The ACR, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and GO2 Foundation are requesting insurance companies Aetna, Health Care Services Corp., Anthem, UnitedHealthCare and Cigna to immediately update their coverage policies for lung cancer screening after the US Preventative Services Task Force released its new screening guidelines in March. "Given the magnitude of lung cancer deaths across the United States population, and that lung cancer has the highest cancer death rate, this underscores the urgency to move expeditiously with a responsible and equitable plan for expanded coverage of screening for the at-risk populations," the group stated in its letter to Dr. Steven Blumenfrucht, medical director of Aetna.
Adding a medical image analyst to the clinical radiology workflow could help ease the burden for radiologists in health informatics and quantitative imaging, Jose Raniery Ferreira and Paulo Mazzoncini de Azevedo-Marques wrote in Academic Radiology. "Radiology professionals have to deal with increasing amounts of imaging data which imposes limitations on clinical practice and hinders decision-making," and medical image analysts could address imaging questions, such as the use of an automated segmentation pipeline in inflammatory pattern detection and vertebral compression fracture features in MRIs, the authors wrote.
Researchers used B-mode lung ultrasound images from patients with and without COVID-19 to develop a quantitative analysis technique and found that the computer-based method yielded a superior performance in distinguishing who among the patients had the disease, compared with lung texture features. The findings in the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians showed that adding this system on ultrasound devices "can be of great value in improving diagnosis and monitoring of COVID-19 patients" and "would help overcome the current limitations in ultrasound imaging related to user dependence and subjectivity of diagnostic decisions," study author Dr. Laith Sultan said.
A study in NPJ Digital Medicine found that deep learning algorithms had a high area under the curve, sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing breast cancer and lung cancer or nodules on different imaging modalities, including CT scans, mammography and MRI. "While the results demonstrate that [deep learning] currently has a high diagnostic accuracy, it is important that these findings are assumed in the presence of poor design, conduct, and reporting of studies, which can lead to bias and overestimating the power of these algorithms," researchers wrote.
A study in JAMA Network Open found 11% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 died during the start of the pandemic in March 2020, compared with almost 20% in April, before declining to about 9% in November. The findings, based on data from over 500,000 cases from 209 US hospitals, suggest introduction of treatments and management protocols have improved outcomes, researchers said.
The CDC said nearly 174.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the US as of Thursday, with more than 66.2 million people now fully vaccinated. The agency said it will be sending 85% fewer doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine than planned next week due to production issues at a Baltimore manufacturing site.
The CDC has declared racism a "serious public health threat" that has "had a profound and negative impact on communities of color," according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. The CDC launched a new section about racism and health on its website, and the agency plans to use COVID-19 funding to invest in communities of color and other populations that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Improved health IT delivery and better vendor and organizational teamwork are the top satisfaction variables for EHR success among inpatient and ambulatory doctors and nurses, according to a new KLAS Impact Report. EHRs that offer rapid system response time and capabilities to help achieve quality health care, cater to specialty care and create internal integration also lead to EHR success, respondents said.
Join the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) on April 28, 2021, for a virtual Kickstart Your Career Workshop to gain the essential skills needed to master common early-career challenges. As a resident or fellow, you will learn from world-class educators, participate in mock interviews and develop skills to effectively enter the radiology workforce. Register today.