A study in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that subclinical abnormalities visible on baseline ultrasound images are strong predictors of relapse in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, regardless of treatment, and should spur close patient monitoring. Flares were nearly four times as likely and maintaining remission at one year significantly less likely in US-positive patients, compared with US-negative patients.
The fetal medicine department at a London hospital is testing an artificial intelligence system for analyzing ultrasound images in real time, which would enable sonographers to take more images immediately if necessary. The system uses algorithms that learn to evaluate images based on data from earlier scans.
Last Chance For Sonographer Innovators! If you have an innovative idea to improve cardiovascular ultrasound, time is running out to compete in Echovation Challenge 2018! The deadline has been extended to February 23, so don't miss your chance to share in the $10,000 prize money. View details and register here.
A SecurityScorecard report found that, compared with 17 other major US industries, the health care sector ranks 15th in cybersecurity strength and is one of the lowest performing industries in endpoint security. Researchers evaluated data from over 1,200 health care firms and found that issues related to poor patching cadence, driven by a lack of engineering resources and knowledge of vulnerabilities and software patches, account for 60% of the most common cybersecurity issues in the health care sector.
Medical practices should clearly communicate billing policies and payment options to patients, who are shouldering a growing proportion of their health care costs and might become angry when faced with unexpected charges, writes CareCredit CEO Dave Fasoli. Clear communication builds trust and is best done through a variety of channels, including the practice's website, email and prominently displayed brochures and posters, Fasoli writes.
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that women ages 65 and older who had a first-degree family history of breast cancer were at elevated risk of having invasive breast cancer, regardless of how old their relative was at diagnosis. Another study in the same journal found that, regardless of personal history of breast cancer, screening via MRI was associated with lower cancer yield and greater biopsy rates than mammography.
The US Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association advising against ovarian cancer screening for women with no signs or symptoms of the illness, as the harms of screening outweigh the benefits, but the recommendation does not apply to women who are at high risk of ovarian cancer, including those who carry a BRCA gene mutation. "Evidence shows that current screening methods do not prevent women from dying of ovarian cancer and that screening can lead to unnecessary surgery in women without cancer," task force member Dr. Michael Barry said.
An analysis of more than 50 million pregnancy-related hospitalizations showed women with heart failure had higher risks of adverse maternal outcomes during the antepartum, delivery and postpartum periods, according to a study in Circulation: Heart Failure. Researchers said women at high risk should be identified during hospitalization, and surveillance programs should be developed before discharge.
A CMS Office of the Actuary report published in Health Affairs estimated health care will account for 19.7% of the US economy by 2026, compared with 17.9% in 2016, with spending projected at $5.7 trillion by 2026, compared with the current $3.5 trillion. The report projected Medicare's annual growth at an average of 7.4% and Medicaid at 5.8% through 2026.
Five states so far have asked the Trump administration for Medicaid waivers that would allow them to place lifetime caps on the benefits some individuals can receive. The cap waivers come on the heels of other waivers, given to two states so far, that allow for work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.
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Have you passed one of the examinations required for a credential (RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RMSKS) but haven't earned the credential? Please remember there's a five-year time limit on earning a credential once you've passed the first examination (i.e., you passed the SPI examination but haven't passed the specialty examination, or vice versa). Learn more about the five-year rule.