Study questions value of treating early form of breast cancer | Working long days tied to cardiovascular risks | Technique for closing incision may eliminate complications after spinal fusion surgery
August 21, 2015
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Study questions value of treating early form of breast cancer
A study reported in JAMA Oncology found treatment may not change outcomes for women diagnosed with a very early form of breast cancer. Women with ductal carcinoma in situ had a 3.3% chance of dying within 20 years, regardless of which treatment they received. Mortality was higher, however, among younger women and black women. Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said it's clear the condition has been overtreated, but a large clinical trial is needed to compare mastectomy, lumpectomy and no treatment before clinicians and patients should consider not treating the disease. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/20), HealthDay News (8/20)
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Working long days tied to cardiovascular risks
Two analyses reported in The Lancet reveal that people who work long hours are putting their cardiovascular health at risk. One analysis found those who work at least 55 hours a week have a 13% greater risk of developing heart disease than those who work standard schedules. The other dataset showed those who worked at least 55 hours a week were one-third more likely to experience a stroke, while those who worked 41 to 48 hours had 10% higher risk of stroke. Dr. Paul Wright of North Shore University Hospital acknowledged that reducing work hours is often not possible, so he urged people to focus on modifiable risk factors, such as eating well and exercising. HealthDay News (8/20)
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Providers & Suppliers
Technique for closing incision may eliminate complications after spinal fusion surgery
Researchers found a new type of incision closure could lower the rate of infection in scoliosis patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery. Findings show that 19% of the 42 patients who had the conventional incisions closure experienced wound complications while none of the patients who had the new flap closure had any infections or complications. The study, which analyzed data from 76 non-idiopathic scoliosis patients ages 8 to 25, appeared in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. United Press International (8/20)
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Study: Patients with heart failure report continued symptoms after hospital stay
Patients with heart failure who are discharged from the hospital often continue to have both traditional symptoms and symptoms not typically associated with the condition that physicians may not adequately address, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study found less than 25% of patients said they were familiar with palliative care and many mistakenly equated it with hospice care or thought it was only for cancer patients. Medscape (free registration) (8/19)
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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

Medical Update
Type 2 diabetes better predicted with one-hour hyperglycemia
Individuals who presented with normal glucose tolerance and a high one-hour post-load plasma glucose level had a 16.7% incidence rate for type 2 diabetes, compared with 2.9% for those with normal glucose tolerance and a low one-hour post-load plasma glucose level, 12.5% with impaired fasting glucose and 31.4% with impaired glucose tolerance. The findings in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism were based on 595 white adults without diabetes who had one parent with the disease. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (8/18)
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Emerging Trends
Telemedicine program boosts care experience of hip, knee replacement patients
A study of the OrthoCare Program launched by Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Va., with VOX Telehealth found the initiative enhanced the care experience and outcomes of patients who had hip and knee replacement surgeries at the hospital. The telehealth initiative, which begins before surgery and extends to up to three months post-surgery, resulted in shorter hospital stays and more direct-to-home discharges, and 91% of patients said the program helped manage their expectations of the procedure. Healthcare Informatics online (8/19)
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Report finds improved EHR satisfaction among physician practices in 2015
A Black Book Rankings report found the satisfaction of large physician practices with their EHR platforms rose from 8% in 2013 to 67% in the second quarter of 2015. The report said athenahealth, McKesson, Greenway and Allscripts were the companies with the biggest client satisfaction increases from 2014 to 2015. (8/19)
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
Sprout to be purchased by Valeant for $1B
Sprout Pharmaceuticals will be bought by Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth $1 billion, Valeant said. The deal entitles Sprout to a $500 million upfront fee and an additional $500 million next year, plus potential milestone-based shares of future profits. Sprout's female libido pill, Addyi, was approved Tuesday by the FDA. Reuters (8/20), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/20)
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FDA expands approval of Raptor's cystinosis drug
Raptor Pharmaceutical has won FDA approval for the expanded use of delayed-release Procysbi, or cysteamine bitartrate, in pediatric nephropathic cystinosis patients ages 2 to 6. The approval was backed by trial data showing children who received a 12-month treatment of Procysbi achieved long-term maintenance of kidney function and white blood cell cystine levels. Pharmacy Times online (8/19)
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Policy Watch
HHS to hold ICD-10 coding call for providers as transition looms
computer, website
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
HHS' Medicare Learning Network is hosting a national call for medical, billing and administrative staff on Aug. 27 to offer final tips and guidance for the Oct. 1 transition to ICD-10 codes. Among the topics for the call are testing results, guidance handling claims that involve dates before and after the deadline, and additional resources. Health Data Management (8/19)
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The AHIP Select program
From automating the claims process to conducting complex data analysis, AHIP Select members provide a range of products and services for health plans and the health care industry as a whole. Learn more.
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Want to connect with health plans? Let’s talk
AHIP’s business development opportunities make it easy for your organization to connect with health plan decision makers throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in joining AHIP as an Affiliate Organization member or speaking, sponsoring and exhibiting at an AHIP conference, there’s an opportunity that fits your goals. Additionally, we’re offering 20% off sponsor-presented webinars through Sept. 30. Learn more today
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Webinar: Use your brand to deliver a CDH experience
In today’s competitive health care market, it’s simply not enough to meet health care needs. Consumers have more financial responsibility, decisions and control. Join this webinar on Sept. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, and see how you can couple the uniqueness of your health plan and brand with the right health care administration platform to deliver an end-to-end consumer experience.
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Director, Medicare Product Management
Account Executive - National Accounts
Director, Health Reform (Life Sciences Focus)
Vice President, Payer Risk Strategy
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