Stopping anticoagulants can harm A-fib patients, study finds | CMS proposes payment rules for readmissions, quality programs | Vermont lowers minimum blood donation age
April 27, 2012
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Stopping anticoagulants can harm A-fib patients, study finds
Patients with atrial fibrillation who discontinued anticoagulant treatment were at greater risk for strokes and blood clots, according to a study from researchers at Duke University and UCLA. The risk of excessive bleeding was similar for those taking warfarin and rivaroxaban.
HealthDay News (4/25) 
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Standards for Relationship Testing Laboratories, 10th ed and Guidance CD
This edition features new and revised requirements in areas such as first-time accreditation and autosomal markers. The accompanying Guidance CD-ROM provides recommendations on how to meet the RT Standards requirements. Click here to order your copy today!
Emerging Trends
CMS proposes payment rules for readmissions, quality programs
A CMS proposed rule would pay acute care hospitals 2.3% more for treating Medicare patients if inpatient quality reporting programs are in place. The agency also proposed a calculation for penalties assessed to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates. CMS said it wants to add surgical site infections from cardiac implantable electronic device and iatrogenic pneumothorax with venous catheterization as conditions subject to hospital-acquired condition payment provisions for fiscal 2013.
HealthLeaders Media (4/25) 
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Industry News & Practice
Vermont lowers minimum blood donation age
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill that will lower the minimum age requirement for blood donation from 17 to 16, according to the American Red Cross. The change could mean 1,000 more donors annually.
WCAX-TV (Burlington, Vt.) (4/25), (Vermont)/American Red Cross/News release (4/26) 
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Cell treatment on track for Phase II stroke trial
The stem cell therapy ReN001 is being used in early clinical trials to treat 12 patients disabled by stroke, and an application is on track for a midstage study in 2013. The therapy is based on stem cell developer ReNeuron's lead neural stem cell line. ReNeuron is also developing treatments for peripheral arterial disease and retina diseases. (U.K.) (4/27) 
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Broad Institute aims to help scientists digest Big Data
The Broad Institute has launched a cloud-based, open-source data management platform called GenomeSpace that incorporates a variety of bioinformatics tools, says Jill Mesirov, the Broad Institute's associate director and chief informatics officer. (4/25) 
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Government & Regulatory
Bill seeking stronger FDA oversight of medical devices advances
A Senate panel on Wednesday cleared a bill that would allow the FDA to evaluate the safety of approved medical devices and give conditional approvals dependent on further studies. The measure also would tighten the agency's 510(k) process that permits firms to prove the similarity of their devices to products already approved without needing extensive trials. (Boston) (4/25) 
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FDA warns against combining hepatitis C treatment, some HIV drugs
The FDA is revising the label of boceprevir, a recently approved hepatitis C treatment, to warn about co-administration with certain HIV medicines. Taking boceprevir with some HIV drugs, including ritonavir, might increase the level of either virus in the blood, the agency said.
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/Reuters (4/26) 
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Coalition presses for change in drug tracking bill
Disagreements between the FDA and the health care industry could sink plans to establish a national system for tracking and tracing pharmaceuticals. A group of drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies says tracking drug lots -- rather than individual packages, as the FDA proposes -- would be cheaper and simpler to implement.
Reuters (4/25) 
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Association News
2012 ASCP wage and vacancy survey deadline is Monday
Monday, April 30, is the deadline for completing the American Society for Clinical Pathology's 13th Wage and Vacancy Survey, which collects the most recent wage data and determines the extent and distribution of shortages within the nation's clinical laboratory workforce. The vacancy component of the survey will be distributed in May. The wage component will include information submitted by both ASCP members and individuals certified by ASCP. Specialists in Blood Banking are particularly encouraged to participate, as the response rate among this professional group has been low in previous years. Complete the survey.
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