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February 2013 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for February 2013. 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.

CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Sunshine Act

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule requiring drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report payment or gifts of more than $10 to physicians, hospitals, and other providers, and necessitating manufacturers and GPOs to report ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their family members.

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Home-Based Telehealth Not Effective for Chronic Conditions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Second-generation, home-based telehealth is no more effective than usual care for quality of life and psychological outcomes among patients with chronic health conditions, according to research published online Feb. 26 in BMJ.

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List of Five Unnecessary Vascular Tests Released

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The Society for Vascular Medicine (SVM) has published "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" in vascular medicine, a list of five tests and procedures that are commonly used but can be unnecessary or even harmful.

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Preparation Underway for Implementation of ACA in 2014

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nears, states are preparing for some of its provisions, including expanded access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the use of information technology, according to a report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Sleep Restriction Impacts Gene Regulation

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Insufficient sleep affects gene regulation, including genes associated with circadian rhythms, sleep homeostasis, oxidative stress, and metabolism, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Families Prefer ICU Doctors in Traditional White Coats, Scrubs

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive care unit (ICU) physician attire may influence patient family perceptions, according to a research letter published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Resilient Personality Linked to Cardiorespiratory Fitness

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- While personality has no effect on energy expenditure at rest or during normal walking, people with a more resilient personality expend more energy when walking quickly, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in PLOS ONE.

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Low-Dose CT Screening Could Avert ~12,000 Lung CA Deaths

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening regimens, as outlined in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), could potentially prevent more than 12,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, according to research published online Feb. 25 in Cancer.

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CDC: 1.5 Million New Cancers Diagnosed Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009, approximately 1.5 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States, with an annual incidence rate of 459 cases per 100,000 population, according to research published in the Feb. 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Early Life Lung Function Tied to Persistent Wheezing to Age 18

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent wheezing from ages 6 years to 18 years correlates with multiple factors, including reduced infant lung function, infant-onset atopy, maternal asthma, and active smoking, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits Expanded

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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CMS Proposes Payment and Policy Updates for 2014

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Payment and policy updates have been proposed for 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Advanced Notice and draft Call Letter published Feb. 15.

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Model More Accurately Predicts Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new model to predict lung cancer risk is more accurate than previous criteria, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Extended Dabigatran Effective for Venous Thromboembolism

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with venous thromboembolism, extended treatment with dabigatran is noninferior to warfarin, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Report Discusses Impact of ACGME 2011 Requirements

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although many residency program directors approve of individual components within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements introduced in 2011, less than half express overall approval, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Air Pollution Ups Mortality Rate Post-ACS Hospitalization

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), exposure to higher levels of air pollution, specifically particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5), correlates with increased all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the European Heart Journal.

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Faster Adoption of Electronic Health Records Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by health providers for Medicare is increasing, but not quickly enough to avoid penalties in 2015, according to a letter published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Redefinition of Positive CT Result for Lung Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing the threshold for defining a positive result in computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer could reduce the need for further work-up but must be weighed against the potential for delayed diagnosis, according to a study published in the Feb. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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CMS: Unnecessary Medicare Regulations to Be Reformed

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare regulations which are unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospital or health care providers will be reformed, according to a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the President's instructions in Executive Order 13563.

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Multimodality Approach Needed to Reengineer Health Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A multimodality approach focusing on reengineering the U.S. health care system may provide a way to improve quality and reduce costs, according to a viewpoint published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sleep Duration Linked to Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) is modestly higher for male physicians who sleep eight hours or more per night, while shorter sleep duration (six hours or less) is associated with a higher risk of AF in those with sleep apnea, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Patient Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an artificial intelligence (AI) framework can improve patient outcomes at one-third of the costs of the current standard of care, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

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Health Care-Associated Infections Decreased in 2011

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In 2011, decreases were noted for some health care-associated infections (HAIs), according to a report prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Human Metapneumovirus Burden High for Young Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children younger than 5 years old have substantial rates of hospitalizations and outpatient visits for human metapneumovirus (HMPV), according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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IOM Urges International Action to Eradicate Fake Drugs

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Falsified and substandard medications pose public health problems around the world, and international action should be taken to combat the phenomenon, according to a report published Feb. 13 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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Psychological, Sexual Impact of Female Breadwinners Explored

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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Snoring Tied to Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For women, snoring is associated with a modest increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), and cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Oregon Experiment Will Provide Insight Into ACO-Based Reform

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of the Oregon experiment, an ambitious program centered on a model of an accountable care organization (ACO), will offer important lessons for the wider implementation of ACOs as cost-saving mechanisms, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Insurance Exchanges Are Top Priority on U.S. Agenda

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The public's health care agenda places creation of a health insurance exchange or marketplace as a top priority, according to a report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health.

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No Link Between Mortality, Readmission Quality Measures

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- As measures of hospital quality, there is no association between risk-standardized mortality rates and readmission rates for elderly individuals hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or pneumonia and a weak association for patients with heart failure, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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International Disparity in Stage-Specific Lung Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For developed countries, there are wide disparities in stage-specific survival for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, some of which can be explained by stage at diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Thorax.

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Increasing Patient Activation Tied to Lower Health Care Costs

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patient activation is associated with improved outcomes and lower health care costs, according to a review published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Urban School-Based Asthma Treatment Cost-Effective

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A program to administer asthma medication each day to urban children with asthma reduces symptoms and is cost-effective, according to research published online Feb. 11 in Pediatrics.

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Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Goes Into Effect March 26

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The final omnibus rule, which makes changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, goes into effect March 26, and physicians must be in compliance by Sept. 23.

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Pertactin-Negative Bordetella pertussis Identified in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Pertactin-negative variants of Bordetella pertussis have been identified in the United States; and children who receive diphtheria-tetanus-whole-cell pertussis (DTwP) priming have lower reported rates of pertussis, according to correspondence published in the Feb. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians' Pay for Existing Patients Dropped in 2012

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' pay for existing patients dropped considerably in 2012, according to the results of the Fee Schedule Survey published Jan. 31 in Physicians Practice.

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FSMB: Approaches Explored for Expediting Multi-State Licenses

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New approaches are being explored for streamlining physician multi-state licensure to accommodate the use of telemedicine in the delivery of health care, according to a report from a meeting held from Jan. 16 to 17 by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

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CDC: Flu Activity Still Up in U.S. in Fourth Week of 2013

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In the fourth week of 2013, influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, with the proportion of pneumonia and influenza-linked deaths above the epidemic threshold, according to FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by the Influenza Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Knowing Cost of Imaging Tests Doesn't Cut Utilization

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians do not order fewer imaging tests if they are aware of the costs, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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