A Japanese study in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology found that obese youths with acute asthma had a significantly increased likelihood of being readmitted within 30 days of discharge as well as a longer hospital length of stay, compared with normal-weight peers. The findings, based on more than 38,000 children in Japan, also showed similar intensive care needs and total hospitalization costs between those who were obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight.
A study presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology found patients with Clostridium difficile who received opioids during their hospital stay had higher rates of complicated infection and in-hospital mortality and longer length of average hospital stay, compared with patients in the control group. The findings were based on medical records of 302 patients hospitalized for at least three days.
Researchers said 4.8% of Medicare spending in 2012 was potentially preventable, and 73.8% of that amount was incurred by high-cost patients in the top 10% of total individual spending. The report in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed 4% of Medicare beneficiaries were high-cost frail elderly patients, who accounted for 43.9% of total potentially preventable spending.
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Thursday that 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats signed on to co-sponsor their bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act markets. Alexander expects the proposal to "become law in some fashion before the end of the year," despite a lack of commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote.
Whole-genome sequencing led to a genetic diagnosis for 43% of 42 NICU infants in a Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine study, researchers told the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting. Diagnoses, which on average took about a week, resulted in changes in medical care for 13 patients and researchers estimated that sequencing saved more than $1.8 million in health costs.
The FDA has granted OptiScan Biomedical 510(k) clearance for its OptiScanner 5000 glucose monitoring system, an automated bedside technology that provides information for managing blood glucose levels of patients in surgical intensive care units. The system alerts clinicians of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in patients using alarms and updates every 15 minutes with a new measure of plasma glucose levels.