Young-onset colorectal cancer in the news | Study: Undiagnosed anxiety, depression prevalent in IBD patients | Lean, obese-type NAFLD can be identified by microbiota, study says
March 20, 2019
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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Young-onset colorectal cancer in the news
Yahoo Lifestyle covered data on the increasing incidence of young-onset colorectal cancers in the birth cohort of those born around 1990 published in 2017 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. ACG President-Elect Mark Pochapin, MD, FACG, is quoted in the story, which raises many questions about the factors potentially driving higher CRC incidence in younger people.
Yahoo (3/18) 
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Clinical Updates
Study: Undiagnosed anxiety, depression prevalent in IBD patients
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease often have undiagnosed anxiety and depression, according to a study by Charles Bernstein, MD, of the University of Manitoba in Canada, and colleagues that was published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. About a third of patients who met the criteria for depression were not diagnosed, and two-thirds of undiagnosed patients met the criteria for anxiety, the study found.
Healio (free registration) (3/19) 
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Lean, obese-type NAFLD can be identified by microbiota, study says
Non-obese patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have different patterns in their fecal and blood microbiota profiles than obese patients, according to a study by Hwi Young Kim, MD, PhD, of Ewha Womans University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues published in PLOS ONE. The disease is less severe in nonobese patients, and they tend to have better outcomes, the study found.
MedPage Today (free registration) (3/19) 
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Researchers: Postpone surgery in Crohn's patients exposed to anti-TNF
Exposure to anti-TNF drugs may lead to more infections after surgery for patients with Crohn's disease, according to a study by Chiehfeng Chen, PhD, MPH, of Taipei Medical University in Taiwan and colleagues that was published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The effect remains under debate, but researchers recommended putting off elective surgery or close post-surgery monitoring in patients exposed to anti-TNF agents.
Healio (free registration) (3/18) 
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Legal & Regulatory
House Democrats divided over expanding health coverage
Promises to expand access to health insurance and lower costs helped Democrats regain control of the House last year, but now House Democrats are divided over proposals for how to do it. Centrists want to take steps to shore up the Affordable Care Act, while the liberal wing of the party wants a single-payer "Medicare-for-all" plan.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/18) 
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Stakeholders urge Congress to protect patients from surprise bills
Seventeen health care stakeholder groups sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Legislation should prohibit surprise billing of patients who have no choice of health care provider, and it should require facilities to inform patients of providers' network status, according to the groups.
FierceHealthcare (3/18) 
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ACG note: Stay up-to-date with the latest public policy news with ACG's weekly policy alert, "This Week in Washington, D.C."
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Practice News
Investigation: 10 years in, EHRs fail to live up to their promise
The digitization of health records in the US was supposed to improve the quality and value of health care by providing real-time access to the information needed to optimize decisions and improve outcomes, but 10 years after legislation fast-tracked the move to EHRs, even the architects of the effort agree the US' $36 billion investment has not delivered as expected. Although nearly all hospitals have EHRs, the systems are difficult to use, interoperability is poor, and an investigation by Kaiser Health News and Fortune has uncovered reports of patient deaths, injuries and close calls tied to software glitches, user error and other problems.
Fortune/Kaiser Health News (3/18) 
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Business & Market Trends
AMA survey: Prior authorizations have negative impact on patient care
Eighty-five percent of physicians surveyed by the American Medical Association say prior authorizations have a negative impact on patient care, and providers say they haven't seen an improvement in the situation despite payer awareness. MGMA, the AMA and other groups issued a consensus statement last year calling for reforms in light of the increase in prior authorization requirements from insurers.
Healthcare Dive (3/13) 
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ACG Note: The ACG Board of Governors will be in Washington, D.C., in April educating policymakers on the problems associated with prior authorizations.
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More physicians are experiencing burnout
Researchers found that the rate of physicians who reported burnout rose from 40.6% in 2014 to 45.6% in 2017, which was associated with upturns in exhaustion and cynicism during the same period. The findings in JAMA Network Open also showed the highest burnout risk among early-career physicians, or those who have worked 10 years or less since training.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (3/15) 
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Patient's Perspective
Americans skip meds, ask for alternatives to save money
Six in 10 US adults received a prescription for medication in the past year, according to 2017 survey data, and one-fifth of them said they asked for a cheaper drug. More than 11% said they skipped doses, took less of the medication than prescribed or waited to have a prescription filled to save money, putting them at risk of health consequences.
STAT (tiered subscription model) (3/19) 
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Happiness? The color of it must be spring green.
Frances Mayes,
professor, writer and "Under the Tuscan Sun" memoirist

March 20 is the spring equinox

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