U.S. calorie consumption shows downward trend, data show | FDA proposes rule on mandated sugar labeling | Medical group uses best-practice library to improve care, reduce costs
July 27, 2015
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Top Stories
U.S. calorie consumption shows downward trend, data show
Plate of pasta
(Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
Information from three large diet databases show calorie consumption by Americans has started to decline since peaking in 2003, and when combined with a flattening of the U.S. obesity rate, it has given public health experts hope that the changes will be meaningful. Eating changes have been seen in all demographic groups, but the biggest shifts are among households with children. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/24)
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FDA proposes rule on mandated sugar labeling
Sugary soda
(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
The FDA on Friday issued a proposed rule that would require food and beverage companies to list amounts of added sugar and recommended consumption levels on the nutrition labels of packaged food and drinks. The proposed rule sets the recommended intake of added sugar at no more than 200 calories a day, equal to about 13 teaspoons and 10% of the standard 2,000-calorie diet used for nutrition guidance. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/24)
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Crunching the Numbers
Your passion may have led you into business, but tracking cash flow and other key numbers will help keep your company up and running. Read Boomtown: Think Like a Startup

Providers & Suppliers
Medical group uses best-practice library to improve care, reduce costs
Physician-owned Crystal Run Healthcare in New York created a best-practice library using clinical guidelines and expert opinion to improve patient care and reduce costs, according to this post. The practice's efforts to reduce variations in care began with a pilot program for diagnosing diabetes and then expanded to other departments, resulting in 15 additional diagnoses being chosen for the development of best-practice guidelines. Health Affairs Blog (7/23)
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CPOE platforms show promise in cutting medical errors, study says
A three-phase study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics showed that computerized physician order entry platforms helped cut medical errors in prescriptions in the hematology department of a hospital in Spain within a five-year period. Researchers revealed that almost all of the medical errors tied with the prescription of antineoplastic treatments were eliminated with the use of a CPOE system, and no new types of errors occurred once doctors were familiarized with the platform. Health Data Management (7/23)
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Medical Update
Study: Scaling back nicotine levels does not compel smokers to quit
A two-year study suggests low-nicotine cigarettes alone do not compel smokers to quit. Of 80 people who smoked cigarettes with as little as 5% of regular nicotine levels, only one quit smoking. "Nicotine reduction would work best in the context of public education, easy access to smoking cessation services and the availability of non-combustible sources of nicotine for those who have difficulty stopping nicotine completely," said researcher Dr. Neal Benowitz. HealthDay News (7/25)
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Type 1 diabetes patients see benefit from psoriasis drug
Patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes had a lower decline in C-peptide secretion over two years of follow-up after taking alefacept, a drug for psoriasis, for two 12-week courses, compared with those on placebo, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Researchers also found that C-peptide production didn't decline among nine of 30 patients who were evaluated for C-peptide function and the preservation of C-peptide lasted as long as 15 months after stopping treatment. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (7/22)
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Emerging Trends
Substrate developed for stem cell production
A polymer substrate has been developed by University of Nottingham researchers for the production of human stem cells in large numbers, according to a study in the journal Advanced Materials. "The possibilities for regenerative medicine are still being researched in the form of clinical trials. What we are doing here is paving the way for the manufacture of stem cells in large numbers when those therapies are proved to be safe and effective," researcher Morgan Alexander said. United Press International (7/22)
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Pharma News
Preference for brand-name drugs passes from attending to resident physicians, study finds
Researchers found that resident physicians are twice as likely to write prescriptions for brand-name statins if those drugs are preferred by their attending physicians. The study, which appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, suggests "low-value practices among physicians are transferred from teachers to trainees," said Dr. Kira Ryskina. United Press International (7/24)
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Amgen seeks FDA approval for expanded use of myeloma drug
A supplemental new drug application was filed by Amgen for the use of Kyprolis, or carfilzomib, combined with dexamethasone to treat relapsed multiple myeloma patients given at least one previous treatment. The application was backed by trial data showing the Kypolis and dexamethasone combination prolonged patients' progression-free survival better than bortezomib. OncLive (7/23), European Pharmaceutical Review (U.K.) (7/23)
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Policy Watch
Agency releases guide to help HIT professionals secure mobile devices
How thoughtful app development can boost business
(Atsushi Tomura/Getty)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has drafted a guide to help health IT teams secure mobile devices used in health care. The guidance discusses the most serious risks to patient data and strategies for dealing with security attacks, and it calls for balancing security with ease of use for health care teams. CSO/IDG News Service (7/27)
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The convergence of mhealth and consumerism: Consumer/Digital Forum
What digital health technologies and tools are empowering patients, transforming care delivery and improving health outcomes? Where should your organization be investing resources? What's next? AHIP's Engaging Today's Health Care Customer: Consumer Experience and Digital Forum, Oct. 12 through Oct. 14 in Chicago will deliver answers. Learn how technology, health, data analytics, mhealth, and the new consumer-focused ecosystem are converging in our evolving health care system.
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Webinar: Preparing for a Major Technology Change
At some point, every payer will face the need to upgrade or overhaul its technology. Organizations in any stage of this transformation are invited to join us for a webinar on Aug. 3 from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss key activities that will demystify the technology change process and set your organization up for success. Register today.
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Sept. 9 webinar: Engaging individuals at risk of diabetes
Health plan leaders from Denver Health, EmblemHealth, Florida Blue, and Molina Healthcare, will discuss outreach strategies for engaging consumers at risk of type 2 diabetes through the implementation of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, AHIP’s national initiative in cooperation with the CDC. Hear how these health plans are reaching a diverse group of consumers. Join us on Sept. 9 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT. Register today.
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