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Category: Pulmonology | Monthly Briefing

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March 2014 Briefing - Pulmonology

Last Updated: April 01, 2014.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology 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.

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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WHO: Air Pollution Claimed Seven Million Lives in 2012

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution killed about seven million people worldwide in 2012, and more than half of those deaths were caused by indoor smoke from cook stoves, a World Health Organization report says. The U.N. health agency said that heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the leading causes of air pollution-related deaths, CNN reported.

Health Highlights: March 25, 2014

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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E-Cigarette Use Does Not Up Quitting, Reduce Smoking

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) does not increase the rate of smoking cessation or reduce cigarette consumption after one year, according to a study published online March 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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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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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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Phenylephrine + Acetaminophen Ups Plasma Phenylephrine

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of phenylephrine and acetaminophen results in a pharmacokinetic interaction triggering increased plasma phenylephrine levels, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Age-Adjusted D-Dimer Levels Aid Pulmonary Embolism Dx

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Age-adjusted levels of D-dimer safely exclude pulmonary embolism (PE) in older patients, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Electrolarynx Allows Speech in Orally Intubated Patients

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An electrolarynx can be used successfully in orally intubated patients receiving mechanical ventilation, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC: Tuberculosis in the United States Hits Record Low

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of tuberculosis in the United States are falling, with cases at a historic low, health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, noting that improved screening of immigrants has helped reduce incidence.

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Guidelines Developed for Pulmonary HTN in Sickle Cell Dz

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based guidelines have been developed for adult patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and pulmonary hypertension. The guidelines have been published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Review: Tamiflu Saved Lives During Swine Flu Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antiviral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) reduced the risk of death by 25 percent among adults hospitalized during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, according to a review published online March 19 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. In addition, antiviral treatment within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms halved the risk of death compared with starting treatment later or receiving no treatment.

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COPD Tied to Development of Cognitive Impairment

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), particularly nonamnestic MCI (NA-MCI), according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Neurology.

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Continuity of Care Improves Outcomes in Chronic Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), continuity of care is associated with differences in costs, emergency department use, and complications, according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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TB Control Program in China Linked to Drop in Prevalence

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a tuberculosis control program in China was associated with a reduction in prevalence and increased treatment, according to a study published online March 18 in The Lancet.

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Definition of Pneumonia Impacts Hospital Mortality Rates

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Risk-standardized hospital mortality rates are higher with a broader versus a narrower definition of pneumonia, 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.

Other Health Highlights: March 17, 2014

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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Weaker Brain Network Connectivity in Abstinent Smokers

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinent smokers show weaker brain inter-network connectivity between the salience, executive control, and default modes, according to a study published online March 12 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Most Influenza Infections Seem to Be Asymptomatic

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals infected with influenza, most cases are asymptomatic, and a minority of those with confirmed disease have medically attended illness, according to a study published online March 17 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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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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Health Education Not Routinely Provided to Patients

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic disease, health providers do not routinely provide health education, according to a study published March 6 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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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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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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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

For Obese Teens, Sleep Duration Predicts Cardiometabolic Risk

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For obese adolescents, sleep duration independently predicts cardiometabolic risk, according to a study published online March 6 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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For Children, Asthma Exacerbations Peak in September

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For children aged 2 to 15 years, asthma exacerbations and asthma medication prescriptions peak in September, correlating with the start of the school year, according to a study published online March 10 in Pediatrics.

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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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CDC: Child Care Flu Vaccination Requirements Seem Effective

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Requiring the flu vaccination for child care admission seems to have increased vaccination rates and led to lower hospitalization rates for influenza in young children, according to a report published in the March 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Indoor Air Pollution Tied to Asthma, Asthma-Related Symptoms

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Indoor air pollution, specifically mold and environmental tobacco smoke, is associated with asthma and asthma-related respiratory symptoms in middle-aged adults, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Respirology.

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Chest Complaints More Costly in Obese Patients

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased cost of care and longer hospital stays for patients who present to the emergency department with chest pain and dyspnea, according to research published online March 4 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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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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New Guidelines Issued for Valvular Heart Disease in Adults

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been issued for the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease (VHD) in adults, according to the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines published online March 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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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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Increased Use-Dependent Plasticity With Chronic Insomnia

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People with chronic insomnia (CI) have increased use-dependent plasticity (UDP) relative to age-matched good sleepers, according to a study published in the March issue of SLEEP.

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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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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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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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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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Change Increases Postpartum Pertussis Vaccination

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Changing in-hospital ordering procedures increases the postpartum pertussis vaccination rate to 69 percent, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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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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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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