Near-total face transplant performed at Cleveland Clinic | Actavis agrees to pay $66B to purchase Allergan | Covidien's VenaSeal offers promising treatment for chronic leg vein disorders
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November 18, 2014
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Near-total face transplant performed at Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic surgeons announced via Twitter that they performed a near-total face transplant in September. The procedure is the second face transplant at the clinic and the first to include saving the patient's eyesight. Plastic surgeon Francis Papay led the operation, which included transplantation of about two-thirds of the scalp, the forehead, upper and lower eyelids, eye sockets, upper cheeks, upper jaw and teeth, facial muscles and nerves, nose and salivary glands. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (11/18)
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Actavis agrees to pay $66B to purchase Allergan
Irvine, Calif.-based Allergan has agreed to be acquired by Actavis for about $66 billion, or $219 per share. The cash-and-stock deal, expected to be completed next year, will make Actavis one of the 10 largest global drugmakers. The Buffalo News (N.Y.)/Bloomberg (11/17), Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires (11/17)
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Covidien's VenaSeal offers promising treatment for chronic leg vein disorders
A study conducted by Covidien shows that the effectiveness of its new VenaSeal system as a treatment for chronic leg vein disorders is comparable to its older product, the ClosureFast ablation catheter. According to the study, the great saphenous vein was still closed six months later in 98.9% of patients who were treated with the VenaSeal system, while the vein remained closed in 94.3% of ClosureFast patients. (Boston) (11/17)
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Practice Management
CMS streamlines reporting for PQRS, other programs
A CMS update said reporting requirements for the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System have been realigned so eligible professionals and group practices may only need to report quality data one time for this and other programs. Physicians who qualify may only have to submit one set of data to satisfy requirements in initiatives such as the Value Based Payment Modifier, Medicare EHR Incentive Program, Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization, Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative and the Pioneer ACO program. EHR Intelligence (11/14)
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Health Quality & Advocacy
Journalist seeks to understand what motivates Asian blepharoplasty demand
Blepharoplasty is one of the most frequently sought cosmetic procedures among Asians in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The procedure is controversial in some circles. Journalist Kat Chow delves into the procedure's history and interviews people who have had eyelid surgery and some who have decided against it. WBUR-FM (Boston)/National Public Radio (11/17)
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Research & Technology
Study looks at how brain adjusts sense of touch in patients with hand transplants
The sensation of touch improves gradually over years in patients who have had a hand transplant, shedding light on the brain's ability to adapt, according to a small study whose findings were presented at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. "It holds open the hope that we may be able to facilitate that recovery process," said cognitive neuroscientist Scott Frey. Researchers hope that understanding how the brain learns to adapt can be applied to rehabilitation efforts for stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury patients. The Associated Press (11/16)
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When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
-- Jacob Riis,
Danish-American social reformer
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