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March 2014 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Last Updated: April 01, 2014.

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

FDA Recommends Approval of At-Home Colon Cancer Test

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration experts on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of a new at-home stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

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CDC: Invasive Cancer Diagnoses Down Slightly in 2010

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer incidence declined from 2009 to 2010, according to a report published in the March 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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NCHS Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for 2013

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the first nine months of 2013, 6.7 percent of children and 20.5 percent of adults were uninsured, according to a study published online March 27 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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White House Extends Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who've started applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but can't complete the process by the March 31 enrollment deadline will be given an extension.

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1 in 25 Inpatients Has Health Care-Associated Infection Daily

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, according to research published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Interactive Phone Messages May Promote Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Underserved Latina patients view interactive voice response (IVR) messages as an acceptable strategy to promote cancer screening, according to a study published online March 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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AMA Introduces Medical Education Initiative

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association's (AMA) Accelerating Change in Education initiative is being introduced in 11 medical schools in an effort to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, according to an AMA report.

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Americans Seem Unprepared for Health Insurance Exchanges

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in the United States seem not to be sufficiently informed about the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Radiofrequency Ablation Cuts Barrett's Esophagus Progression

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation reduces the risk for neoplastic progression in patients with Barrett's esophagus with low-grade dysplasia, according to a study published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Most Bloodstream Infections Are Community-Onset

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most bloodstream infections (BSIs) are community-onset and health care-associated, and Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen, according to a study published online March 18 in PLOS ONE.

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Review: Recently Diagnosed Diabetes Linked to Pancreatic CA

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the March issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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Patient Request Impacts Doc Prescribing Behavior

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients requesting specific medications are more likely to be prescribed those medications, according to research published in the April issue of Medical Care.

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Practices Can Take Steps to Improve Care Transitions

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a rigorous process can improve transitions of care, according to an article published March 10 in Medical Economics.

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Rates of Colorectal Cancer Continue to Drop in Older Adults

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence rates for colorectal cancer declined by approximately 3 percent per year from 2001 to 2010 in the United States, with the largest drops occurring in adults aged 65 and older, according to research published in the March/April issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Living Liver Donor Consent Form Needs Standardization

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Standardization of living liver donor evaluation consent forms is needed, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Liver Transplantation.

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Multitarget DNA Test Sensitive for ID'ing Colorectal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients at average risk of colorectal cancer, a multitarget DNA assay has greater sensitivity, but worse specificity than a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), according to a study published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hepatic Decompensation Higher With HIV, HCV Co-Infection

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have higher rates of hepatic decompensation than those with HCV monoinfection, according to a study published in the March 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Insurers Must Offer Same-Sex Couples Spousal Benefits

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health plans that offer benefits for heterosexual couples must do the same for same-sex married couples, the Obama administration says.

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Rx Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug costs are projected to rise 3 to 5 percent across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

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Improving EHR Interoperability Is a National Priority: HHS

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a national priority of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to an article published March 4 in Medical Economics.

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CDC: Most Alcohol-Linked Deaths Occur Among Working-Age Adults

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' excessive alcohol use contributes to thousands of deaths each year, and the majority who die are working-age adults, according to a report published in the March 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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IOM Recommends Definitions for 'Gulf War' Multisymptom Illness

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two definitions for chronic multisymptom illness should be used to identify cases of Gulf War illness among Gulf War veterans, according to a report published by the Institute of Medicine.

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AMA: CMS Wants Physician Input on Practice Transformation

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are being given the opportunity to describe what resources they need in order to transition to value-based models of care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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White House: More Than Four Million Have Signed Up for ACA

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than four million Americans have signed up for health coverage through state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

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Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.

Other Health Highlights: March 11, 2014

Discrepancies ID'd in Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, Journals

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all clinical trials reported on ClinicalTrials.gov and published in high-impact journals report at least one discrepancy in cohort, intervention, or results, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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High-Fiber Diet Cuts Risk of Colorectal Adenoma

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant inverse relationship between total dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal adenoma (CRA), according to research published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

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Keeping Salaries Secret Harms Worker Performance

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping salaries secret hurts worker performance and increases turnover of top talent, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Academy of Management Journal.

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Consultant Offers Tips for Evaluating Staff Pay

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Setting salaries and dealing with raises for a practice's staff can be tricky, according to an article published Feb. 24 in Medical Economics.

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Outpatient Abx Culprit in Most Childhood C. Difficile Cases

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics prescribed in doctors' offices are linked with a majority of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection cases in children, according to a new study published online March 3 in the Pediatrics.

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AMA Grants Curriculum Efforts to Address Health Disparities

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools are beginning to change their curriculum to address ways to eliminate health disparities, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Gender Gap Exists in Domestic Duties of Working Physicians

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in domestic activities among career-oriented academic physicians with children, according to a study published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Relative Value Units Useful In Evaluating Practice Finances

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a useful tool for managing practice finances, according to an article published Feb. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Drop in Compensation Gap for Primary Care Docs, Specialists

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, there was a 5.7 percent increase in the median total cash compensation for primary care physicians, with a smaller gap seen for medical and surgical specialists, according to the results of a recent survey from SullivanCotter.

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Cancer Preventive Services Below Healthy People Targets

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of cancer screening and provider counseling are currently below the Healthy People (HP) 2020 targets, according to a study published Feb. 27 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Value-Based Insurance Plans Can Up Rx Adherence

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans with certain features aside from solely lowering cost sharing can increase medication adherence, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Gap in Regulatory Coverage Affects 5 to 16 Percent of Trials

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Human subjects protections (HSP) policies do not provide regulatory coverage for all clinical trials, while up to about a quarter of trials are considered overlap trials, according to a research letter published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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WHO Program Improves U.S. Medical Facility Hand Hygiene

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. health care facilities, participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene practices is associated with improved hand hygiene, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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CDC: Antibiotics Often Prescribed During Hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Inpatients frequently receive antibiotics, and in many cases antibiotic prescribing could be improved, according to a report published in the March 4 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.

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Docs Nominate Top U.S. Internal Medicine Residency Programs

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top U.S. internal medicine residency programs have been ranked by physicians and include Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the University of California in San Francisco, according to an article published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Nurses Can Perform Colonoscopies As Well As Docs

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy quality and safety are comparable for nurse and physician endoscopy trainees, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Study Quantifies Prevalence of Chronic HCV Infection

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is about 1 percent, with 2.7 million U.S. residents estimated as having chronic HCV infection, according to a study published in the March 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Women-Specific Research Is Still Inadequate

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are still underrepresented in medical science and research, and sex differences are often ignored, according to a report published March 3 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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Patient Activation Predicts Bowel Preparation Quality

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lower patient activation, but not limited health literacy, is an independent predictor of suboptimal colonoscopy bowel preparation quality, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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CMS: No More Delays to ICD-10 Implementation Deadline

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no more delays to the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Feb. 27 in Medical Economics.

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