The CMS launched its Hospice Compare website this week, including data from almost 4,000 hospice providers and covering seven quality measures on hospice and palliative care that are endorsed by the National Quality Forum. An AAFP policy statement notes that family physicians are in a position to provide leadership in hospice care and serve as medical staff or medical directors.
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A Swedish study in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found women who used oral contraceptives were at a 13% lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, compared with non-users. The findings, based on 4,129 controls and 2,578 women with rheumatoid arthritis who tested positive for anticitrullinated protein antibodies, also showed that use of oral contraceptives for at least seven years was associated with 19% lower odds of developing the disease.
Individuals who had first- or second-degree relatives with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes were at a twofold increased risk of developing latent autoimmune diabetes of adults, a rare form of type 1 diabetes, according to a study in Diabetes and Metabolism. Swedish researchers analyzed data on a previous study involving more than 3,000 people and found that those with LADA were more likely to be carriers of a high-risk genotype known as DR4-DQ8, which was common among those with a family history of type 1 diabetes, but were less likely to carry a low-risk genotype called DRX/X, compared with people with type 2 diabetes.
A study in Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental showed that each 10 metabolic equivalent hours per week increase in physical activity was associated with an 8% reduced risk for incident metabolic syndrome. Chinese researchers analyzed data from 18 studies involving 76,699 adults and found that those who met the public health recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity reduced their risk for developing metabolic syndrome by 10%, compared with inactive participants.
Eighty-two percent of children with peanut allergy who received the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus with oral peanut immunotherapy once a day for 18 months were tolerant to peanuts one month after treatment ended, compared with only 4% of those who received placebo, Australian researchers reported in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. The findings also showed four-year peanut desensitization among 70% of those who received the treatment combo.
A review in Pediatrics found that coping support interventions significantly reduced parents' anxiety and stress, but not depression, during their children's hospitalizations. Researchers said more studies are needed to determine the benefits of such interventions for youths.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found a 6% increase in office visits among practices that have adopted electronic visit programs because many doctors feel the need to see telemedicine patients in person, causing them to spend an additional 45 minutes on those visits. The study, based on health care encounters between 90 clinicians and more than 140,000 patients over five years, said e-visit programs also reduced the number of new patients seen each month by 15% and did not contribute any "observable improvement in patient health" between users and nonusers.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association showed that 44.3% of inpatient and outpatient facilities have EHR systems that allow clinicians to open three or more patient records at a time, while 38.3% allow only one record to be open at a time and 17.4% allow two records to be open at once. Researchers suggested that hospitals may reduce the risk of documentation errors by limiting the number of patient records that clinicians can open at once.
The AAFP has asked the CMS to require all health plans to cover all preventive services with an "A" or "B" recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force. The letter, sent in response to a resolution passed in 2016 by the AAFP Congress of Delegates, said, "Prevention policies and programs can be cost-effective, reduce health care costs and improve productivity."
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