Cancer patients skip treatments as drug costs rise | US patients more likely to have gaps in care coordination | Care coordination and the essential role of nurses
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March 17, 2017
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Cancer patients skip treatments as drug costs rise
Many cancer patients are skipping medications, cutting pills in half or delaying care because of increasing costs, with new drugs often costing $100,000 annually, and experts say they are putting their health at risk and in some cases cutting years off their lives. A 2013 study found 25% of people with cancer skipped filling a prescription due to high prices, while another study shows that one-third of Medicare patients who needed the leukemia drug Gleevec, priced at $146,000 per year, did not fill prescriptions within six months of diagnosis.
National Public Radio/Kaiser Health News (3/15) 
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Get your MSN and DNP at the #1 School of Nursing!
Duke University School of Nursing is ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in the 2018 Best Graduate Nursing Schools rankings, for both our MSN and DNP programs! Learn more about Duke and apply to one of our programs today. Read about our top-ranked programs here.
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Nursing, Health & Medical Science
US patients more likely to have gaps in care coordination
Researchers reported in the Annals of Family Medicine that about 1 in 10 US patients had gaps in care coordination, approximately double the rate for the 11 countries included in the study. The survey showed there was a lower likelihood of care coordination gaps when patients did not have multiple chronic medical issues and their primary care physician was well-acquainted with them.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (3/14) 
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Childhood emotional abuse tied to opioid abuse in adulthood
A study in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that adults who experienced emotional abuse in childhood were more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder and opioid misuse in adulthood, compared with those who were physically or sexually abused as children. Researchers said the findings suggest that mental health counseling may be more effective than substance abuse counseling for opioid-dependent individuals.
United Press International (3/14) 
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Children with mild eczema may not benefit from antibiotics
UK researchers examined 113 children with clinical non-severely infected eczema and found similar Patient Oriented Eczema Measure scores, adverse effects and no serious adverse events among those who received an oral antibiotic plus placebo cream, an oral placebo and an antibiotic cream, or oral placebo plus placebo cream. The findings in the Annals of Family Medicine also showed that eczema symptoms were quickly resolved with topical corticosteroid and emollient treatment alone.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (3/14),  United Press International (3/14) 
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Children's cardiometabolic profile tied to maternal gestational diabetes
A study in Diabetes Care showed that children born to mothers with gestational diabetes had higher rates of abnormal glucose tolerance, 30- and 60-minute plasma glucose levels during the oral glucose tolerance test and body mass index at age 7 than those whose mothers did not have the condition. Researchers examined data from 970 Chinese mother-child pairs and found that those whose mothers had gestational diabetes were also more likely to be overweight or obese and to have higher diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (3/14) 
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Researchers ID gene variant that may affect obesity in blacks
People with a variant of the semaphorin-4D gene, found in 1% of American blacks, West Africans and others of African ancestry, weighed about 6 pounds more than those without it, according to a study in Obesity. Researcher Ayo Doumatey said the study could offer insights into the biological pathways of obesity.
HealthDay News (3/14) 
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How will consumerism affect you?
As patients' share of costs rises, so do their demands for quality, service, and ready information on prices, treatment options, and test results. Learn how the customer mindset will affect both health care and your role at the front lines. Read the report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
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Trends & Technologies
Health consortium warns of public health threats from climate change
Health consortium warns on public health threats from climate change
(David Mcnew/Getty Images)
Climate change has exacerbated heart and lung diseases tied to wildfires and air pollution, infectious diseases such as the Zika virus and Lyme disease, heat-related health risks, and physical and mental health problems associated with extreme weather conditions, according to a report by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, which includes the American Academy of Pediatrics and 10 other health organizations. The report also showed that children, pregnant women, the elderly and student athletes are among the most vulnerable to climate change health risks.
CBS News (3/15),  USA Today (3/15),  HealthDay News (3/15) 
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Work-Life Balance
Companies can help improve safety for older employees
Companies should make safety provisions for older workers, as employees ages 45 to 55 make up 44% of the workforce and more than 20% are over 55, writes Aon managing consultant Scott Lassila. Companies can improve lighting, signage and other physical job elements, but also should engage older workers in training, safety and wellness programs, Lassila says.
EHS Today (3/14) 
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From the Patient's View
Data breach affects 21,665 patients at Denton Heart Group
Texas provider Denton Heart Group has notified 21,665 patients whose information may have been compromised after it found that an external hard drive containing EHR and backup data was stolen. The incident may have compromised patients' clinical information, physician names, medical record numbers, Social Security numbers, insurance data and/or policy numbers and other protected health information.
Health Data Management (3/14) 
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Legislative Policy & Regulatory News
GOP leaders hustle to draw party support as health care plan advances
GOP leaders hustle to draw party support as health care plan advances.
(Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
The Trump administration and House Republicans have worked this week to mobilize Republican support for their health care plan, which cleared the House Budget Committee on Thursday and now heads to the Rules Committee. Republicans said even though the legislation has advanced, there will be changes, and some of the ideas include Medicaid work requirements; an earlier timeline for phasing out the Medicaid expansion; increasing the value of tax credits for low-income enrollees and seniors; and eliminating higher premiums for those who let their coverage lapse.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (3/16),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/16),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/16) 
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ANA News
ANA opposes President Trump's 2018 budget proposal
The American Nurses Association is deeply concerned that President Donald Trump's FY 2018 budget plan will weaken the nation's health care system and jeopardize the scientific research needed to keep America healthy. ANA staunchly opposes the president's proposal, which significantly reduces funding for health professions and nursing workforce programs by $403 million. Read more.
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