December 2014 Briefing - Gastroenterology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for December 2014. 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 Identifies Top 10 Issues That Affected Docs in 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top 10 issues that affected physicians in 2014 include many regulatory issues relating to Medicare and data release, as well as health issues such as overprescribing of antibiotics and the Ebola crisis, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Ebola, ACA, VA Scandal Top U.S. Health News for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news features.

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Rebleeds Common Post-Capsule Endoscopy for Obscure GI Bleeds

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-third of patients who undergo capsule endoscopy (CE) for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) have rebleeding a year or more later, according to research published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

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Alkaline Phosphatase, Bilirubin Predict Outcomes in PBC

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), levels of alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin predict clinical outcome, according to a meta-analysis published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Two Strategies Help Prevent CMV Disease in Transplant Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For liver transplant recipients, universal prophylaxis and preemptive strategies (using ganciclovir or valganciclovir) are similarly effective for preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease (CMD), according to research published online Dec. 17 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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2015 Medicare Fee Schedule Offers Payment for Chronic Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule includes a Current Procedural Terminology Code that pays for clinical staff time for developing and implementing a care plan for patients with two or more chronic conditions, according to an article published Dec. 18 in Medical Economics.

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Computer-Generated GI Patient History Deemed Higher Quality

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Computer-generated histories of present illness (HPIs) seem to be of higher overall quality than physician-documented HPIs, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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No Increased Risk of Second Cancers With Radiotx in Pelvic CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with pelvic cancers, the risk of developing a second cancer is not increased with radiotherapy (RT), according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Review: Managing Celiac Disease in T1DM Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More research is needed to fully understand the correlation between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, as well as the effects of a gluten-free diet, according to a review published in the January issue of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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FDA Approves Combination Antibiotic Zerbaxa

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combination antibiotic Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections and complicated urinary tract infections.

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FDA Approves Antiviral Combination for Hepatitis C

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Viekira Pak, a combination of four antiviral drugs (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, and dasabuvir), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection, including hepatitis C virus infection with cirrhosis of the liver.

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Tips Offered to Docs, Spouses for Maintaining Happy Marriage

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Simple tips can help physicians and their spouses maintain marital happiness, according to an article published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance magazine Physician Family.

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Lap Chole Within 48 Hours Optimal in Acute Cholecystitis

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first 48 hours appears to be the optimal time for performing early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for acute cholecystitis, according to research published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Surgery.

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Digital Self-Scheduling Set to Increase Considerably by 2019

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Digital self-scheduling is set to increase considerably in the next five years, according to a report published by Accenture.

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Entecavir Cuts Hep B Reactivation in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Entecavir is more efficacious than lamivudine for preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation among patients who are seropositive for the hepatitis B surface antigen with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma receiving rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) chemotherapy treatment. These findings have been published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Challenges ID'd in Development of the Physician Compare Website

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), information must be made available to allow the public to compare physicians, although there are considerable challenges surrounding the development of the physician performance website, Physician Compare. These challenges are addressed in a health policy brief published online Dec. 11 in Health Affairs.

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Consider False-Positives When Test Results Don't Add Up

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should weigh patient history and include the possibility of false-positive test results when considering differential diagnoses, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Support for Electronic Health Information Varies With Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consent and purpose are important for public support of secondary uses of electronic health information, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Reminded of Ethical Obligations Regarding Torture

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the issuing of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians of their ethical obligations relating to torture and interrogation.

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Physicians Should Scrutinize Job Offers Before Accepting

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should scrutinize job offers and pay attention to specific issues before accepting a job, according to an article published Dec. 3 in Medical Economics.

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Webcast Scheduled to Discuss Maintenance of Certification

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New data relating to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) will be discussed in a free webcast to be held Dec. 17 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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Fiber Fermentation By-Product May Help Prevent Weight Gain

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Propionate, a fatty acid created when fiber ferments in the colon, appears to prevent weight gain and trim fat around the waist, according to research published online Dec. 10 in Gut. However, the chemical compound doesn't seem to help people lose pounds, and the preliminary study is so small that the findings could be misleading.

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Screening Performance Differs With Distinct Fecal Test Brands

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Different brands of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) with the same cutoff hemoglobin concentration perform differently in detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Tips Offered for Docs to Manage Their Online Reputation

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can manage their online reputation, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Post-Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss May Ease Knee Pain

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Current evidence, though limited, suggests that bariatric surgery with subsequent marked weight loss may reduce knee complaints in morbidly obese adults, according to research published online Dec. 8 in Obesity Reviews.

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Autologous Islet Transplant With Remote Islet Isolation Safe

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Autologous islet transplantation with remote islet isolation after pancreas resection seems safe and effective for chronic pancreatitis, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in JAMA Surgery.

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High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Best for Pancreatic CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-intensity focused ultrasound seems superior to other therapies for pancreatic cancer, according to a review published in the December issue of the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine.

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More Students Enrolling in U.S. Medical Schools

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More students are enrolling in medical schools, and enrollees are more diverse than before, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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More Docs, Patients Not Speaking Same Language

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People applying to become medical residents in the United States speak a wide range of non-English languages, but many aren't the languages spoken by patients with limited English skills, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Higher Paid Docs Earn More Money From More Procedures

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-income doctors make more money by ordering more procedures for each patient rather than by seeing more patients, according to an analysis of 2012 Medicare data published in a research letter Dec. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Work-Hour Restrictions Have Not Improved Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing medical residents' work hours hasn't improved mortality rates, hospital readmission rates, or outcomes of surgery, according to two new studies published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Docs Trained in High-Cost Areas Practice More Costly Medicine

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who were trained in high-cost areas of the United States may be more likely to practice expensive medicine, a new study suggests; however, that effect gradually decreases over time. The study was published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Too Much TV Time May Lower Colorectal CA Survival Odds

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Watching too much television may lower odds of survival after colorectal cancer, new research suggests. The findings were published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Continued Metformin Beneficial for Diabetes With Cirrhosis

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Continuation of metformin therapy may improve survival in diabetes patients who are diagnosed with cirrhosis, according to research published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Antifungal Prophylaxis Regimens in Liver Transplant Found Equal

MONDAY, Dec. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antifungal prophylaxis is associated with reductions in invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in liver transplant recipients, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Interdisciplinary Care Can Cut Costs in Peds Aerodigestive Care

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An interdisciplinary approach to pediatric aerodigestive disorders can reduce health care costs and exposure to anesthesia, according to research published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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AMA: Social Determinants of Health to Be Taught in Med School

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy implemented by the American Medical Association (AMA) supports integrating more training on the social determinants of health into undergraduate medical education, according to a report published by the AMA.

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Antacids May Improve Head and Neck Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Using antacids to control acid reflux may improve head and neck cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study suggests. The study is published in the December issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Too Much Patient Care Tied to Faculty Members' Intent to Leave

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spending "far too much/too much" time/effort on patient care is associated with increased intent to leave the institution, according to research published in Academic Medicine.

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Doctor Discusses Ways to Keep Morale in Medicine High

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the many frustrations for doctors in medical practice, there are ways to keep morale high, according to an article published Nov. 20 in Medical Economics.

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Many Physicians Report Their Incomes Have Plateaued

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report that their personal income has not changed since last year, according to the results of the Physicians Practice 2014 Physicians Compensation Survey.

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Hep B Screening Urged for Those Undergoing Chemo, Immune Tx

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening is recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or transplantation, according to research published online Nov. 21 in Hepatology.

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