Crohn's disease costs higher than estimated, analysis shows | Subset of UC patients may benefit from antiviral therapy, study suggests | 2-drug hepatitis B regimen evaluated among HIV patients
July 29, 2015
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Clinical Updates
Crohn's disease costs higher than estimated, analysis shows
A study of health plan claims data from 2011 to 2013 showed costs for Crohn's disease were higher than previously estimated and that 80% of all costs were incurred by 28% of patients. Stanford University researchers wrote in The American Journal of Gastroenterology that pharmacy utilization was linked to 45.5% of total costs, while inpatient care accounted for 23.1% and physician office costs 8.2%. Read the abstract. Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (7/28)
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Subset of UC patients may benefit from antiviral therapy, study suggests
Researchers said antiviral therapy may not be needed by all ulcerative colitis patients with cytomegalovirus disease, but those who are steroid refractory may benefit by having a lower risk of colectomy. The quality of the evidence for using antiviral therapy was low, however, and not strong enough to change clinical practice, researchers said. Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (7/27)
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2-drug hepatitis B regimen evaluated among HIV patients
Patients with hepatitis B virus and HIV had lower hepatitis B viral loads after 144 weeks when they were treated with tenofovir and emtricitabine or lamivudine, compared with emtricitabine or lamivudine alone, according to study data. The findings were based on an analysis of data on 115 patients in two clinical trials. AIDSmeds (7/27)
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Legal & Regulatory
Medicare mortality, hospitalizations, costs decrease, data show
Mortality rates dropped 16% among Medicare patients from 1999 to 2013, and among fee-for-service beneficiaries hospitalizations decreased 24% and costs for those who were hospitalized declined 15%, a report said. Data were not available for managed care. Lead author Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Yale School of Medicine credited the recent focus on hospital safety and more effective and timely care. USA Today (7/28)
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Companies sometimes slow to alert FDA to adverse drug events
(Philippe Huguen/Getty Images)
Ten percent of unexpected, serious adverse drug events are not reported to the FDA within the established 15-day window, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. That amounts to 160,383 adverse events, including 40,500 deaths, that were not reported in a timely manner. Kenneth Getz of the Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University School of Medicine said some delays may involve the difficult process of verifying reports. Reuters (7/27)
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Practice News
Advances in IBS-D diagnosis, treatment focus on symptom relief
Advances in diagnosing and treating diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome include the discovery of the first validated biomarker and the development of several new drugs, experts said. Dr. William Chey said new drugs are aimed at improving symptoms in a subset of IBS patients, and because IBS is a symptom-based problem, there will never be a "silver bullet" that works for all patients. Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (7/1)
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CMS recommendations for GI payments flawed, physician says
The CMS used flawed methodology that did not include appropriate survey data in determining the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule that recommended cuts in reimbursements for colonoscopy and other gastrointestinal procedures, said Dr. Maxwell Chait, FACG. Chait said colonoscopy reimbursements barely cover the cost of the procedure and reductions could decrease patient access. (7/27)
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ACG note: You can help stop these cuts -- join the fight
ACG urges members and patients to help stop these unwarranted cuts to colonoscopy by signing this online petition.
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Business & Market Trends
U.S. health care spending to grow 5.8% annually, CMS report finds
Physician visit.
(Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
The CMS Office of the Actuary estimates that health care spending in the U.S. will rise an average of 5.8% each year from 2014 through 2024. The figure is higher than the projection of 5.7% made a year ago. Projected health care spending will increase to 6.2% per year on average from 2019 to 2024, while medical prices are projected to increase over 2% annually from 2016. The aging population, drug costs and rising costs for medical care are among the factors influencing cost growth. Reuters (7/28)
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Patient's Perspective
Survey: Many U.S. adults do not know about HBV vaccine
Survey data released by the Hepatitis B Foundation showed 39% of 1,500 U.S. adults did not know if there is a hepatitis B vaccine, and 17% said no vaccine existed. The report showed 54% of adults said they had not been tested for HBV, 29% reported they had been tested and 17% said they did not know if they had been tested. Healio (free registration) (7/28)
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ACG News
IBD, esophageal disorders, functional bowel disorders and more
Join Course Directors David H. Cort, M.D., FACG and Prateek Sharma, M.D., FACG for the 2015 ACG Midwest Regional Postgraduate Course, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23, at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., Drs. Cort and Sharma will lead a faculty of nationally known experts who will discuss such topics as: diagnosis and management of EoE, optimal candidates for surgical or endoscopic treatment of GERD, difficult-to-treat IBD patients, risks involved with long-term use of IBD medications, chronic nausea and vomiting, current treatment options for patients with IBS, techniques for successful and complete polyp resection, screening and surveillance guidelines for colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis B and C, drug-induced liver disease, and more. Learn more about the course. Register now.
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Gastrointestinal infections
Gain a better understanding of strategies for treating and managing patients with GI infections when you attend the ACG 2015 Annual Postgraduate Course, Oct. 17 and 18, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Experts will discuss patients with H. pylori who fail first line therapy, new advances and therapeutic options for patients with hepatitis C, changes in the approach to treat C. difficile colitis, and how our current understanding of the microbiome can be applied to patient care. Gastrointestinal Infections of 2015 is just one of the many sessions, simultaneous symposia, and optional learning luncheons offered during the Annual Postgraduate Course. The Annual PG Course now includes PG+MOC, a 10-point MOC module, when you register. ACG 2015 will also feature optional Friday courses on Friday, Oct. 16, and the 3-day Annual Scientific Meeting, Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 19-21. Review the Preliminary Program for information on all the educational sessions. Continue to visit for updates on ACG 2015 and to register.
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Self-trust is the first secret of success."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
essayist, lecturer and poet
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