May 2015 Briefing - Ophthalmology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for May 2015. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

AMA: Physicians Driving the Slowing of Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Low physician spending is contributing to an overall slowing of health care costs, according to a viewpoint piece published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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AMD Predicts Poorer Survival in Older Women

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) predicts poorer survival, especially among women aged 80 years or older, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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14.9 Million New Cancer Cases Worldwide in 2013

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1990 and 2013, the proportion of deaths worldwide caused by cancer rose from 12 to 15 percent. During that time, years of healthy life lost to cancer increased 29 percent, according to data on 28 types of cancer in 188 countries published online May 28 in JAMA Oncology.

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U.S. Organ Donation Rates Highest in Midwest

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, organ donor rates are highest in the Midwest and lowest in New York state, according to a report published online May 28 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Metformin Linked With Lower Open-Angle Glaucoma Risk

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Metformin is associated with a lower risk of developing open-angle glaucoma (OAG), according to a study published online May 28 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Caution Urged When Using EHR Shortcut Features

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Caution should be exercised with use of electronic health record (EHR) documentation short cuts, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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CDC: Low-Income Southerners at Highest Risk of Vision Loss

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New U.S. government research connects severe vision loss with poverty, and reveals that people in the southern part of the country have the highest prevalence of both poverty and severe vision loss. The findings were published in the May 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Large Practices Focused on Small Selection of EHR Products

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Sixty percent of clinicians in practices with 26 or more clinicians report use of one of 10 electronic health record (EHR) products, according to a report published by AmericanEHR Partners.

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Front Desk Staff Has Key Role in Managing Practice Cash Flow

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Three steps that can be implemented by front desk staff can help increase practices' cash flow, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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AMA: Avoiding Distress in Medical School

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Personalized Assessments During Eye Visits Don't Lower HbA1c

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diabetes, personalized education and diabetes risk assessments performed during retinal ophthalmologic visits do not result in improved glycemic control, according to a study published online May 21 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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CDC: Smoking Rates on Decline in Many States

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smoking continues to decline in about half of American states, according to the latest U.S. government estimates. The new report was published in the May 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Tips Provided for Doctors Who Want to Move to Private Practice

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For physicians who want to transition to private practice, several factors need consideration, including finances, legal matters, and insurance, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Guidance Offered to Help Doctors Deal With 'Dr. Google'

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Good communication is the key to resolving conflicts between the tests and treatment a patient may want based on online searches and those a physician believes are necessary, according to an article published online in Medical Economics.

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New Health Care Index Reports Increases in Consumer Costs

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new Health Care Index shows increases in consumer costs, according to a report published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Nondisclosure Clauses Often Used in Malpractice Settlements

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nondisclosure clauses are frequently used in malpractice settlement agreements, according to research published online May 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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AMA: Six Traits of Financially Prepared Female Physicians

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The traits of a financially prepared female physician include having a retirement portfolio that is on track or ahead of schedule for age and career stage, having a liquid emergency fund, and feeling adequately protected in the event of a disability, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Mortality Linked

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a predictor of poor survival, especially among women aged 80 years and older, according to a study published online May 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Veteran Eye Care Clinicians Use Holistic Image Information

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Experienced eye care clinicians use holistic image information, which is present in fundus photographs but not when using the restricted view of slit lamps, according to a study published online May 1 in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.

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Medical Students Want to Focus Learning on Preparing for Future

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students report wanting to learn more about topics that are not currently being taught, including leadership training, health policy, health economics, and experiential learning, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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ACA Tied to Nearly 17 Million Gaining Health Coverage

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly 17 million previously uninsured Americans now have health coverage, according to a 2013 to 2015 report from the Rand Corporation.

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Strategies Provided for Maximizing Payment

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should use standard billing practices, including regular statements, to maximize accounts, and know that collection agencies and lawyers can help collect payment when necessary, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Five 'Top Issues' to Be Discussed at AMA Medical Student Forum

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Issues that will be at the forefront of the National Medical Student Meeting include vaccinations, health care economics, Medicaid expansion, medical education loans, and the nationwide opioid epidemic, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Gene Tx Improves Vision in Leber Congenital Amaurosis

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy can rapidly improve eyesight for patients who've lost their vision from Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), according to a study published online May 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Computerized Visual Acuity Test Effective for Children

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A computerized visual acuity-based screening program that employs a rapid, age-specific standardized algorithm is effective and practical for screening 3- to 7-year-old children, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

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