The Immunization Integration Program, an alternative testing and recognition program for EHRs developed by HIMSS, Chickasaw Health Consulting and ICSA Labs with support from the CDC, aims to integrate vaccination data with patients' EHRs to help reduce the administrative burden associated with charting immunizations. Collaborators hope the program will improve vaccine coverage and compliance and clinical practice related to immunizations, according to Joyce Sensmeier, vice president of informatics at HIMSS.
Newly developed chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T-cell therapies hold high promise in the battle against cancer, and researchers are already exploring new strategies to produce these treatments specific to each patient. One clinical trial led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Stanford University suggests an even wider field of CAR-T therapies can be developed to work for patients who don't respond to current treatments.
UK researchers found that type 2 diabetes patients reported worse quality of life with intensified treatments to three oral agents or insulin regimens, while the use of insulin alone and hypoglycemia worry also predicted worse QoL. The findings in Diabetes Care, based on 5,813 diabetes patients, revealed no significant associations between any treatment and EuroQoL-5 Dimension visual analogue scale health status.
Saxagliptin use was not associated with a higher risk for acute myocardial infarction among diabetes patients, compared with those on long-acting insulin, sulfonylureas, sitagliptin or pioglitazone, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers used a cohort of 1,164,307 diabetes patients and noted that the findings "provide additional reassurance about the safety of saxagliptin with respect to AMI."
An undisclosed number of individuals were affected by a ransomware attack against the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C., in October. An investigation found that an unauthorized third party accessed the center's database server, which contained caller names, names of those possibly exposed to a poisonous substance, information on exposures, medical record numbers, recommendations given to the caller and other information.
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley using PET and the tau radiotracer F-18 AV-1451 found that Parkinson's disease patients with mild cognitive impairment had tau and beta-amyloid depositions similar to those in healthy controls and Parkinson's patients with normal cognition. The findings in JAMA Neurology prompted researchers to conclude that "[c]ognitive deficits in people with PD without dementia do not appear to reflect measureable Alzheimer disease."
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she has received reassurance from Vice President Mike Pence that bills providing funding for reinsurance and cost-sharing reduction payments will be included in a government spending bill that will be considered before year's end. Collins agreed earlier this month to support a tax bill that included a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's mandate that individuals purchase health insurance after receiving commitment from Senate GOP leaders that they would work for passage of bills designed to shore up insurance markets.
A report from the United Health Foundation ranked Massachusetts, Hawaii and Vermont as the healthiest US states based on factors such as health care provider availability and obesity rates, while Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi were ranked the least healthy. The report, America's Health Rankings, also found that the country's premature mortality rates rose by 3% since 2015 driven partly by deaths due to drug overdose and cardiovascular disease, which increased by 7% and 2%, respectively.
The CMS announced that 4.68 million people chose Affordable Care Act plans through the federal exchange in the first six weeks of open enrollment this year, with over 1 million Americans signing up in the week ending Dec. 9, up from 823,000 in the previous week. Open enrollment ends Dec. 15 for most states, and overall signups are expected to fall short of last year's total HealthCare.gov enrollment of 9.2 million due to the shorter enrollment period.
Both tooth loss and wearing dentures increases the risk of malnutrition and joint and muscle frailty due to difficulty eating fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, a study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International found. "One of the important findings of the study is the significant relationship between the condition of teeth and deficiency in intake of essential nutrients, regardless of the use of dentures," researcher Dr. Wael Sabbah said.
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