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Complications Increase When Kidney Stone Treatment Is Delayed
Delaying the treatment of kidney stones adds to patient morbidity and increases resource utilization owing to more frequent use of imaging studies and antibiotics, according to data presented at a press briefing during the American Urological Association annual meeting. "Delays in definitive stone treatment often necessitate drainage to stabilize the patient and protect renal function," said the study's lead investigator Justin Friedlander, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
Daily Caffeine Linked to Lower Risk of Erectile Dysfunction
HealthDay News via Renal & Urology News
Men who consume more caffeine each day may have a lower risk of erectile dysfunction, according to a new study published online in PLOS One. The amount of caffeine that appeared to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction was equal to 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, the researchers said.
Researchers Unveil New Gene Subgroup in Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer researchers have drawn a molecular portrait that provides the first complete picture of localized, multi-focal disease within the prostate and also unveils a new gene subgroup driving it. The discoveries, published online in Nature Genetics, are a further step along the road to personalizing prostate cancer medicine say study co-leads, Dr. Robert Bristow, a clinician-scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Dr. Paul Boutros, an investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
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Persistent UTI Symptoms May Signal Bladder Cancer
Urinary tract infection symptoms that don't improve with time or treatment could point to bladder cancer, a new study suggests. That finding applies to both men and women, said lead researcher Kyle Richards, M.D., from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, during a press conference at the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting.
Doctoring, Without the Doctor
The New York Times
There are just a handful of psychiatrists in all of western Nebraska, a vast expanse of farmland and cattle ranches. So when Murlene Osburn, a cattle rancher turned psychiatric nurse, finished her graduate degree, she thought starting a practice in this tiny village of tumbleweeds and farm equipment dealerships would be easy ... it wasn't.
Medicare Reimbursements for Telehealth Totaled $14 Million in 2014
In 2014, Medicare reimbursements for telehealth services totaled $13.9 million, according to new CMS data. The data, which was provided to the Robert J. Waters Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law, showed that more than $12.48 million in reimbursements can be attributed to provider fees – the location of telehealth provider – and that more than $1.45 million can be attributed to originating site fees – the location of the patient.
More People Able to Pay Medical Bills Under Obamacare
The study from the Urban Institute finds that the number of adults having trouble paying bills declined from 22 percent in September 2013, before Obamacare took effect, to 17 percent in March 2015. That means about 9.4 million people who previously had trouble paying their bills are now able to do so.
In Post-SGR World, Physicians Face 2 Payment Options
American College of Surgeons
How will physicians be paid in the era of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which Congress recently enacted in place of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula, the law's notorious predecessor? "There's going to be a fork in the road," said Robert B. Doherty, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy for the American College of Physicians, at a media briefing. "Physicians will have to choose one of two paths. You can't do both." Beginning in 2019, physicians will be paid either according to a merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) or through an alternative payment model (APM).
Building an Effective Physician Enterprise
Whether it's meant to bring together employed or independent physicians or both, a physician enterprise needs to be flexible and transparent enough to achieve both cost reduction and better outcomes.
How OpenNotes Builds Patient Engagement
Everyone agrees that patient engagement is important. No one agrees on what, exactly, the term means. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine, "The Many Faces of Patient Engagement," concluded that there is a lack of "consistency in terminology and definitions around the concept of patient engagement." Despite the debate over definition and application of patient engagement, Mary Beth Mitchell, the chief nursing informatics officer at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas, boils it down to a single, simple description: "It's how patients become invested in their own health."
California Law Expanding Pharmacists' Scope of Practice to Take Effect
A 2013 California law (SB 493) is scheduled to take effect in the next few weeks will allow pharmacists in the state to distribute contraception without requiring a prescription from a physician, among other things.
Revised California Budget Plan Helps Schools and the Poor
Los Angeles Times
A growing economy is fueling an expansive plan by Gov. Jerry Brown to provide billions more dollars for schools and a tax break for poor families, even as he accelerates spending to battle the ongoing drought. In a $169-billion budget plan, Brown also proposed setting aside money to provide public healthcare to immigrants who are in the country illegally but would be shielded from deportation under President Obama's executive action.
Covered California Votes to Cap What Patients Pay for Pricey Drugs
In recent years, expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent. To ease the financial burden, the California agency that governs the state's Obamacare plans issued landmark rules Thursday that will put a lid on the amount anyone enrolled in one of those plans can be charged each month for high-end medicine.
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