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Category: Gastroenterology | Monthly Briefing

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January 2014 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Last Updated: February 03, 2014.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for January 2014. 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.

Deal Could Trade Tort Reform for Additional Health Reform

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians may be willing to make a trade in accepting some additional health reform efforts in exchange for tort reform, according to an article published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

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Osteoporosis/Osteopenia Prevalent in Chronic Pancreatitis

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sixty-five percent of patients with chronic pancreatitis have osteoporosis or osteopenia, according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Melanoma Risk Up in IBD Independent of Biologic Therapy

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, independent of the use of biologic therapy, according to research published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Improving Infection Control Could Mean No More White Coats

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health care personnel should consider their clinical attire, such as white lab coats, carefully with regards to risk of transmitting infection, according to guidelines published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Docs Prefer Tablets Over Smartphones for Reading Articles

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although physicians generally use smartphones rather than tablets for professional purposes, they are more likely to read articles from medical publications and access medically oriented webcasts/podcasts on tablets, according to the results of a survey conducted by Kantar Media.

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Report Reveals Payment Methods for Physicians

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians in non-solo practice settings are paid using different methods, with just over half receiving all or most of their compensation from salary, according to a report from the American Medical Association.

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Practices Must Engage Vendors for ICD-10 Updates Now

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practice owners need to communicate with system vendors to coordinate International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) updates, according to an article published Dec. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Businesses Urge Change to ACA's Insurance Mandate

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Beginning in 2015, U.S. businesses with 50 or more workers must provide health insurance to "full-time" employees, meaning workers who log at least 30 hours a week, on average.

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Diabetes With Obesity Ups Liver Transplant Morbidity

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Morbidity is increased in the early postoperative phase following liver transplant for patients who have obesity with diabetes mellitus, according to research published online Jan. 7 in Liver Transplantation.

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Insurance Eligibility Headaches Expected With ACA

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the influx of newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, physician practices should be prepared to spend even more time verifying coverage, according to an article published Jan. 2 in Medical Economics.

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Framework Established to Promote Safety of Care

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A framework has been established to advance clinical learning environments that promote change in the quality and safety of care, according to a perspective piece published online Jan. 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Top Ten Physician Challenges of 2014 Discussed

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top ten challenges for physicians in 2014 relate to payment for medical services and government mandates, as well as adapting to a changing patient population and the need to improve work-life balance, according to an article published Dec. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Quinoa Consumption Seems Safe for Celiac Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with celiac disease, the addition of quinoa to a gluten-free diet for six weeks is well tolerated, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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'War on Cancer' Has Made Progress

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More people are being diagnosed with and dying from cancer, but this is largely the result of declines in mortality from other causes, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Writing a Blog Can Up a Doc's Visibility

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Blogs can be a valuable tool to promote physician practices, according to an article published Dec. 17 in Medical Economics.

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Editorial Discusses Ultrasound in Point-of-Care Diagnostics

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound devices represent an important point-of-care diagnostic modality, which is increasingly being used in numerous specialties, according to an editorial published in the December issue of Global Heart.

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Medical Staff Performance Goals Should Be Clear, Attainable

THURSDAY, Jan. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Staff performance in medical practices needs to be appropriately managed and measured with performance goals, according to an article published Dec. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Legitimacy of Publishing Pharma-Funded Research Queried

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The question of whether to stop publishing research funded by the drug industry is addressed in a head-to-head piece published online Jan. 15 in BMJ.

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Persistent Mucosal Damage Ups Hip Fx Risk in Celiac Disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with celiac disease with persistent villous atrophy (VA) are at higher risk of developing hip fractures compared with patients with mucosal healing, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Some Medical Schools Offering Accelerated Training

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some medical schools are offering an accelerated three-year program, according to a report from Kaiser Health News.

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MicroRNA Panels May Help ID Pancreatic CA From Whole Blood

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two diagnostic panels based on microRNA expression from whole blood can distinguish, to some degree, patients with pancreatic cancer from healthy controls, according to a study published in the Jan. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Interhospital Transfer Less Likely for Uninsured Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Uninsured patients are significantly less likely than insured patients to be transferred between hospitals, according to research published in the Jan. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Researchers Examine FDA Decision Making Processes

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The rationale behind the decision making processes of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is discussed in three articles published in the Jan. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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More Federal Funding of Health Centers Mitigates Access Issues

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2000, increased federal funding for community health centers has helped low-income adults get access to primary care and dental care, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Health Services Research.

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ACA Impact on Primary Practice May Depend on Location

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on physicians' primary care practices will vary geographically, according to an article published Dec. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Survey IDs Factors Influencing Physician Job Satisfaction

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Believing that they are delivering high-quality patient care is key to physician job satisfaction, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Multiple Medications Increase Odds of Hospital Admission

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The likelihood of unplanned admission is increased with polypharmacy, but the association is modified by the number of long-term conditions, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Medication Synchronization Program Ups Adherence

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A community pharmacy-based medication synchronization program can improve medication adherence, according to a study conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

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Initiative Improves Timeliness of Pediatric Endoscopies

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Quality improvement methods and tools can improve the timeliness of pediatric endoscopic procedures, according to research published online Jan. 20 in Pediatrics.

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Doctor Urges Colleagues to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

MONDAY, Jan. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A campaign to encourage physicians to disclose potential conflicts of interest has sparked ire from doctors despite evidence that openness improves the doctor-patient relationship, according to a personal view piece published online Jan. 15 in BMJ.

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One-Fifth of Hospitalizations in Advanced GI Cancer Avoidable

FRIDAY, Jan. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, about 20 percent of hospitalizations are potentially avoidable, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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State Insurance Marketplaces Boost Outreach Efforts

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurance exchanges in five states with strong enrollment growth are ramping up efforts to reach even more uninsured Americans before the end of the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period on March 31. The March 31 deadline is for people who want health coverage for 2014.

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Reliable Emotion Words ID'd to Assess Patient Experience

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A reliable set of emotion words have been identified that can serve as a tool for experience-based design questionnaires in health care, according to a study published in the December issue of Healthcare.

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NCPA: Access to Controlled Substances Often Delayed

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most pharmacists report experiencing multiple delays or issues with their controlled substance orders, according to the results of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Controlled Substances Access Survey.

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Survey Results Identify Drivers of Doctor Engagement

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The results of a survey from the Physician Wellness Services and Cejka Search have identified the key aspects of doctor engagement.

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FDA Warns Against Rx With High Levels of Acetaminophen

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that physicians stop prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per tablet, according to a safety alert issued by the agency.

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Interferon-Free Combo of ABT-450, Ritonavir Helpful for Hep C

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with an interferon-free combination of the protease inhibitor ABT-450 with ritonavir, or daclatasvir plus sofosbuvir, is associated with high rates of sustained virologic response in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to two studies published in the Jan. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Intensive Monitoring Ups Surgical Treatment of CRC Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have undergone curative surgery for primary colorectal cancer, intensive monitoring is associated with increased surgical treatment of recurrence compared with minimum follow-up, but does not reduce the number of deaths, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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L. reuteri Prophylaxis Found Beneficial for Term Newborns

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylaxis with Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 during the first three months of life correlates with a reduction in functional gastrointestinal disorder symptoms and associated costs, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Risk of Intussusception Still Up After New Rotavirus Vaccination

TUESDAY, Jan. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of intussusception is still increased after administration of the new rotavirus vaccines, but the risk is lower than that seen with previous vaccines, according to two studies published online Jan. 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies were published ahead-of-print to coincide with the sixth annual Sentinel Initiative Public Workshop at the Brookings Institution, held on Jan. 14 in Washington, D.C.

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Wednesday Is Deadline for Feb. 1 Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, Jan. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There's still time to enroll in a health insurance plan through one of the Affordable Care Act's new online marketplaces. Those who sign up by Wednesday will have coverage starting next month.

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More Than Two Million People Have Signed Up for ACA Coverage

TUESDAY, Jan. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 2.2 million Americans had selected health plans through the federal and state marketplaces as of late December, and nearly one in four was a young adult, the Obama administration disclosed Monday.

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CMS: New Rule Proposed for Contract Year 2015

MONDAY, Jan. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A proposed rule has been issued that will strengthen protections, improve health care quality, and reduce costs for Medicare beneficiaries with private Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription plans, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Survey: Fees, Reimbursement Top Physician Worries

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The results of a new survey show that physicians are concerned about declining reimbursements and increasing administrative hassles, including negotiating with payers, obtaining prior authorizations, and cutting through government red tape, according to an article published Nov. 25 in Medical Economics.

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EHR Use Linked to Doc-Reported Enhanced Patient Care

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic health records is associated with enhanced patient care overall, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Health Services Research.

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CMS: Low Growth for National Health Expenditures in 2012

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Overall national health expenditures were marked by a fourth consecutive year of low growth, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Female Conveners Up Number of Women at Scientific Symposia

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Having at least one woman on teams that convene scientific symposia increases the proportion of invited female speakers by 72 percent, compared with teams containing all men, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in mBio.

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ACP Introduces Free 'High Value Care' Case Studies

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to improve health care and eliminate wasteful practices, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed a series of High Value Care cases studies, available online for free.

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Administrative Demands Hurt Patient-Doctor Relationship

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Administrative demands on doctors, particularly primary care physicians, threaten the patient-doctor relationship, according to an article published Dec. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Smoking Rates Still Low for Most Health Care Professionals

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with 2006 to 2007, smoking rates among health care professionals for 2010 to 2011 continue to be lowest in physicians and highest in licensed practical nurses (LPNs), according to a research letter published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on tobacco control.

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U.S. Cancer Death Rates Decreasing Steadily

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer death rates have been decreasing steadily for the past two decades, with the magnitude of the decrease varying with age, race, and sex, according to a report published online Jan. 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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AMA Urges Med Students to Be Agents of Health Care Change

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students are being encouraged to be agents of change in the health care system, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Non-White Physicians Provide Disproportionate Minority Care

MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Non-white physicians provide a disproportionate share of care to underserved populations, according to a research letter published online Dec. 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CDC Addresses Burden, Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The burden and threats posed by antibiotic resistance infections are discussed in a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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AMA Details Top Five Federal Issues for 2014

MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the repeal of Medicare's failed sustained growth formula, and the proposed roll-out of the International Classification of Diseases, Version 10, top the list of federal issues expected to impact physicians and patients in 2014, according to a viewpoint piece published online Dec. 30 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Over 100 New Accountable Care Organizations Formed

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred twenty-three new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have been formed by doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, which will provide access to high-quality coordinated care for about 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Combination Protocol Accurately Diagnoses Appendicitis in Kids

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical pathway combining the Samuel's pediatric appendicitis score (PAS) and selective use of ultrasonography (US) has high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing appendicitis in children, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in Pediatrics.

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Impact of Transitions in Doctors' Careers Discussed

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Transitions and their associated challenges are encountered throughout a doctors' medical career, according to an editorial published online Nov. 26 in BMJ.

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Worsening of Shortage of Residency Slots Feared

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a looming physician shortage, the number of residency positions in the United States has not changed since 1996, creating a bottleneck that will become worse with further budget cuts, according to a blog post published Dec. 7 on KevinMD.com.

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CDC: Updated Guidance for HBV Vaccination for Health Workers

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health care personnel should be vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV) if they anticipate exposure to blood or body fluids, and receive serologic testing to assess for antibody against the virus, according to updated guidelines published in the Dec. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Patient Experience of Service Quality Predicts CRC Survival

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with colorectal cancer, satisfaction with quality of care is associated with survival, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

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C. difficile Is Carried on Hands of Health Care Workers

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- After routine care of patients infected with Clostridium difficile, C. difficile spores were detected on the hands of about a quarter of health care workers (HCWs), according to research published in the January issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Docs Have Until Jan. 31 to Change Medicare Status

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deadline for making changes to Medicare participation status has been extended to Jan. 31, 2014, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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