An analysis of federal hospital data showed that inpatient mortality from opioid-related hospitalizations rose more than fourfold from 0.43% in 2000 to 2.02% in 2014, while admissions for opioid and heroin poisoning rose and admissions for opioid abuse fell. The findings, published in Health Affairs, might indicate more cases of dependence are being handled in community settings with only serious cases handled at hospitals, said researcher Zirui Song.
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Rates of congenital syphilis are increasing in the US, with 15.7 cases per 100,000 live births. Joseph Bocchini Jr. of Louisiana State University told the 2017 Infectious Diseases in Children Symposium that most women who give birth to infants with congenital syphilis either did not have prenatal care or had late prenatal care, or had the disease diagnosed too late in pregnancy to complete therapy, representing a failure in the health care system to identify and treat infected pregnant women.
The Medicaid programs in Clark and Skamania counties in Washington state made the switch to fully integrated managed care last year, and a review of outcomes data showed improvements in 10 measures, no difference in eight measures and a decline in emergency department use. Three more counties will transition to the model in January, and another three will join in 2019 as the model is rolled out statewide.
Investment management firm Neuberger Berman and asset management firm Athyrium Capital Management have raised $2 billion for the Athyrium Opportunities Fund III, a fund dedicated to public and private commercial-stage health care companies with a focus on medical products, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, health care information technology and health care services. The fund, which has over 45 institutional investors, will invest between $20 million and $300 million in companies across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
The Zika vaccine developed by researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and licensed to Sanofi exhibited promising immune responses in more than 90% of the human subjects who received the vaccine, according to data published in the journal The Lancet. The Army is considering licensing the ZPIV Zika vaccine to other pharmaceutical firms after Sanofi decided to end its development when it lost funding support originally expected from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
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The NIH is creating a national network of health care provider organizations across the country to gather health data, medical records and biospecimens of participants in the Precision Medicine Initiative cohort as part of the All of Us research program. Participants will consent to have their EHR data sent by their providers to a Data and Research Support Center, and All of Us will use the common data model of the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership to facilitate EHR sharing.
A 2012 report by the National Academy of Medicine estimated that $210 billion of the $765 billion spent annually in the US on health care is for unnecessary or needlessly expensive care. Some forms of waste have been well documented, such as overly large single-use vials and arbitrary drug expiration dates, but vague practice standards mean patients have little recourse when they are subject to overtesting and overtreatment.
The growing movement against workplace sexual harassment is a good start, but systemic change and more women in leadership are required to truly change the situation, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg says. Women might experience backlash if the situation is not handled correctly, Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,600 patients and found that privacy concerns, issue involvement, patient-physician relationship and patient activation were the factors that most influence whether patients want to share their online medical records with providers. The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, highlighted the importance of educating patients about an organization's security measures, researchers said.
States are preparing to deal with a loss of health insurance for nearly 9 million children after funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program ran out in September. Congress could still reauthorize funding for the program, which enjoys bipartisan support, but states are scrambling in the meantime.
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