and emotional control. These concepts apply to one-on-one interactions, too, as described in a recent post for Physicians Practice.
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In Pursuit Of Patient Satisfaction, Hospitals Update The Hated Hospital Gown
Kaiser Health News
Whether a patient is in the hospital for an organ transplant, an appendectomy or to have a baby, one complaint is common: the gown. You know the one. It might as well have been stitched together with paper towels and duct tape, and it usually leaves the wearer’s behind hanging out. "You're at the hospital because something’s wrong with you – you’re vulnerable – then you get to wear the most vulnerable garment ever invented to make the whole experience that much worse," said Ted Streuli, who lives in Edmond, Okla., and has had to wear hospital gowns on multiple occasions.
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NEWS IN CALIFORNIA


SCOTUS: Providers Cannot Sue Over Low Medicaid Reimbursements
California Healthline
The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that private health care providers are not able to sue state Medicaid agencies over low reimbursement rates, Modern Healthcare reports. The high court's ruling in the case, Armstrong vs. Exceptional Child Center, reversed a lower court ruling that ordered Idaho to increase its Medicaid reimbursement rates.
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California Health System Tries One-Stop Wellness Corners
Hospitals & Health Networks
For hospitals, focusing on wellness and prevention can be a struggle at times, with patients who claim they're too busy to make a doctor's appointment or hit the gym. One California health system, however, is looking to topple that hurdle to health, debuting "Wellness Corners" around Orange County — employer-based, one-stop shops for everything from primary care to fitness training.
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Report Ranks California the 14th Best State for Physicians
California Healthline
California, which has the most doctors of any state in the U.S., ranks as the 14th best state for physicians based on several metrics, including wages and job opportunities, according to a new WalletHub report, HCPLive's "Physician's Money Digest" reports. For the report, all of the states and Washington, D.C., were rated on 12 metrics sorted into two categories: Environment, or risks of the job, such as state medical board penalties, malpractice payouts and costs of malpractice insurance; and Job opportunity and competition.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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