To ensure that Medicaid complies with telehealth and telemedicine reimbursement requirements, the HHS Office of Inspector General will audit payments made by the program for these services and plans to release a report in 2019. The review will be conducted by the Office of Audit Services.
Data on 85 middle-aged triathletes showed 18% of the men but none of the women had signs of myocardial fibrosis or scarring of the heart, according to a study that is to be presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting. Earlier studies have shown myocardial fibrosis in elite athletes, and researchers said while they do not know the exact cause, factors could include increased blood pressure during exercise and the duration of races.
Massachusetts submitted a Medicaid waiver request that could allow the state to negotiate drug prices and discounts by letting it choose which drugs to cover based on cost-effectiveness and the medical needs of its population. Medicaid spending on prescription drugs rose almost 14% in 2015 and about 25% the year before, and experts say other states could follow suit if the request is approved, but a pharmaceutical industry group warns that the move could make it harder for low-income people to obtain medications.
An analysis of national vital statistics found that since 2010, baby boomers -- Americans born between 1946 and 1964 -- had up to 27% higher odds of dying from a prescription opioid overdose and up to 33% increased odds of dying from heroin overdose compared with people born in the late 1970s. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, also showed that those born in 1989 or 1990 had a 23% higher likelihood of dying from heroin overdose than people born in the 1970s.
Some military surgeons are performing so few procedures, even when deployed, that their skills are at risk of declining, but the DOD is taking steps to address the problem, say Col. Mary Edwards and Col. Shawn Nessen, consultants to the Army Surgeon General. "There is a definite level of awareness that operative volumes are critically important for surgeon readiness and that this needs to be quantified and evaluated prior to deployment," the colonels wrote in an email.
Researchers discovered that wild bonobos are susceptible to malaria parasites and identified previously unknown Laverania species that is specific to bonobos but only in a limited area. "It seems likely that these parasites co-evolved with African apes, suggesting that the ancestors of bonobos were infected, and implying that most wild-living communities of bonobos have somehow lost their malaria parasites," said Paul Sharp, co-author of the study, which is published in Nature Communications.
A study in the American Journal of Managed Care showed that physicians who used EHR-driven clinical reminders were more likely to administer the human papillomavirus vaccine to younger patients than those who did not use a clinical alert for the vaccine. Researchers analyzed adolescents' visits to office-based physicians from 2007 to 2012.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that giving 7.5 mg of oral insulin daily to relatives of type 1 diabetes patients did not prevent them from developing the disease, compared with those on placebo. Researchers analyzed data from 389 individuals, 57.6% of whom had a sibling with diabetes, and did find that type 1 diabetes developed later among a subgroup of patients with autoantibodies and low insulin secretion who took oral insulin compared with those who took a placebo.
A total of 37 data breaches were reported to HHS or disclosed to the media by health care organizations in October, 13 of which were caused by hacking and 11 of which were due to insider errors, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer report. Researchers found that 246,246 patient records were breached in 29 of the incidents, compared with 499,144 records compromised in September and 1.5 million records affected in March.
The Drummond Group awarded ONC 2015 Edition HIT Module certification to NextGen Healthcare's NextGen Ambulatory EHR 5.9. The EHR system enables eligible hospitals and providers to meet meaningful use stage 3 and Merit-based Incentive Payment System Advancing Care Information performance category requirements.
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