Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the US recorded 21,188 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, slightly higher than the 20,007 cases reported a day before, though Monday's tally is slightly lower than the national average of 21,294 cases per day for the past week. COVID-19 has infected over 1.8 million and killed at least 105,192 Americans to date.
A study in Diabetologia found that ertugliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, was tied to preservation of estimated glomerular filtration rate after 104 weeks among individuals with type 2 diabetes, compared with glimepiride. Based on an analysis of data from two randomized controlled trials, ertugliflozin also was associated with lower urine albumin/creatinine ratios.
AHIP and several health insurance providers are expressing concern that changes made to reduce administrative burdens on health care providers might negatively affect Medicare Advantage star ratings and payment for the 2021 and 2022 plan years. "We believe it would be unfair and inappropriate to allow the weighting for these measures to increase as scheduled, given that plans are unable to demonstrate they have improved performance on the measures," AHIP noted.
A study published in JAMA Network Open found levels of anxiety, fear and depression were greater among medical residents working during the COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai, compared with levels among the previous year's first-year students. "Even before this pandemic, the levels of depression and anxiety symptoms among our health care workers were high and our findings indicate that they are getting worse," Dr. Srijan Sen said, noting that the study underlines the need to prioritize the well-being of health care workers not just for themselves, but also for their patients.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said use of telehealth has grown dramatically during the pandemic, and some provisions that temporarily expanded access to telehealth during the pandemic will be made permanent. She said the agency is working on rulemaking now.
The FDA granted emergency use authorization to allow health care personnel to use alternative gowns and other supplies when personal protective equipment is not available. Under the rule, health care workers can use operating room shoes and shoe covers, nonsurgical isolation gowns, surgical apparel accessories, conductive shoes and shoe covers, and surgical helmets and caps as PPE in minimal or low-risk situations.
The ACR and other health care groups released a joint statement calling on accreditation agencies to encourage and not penalize radiologists and other clinicians seeking mental health treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Joint Commission previously urged organizations to refrain from inquiring about physician's mental health history and limit accreditation questions to conditions that impair their ability in carrying out their duties.
The ACR issued a statement calling for an end to racial inequities that have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd while in police custody. "While recent events have been tragic, and even shocking, we still have the opportunity to address inequity in healthcare and social justice disparity in America in ways that preserve the safety and dignity of all involved," the ACR said. Other radiology groups, including the Radiological Society of North America, also released statements in support of the African American community.
Imaging recovery speed and volume after the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on disease severity, easing of social distancing restrictions, patient confidence, the economic climate, practices' management of imaging backlogs and practice models, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. "By focusing on key variables specific to local regions and institutions that will likely impact imaging volumes, radiology practices can better prepare to provide safe and effective care in subsequent phases of the pandemic," researchers wrote.
A review in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging found that most patients with suspected COVID-19 undergo portable chest X-ray exams, but the modality had less sensitivity than reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests, chest CT and chest ultrasound, which is already being used for blood clot diagnosis and thrombosis risk assessment in COVID-19. Researchers also found that MRI can determine incidental COVID-19-related findings in pulmonary parenchyma, and PET/CT may be used in monitoring treatment response and tracking long-term effects of COVID-19. The review also found that artificial intelligence can help improve triaging of patients with COVID-19.
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