Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients with BMIs of less than 25 may have different gut microbiota profiles and more bile acid than overweight patients with NAFLD, according to a study by Fei Chen, MD, of the Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues published in Hepatology. "Our hypothesis would suggest that these individuals will have more severe and progressive liver disease, as it has been suggested before, but this hypothesis needs further confirmation," researchers wrote.
Irritable bowel syndrome is sometimes triggered by stress, which should lead physicians to know more about their patient's daily routines, said Sarah Ballou, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Ballou's team conducted a study of the effects of IBS in different areas of daily life, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. One of the biggest challenges in treating IBS is the lack of a multidisciplinary team, Ballou said.
A study led by Giammauro Berardi, MD, of Ghent University and Federico II University in Italy, examined three prediction models for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with Child-Pugh B cirrhosis who underwent liver resection. Selecting patients accurately and considering baseline characteristics could improve postoperative morbidity in liver resections, researchers wrote in Hepatology.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma urged hospitals to embrace the move toward transparency and value-based care, arguing that the alternative is living with lower fee-for-service revenues and increased government involvement in health care. Verma said anger over unexpected medical bills and high health care costs is feeding support for proposals such as Medicare for All and a public health insurance option, changes that she said will hurt hospitals.
Less than 0.1% of US health care spending goes to evaluating whether health policy works, so there is limited evidence for making decisions about programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. A new law this year, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, aims to improve data collection about government programs and access to it and requires agencies to develop a way to evaluate them.
Theft of physicians' National Provider Identifier is common in fraud cases, and the victims usually are unaware their NPI has been stolen, says HHS Office of Inspector General special agent Matt Charette. NPIs cannot be completely concealed, but experts say health care providers should stop using it where it is not required, share it only on a need-to-know basis, ensure former employers no longer use it, keep detailed billing records that are backed up externally, and notify the HHS OIG or the CMS Center for Program Integrity if they suspect fraud.
Of the 130,000 jobs added to the US economy in August, 23,900 were in the health care sector, compared with 29,400 in July, with ambulatory care seeing the biggest gains. The health sector has shown growth for 67 consecutive months, and demand will continue amid a tight market for clinicians, said Jefferies analysts Jason Plagman and Birna Tanquilit.
Chief financial officers are thinking beyond numbers as consumerism and value-based care are leading to a decrease in revenues for some organizations. CFOs are now focusing more on patient care and on developing stronger partnerships with health plans, according to this piece.
Chris Adams, who was first diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was 13, is using his experiences to help others. Adams is chairman of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Northwest chapter, which is hosting a fall education conference.