The partial freeze on ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code updates will last until Oct. 1, 2016, due to the delay in ICD-10 transition schedule, the CMS announced. Limited ICD-10 code updates will be available Oct. 1 of next year to cover new diagnoses and technologies, while regular ICD-10 updates will resume Oct. 1, 2016.
While old age often has been considered a reason not to treat some stroke patients with tissue plasminogen activator due to concerns of an increased risk for hemorrhage, new research suggests such patients can indeed benefit from the treatment. A study of 228 patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with tPA found that, while the older patients were less likely to survive or have a favorable outcome than younger patients, there was no evidence of the higher risk of hemorrhage in the patients over age 80.
Merck announced its Gardasil vaccine was 100% effective over the short term in preventing infection with two strains of human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer, during a Phase III study of more than 12,000 young women in 13 countries. The company -- which said it plans to apply for FDA approval this year and perhaps bring the vaccine to market in 2006 -- said the drug was genetically engineered to block HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cervical cancers.
Contrary to concerns raised decades ago, breast-feeding in infancy does not raise the risk for cancer in adulthood and may reduce the risk for premenopausal breast cancer, according to a new study. In addition to looking at data from 4,379 subjects who were followed from the late 1930s to 2003, the researchers performed a meta-analysis of data from 14 studies and found no evidence of breast-feeding influencing the risk of cancer.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be effective in reducing the chances of smokers developing mouth cancer, but long-term use could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the journal The Lancet. Researchers said the findings mean health care professionals need to conduct a risk-benefit analysis when prescribing long-term use of the drugs.