April 19, 2021
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Clinical Updates
New guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology on the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome are the topic of a recent Healio Gastroenterology podcast with lead author Brian Lacy, MD, PhD, FACG, of the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, who is also co-editor in chief of The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Lacy spoke to Sameer Berry, MD, and William Chey, MD, and reviewed evidence-based treatment recommendations and insights for clinicians on the diagnostic evaluation of patients with IBS.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (12/15),  Healio (free registration) (4/14) 
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Exercise was associated with a 9.5% reduction in liver steatosis and a 6.8% decrease in liver stiffness for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, independent of weight loss, according to a study led by Sechang Oh, PhD, of the University of Tsukuba, and published in JHEP Reports. Exercise also was associated with a decrease in inflammation and oxidative stress, and it improved muscle strength.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (4/16) 
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Data showed 65.7% of patients with proton pump inhibitor-dependent gastroesophageal reflux disease had a 50% or greater improvement in health-related quality of life after three months following endoscopic full-thickness fundoplication, compared with 2.9% of patients who had a sham procedure, according to a study led by Rakesh Kalapala, MD, from the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, and published in Gut. At 12 months, 62.8% of patients in the EFTP group had discontinued PPIs, compared with 11.4% in the sham group.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (4/16),  Healio (free registration) (4/15) 
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A study in the journal Gut found that processed foods and those derived from animals were consistently tied to a higher number of groups of bacteria related to gut inflammation, while plant foods and fish were tied to "short-chain fatty acid-producing commensals and pathways of nutrient metabolism." The findings, based on data from 1,425 individuals, suggest that a healthful diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, fish, nuts and low-fat fermented dairy could help promote gut bacteria that provides anti-inflammatory effects.
Full Story: New Atlas (4/13) 
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Legal & Regulatory
Leading congressional Democrats appear to be scaling back ambitious legislation to expand Medicare and reform drug pricing in the infrastructure package being developed, though they might make expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies permanent, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations.
Full Story: Politico (4/15) 
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A new measure signed into law Friday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee allows health care professionals in the state to seek reimbursement from insurers for expenses related to personal protective equipment. The law, which received unanimous approval from the state Senate and House, will be in effect until HHS declares the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/16) 
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Practice News
Challenges for gastroenterology practices over the next two years include payers changing their guidelines and reimbursement rates, gastroenterologists said. Telehealth may increase competition among practices, which also will face workforce challenges.
Full Story: Becker's ASC Review (4/15) 
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Business & Market Trends
Expert: No turning back from telehealth, blockchain
(Pixabay)
Blockchain technology is increasingly seen as an answer to the lack of interoperability in EHRs and could bring about improvements in both care delivery and payment, as well as reductions in fraud, waste and abuse, says David Randall, a resident scholar with the American Research and Policy Institute. Randall says telehealth has also been shown to reduce administrative inefficiency without compromising patient care, and there's likely no turning back in terms of the deployment of these technologies.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (4/14) 
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Combining genomic data with health outcomes data in EHRs can provide deeper insight into population health disparities than simple race and ethnicity data and may improve health equity and outcomes, according to a study published in Cell. Embedding genomic data and using it to infer genetic ancestry "will allow the development of evidence-based means to utilize race and ethnicity, genetic ancestry, and the socioeconomic determinants of health for both rare and common diseases," the researchers wrote.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (4/16) 
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Patient's Perspective
Telehealth services have become enormously popular among patients, with nearly 80% who reached out for service during the COVID-19 pandemic saying they were satisfied with the treatment, a COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition survey revealed. More than 70% reported that they would continue to use telehealth after the pandemic ends.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (4/15) 
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ACG News
ACG Association News Begin April 12
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