Ultrasound screening for hepatocellular carcinoma is underused in at-risk patients, including those with cirrhosis, researchers reported at Digestive Disease Week. The incidence rate of liver cancer is growing, and screening is linked to early detection and higher survival odds, but 59% of HCC patients had not been screened for liver cancer in the 10-year study period, researchers said.
About 20% of patients who had a sentinel episode of acute pancreatitis developed diabetes within five years, according to a retrospective cohort study presented at Digestive Disease Week. Hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity were also associated with a higher risk for developing diabetes, but older age, smoking and drinking alcohol were not.
To help reduce the administrative burden of electronic clinical quality measure reporting on physicians, the CMS should ensure that 2015 edition certified EHR technology-related measures are properly tested and verified, and continue enhancing post-regulatory guidance, according to a letter sent to CMS Administrator Seema Verma from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The group also urged the agency to avoid using claims-only quality and outcomes reporting and to ensure equity in value-based payments by implementing measures that would promote accurate provider attribution.
A study in a radiology journal found that radiologists in larger practices and those who have subspecializations perform better on Medicare quality measures, potentially creating a disadvantage for general radiologists, who account for roughly 50% of the US radiologist workforce and serve more rural patients. The findings should prompt improved quality measures of radiologists' performance, researchers said.
Physicians in medical and surgical specialties had slightly lower median overall online consumer satisfaction scores, compared with allied health care providers, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. "Online consumer ratings of health care providers are highly left skewed, fall within narrow ranges, and differ by specialty, which precludes meaningful interpretation by health care consumers," the authors write.
Conducting a nontargeted metabolomics analysis could identify patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who are at high risk for coronary artery disease, according to a study presented at Digestive Disease Week. The researchers found clear differences between NAFLD patients with and without comorbid CAD, and they will run blinded tests to validate the results.
A systematic review and meta-analysis in JAMA Psychiatry showed that youths whose mothers had hypertensive disorders of pregnancy had a 35% increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorders and 30% higher odds of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, compared with those whose mothers didn't have HDP. However, more studies are needed to determine whether the relationship between HDP and pediatric neurodevelopmental outcomes "is causal or attributable to residual or unmeasured confounding," researchers wrote.
The White House Office of Management and Budget this month plans to unveil a sweeping plan to reorganize the federal government, and the plan includes integration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other safety-net programs into HHS, sources said. The plan, which is still being finalized, is also expected to call for HHS to be renamed to emphasize programs that offer aid to low-income Americans.
Draft guidance has been released by the FDA to replace and update its previous guidance on the types of pre-submission feedback and meetings medical device makers can request through the FDA's Q-submission program. The guidance provides clarifications on the program and is intended to reflect the changes made under the 2017 Medical Device User Fee Amendments.