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News Release Exaggerates Impact of Treating Gum Disease on Prostatitis
Health News Review
A news release from Case Western Reserve University sets out to describe a relatively small study designed to further previous evidence for an observed link between gum disease and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). The study focuses on the likely common denominator of a body-wide biological process that releases inflammatory cytokines into blood and tissue, along with other possibilities; and on the clear possibility that non-surgical dental treatment will help.
Acute Kidney Injury Linked to Pre-Existing Kidney Health, Study Finds
Physicians treating hospitalized patients for conditions unrelated to the kidneys should pay close attention to common blood and urine tests for kidney function in order to prevent incidental injury to the organs that help cleanse the body of toxins, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests. The findings, published in two studies in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, suggest that while being older, male, African-American or having diabetes are risk factors for developing acute kidney injury, the strongest risk factor is even mildly abnormal results on tests of kidney function.
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Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Impair Thinking
HealthDay News via Doctor's Lounge
Men undergoing hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer may experience impaired mental function within the first six months that persists for at least a year, a new study suggests. Moreover, the risk of memory, learning and concentration problems associated with hormone therapy was greatest for men with a particular gene mutation, researchers from the University of South Florida in Tampa found. Hormone therapy is used to lower the level of testosterone, thus preventing growth of prostate cancer cells.
Identified: The Root of 'Untreatable' Bladder Cancer
Nature World News
A single type of cancer stem cell has been identified as the source of the most aggressive and invasive bladder cancers, according to a new study. The study, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Cell Biology, details how researchers associated with the Stanford University School of Medicine identified a single type of cell in the lining of the bladder that causes invasive bladder cancer. According to the researchers, invasive bladder cancer affects more than 375,000 people across the world each year. The cancer, which spreads to replace the entire lining of the bladder, is largely untreatable.
A New Way to Use Old Tools Against Ovarian Cancer
Wall Street Journal
Cancer researchers have developed a new treatment strategy that holds promise for significantly extending the lives of women diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, one of the toughest to treat and most lethal malignancies.
The approach doesn't involve a hot new drug or technology. Instead, it's based on being smarter about using the longtime mainstay treatments for ovarian cancer: surgery and chemotherapy.
Liquid Biopsies are Transforming Treatment
A new type of blood test is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing some patients the surgical and needle biopsies long needed to guide their care. The tests, called liquid biopsies, capture cancer cells or DNA that tumors shed into the blood, instead of taking tissue from the tumour itself. A lot is still unknown about the value of these tests, but many doctors think they are a big advance that could make personalized medicine possible for far more people.
Welltok, IBM Watson Unveil Artificial Intelligence Health Coach App
Denver Business Journal
Welltok, a Denver technology company, has teamed with Centura Health and IBM's Watson supercomputing to create a virtual health coach that uses artificial intelligence to help people with heart conditions live healthier lives.
The 200-employee company is rolling out its CafeWell Concierge app to about 6,000 heart failure and cardiac rehabilitation patients from Englewood-based Centura Health's hospital and clinic network in Colorado and western Kansas.
Physician Assistant Spots Grow as Profession Reaches 40-year Mark
There are now over 100,000 PAs in U.S. healthcare. The PA role, and acceptance of the position, has evolved over the years. In one of the most comprehensive studies on PAs, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, which began administering PA certification exams in 1975, reports there are now 102,000 certified PAs in the U.S. That's a 36 percent increase from 2009, a trend that is expected to continue.
Medical Schools Target 30 Percent Increase in Enrollment by 2019
Enrollment is on the rise, but lack of federally funded residency training positions is fueling concern among medical school deans about enrollment growth outpacing growth in graduate medical education. The nation's medical schools are on track to reach targeted enrollment increases of nearly 30 percent within four years, but bottlenecks still exist with a shortage of clinical training sites and residency slots, the Association of American Medical Colleges says.
KLAS Names Epic, athenahealth, Medfusion Most Effective in Driving Patient Portal Adoption
Becker's Hospital Review
Healthcare research firm KLAS has released its latest report on patient portal adoption, identifying Epic, athenahealth and Medfusion as vendors that most effectively help their customers drive patient portal adoption. Customers of these three vendors report at least 20 percent of their patients have accessed their patient portals, far surpassing the current meaningful use requirement of having 5 percent of patients accessing the portals, according to KLAS.
Contrary to Goals, ER Visits Rise Under Obamacare
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they've seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. A poll released by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28 percent of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47 percent saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases in 2014 in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.
How to Cut Practice Payroll Without Losing Muscle
Despite signs of a recovering U.S. economy, medical practices must still try to accomplish more work with fewer resources.
Forty-three percent of practices made no changes to their staffing levels over last year, while 32 percent say they increased workload without increasing salary, according to the Physicians Practice 2015 Staff Salary Survey. What's more, two-thirds of respondents reported they didn't give their staff annual raises, except to cover the cost of living. But practices need to take care in carrying out smart staffing strategies, according to experts. In particular, beware of stretching your staff too thin.
10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Medical Billing Service
If you're thinking about out-sourcing your medical billing, Physicians Practice recommends asking these 10 questions when comparing medical billing services: What will it cost? A percentage is a better option than a flat rate. The percentage usually decreases as collections increase. The rate should be under 8 percent of collected charges. Be sure to ask about start up fees, data conversion fees, termination fees and any other fees.
Healthcare for those in US illegally could cost California $740 million a year
Los Angeles Times
Extending state-subsidized healthcare coverage to people in the country
illegally could cost California as much as $740 million annually,
according to a Senate fiscal analysis. The report affixes a price tag to
the proposal for the first time since Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell
Gardens, introduced his bill in December 2014. Researchers at UC
Berkeley and UCLA estimate that, in California, about 1.8 million people
who are in the country illegally lack healthcare coverage. Around 1.5
million of them would qualify for Medi-Cal.
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