News & Information
Cost Concerns Continue to Thwart Health Care Treatment Decisions
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 01:03 PM

Increasing the availability of health insurance coverage has not eliminated patient concerns over the cost of health care.

A recent poll released over the holiday noted that the rate of insured persons who have put off medical treatment because of cost has increased from 25 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2014. However, only 22 percent of persons covered by Medicare or Medicaid indicated delayed treatment.  Overall, the survey says that 22 percent have put off serious medical treatment due to cost concerns.

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Anaphylaxis Hospitalizations on the Rise
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 01:00 PM

Anaphylaxis hospitalizations increased sevenfold between 1992 and 2012 in the United Kingdom, according to a recent study.

Although hospitalizations from anaphylaxis increased from 1.0 to 7.0 per 100,000 population annually, fatalities remained steady, at 0.047 cases per 100,000 population annually.

The admissions included 14,675 cases triggered by food, 8161 considered iatrogenic (triggered by medication or contrast media), and 2688 from insect stings. Food-induced anaphylaxis was more common in younger patients, peaking at ages 10 to 29 years, whereas older patients' most common fatalities were triggered by drugs or insects.

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Unnecessary Medical Chest X-Rays on Kids Common
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:42 PM

Too many pediatric chest X-rays are done unnecessarily, an analysis suggested. 

In a large single-center study, 88% of pediatric chest X-rays done across inpatient, outpatient, and emergency settings had no impact on clinical treatment.  Only those radiographs done for chest pain were positive for more than one in 10 (13.6%), most commonly due to pneumonia (5.1%).

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NPs, PAs Order More Diagnostic Imaging Than Physicians
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:34 PM

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners order diagnostic imaging more frequently than primary care physicians do in the evaluation of similar patients, according to the results of a study, however, not everyone is convinced of the accuracy or importance of the study conclusions.

Advanced practice clinicians (APCs) ordered imaging for 2.8% of patients after office-based evaluation and management visits compared with 1.9% for primary care physicians (PCPs).  The small differential in ordering rates is unlikely to have an effect on individual patients but may be more influential at the population level, the authors write. Importantly, they stress, the findings point to the need to carefully evaluate the relative value of expanding the use of APCs as a vehicle for reducing labor costs and addressing PCP shortages.

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"Pay to Delay" Strategy Upheld by Court.
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:31 PM

A jury says it is within the bounds of law for a drug company with a blockbuster drug to pay potential generic competitors to delay coming to market with a generic me-too, a strategy known as "pay to delay."

The drugmaker, AstraZeneca, had reached agreements with the generic firms to delay until late May 2014 the generic firms' introduction of a generic versions of the acid reflux drug Nexium (esomeprazole).

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