U.S. poised to step up Ebola response | Existing drug shows anti-Ebola activity | Each day in hospital may increase infection risk, study says
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September 15, 2014
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U.S. poised to step up Ebola response
President Barack Obama this week is expected to announce plans to boost the U.S. commitment to fighting Ebola. Possible components include sending more experts and portable hospitals, delivering additional medical supplies, and training health workers in Africa to handle the escalating caseload. As of Friday, the death toll from the West African outbreak was 2,400, but the World Health Organization says that the true numbers are probably higher. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/15), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/16), NBC News (9/16)
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Existing drug shows anti-Ebola activity
A drug used for the treatment of severe heart disease could be used to fight Ebola, infectious disease researchers at the University of Liverpool suggest. Their work found that the heart therapy ouabain can block the function of a key viral protein, stemming viral replication. Additional testing is needed, but because the drug already is in use, key hurdles including demonstrating safety have already been addressed. Business Standard (India)/Indo-Asian News Service (9/13)
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ACO Quality Performance: Key Success Factors
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Each day in hospital may increase infection risk, study says
A University of Utah study found a 1% increase in risk of infection with a multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogen for each day spent in the hospital. The study reported at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy also found the risk varied significantly by organism type. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/9)
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Medical Update
Blood pressure meds tied to higher survival in elderly
A meta-analysis of 11 studies involving more than 40,000 patients ages 65 and older showed use of antihypertensive drugs was associated with a significantly lower risk of heart-related death and all-cause mortality as well as lower odds of having a stroke or cardiovascular event. In one study, however, taking blood pressure drugs was linked to a 21% higher risk of falls. The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology 2014 Congress. Medscape (free registration)/TheHeart.org (Montreal) (9/11)
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Bullying linked to sleep problems in children
In a study involving nearly 6,800 8- to 10-year-olds, U.K. researchers found that those who were victims of bullying had a higher risk of having episodes of night terrors, sleepwalking or nightmares at age 12 than children who were not bullied. The authors of the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, said bullying can have long-term health consequences. Medical News Today (9/12)
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Emerging Trends
App converts paper health records
ChartSpan has developed an iPhone application designed to convert paper health records to digital format for integration into EHRs. The app, which will also be available in an Android version, uses photos of the document or imports e-mail or fax data. MedCityNews.com (9/12)
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FDA clears balloon catheter from Medtronic
The FDA has given Medtronic 510(k) clearance to market the NC Euphora balloon catheter. The device is used to help ensure proper positioning of drug-eluting coronary stents post-implantation. MassDevice.com (Boston) (9/11)
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Pharma News
Baxter-Halozyme immunodeficiency drug HyQvia gains FDA approval
Baxter International and Halozyme Therapeutics have been awarded regulatory approval in the U.S. to market HyQvia, a combination of human immune globulin and recombinant human hyaluronidase. The drug, a treatment for primary immunodeficiency, is intended for infusion no more than once a month, less than existing weekly or biweekly regimens. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (9/14)
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Study calls for education in fight against opioid misuse
A study based on surveys of young adults who used prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes were relatively uninformed about overdose risks, prevention and response. "There is a pressing need to develop innovative outreach strategies and overdose prevention programs to better reach and serve young PO users and their network contacts," researchers wrote in The International Journal of Drug Policy. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (9/12)
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Policy Watch
ONC names leader of Consumer e-Health initiative
The ONC has tapped Lana Moriarty as acting director of the Consumer e-Health program. Before her appointment at the agency, Moriarty worked with the NURSE Corps and National Health Service Corps initiatives at HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration. Healthcare Informatics online (9/11)
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Creating life-long customers -- webinars and forum
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Benefit from AHIP's federal and state exchanges training
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Webinar: Maximizing Performance -- Medicare Enrollment Call Centers
Medicare operation call centers have a unique opportunity to become of strategic importance to health care payers. Join us for a webinar on Monday, Sept. 22, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT, as industry experts discuss a client case study on how to improve operational efficiency and cost savings leveraging latest technologies and business process best practices. Register now.
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