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FDA approves 1st DNA-Based Test for Colon Cancer
The Associated Press via CNBC
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first screening test for colon cancer that uses patients' DNA to help spot potentially deadly tumors and growths. The Cologuard test from Exact Sciences detects irregular mutations in stool samples that can be an early warning sign of cancer. Patients who test positive for the mutations should undergo a colonoscopy to confirm the results.
Advanced Prostate Cancer Linked to Low Melatonin
Renal & Urology News
Low urinary levels of melatonin are associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer (PCa), new findings suggest. In a prospective study, researchers measured first morning void urinary levels of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (6-STM), the primary melatonin metabolite, in a cohort of 928 Icelandic men who did not have PCa.
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Improves with MRI Technology
UC San Diego Health System
Oncologists at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center are the first in San Diego to meld magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a three-dimensional map of the prostate that allows physicians to view growths that were previously undetectable. An ultrasound machine provides an imperfect view of the prostate,
resulting in an under-diagnosis of cancer, said J. Kellogg Parsons, M.D.,
MHS, the UC San Diego Health System urologic oncologist who, along with
Christopher Kane, M.D., chair of the Department of Urology and Karim
Kader, M.D., Ph.D., urologic oncologist, is pioneering the new technology at
Moores Cancer Center.
Money Pouring into California's Prop 46 Fight
In the months leading up to November, millions of dollars will be spent to persuade voters to do one thing that California courts and legislators have refused to do – inflate the cap on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. Adhering to the motto "if at first you don’t succeed," software designer Bob Pack and state trial lawyers crafted Proposition 46, a ballot measure that would increase the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act's current cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages.
California Experiments with Fast-Tracking Medical School
Some doctors in the state of California will soon be able to practice after three years of medical school instead of the traditional four. The American Medical Association is providing seed money for the effort in the form of a $1 million, five-year grant to the University of California at Davis.
The Kaiser Way: Lesson for US Healthcare?
The Affordable Care Act has been dramatically changing the way hospitals do business, forcing them to rethink which patients they admit and focus on keeping people healthy. For Kaiser Permanente, however, it's been largely business as usual, says CEO Bernard Tyson, who took the helm a year ago. Kaiser is a fully integrated hospital-doctor-insurance company, kind of an "accountable care organization" on steroids. ACOs are networks of doctors and hospitals that share financial and medical responsibility for patients' care — exactly what the ACA encourages with Medicare, using bonuses for efficient and effective healthcare.
Millions of Uninsured Americans Exempt From Obamacare Penalties in 2016, Report Finds
A new congressional report has estimated that more than 25 million Americans without health insurance will not be made to pay a penalty in 2016 due to an exploding number of Obamacare exemptions. The Wall Street Journal, citing an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, reported that the number of people expected to pay the fine in 2016 has dwindled to four million people from the report's previous projection of six million. Approximately 30 million Americans are believed to be without health insurance.
EHR Adoption Slow, Information Exchange Lagging
Thousands of hospitals and physicians in small office practices will be left out of meaningful use incentive payments, and may eventually be financially penalized, unless they speed up adoption of electronic health records systems to satisfy meaningful use two requirements, analysis indicates. The findings of two papers published in Health Affairs are based on survey data showing how many providers have the essential system components required to obtain financial incentives and avoid penalties under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009.
How Healthcare Managers Can Improve Outcomes and Patient Care
Gallup Business Journal
Measuring employee engagement is the first step great managers take to build stronger teams. But the best managers do more than just measure engagement. They listen to their employees and use their engagement data to guide their teams to improve performance. This is as true in the healthcare industry as in any other. By actively managing for engagement, performance-driven managers positively influence business outcomes and patient care.
It's Not Just Healthcare That's Bankrupt — It's Our Legal System, Too
Of Minds Smith
What can you say about a "healthcare" system in which 99 percent of all physicians will face a malpractice claim in their careers? According to Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty (The New England Journal of Medicine), "It was estimated that by the age of 65 years, 75 percent of physicians in low-risk specialties had faced a malpractice claim, as compared with 99 percent of physicians in high-risk specialties."
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