August 2018 Briefing - Allergy

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Allergy for August 2018. 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.

An Allergy to Red Meat May Be Tied to Heart Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An allergen in red meat may be tied to heart disease, according to a study published in the July issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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Medical Bills in Collections Decrease With Patient Age

FRIDAY, Aug. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Medical collections decrease substantially with age, possibly because of increased health insurance coverage and incomes, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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No Meaningful Increase in Physician Compensation Last Year

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There was no meaningful increase in physician compensation in 2017, and a decline in productivity was noted, according to the results of a survey conducted by AMGA Consulting.

Press Release
Survey (subscription or payment may be required)

Marketplace Premiums Increase More With Monopolist Insurers

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Affordable Care Act Marketplace premiums increase more in areas with monopolist insurers, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Medical Practices Should Address Negative Online Reviews

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Medical practice staff can effectively handle negative online reviews by staying calm and positive, looking for solutions, apologizing, and thanking the reviewers, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Artificial Intelligence Holds Promise in Medicine

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Artificial intelligence (AI) in health care offers opportunities for early detection and triage, diagnostics and personalized medicine, and medical decision-making, according to an article published in Managed Healthcare Executive.

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Alcohol Is Leading Risk Factor for Global Disease Burden

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Globally, alcohol use is a leading risk factor for disease burden, according to research published online Aug. 23 in The Lancet.

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Editorial

Experts Address Loss of the National Guideline Clearinghouse

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The demise of the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) in July 2018 is likely to impact evidence-based health care around the world, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Aug. 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Prevalence of E-Cigarette Use 4.5 Percent in U.S. Adults

MONDAY, Aug. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among U.S. adults is 4.5 percent, with higher prevalence among those aged 18 to 24 years, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Most Research Participants Not Concerned About Data Sharing

MONDAY, Aug. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Few participants in clinical trials have strong concerns about the risks of data sharing, according to a special article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA Adopts Policy Promoting Health Equity As a Goal

FRIDAY, Aug. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted a policy that sets health equity as a goal for the U.S. health care system, according to a report published in the organization's AMA Wire.

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Small Practices Also at Risk for Data Breaches

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Data breaches can happen to small medical practices, but staff can take steps to prevent them, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Strategy Outlined for Shooter Incident in Health Care Facility

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Adhering to a "secure, preserve, fight" strategy is recommended for health care professionals working with a vulnerable patient population, according to a Medicine and Society piece published in the Aug. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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National Provider Identifiers Are Vulnerable to Theft

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) are vulnerable to identity theft, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Advantages for HDHP Enrollees in Large Versus Small Firms

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Workers in small firms are more likely to have higher deductible levels and lack employer contributions to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses compared to workers in larger firms, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Doctors Often Not Discussing Risk Factors With Patients

TUESDAY, Aug. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Patients report that doctors are routinely not discussing known risk factors for common causes of death, according to a survey conducted by ImagineMD.

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FDA Extends EpiPen Expiration Dates to Tackle Shortage

TUESDAY, Aug. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The expiration dates of certain batches of EpiPens have been extended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an effort to reduce shortages of the life-saving devices.

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Plan to Relax Coal-Fired Power Plant Rules Could Up Mortality

TUESDAY, Aug. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The Trump administration's plan to relax pollution rules for coal-fired power plants will increase carbon emissions and cause up to 1,400 premature deaths a year, according to details released Tuesday.

The New York Times Article
EPA News Release

Pennsylvania Case Could Affect Evidence for Malpractice Defense

TUESDAY, Aug. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could affect what evidence physicians may present in defense during medical malpractice suits, according to an article published in the American Medical Association's AMA Wire.

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Wildfire Smoke Causing Poor Air Quality in U.S. Pacific Northwest

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke from wildfires will cause poor air quality in parts of the U.S. Pacific Northwest this week, officials warn.

AP News Article
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NYU Becomes First Medical School to Cover All Tuition

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The NYU School of Medicine has announced that it is offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its M.D. degree program, regardless of need or merit.

Press Release

Experts Offer Tips for Provider Appeal of Denied Medical Claims

MONDAY, Aug.20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Knowing payer policies and regulatory requirements is critical to appealing denials, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Many Children With Asthma Do Not Have Medications Ready

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many low-income urban preschool-aged children with asthma do not meet the criteria for home medication readiness, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Tobacco Content Still Common on U.K. Prime-Time Television

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Audiovisual tobacco content remains common in prime-time U.K. television programs and is virtually unchanged from 2010, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in Tobacco Control.

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Comments Open on End of NIH Review for Gene Therapy Studies

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. National Institutes of Health oversight panel will no longer review all applications for gene therapy experiments. Instead, the panel will assume an advisory role, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will assess gene therapy experiments and products as it does with other treatments and drugs. The proposed change will take effect after a public comment period which runs through Oct. 16.

AP News Article
NIH Statement
Comment on Regulations

FDA Approves First Generic EpiPen

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic version of the EpiPen has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, paving the way for more affordable versions of the lifesaving allergy emergency medication.

Washington Post Article
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Residents' Sleep Deteriorates During Training

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- First-year residents experience worsening sleep duration and quality as well as daytime sleepiness, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Practice Names, Logos Should Be Carefully Designed

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Practice names and logos should be carefully designed to emphasize what is unique about a practice, according to a blog post published in Physicians Practice.

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NIH Panel Will No Longer Review Gene Therapy Experiments

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. National Institutes of Health oversight panel will no longer review all applications for gene therapy experiments, according to a perspective piece published online Aug. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract/Full Text
NIH Statement

Steps Provided for Discharging Patient From Practice

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Certain steps should be taken when discharging a patient for failure or inability to meet financial obligations, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Patient Portals Don't Appear to Have Much Traction

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Patient portals have not taken off as expected, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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ACA Coverage Gains Include Workers Without Insurance

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- After the expanded coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented in 2014, self-employed individuals and wage earners without employer-sponsored health coverage offers had coverage gains equal to or greater than those of people not employed, according to a report published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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6 Factors Related to Inclusion in Health Care Workplace ID'd

TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There are six broad factors that can affect inclusion within health care organizations, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in JAMA Network Open.

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Editorial

Four Pros to Integrating EHR, Practice Management Software

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Consolidating electronic health records and practice management software allows practices to save time and money, make fewer mistakes, and reduce the risk of privacy breaches, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Will Lunar and Planet Dust Be Health Concerns of the Future?

FRIDAY, Aug. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Dust could pose a health hazard if astronauts start spending extended periods of time on the Moon, Mars, or other airless planets, according to a study published recently in GeoHealth.

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AMA Adopts Policy on Augmented Intelligence

FRIDAY, Aug. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted a policy on augmented intelligence, according to a report published in the association's AMA Wire.

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AMA Adopts Policy to Advance Gender Equity in Medicine

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted a new policy to study, act for, and advocate to advance gender equity in medicine, according to a report published in the association's AMA Wire.

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Cyber Insurance Recommended for All Physician Practices

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The growing threat of hacking is increasing the number of physicians buying cyber insurance, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Steps Taken to Increase Use of Electronic Tools in Medicine

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Additional codes have been approved by the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel for chronic care remote physiologic monitoring and internet consultations, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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AMA Proposes Policy Opposing Medicaid 'Lockout' Provisions

TUESDAY, Aug. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy opposing lockout provisions that block Medicaid patients from the program for lengthy periods and instead supporting allowing patients to reapply immediately for redetermination was adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates during the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago, according to an article published in the association's AMA Wire.

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Variation in Specialty Drug Coverage Across Health Plans

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in specialty drug coverage across commercial health plans, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Some Bacteria Now More Tolerant of Alcohol-Based Sanitizers

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Some types of bacteria are developing tolerance of alcohol-based hand sanitizers used in hospitals, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Groups Urge CMS to Reconsider Suspending Risk Adjustment

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a letter sent to Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), medical organizations are urging reconsideration of the decision to suspend payments to insurers as required under the Affordable Care Act's risk-adjustment program.

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Health Affairs Announces Launch of New Three-Year Initiative

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A council on health care spending and value has been established by the journal Health Affairs.

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Three Financial Metrics Can Improve Practice Performance

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- By understanding three indices and metrics, physicians can change the financial outcome of their medical practice, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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New Short-Term Health Plans Have Large Coverage Gaps

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There are large coverage gaps in short-term health plans that were approved Wednesday by the Trump administration, and are described by critics as "junk insurance."

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National Guideline Clearinghouse Offline Due to Funding Cuts

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) websites were taken down on July 16 when funding for these federal databases ended, according to an announcement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Announcement
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Steps Can Be Taken by Doctors to Minimize Risk of Lawsuits

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted steps can be taken to minimize future risks of lawsuits, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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