An HHS report found differences in policies, regulations and statutes governing data collection efforts, different technology formats for data analysis and access, disclosure risk management, and constraints related to data resources and norms are among the challenges that prevent 11 HHS sister agencies from sharing data between them. "Creating a robust technical environment for data analysis, workflow management, and streamlining data acquisition will be essential," according to the report.
Ohio hospital systems are extending their reach in the state to attract patients and add services, even in areas such as Dayton, where existing capacity is plentiful. Kettering Health Network and Premier Health are moving into the Cincinnati suburbs, while Mercy Health, the state's biggest health system, is opening a freestanding emergency center near the Dayton market.
Parkland Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto de la Cruz spent a three-month sabbatical in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria, where he learned about resilience, leadership and planning and took stock of his own health habits. De la Cruz returned to Dallas, began his own plan for better health, and started the "Joy At Work" program to focus on physician well-being.
Evidence shows under-the-radar vertical mergers in which hospitals acquire physician practices have reduced competition and hurt California consumers, health economists told a forum hosted by Health Affairs. University of Southern California researcher Glenn Melnick said managed care policies that encouraged competition kept costs down for years, but policies allowing mergers and giving more leeway to hospitals in insurer negotiations have led to higher prices.
A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found short- and long-term readmission risks were higher for heart failure patients if they were discharged from the hospital before reaching euvolemia, which is a healthy balance of blood in the body. Researchers said that while it wasn't common for physicians to note in discharge summaries if patients achieved euvolemia, when they did, there was a reduced likelihood of readmission.
Team-based health care may help reduce physician burnout, improve patient outcomes and enhance efficiency of care delivery, according to a review published in NAM Perspectives. Researchers also identified several barriers to team-based care, including digital health barriers such as EHR platforms, payment barriers and workforce barriers.
The CMS has proposed eliminating Medicare compliance requirements it says are unnecessary, outdated and burdensome for health care facilities as part of its Patients Over Paperwork program. The agency said the proposal could save health care providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually with proposed changes, which would eliminate a provision that requires repeated submission of data for patients needing an organ transplant, as well as a requirement for ambulatory surgical centers to perform pre-surgical evaluations in addition to the operating physician.
NYU School of Medicine researchers developed an artificial intelligence approach that had 97% accuracy in differentiating lung adenocarcinoma from lung squamous cell carcinoma. The findings in Nature Medicine also showed that the AI algorithm was able to identify abnormal versions of lung cancer-related genes without gene testing.
Researchers found that an mRNA-based nanoparticle therapy reintroducing the tumor suppressor functional PTEN was able to restore tumor suppression and kill prostate cancer cells, as well as significantly inhibit tumor growth and progression, without causing significant adverse effects in mouse models with prostate cancer. The approach, described in Nature Biomedical Engineering, "may prove useful in treatment of a myriad of malignancies and for other unmet medical needs," said researcher Dr. Omid Farokhzad.
Individuals with Parkinson's disease who drank hydrogen water 7.0 had similar scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 and the Hoehn and Yahr scale after 72 weeks, compared with those who drank a placebo, Japanese researchers reported in the journal Movement Disorders. The findings were based on randomized, double-blind multicenter trial data.