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3/18/2019

CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced last month that the agency is asking for comments on how to improve the post-acute care sector's adoption of EHRs and how it can provide incentives for the adoption of interoperable health IT systems. "The post-acute setting is really fragmented, so (the CMS) really has to provide some of these incentives or support for the super small and extremely localized home health care agencies that are out there," said Intrepid USA CEO John Kunysz.

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Seema Verma
3/18/2019

An Apple-funded study presented at an American College of Cardiology meeting showed the Apple Watch may play a useful role in screening for atrial fibrillation. The results showed 0.5% of more than 400,000 participants received alerts that they had an irregular pulse, and 84% of the notifications were later shown to be to be episodes of AFib, while a third of those alert recipients were confirmed via electrocardiography.

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Reuters
3/18/2019

The Springdale School District in Arkansas has reduced sodium in student meals by 11% by working with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The school district also has tried to buy foods lower in sodium and is offering high-sodium foods less often.

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Arkansas
3/18/2019

Although prescribing of antibiotics for older Americans has leveled off, it's still too high, according to a CDC report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Seniors are at risk of adverse interactions between antibiotics and other medications, and they can be more prone to serious side effects such as hypoglycemia, nerve damage and tendon damage.

3/18/2019

Virulent Newcastle disease was detected by Redwood City veterinarians, sparking new worries in the Bay Area of California. Northern California's first known case of the disease -- which affects poultry and other birds, including some wild species -- brings animal health professionals into "uncharted territory in terms of its spread about the state," said University of California at Davis poultry specialist Richard Blatchford.

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University of California, Davis
3/18/2019

Reproductive biologists are injecting surrogate-father farm animals with sperm-producing stem cells from males with desired characteristics such as disease resistance or heat tolerance as a way of propagating those qualities more quickly than conventional breeding would allow. The technique could be beneficial for a variety of livestock species and could also assist with conservation of birds and other species for which semen storage is problematic.

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Nature (free content)
3/18/2019

Mortality within 30 days of a heart attack among older US adults dropped to 12% between 1995 and 2014, down by more than one-third since 1995, while hospitalizations for heart attacks also declined 38%, according to findings published in JAMA Network Open. Researchers analyzed more than 4 million Medicare patients, and lead researcher Dr. Harlan Krumholz cautioned that the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes could undermine these improvements.

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HealthDay News
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Medicare, Obesity, diabetes
3/18/2019

Men with prediabetes and hypogonadism who received testosterone therapy experienced a reduction in A1C, 90% of whom achieved normal glucose regulation, compared with 40.2% in the untreated group who progressed to type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Diabetes Care. German researchers evaluated 316 men and found that the testosterone therapy group also had improvements in fasting glucose, HDL, LDL, lipid accumulation product, non-HDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, triglyceride:HDL ratio, triglyceride-glucose index and the Aging Males' Symptoms scale.

3/18/2019

Researchers recruited 45 middle-school students to undergo cardiovascular screening at school and found that 34.8% had high A1C or lipid levels and 23.2% had high triglyceride levels, while 42.2% had a body mass index in the overweight or obese range and 57.8% had a normal or low BMI. The findings in The Journal of Pediatrics also revealed that two children with A1C levels in the diabetes range had not been diagnosed with the disease and did not have symptoms, highlighting the need for CV screenings, said researcher Dr. Robert Siegel.

3/18/2019

A study presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session showed that a smartphone app used to monitor heart rate had a negative predictive value of 97%, correctly identifying diabetes in 72% of cases using the photoplethysmography signal only. Researchers used a cohort of nearly 55,000 individuals from the Health eHeart study, mean age of 45, and found that the model's ability to identify diabetes rose to 81% after combining it with other common risk factors for the disease.