Belching, hiccuping and related issues are common complaints among patients. Dr. David Johnson of Eastern Virginia Medical School explains the distinction between normal and abnormal belching, and discusses the behavioral component of what's known as supragastric belching -- meaning it isn't serving an important physiological function. Yet, belching and the related condition of air swallowing aren't easily treated. Interventions could include drugs or speech therapy. Hiccups, meanwhile, are associated with a spasm of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm. Hiccups are common, but a persistent issue can signal a serious health problem and should be evaluated by an expert.
Reps. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Joe Heck, R-Nev., introduced a bill to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula and identify new payment and delivery models based on specialty, practice type and region. The bill also increases payment updates for preventive care, primary care and coordinated care.