Study evaluates routine lab screenings for youths entering foster care | Pediatric flu vaccinations tied to reduced flu hospitalization risk | Researchers examine risk factors for pediatric obesity
November 20, 2017
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Study evaluates routine lab screenings for youths entering foster care
Researchers examined 2012 to 2015 routine lab screening data involving 1,977 youths entering foster care ages 21 and younger in Ohio and found that fewer than 1% had hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis, or syphilis and there were no new HIV cases, while Medicaid laboratory costs totaled $370,214, 94% of which were tied to negative or normal results. The findings in Pediatrics suggest that targeted lab screenings, based on other risk factors and local prevalence rates, may be more clinically beneficial and cost-effective for children entering foster care, researchers said.
Healthcare Finance News (11/17),  Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (11/17) 
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Pediatric flu vaccinations tied to reduced flu hospitalization risk
Children ages 6 months to 23 months and those ages 2 years to 4 years who were fully vaccinated against influenza were 48% and 67% less likely to be hospitalized due to flu, respectively, compared with those who weren't vaccinated, Canadian researchers reported in PLOS ONE. The findings also showed a 39% lower odds of flu-related hospitalization among those who were partially vaccinated.
HealthDay News (11/17) 
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Pediatric Health Care
Researchers examine risk factors for pediatric obesity
Youths with at least four risk factors for obesity, including maternal and paternal overweight or obesity, excessive pregnancy weight gain, increased maternal glucose levels, shorter breast-feeding duration and early solid food introduction, had an 11 times higher likelihood of being overweight or obese, compared with those who didn't have any risk factors, according to a Singaporean study in the International Journal of Obesity. The findings also showed that parental weight was the strongest risk factor, with maternal and paternal weight contributing equally to the risk of childhood obesity. (Canada)/RelaxNews (11/20) 
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Analgesic combo with ring block most beneficial in neonatal circumcision
A study in Pediatrics found that newborns who received combination analgesics during circumcision had significantly reduced pain, with those who received a ring block in addition to local anesthetic or EMLA cream and oral sucrose experiencing the least pain, compared with those who received EMLA cream alone.
Medscape (free registration) (11/17) 
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Prenatal famine exposure may adversely affect mental health in adulthood
Adults whose mothers were affected by the 1944 to 1945 famine in the Netherlands during pregnancy had significantly poorer mental health, compared with those whose mothers were pregnant before and after the famine, researchers reported in the journal Aging and Mental Health. The findings also showed that women's mental health was more affected by prenatal famine exposure than men's.
Medical News Today (11/17) 
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Study: Parenting affects children's ADHD symptoms
Training parents in positive parenting techniques may help young children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder learn to control their behavior better, according to a study in Clinical Psychological Science. Researchers found behavioral improvements two months after parents started the training and a year after completion.
HealthDay News (11/16) 
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Trends & Technology
More health care organizations are expanding telemedicine, survey finds
Seventy-five percent of health care organizations reported offering or planning to provide telemedicine options in 2017, 53% of which intend to expand such services, despite 87% of those surveyed in 2014 saying they were not expecting the majority of their patients to be using telemedicine by 2017, according to a Foley & Lardner poll. The survey also showed that 22% provided international telemedicine, and 32% expressed interest in exploring global expansion.
MobiHealthNews (11/15),  mHealth Intelligence (11/15) 
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Hot Topics
Health Policy & Regulations
CMS considers Part D changes to address opioid abuse, out-of-pocket costs
CMS considers Part D changes to address opioid abuse, out-of-pocket costs
The CMS announced Thursday that it might allow Medicare drug plans to require that members get opioid prescriptions from selected prescribers and fill them only at certain pharmacies as part of measures to fight the opioid abuse epidemic. The agency is also considering requiring payers to pass on drug discounts to consumers, treating out-of-pocket costs for biosimilars like generic drugs and permitting midyear formulary changes after a lower-cost generic drug enters the market. The proposal is open for comments until Jan. 16.
Reuters (11/16),  Kaiser Health News (11/16) 
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Roche's hemophilia A drug gets FDA nod
Roche Holding was granted approval by the FDA for its Hemlibra, or emicizumab-kxwh, as a treatment for adult and pediatric patients with hemophilia A who have factor VIII inhibitors. The once-weekly administered drug, given via subcutaneous injection, is a preventive treatment for bleeding episodes in patients.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (11/16) 
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Dean Alfange,
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