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November 2013 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Last Updated: December 02, 2013.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for November 2013. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Insurance Exchanges May Benefit Small Medical Practices

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Small medical practices may not need to offer their employees health insurance, although there may be advantages to doing so, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Practices Should Start Preparing for Transition to ICD-10

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Practices should start preparing for the transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Thalidomide Improves Clinical Remission in Pediatric Crohn's

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Thalidomide is associated with improved clinical remission at eight weeks of treatment for children with refractory Crohn's disease, according to a study published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Olysio As Hepatitis C Treatment

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Olysio (simeprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C infection in adults.

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Symptoms Cluster After Esophageal Cancer Surgery

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For surgically treated patients with esophageal cancer, symptoms appear to cluster together, and these clusters are strongly associated with mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in Cancer.

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American Medical Groups Protesting Physician Cuts

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical societies are taking action against the mass cancellations of physicians in Medicare Advantage plans in many states, according to an article published online Nov. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Family Doc Finds Mid-Level Providers Increase Revenue

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hiring mid-levels -- physicians assistants and nurse practitioners -- can improve productivity, resulting in increased physician take-home pay, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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White House Extends Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov will get a few extra days to sign up for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1. The deadline for buying insurance through the federal health insurance exchange will be pushed from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a Friday news conference.

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Water pH Impacts Gut Microflora in Non-Obese Diabetic Mice

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice that spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes (T1D), the pH of drinking water influences the composition of the gut microflora, correlating with an altered immune response and T1D incidence, according to an experimental study published online Nov. 5 in Diabetes.

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CDC Report: Health Disparities Persist in America

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite progress in some areas, health disparities remain for many Americans, health officials reported Thursday. These inequalities are related to income, education, sex, race, ethnicity, employment and sexual orientation, and they all affect Americans' health and well-being, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Central Adiposity Linked to Risk of Esophageal Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies shows that central adiposity, independent of body mass index (BMI), is associated with increased risk of esophageal inflammation, metaplasia, and adenocarcinoma, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Obama Nominates Health Care Law Backer to Be Surgeon General

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country's next surgeon general.

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ASCO Concurs With Cancer Care Ontario for CRC Follow-Up

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) guidelines for colorectal cancer survivor follow-up care, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Plan (for a Year)

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bending to political pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for another year, even if that coverage would have been cancelled because it fails to meet new rules under the Affordable Care Act.

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No Promises on Nov. 30 ACA Website Fix: U.S. Tech Chief

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The nation's chief of information technology would not confirm on Wednesday whether the hobbled HealthCare.gov insurance exchange website would be fixed by month's end.

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Health Care Enrollments Fall Far Short of White House Estimates

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration late Wednesday released a report revealing a disappointing number of health plan enrollments through the new federal and state insurance exchanges. Just over 106,000 Americans enrolled in health plans through the new marketplaces from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a news conference.

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Campaign Ups Colon Cancer Screening in Rural Community

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A small but non-significant increase in screening rates for colon cancer was observed after a multicomponent intervention was tested in rural communities in Colorado, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Many Would Give Health Plans Private Info to Save Money: Poll

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans say they'd submit to insurance company medical tests and lifestyle monitoring in exchange for lower-cost premiums, a new Harris/HealthDay poll finds.

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Population Aging Crisis May Have Been Overestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an alternative measure for assessing the number of dependent older people suggests that the population aging crisis may have been overestimated, according to an analysis published online Nov. 12 in BMJ.

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Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.

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Many Americans Want Docs to Help Explain Genetic Tests

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to genetic testing, Americans support more research, laws to protect against discrimination, and involving medical professionals in offering guidance, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Genetics in Medicine.

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Analysis Describes Economic Anatomy of U.S. Health Care

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the increases in resources devoted to health care in the United States, multiple health care metrics show that the United States is trailing peer nations, according to a special communication published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.

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FDA Approves Generic Aciphex to Treat GERD

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of the gastroesophageal reflux disease drug Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people aged 12 and older, the agency said Friday.

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Obama 'Sorry' Some People Losing Health Coverage

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said he's "sorry" some Americans are losing their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-reform law, but his administration is pressing ahead with the law's implementation. It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans have individual health insurance policies, and many of these people are receiving cancellation notices as insurers switch to plans that comply with new health-reform requirements.

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Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity May Be an Allergy

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) may be a non-immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy, according to a review published online Nov. 5 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

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Telemedicine Represents Enhanced Care Model

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine may represent an effective care model but there are associated concerns, specifically relating to reimbursement and legal issues, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.

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For Hospitalized Adults, Light Inversely Tied to Fatigue, Mood

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized adult patients, light exposure is inversely associated with fatigue and total mood disturbance, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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Amount of Care Similar for Rural, Urban Medicare Users

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there may be a limited supply of physicians in some rural areas, little difference is found in the amount of health care received by Medicare beneficiaries for rural versus urban areas within the same region, according to research published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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Aspiring Doctors Are Optimistic About the Future of Medicine

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Aspiring doctors are optimistic about the future of medicine, according to a report published by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

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Sebelius on Exchange Website: 'Delay Is Not an Option'

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration will not consider delaying implementation of health reform. Nor will it take down HealthCare.gov -- the troubled health insurance marketplace website -- while it's being fixed. "For millions of Americans, delay is not an option," Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on the new health insurance marketplace. "People's lives depend on this," she said.

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Factors in Long-Term HCV Morbidity, Mortality Analyzed

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), achieving an undetectable viral load correlates with reductions in the risk of clinical end points and death, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CDC Suggests Ways to Increase CRC Screening Rates

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Various approaches should be implemented to increase the use of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests, according to the November issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs.

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Non-Interferon Regimen Found Effective for Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- An interferon-free regimen of two or three drugs can effectively treat nearly all patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those who have failed treatment with protease inhibitors, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in The Lancet.

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Senators Seek Answers on Health Marketplace Woes

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A top Obama administration health official said Tuesday that HealthCare.gov -- the troubled federal website used to sign up for insurance -- is improving, and insisted that private information provided during the online application process is safe and secure.

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Operating Night Before Surgery Doesn't Impact Complication Rate

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy, there is no significant difference in complication rates for surgeons who operate or do not operate the night before, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- This is the second issue of a monthly letter from me, HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. The intention of this letter (and the intention of what we do at HealthDay) is to provide tools of communication. At Physician's Briefing, this is by providing you, the busy and buried health care professional, news and information that matters to you in a way that won't slow you down. The intention is to provide news that can help you stay abreast of changing clinical guidelines, cutting-edge technologies, and novel treatment options. And now, we offer free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for you on select clinical articles, enabling you to get (at least) two birds with one stone.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Please allow me to introduce myself: I am HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. This service is intended to provide busy physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with easily accessible, digestible health news that can keep them up-to-date and not missing a beat in their busy days providing care for those in need (and navigating the headaches and heartaches the business of medicine can too often bring). In short, this service is intended to make your professional life flow more smoothly in the way that helpful, useable, relevant, and timely information can.

Exchanges Will Be Cornerstone for Coverage Choices
Young Adults May Be Key to Making It All Work
Expect Pluses, Minuses for Those With Job-Based Coverage
If You're an Uninsured Worker, It's Your Chance to Get Covered
Medicaid Expansion Will Allow More to Get More
Many on Medicare Already Enjoying Benefits
AMA Presents: The National Journal
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Six People Signed Up on Day One of Federal Exchange Website

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Just six people enrolled for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day of operation on Oct. 1, just-released Obama administration documents show.

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Physician Buy-In Key to Reducing Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physician buy-in is essential for creation of any new payment system aimed at reducing health care costs, according to an article published Oct. 21 in Medical Economics.

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