Bernstein outlines important issues in IBD treatment | HCV oral combination therapies are effective, studies show | Study links regular aspirin use to lower NAFLD risk in some patients
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October 22, 2014
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Clinical Updates
Bernstein outlines important issues in IBD treatment
Thiopurines may have a future in Crohn's disease therapy, and combining immunomodulators and anti-TNF inhibitors has yielded promising results, Dr. Charles Bernstein said during the American Journal of Gastroenterology Lecture at the American College of Gastroenterology's 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting. Bernstein, director of the IBD Clinical and Research center in Winnipeg, Canada, said understanding inflammatory bowel patients is important to safely stop treatments that are no longer needed, and he urged caution when prescribing opioid medications to treat IBD pain because it could lead to increasingly higher dosages. Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (10/21)
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HCV oral combination therapies are effective, studies show
Studies presented at the ACG 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting showed that oral combination treatments for hepatitis C have high efficacy rates. Data showed the treatments worked for patients with cirrhosis and also when additional ribavirin was not given. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/20)
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Study links regular aspirin use to lower NAFLD risk in some patients
An analysis of data on 11,416 adults ages 20 to 74 showed men and older patients who regularly took aspirin had lower odds of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. A similar link was not found in female and young aspirin users, researchers reported at the ACG 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting. Healio (free registration) (10/21)
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Information on liver hemangioma growth helps to guide treatment
Research from the Medical College of Wisconsin found that while almost 51% of hepatic hemangiomas grow over time, about 45% shrink. Dr. Lewis Roberts at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., commented that the data allow physicians to give patients an estimate of typical growth rates for hepatic hemangiomas, and he agreed that rapidly growing lesions may require repeated imaging to monitor changes. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (10/20)
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Legal & Regulatory
Vt. senator may hold hearing on impact of HCV drugs' costs on VA
A spokesman for Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said the lawmaker could hold a hearing this year on the impact of new hepatitis C drugs' costs on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The hearing may take place after the Nov. 4 midterm elections, the spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (10/20)
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Practice News
Sarles: ACG is focused on quality, research, policy, collaboration
The American College of Gastroenterology works to help shape policy, promote research and establish evidence-based parameters for quality that will help provide the best care for patients with gastrointestinal disorders, ACG President Harry Sarles said during his presidential address at the ACG 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting. He said it also is important for the ACG to collaborate with other gastroenterology groups so the profession can speak with one voice, especially when talking with policymakers. Healio (free registration) (10/20)
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Genetic testing may not increase CRC screening, study says
A study of 783 adults who had an average risk for colorectal cancer showed those who received genetic testing and an environmental risk assessment were not any more likely to have colorectal cancer screening than those given usual care. Study author Dr. David Weinberg, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Jefferson Medical College, said there was a "widely agreed-upon risk-reduction strategy, but nobody did it." Medscape (free registration) (10/21)
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Healthgrades' rankings website allows searches by experience
A new version of the Healthgrades.com website that launches this week uses data from 500 million claims and patient reviews to rank physicians on complication rates, patient satisfaction and experience. Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder said the website is "game changing" because people can search for physicians based on experience in a specific medical area or procedure. USA Today (10/20)
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Business & Market Trends
Hospital-owned physician practices show higher per-patient costs
Research from the University of California, Berkeley, revealed the total per-patient cost in California was 10.3% higher for hospital-owned physician offices compared with independent physician practices. Data also showed the cost was nearly 20% greater in larger health systems with multiple hospital-owned groups than physician-owned offices. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/21)
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Patient's Perspective
Many cancer patients make lifestyle, treatment changes to afford care
A survey of patients with colorectal, breast and other solid tumor cancers who sought help paying for their medical care found that 89% made lifestyle changes to help handle treatment costs. The study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found 39% of patients coped with expenses by adjusting their medical care, including not getting prescriptions filled or taking less medicine than their doctor prescribed. Healio (free registration)/HemOncToday (10/21)
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ACG News
New colonoscopy patient education materials help support members' in their practice
New customizable patient education materials on colonoscopy are available to support your GI practice. The ACG Patient Care Committee and Public Relations Committee collaborated on clear, easy-to-read materials for patients that review colonoscopy and what to expect. Three formats are offered: a quick reference tri-fold pamphlet; a longer, more detailed booklet; and an online "eBooklet." Personalize these brochures with your practice information, website, map or logo. In partnership with Customized Communications, Inc., the College's new colonoscopy materials are available at a special discounted rate for ACG members. These peer-reviewed brochures are not only an excellent resource for patient education, but can also help raise visibility for your practice among your referring physicians, at community health fairs and more. For more information or to place an order visit http://members.gi.org/customcrcbrochures/ or call Customized Communications, Inc. at 1-800-476-2253.
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Save the Date for the 2015 ACG Western Regional PG Course in Las Vegas
Join colleagues Jan. 23 to 25 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for the 2015 ACG Western Regional Postgraduate Course. Also offered will be a one-day Hepatitis School, on Friday, Jan. 23. Registration is now open. View the Regional course brochure.  Browse the Hepatitis School brochure.
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SmartQuote
Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open."
-- Thomas Dewar,
Scottish businessman
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