Radiologists and clinicians treating lung diseases related to vaping should ask their patients who use vape products about any corresponding constitutional, gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms, as well as the types of substances used, such as nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol, according to guidance released by the CDC. The guidance also recommends that clinicians urge their patients to stop using vaping products or e-cigarettes after treatment, get a chest radiograph, conduct a follow-up with patients and maintain a "high index of suspicion" for other respiratory infections and influenza.
A study published in JAMA Network Open showed that black patients with diabetes had higher 30-day all-cause hospital readmission rates than Hispanic, white and Asian patients. In their study of more than 272,000 Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, researchers also found higher readmission rates among black and Hispanic patients with an annual household income of less than $40,000, compared with white patients at the same income level, and hospital-specific factors also played a role.
Medicare open enrollment begins today and ends on Dec. 7, and over 60 million seniors are expected to switch plans or stay with their existing coverage. Seniors are increasingly opting for Medicare Advantage plans, many of which offer new supplemental benefits such as transportation assistance, home meal delivery and home improvements.
Lawmakers in Illinois received support from Gov. J.B. Pritzker for Senate Bill 667, which would set a cap on insulin costs within the state, limiting diabetes patients to $100 in out-of-pocket costs for a 30-day supply. "As we work to address the high cost of prescription drug that are burdening millions all across our state, this legislation is an essential step in the right direction toward fulfilling our promise to put state government back on the side of working families," said Pritzker.
A UNICEF report showed that one-third of about 700 million youths younger than 5 around the world lacked nourishment or were overweight, with stunted growth and debilitating thinness affecting 149 million and 50 million youths, respectively, while 50% of children had vitamin and mineral deficiency and the prevalence of pediatric adiposity has increased over the last 30 years. "This triple burden -- undernutrition, a lack of crucial micronutrients, obesity -- is increasingly found in the same country, sometimes in the same neighborhood, and often in the same household," said Victor Aguayo, head of UNICEF's nutrition program.
Norwegian researchers evaluated 34 patients with obesity, mean age of 45, and found an increase in the mean bone material strength index from 78.1 at baseline to 82 one year after undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, with no between-group differences found among those with and without type 2 diabetes. The findings in the journal Bone also showed an association between a larger A1C decline and a larger bone material strength index increase in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Georgia lawmakers worried about recent hospital closing are requiring rural hospital CEOs, CFOs and board members to get training on operational functions, such as financial management and strategic planning. Failure to comply could lead to fines and loss of a state tax credit, but Taylor Hospital CEO Jonathon Green said he is concerned the training could expose board members to liability for a hospital's financial decisions.
Health care executives at Modern Healthcare's Workplace of the Future conference discussed strategies to reinvigorate their workforces and create better workplace environments. Froedtert Health hopes to improve recruitment by revamping its tuition reimbursement program and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has improved its employee recognition and mentorship programs.
Insurers' telehealth coverage policies vary, and telehealth is covered by Medicare only for patients in underserved areas, so coding expert Betsy Nicoletti recommends checking specific insurers' policies. Place of service on claim forms should be 02, not 11, and claims should include Current Procedural Terminology modifier 95 -- synchronous telemedicine service rendered through a real-time interactive audio and video telecommunications system.
Benjamin Hohmuth, Geisinger Health System's chief medical informatics officer, says he looks at new technology in the context of solving relevant problems, and sometimes using existing tools in a thoughtful way with careful attention to workflow is all the innovation needed. "We've had several examples where slight adjustments to how a tool intersects with workflow led to massive increases in adoption and positive impacts to our patients," Hohmuth said.
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