Six medical organizations, including the AAFP, asked the Department of Justice to reconsider a decision not to defend important parts of the Affordable Care Act, including protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, in a court challenge brought by 20 states that argues the law is unconstitutional. The letter called on the government to seek "policy solutions that increase access to affordable health care that provides all individuals, regardless of their gender, race and health status, reasonable protections against discrimination in coverage and pricing."
A report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics showed the preterm birth rate in the US increased from 9.57% to 9.85% from 2014 to 2016. The increase mainly was due to more late preterm births, particularly those at 36 weeks.
Patients with high blood pressure who took a single-pill, fixed-dose combination were more likely to comply with their medication regimens and have better outcomes, researchers reported in PLOS Medicine. There was a 14% reduction in deaths among patients taking the single-pill regimen compared with multiple pills.
Researchers found that 46.5% of children and adolescents with at least one psychiatric disorder were overweight or obese after 12 weeks of receiving antipsychotic treatments, compared with about 30% at baseline, with the largest increases in body fat found among those who took olanzapine. The findings in JAMA Psychiatry also found reduced insulin sensitivity among those who received antipsychotics, which may increase their long-term risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The American Hospital Association said data to support ICD-10 coding for patients' social determinants of health can include nonphysician documentation from social workers, nurses, case managers and others. The AHA said codes Z55 through Z65 are not new but are not commonly used.
Specialdocs CEO Terry Bauer said a volume-centric health care system has driven some physicians to adopt a concierge medicine model. Bauer said although concierge medicine is not for every physician and money should not be the motivating factor for the change, physician burnout can hurt a practice's finances.
The AAFP and five other medical organizations issued the "Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Joint Principles," guidance to inform congressional policy on the issue. The guidance calls on Congress to recognize opioid use disorder as a chronic disease of the brain and adopt solutions that focus on families dealing with other substance use disorders along with opioid abuse.
The CMS this week posted a notice that it will postpone a July update to its Hospital Compare website. The agency said the delay will allow for additional analysis on how changes to some quality measures will affect hospital star ratings and provide time to address stakeholder issues.
Researchers polled more than 300 health care professionals and found that 57% reported having a mobile strategy implemented within their organization, 21% of whom cited having the strategy in place for more than five years. Pagers are still a common mode of communication, particularly among non-clinical care staff, but smartphones and Wi-Fi phones also have support and 57% of respondents said smartphones are a reliable tool for sharing clinical information.
As a hepatitis A outbreak in her state reaches 150 cases and counting, Kimberly Becher, M.D., wonders in this Fresh Perspectives blog post if media-induced hysteria might actually help overall vaccination rates.
You won't be happy, whatever you do, unless you're comfortable with your own conscience.
Lucille Ball, entertainer and producer
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