CDC: Infant deaths declining faster than stillbirths | Use of "bath salts" not prevalent among U.S. teens, study finds | EU regulators OK GSK's malaria vaccine
 
July 24, 2015
AAP SmartBrief
News for pediatricians and other child health professionals
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CDC: Infant deaths declining faster than stillbirths
For the first time, there were more stillbirths than infant deaths in the U.S., according to a CDC report that found both were declining, but infant death rates were falling faster. The report also found disparities in fetal death rates. Teens, women over age 35, and women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or of Alaska Native descent were among groups facing higher likelihood of fetal death. "The fact that blacks and other minorities have the highest rate is concerning, because research shows that these are not genetic differences but differences in access to care," said Dr. Edward McCabe, chief medical officer at the March of Dimes. HealthDay News (7/23)
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Use of "bath salts" not prevalent among U.S. teens, study finds
Only 1% of U.S. high-school seniors said they have tried "bath salts," or street drugs that are synthetic amphetamine-like stimulants, in the previous 12 months, one-third of whom used them only once or twice, according to a study in the American Journal of Addiction. Researchers surveyed more than 8,600 high-school seniors in 2012 and 2013 and found that 18% of users said they used bath salts 40 times or more in the last year, while more than 90% of bath salt users said they also used alcohol or marijuana. HealthDay News (7/23)
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Pediatric Health Care
EU regulators OK GSK's malaria vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline's Mosquirix, or RTS,S, is the world's first malaria vaccine, and the European Medicines Agency has recommended it as safe and effective to use for babies in Africa who are between the ages of 6 weeks to 17 months and at risk of the disease. The World Health Organization will assess the vaccine and aims to give its guidance on when and where it could be used later this year. Reuters (7/24)
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Study links genetic factors to children's academic ability
A U.K. study published in the journal Scientific Reports revealed that the same genes affect a child's academic achievement in English, mathematics, humanities, art, second languages and science. Researchers looked at the genetic data and General Certificate of Secondary Education scores of 12,500 fraternal and identical twins and found that 54% to 65% of the differences in the pupil's GCSE scores were attributed to genetic factors, compared with environmental factors at 14% to 21%. The Guardian (London) (7/23)
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Crafting Your Company's Story
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Trends & Technology
Facebook shows promise in helping patients manage asthma
A study showed that clinician reminders sent through Facebook can improve the way teenagers with asthma manage their condition. Researchers revealed that 79% of patients were engaged 12 months after the study was launched, compared with a typical engagement rate of 18%. MedCityNews.com (7/22)
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BYOD policies still a challenge to health IT leaders
A Vocera Communications survey found that health IT leaders are still struggling to develop strategies that effectively address security and infrastructural concerns related to "bring your own device" policies. Only 26% of participants already have systems or plans to support secure communications within EHR systems. Developing BYOD policies for affiliated providers is not a priority for 63% of respondents this year. BeckersHospitalReview.com (7/22)
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National Committee for Quality Assurance app locates accredited docs, insurers
A free mobile application was released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance to allow consumers to find NCQA-accredited insurers and doctors. The tool, which works on iPads, iPods and iPhones, can also be used to look for accredited practices and medical homes that offer high-quality services for specialized care. Health Data Management (7/23)
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Health Policy & Regulations
Report: Medicare paid $60B worth of improper payments in 2014
A total of $60 billion in improper, fraudulent and wasteful health care payments were made by Medicare in 2014, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The money, which was equivalent to more than 10% of the Medicare program's overall budget, was paid to health care providers and hospitals that listed false or incorrect billing addresses. The report also shows that the status of physicians' medical licenses was not properly checked by the CMS, resulting in continued billing by doctors with revoked or suspended licenses. ABC News (7/23)
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Auditors: Medicare needs better screening of health care professionals
A report from the Government Accountability Office found that Medicare did not catch thousands of questionable addresses submitted by medical professionals, and allowed enrollment for dozens who faced disciplinary action by state boards. The report to Congress said using an invalid address was "an indicator of potential fraud." The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/21), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/21)
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The Last Word - News from the AAP
Improve preparedness for children and youth with special health care needs
All families should have a plan for times when a disaster strikes. Families with children and youth with special needs will require extra assistance with planning. Talk to families about building a Disaster Supply Kit, and developing a plan that addresses communication, transportation and sheltering needs.
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Webinar - Putting the Pieces Together: Strategies for Pain Management
The AAP is hosting its second webinar as part of a series aimed at preventing, identifying, and treating opioid dependence. The webinar takes place on Aug. 6 and will build off the previous event on the neurobiology of pain. General pediatricians and other physicians who address pain concerns in children/adolescents will learn about treatment options for pain and how to minimize diversion. Register here.
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SmartQuote
There is no passion to be found playing small -- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
-- Nelson Mandela,
political activist and president of South Africa
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAP members and other health professionals about child health topics in the media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of pediatricians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues.
External Resources are not a part of the aap.org website. AAP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.
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