A meta-analysis in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine found that contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is safe and effective for confirming the location and placement of internal jugular or subclavian central venous catheters in adults. CEUS confirmed central venous catheter placement with
a 92.1% positive predictive value and a 98.5% negative predictive value, but it was only 72% sensitive in ruling out misplacement.
Patients with papillary thyroid cancer have better survival odds if lymph node density is 0.19 or lower, compared with patients whose LND is higher than 0.19, according to a study in JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery. The finding could help identify patients who might benefit from aggressive adjuvant therapy, researchers wrote.
Health care practices with high EHR usage had better quality and cost performance in the first year of Medicare's Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program than those with low EHR usage, according to a study published in Health Affairs. Researchers surveyed 1,010 practices and found that almost one-third of those that failed to report performance data in the first year incurred a 1% reporting-based penalty and had more dual-eligible beneficiaries and patients from ethnic and racial minority groups, suggesting that practices serving large disadvantaged populations may not gain as much benefit from value-based payment programs.
Health care organizations should promptly terminate former employees' electronic and physical access to protected health information and delete or deactivate their user accounts to avoid unauthorized access, according to the HHS Office for Civil Rights' November cybersecurity newsletter. The document also advises organizations to notify security personnel or the IT department about an employee's departure and to install alerts to notify departments when an account has been unused for a certain length of time.
Hospital Infections are a Serious Problem CDC data shows that on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. This compromises patient health, while the additional expense of extended stays can put hospital revenues at risk. Learn more.
Emergency department radiologists often come into contact with patients who have opioid use disorders and could help these patients by discussing needle sterilization procedures, needle exchange programs and the benefits of sterile needles, says Dr. Efren Flores, who led a long-term study on the topic. Emergency imaging professionals "need to be actively advocating for these patients and giving them an opportunity to take steps into recovery," Flores said.
Researchers found that the number of infant critical congenital heart disease deaths in eight states with mandatory newborn CHD screening decreased by 33.4% between 2007 and 2013, while the number of infant deaths from other or unspecified cardiac causes dropped by 21.4% during the same period, compared with nonsignificant declines in states without mandatory newborn CHD screening policies. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The CDC has reported that total number of confirmed cases of influenza in the US has exceeded 7,000 so far this year -- more than two times the number of cases at the same time last year -- and signals a potentially tough flu season. This year's batch of flu vaccine, which also was used in Australia, was only about 10% effective against influenza A (H3N2) there, compared with an efficacy of 43% for last year's vaccine.
Despite canceling two mandatory bundled payment programs and scaling back another, the CMS is likely to continue the push toward value-based care, industry groups say. Health care providers favor the voluntary approach that the CMS appears to be taking, and experts expect the department to release a new voluntary bundled payment program to replace the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative before the end of the year.
The FE examination application period is now open. The FE examination tests basic fetal echocardiography knowledge and skills essential to sonographer-level professionals. Apply for the FE examination today!