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May 2014 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Last Updated: June 02, 2014.

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

Lack of Data Plagues Physician Re-Entry Into Practice

FRIDAY, May 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant barriers for physicians wishing to re-enter practice following a temporary leave and there are not many available resources to aid in the transition, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Global Prevalence of Obesity Increased From 1980 to 2013

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The global prevalence of obesity is increasing in adults, as well as in children and adolescents, according to a study published online May 29 in The Lancet.

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Incidence of Some Cancers Associated With Income

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for certain types of cancer seems to be linked to poverty or wealth, according to research published online May 27 in Cancer.

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Docs Must Consider Legal Issues Relating to Text Messaging

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The legal issues surrounding text messaging by physicians need to be considered, according to an article published May 23 in Medical Economics.

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Prophylaxis Strategy Prevents Perinatal HBV Transmission

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal screening followed by immunoprophylaxis for infants of mothers with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection decreases perinatal transmission, according to research published online May 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Higher-Than-Expected Medicaid Enrollment Concerns States

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Unexpectedly high numbers of Americans who were previously eligible for Medicaid but were not enrolled are now signing up, and states are facing unanticipated costs for that coverage.

Health Highlights: May 27, 2014

Most Wikipedia Health Articles Contain Errors

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ninety percent of health articles on Wikipedia contain errors, according to a new study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Health Highlights: May 27, 2014
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USPSTF Advises Hep B Screening for High-Risk Individuals

TUESDAY, May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends hepatitis B virus screening for individuals at high risk of infection. This final recommendation statement, along with an evidence review, has been published online May 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Sphincterotomy Doesn't Relieve Pain After Cholecystectomy

TUESDAY, May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have undergone cholecystectomy and experience abdominal pain, sphincterotomy is not associated with pain relief, according to a study published in the May 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Online Reviews Helpful in ID'ing Foodborne Outbreaks

TUESDAY, May 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Online restaurant reviews might help to identify unreported outbreaks of foodborne illness and restaurants with deficiencies in food handling, according to a report published in the May 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Workflow Changes Can Remove Practice Hassles

FRIDAY, May 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can implement workflow strategies that return their focus to patient care, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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Combo of Tools IDs Alcohol Use in Transplant Patients

FRIDAY, May 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for alcohol consumption (AUDIT-c) combined with urinary ethyl glucuronide (uEtG) testing improves the detection of alcohol consumption in liver transplant candidates and recipients, according to a study published online April 2 in Liver Transplantation.

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New Programs Aim to Forgive Student Medical Loans

THURSDAY, May 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Changes to the student loan environment will make it possible for a significant amount, if not all, of medical student loans to be forgiven, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Entyvio for Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Entyvio (vedolizumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with moderate-to-severe forms of two gastrointestinal conditions -- ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

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Doctors' Use of Electronic Health Records More Than Doubles

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 80 percent of doctors in the United States have switched from paper to electronic health records, new government statistics show.

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Some Conditions Tied to Higher Herpes Zoster Risk

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A wide range of medical conditions are tied to an increased risk of herpes zoster, according to a study published online May 13 in BMJ.

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'Handshake-Free Zones' May Be Coming to Health Care Settings

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regulations to restrict handshakes in the health care setting, along with more robust hand hygiene programs, may help limit the spread of disease, according to a viewpoint published online May 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AMA Proposing Specialty Care, Payment Models to CMS

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) and other specialty societies have created new care delivery and payment models that they expect to be supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to a recent AMA news release.

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Tailored Intervention Does Not Up CRC Screening Rates

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An interactive multimedia computer program (IMCP) tailored to expanded health belief model sociopsychological factors is no more effective for encouraging colorectal cancer screening than a control nontailored informational program, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Frequent Snacking Worse for the Liver Than Larger Meals

FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent snacking, particularly on high-fat and high-sugar foods, is worse for the liver than consuming larger meals, according to a study published online May 13 in Hepatology.

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CDC: Prescription Drug Use Continues to Climb in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prescription drugs are playing an increasingly larger role in U.S. life, with nearly half of all Americans taking one or more medications, according to a report -- titled "Health, United States, 2013" -- produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Frailty Score Predicts Surgical Outcomes in the Elderly

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A multidimensional frailty score composed of comprehensive geriatric assessments is more useful than conventional methods for predicting surgery outcomes, including all-cause mortality, in older patients, according to a study published online May 7 in JAMA Surgery.

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PET-CT Rarely Impacts Surgical Management of CRC Metastases

TUESDAY, May 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The use of positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET-CT) compared with CT rarely impacts surgical management for patients with potentially resectable hepatic metastases of colorectal adenocarcinoma, according to a study published in the May 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Wasteful Medicare Spending Topped $1.9 Billion in One Year

TUESDAY, May 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare spent at least $1.9 billion in 2009 on 26 types of tests and procedures that offer patients few or no health benefits, according to a new study published online May 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Direct Pay Reduces Practices' Administration Hassles, Costs

MONDAY, May 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-pay practice models can allow doctors to reduce, or possibly eliminate, the administrative hassles and costs of dealing with insurance, according to an article published April 24 in Medical Economics.

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Physicians Need to Focus on Managing Their Own Stress

MONDAY, May 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Managing stress and finding a reasonable work-life balance is important for physicians, according to a viewpoint written by Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D., the immediate-past president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Specialty Care Shortage Leads to Lower Perceived Need for It

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children with special health care needs living in counties with lower subspecialty supply have lower perceived need for subspecialty care, according to a study published online May 5 in Pediatrics.

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Most Docs Believe Patients Get Too Many Medical Tests

THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians believe that doctors order too many medical tests, yet half admit to doing so themselves in response to a patient who insists, a new survey shows. The survey was part of the ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely initiative, which urges doctors and patients to avoid overused and inappropriate tests.

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Physicians Have Multiple EHR Documentation Strategies

THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There are multiple documentation strategies available for physicians to use to improve their interaction with patients and optimize their use of electronic health records (EHRs), according to an article published April 8 in Medical Economics.

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Insurers: Sizeable Majority Has Paid ACA Premiums

THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A significant majority of Americans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have completed the final step of enrollment by paying their first month's premium, insurers told a Congressional committee on Wednesday.

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High Prevalence of Anal HPV in Men Who Have Sex With Men

THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For men who have sex with men (MSM), the prevalence of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is high, according to a study published online March 23 in HIV Medicine.

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Massachusetts Health Care Reform Cut Mortality

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health care reform in Massachusetts led to significant decreases in all-cause mortality, according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cutting Six Risk Factors Could Prevent 37 Million Deaths

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- By meeting targets for reducing six risk factors, 37 million deaths from the four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can be prevented, according to a study published online May 3 in The Lancet.

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AMA Develops Payment Guides for New Care Models

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) has developed new tools to aid physicians in understanding payment arrangements in evolving fee-for-value care models.

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Number of U.S. Elderly Will Double by 2050

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be almost twice as many elderly Americans in 2050 as there are now, posing serious issues for the nation's health care system, according to two U.S. Census Bureau reports released Tuesday.

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Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Increased Cancer Risk in IBD

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) are associated with an increased risk of cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Patient Factors Affect Accuracy of AFP Detection of Liver Cancer

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Measurement of α-fetoprotein (AFP) detects hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) most accurately in patients without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Highest Rates of Preventable Deaths in Southeastern States

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People in the southeastern United States have a much greater risk of dying early from any of the nation's five leading causes of death, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Repeat Data Breaches Among Health Care Orgs Down

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most health care organizations report having at least one recent data breach, but the number of organizations with more than five breaches has decreased, according to an article published April 8 in Medical Economics.

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White House Report Confirms Eight Million ACA Enrollees

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eight million Americans enrolled in private marketplace health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act between Oct. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, federal health officials confirmed Thursday.

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AMA Alliance Session Explores the Resilient Medical Family

THURSDAY, May 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practical, evidence-base strategies should be employed to maintain a resilient medical family, according to an educational session to be hosted during the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance National Conference, scheduled for June 8 to 10 in Chicago.

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WHO: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Now Found Worldwide

THURSDAY, May 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now found worldwide, a situation that could have serious public health consequences, the World Health Organization warns in a new report.

Health Highlights: May 1, 2014
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