viernes, 20 de diciembre de 2013



Healthcare News

A Weekly Compilation of Clinical Laboratory and Related Information 
from The Division of Laboratory Science and Standards


December 19, 2013

View Previous Issues - Healthcare News Archive

Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool to Improve Quality in Microbiology Laboratories

Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool for assessing laboratory performance and verifying the accuracy and reliability of test results. Participation is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for each of the microbiology subspecialties (bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), and the regulations include specific PT requirements for each subspecialty. To determine the use and perceived value of PT beyond meeting CLIA requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded a cooperative agreement with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to convene a series of focus groups to query laboratory professionals responsible for PT. While participants acknowledged the need to perform PT to meet regulatory requirements, many also cited benefits and challenges beyond regulatory compliance.


Should Insurers Cover Genetic Tests?

U.S. spending on genetic tests is expected to grow to $25 billion by 2020
Insurers have found themselves at a crossroads when it comes to genetic testing. Some cover these tests, believing they are preventable services that can help decrease further medical utilization. Others contend genetic tests are an unnecessary expense that generate ineffective treatments. Like other decisions facing insurers, the question of whether to cover genetic tests is based on costs. U.S. spending on genetic tests is expected to grow fivefold from $5 billion in 2010 to about $25 billion in 2020, despite that most of the 1,300 available DNA tests haven't been proven effective, the Chicago Tribune reported.


Bioethics Panel Offers Guidelines for 'Incidental Findings'

The phrase "we've found something unexpected" is the kind of broadside a patient or research subject should never have to hear for the first time after the discovery is made. That is the overriding message of a report by a presidential panel on the ethics of "incidental findings" in medical treatment, biomedical research and commercial testing aimed at health-conscious consumers. Before performing a scan, ordering a tissue analysis or selling a customer a screening test, the physicians, researchers and companies delivering these services should have prepared patients, research subjects and customers for the possibility of the unexpected and discussed how meaningful such findings might be. Most importantly, providers and receivers of such information should have agreed in advance whether they will be communicated, and taken steps to assure a smooth transition to what comes next.


The Vicious Cycle of Under-Valued Cancer Biomarkers

It’s a classic conundrum: biomarkers are essential to diagnosing, staging, treating, and monitoring cancer, yet despite an explosion of research, only a trickle have made it into clinical practice. The factors behind this less-than-desirable circumstance are complex at best, but according to some observers, boil down to the healthcare system’s placing more value on cancer therapeutics relative to biomarkers. Without a better means of demonstrating the difference biomarkers make in clinical outcomes or management, they remain stuck in a loop of low value: inadequate funding for research that, in turn, limits the evidence for clinical utility, keeping their value low. A panel of leading scholars, clinicians, and executives recently collaborated about this dilemma in the hopes of starting a national dialogue toward breaking what they call a vicious cycle. Their proposed solutions—as ambitious as the problem is convoluted—can be implemented if the industry has the will to do so, they contend.


American Society of Hematology Releases List of Commonly Used Tests and Treatments to Question as Part of Choosing Wisely® Campaign

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), released a list of common hematology tests, treatments, and procedures that are not always necessary as part of Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation. ASH's Choosing Wisely list (available here) identifies the following five tests, treatments, and procedures that hematologists and their patients should question:
  • Limit surveillance computed tomography (CT) scans in asymptomatic patients following curative-intent treatment for aggressive lymphoma.
  • Don't use inferior vena cava (IVC) filters routinely in patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE).
  • Do not transfuse more than the minimum number of red blood cell (RBC) units necessary to relieve symptoms of anemia or to return a patient to a safe hemoglobin range (7 to 8 g/dL in stable, non-cardiac, in-patients).
  • Don't test for thrombophilia in adult patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurring in the setting of major transient risk factors (surgery, trauma or prolonged immobility).
  • Don't administer plasma or prothrombin complex concentrates for non-emergent reversal of vitamin K antagonists (i.e. outside of the setting of major bleeding, intracranial hemorrhage or anticipated emergent surgery).


FDA: Nipple Test No Substitute for Mammogram

A nipple aspirate test shouldn't take the place of mammography or otherwise be used on its own to screen for breast disease, the FDA warned. "The FDA is not aware of any valid scientific data to show that a nipple aspirate test by itself is an effective screening tool for any medical condition including the early detection of breast cancer or other breast disease," the alert cautioned. Manufactures have promoted these tests of fluid -- extracted with a pump rather than invasive sample collection -- as a stand-alone evaluation to screen and diagnose breast cancer, claiming they detect pre-cancerous abnormalities and diagnose breast cancer before mammography with just a sample of a few cells, the FDA said.


New Screening Method Can Predict Alzheimer's Disease Within 2 Years

A major goal in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease has been to provide earlier diagnosis so that patients can receive treatment as early as possible. A study by Sylvie Belleville, PhD, Director of Research at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, an institution affiliated with Université de Montréal, has shown a way to do just that. The study was published in Volume 38, Issue 2 of the prestigious Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. By combining brain imaging analysis with a neuropsychological assessment, Sylvie Belleville achieved remarkable sensitivity (targeting the people who will develop the disease) and specificity (eliminating false positives, that is those who would remain stable). The level of accuracy of this classification system is the major breakthrough of the study.


Researchers Predict Ovarian Cancer by Counting Tumor-Attacking Immune Cells

One way to predict survival of many types of cancer is by counting the number of tumor-attacking immune cells that have migrated into the tumor in an effort to eradicate it – a sign of the body’s immune response to the cancer. Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed a new method for counting a special class of cancer-fighting cells, called tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, or TILs, reliably, quickly and cheaply in patients with early stage and advanced ovarian cancer. They describe their findings online in Science Translational Medicine.


Sundance Dx Licenses Markers From Max Planck for Suicide Risk Test

Sundance will validate and commercialize the test, which is based on a set of biomarkers discovered by researchers at Max Planck. The Boulder, Colo.-based company plans to launch the test as a laboratory-developed test in the US and Europe and will provide an update on its availability in early 2014. It also will conduct clinical studies in preparation of a submission for regulatory clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration, European CE marking, and insurance reimbursement, Sundance said, adding it plans to submit applications to regulatory agencies within 18 months.


Digital and Real-time PCR Pack One-two Punch

Ramón Trullas, research professor at the CSIC Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona (CIBERNED), is on the brink of what could potentially be a major breakthrough in the fight to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Trullas discovered a link between a decrease in the cell-free mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) found in cerebral spinal fluid and the potential onset of Alzheimer’s disease years before clinical symptoms appear. When it comes to DNA research, more and more scientists are starting to find themselves weighing dPCR against the more-established qPCR. Which technique is better to use? As Trullas demonstrates, the answer, sometimes, can be both. Trullas relied on both PCR methods for his research because each technology provides a particular benefit: qPCR is the well-established technique for quantifying nucleic acids, while droplet-based digital PCR (ddPCR) provides an absolute measurement. 
Right now, cancer mutation detection, copy number variation and absolute DNA quantification are the three major applications facilitated by the technology. Even as dPCR expands, suppliers trust that qPCR will remain a workhorse technology in molecular biology research. 


Claritas Looks to Expand NGS Test Menu, Partners With Cerner to Develop LIMS for NGS Dx

Claritas Genomics, a genetic diagnostic company that was spun out of the Boston Children's Hospital in February 2013, this month said it would partner with Cerner to co-develop a laboratory information management system designed specifically for genomic data from next-generation sequencing-based tests. Claritas currently offers 110 genetic tests, most of which are based on Sanger sequencing and were developed at Boston Children's Hospital Genetic Diagnostic Laboratory, but it also offers a muscular dystrophy sequencing panel based on next-gen sequencing, and Nurjana Bachman, the company's chief business officer, told Clinical Sequencing News that going forward all tests will be based on next-gen sequencing


Siemens Enters Into Master Agreement With Pfizer for Companion Diagnostics

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. announces that it has entered into a master collaboration agreement with Pfizer Inc. to design, develop and commercialize diagnostic tests for therapeutic products across Pfizer’s pipeline. Under the agreement, Siemens will be one of Pfizer’s collaboration partners to develop and provide in vitro diagnostic tests for use in clinical studies and, potentially, eventual global commercialization with Pfizer products.


NIH and NFL Tackle Concussion Research

The National Institutes of Health has selected eight projects to receive support to answer some of the most fundamental problems on traumatic brain injury, including understanding long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving diagnosis of concussions. Funding is provided by the Sports and Health Research Program, a partnership among the NIH, the National Football League, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In 2012, the NFL donated $30 million to FNIH for research studies on injuries affecting athletes, with brain trauma being the primary area of focus.


Lymphocytes May Be Key to Breast Cancer Outcomes

Breast cancer lesions containing high levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes appear to give patients a better prognosis and better outcomes when compared with patients whose tumors have fewer levels of the white blood cells, researchers said. "Our new data further support the positive relationship between tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and better outcomes with trastuzumab therapy, this time in a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed HER2-positive breast cancer who received the therapy before surgery," Loi said in a press briefing at the 36th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. "It seems that levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes may be a good biomarker of response to trastuzumab in primary breast cancer, something that researchers have been looking for with little success for some time," added Loi.


Algorithm Helps Identify Breast Cancer Type

Researchers from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services have created a computer algorithm that successfully predicts whether estrogen is sending signals to cancer cells to grow into tumours in the breast. By finding this hormone receptor, known as estrogen receptor positive, physicians can prescribe anti-estrogen drug therapies, improving patient outcomes. Since each cell in the body contains 23,000 genes, identifying the specific genes involved in cancer growth is an exceedingly complex task. Researchers used a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning to identify three genes that allowed them to determine whether a tumour was fed by estrogen.


Researchers Find a Protein That Viruses Use to Kill Bacteria

In the arms race between bacteria and modern medicine, bacteria have gained an edge. In recent decades, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has developed faster than the production of new antibiotics, making bacterial infections increasingly difficult to treat. Scientists worry that a particularly virulent and deadly "superbug" could one day join the ranks of existing untreatable bacteria, causing a public health catastrophe comparable with the Black Death. Now research led by Dr. Udi Qimron of Tel Aviv University's Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine has discovered a protein that kills bacteria. The isolation of this protein, produced by a virus that attacks bacteria, is a major step toward developing a substitute for conventional antibiotics. The major challenge for pharmaceutical companies will be figuring out how exactly to deliver the protein as a drug, said Dr. Qimron. In the meantime, he continues to hunt for other proteins that kill bacteria.


How Bacteria Evade the Immune System

Escherichia coli can quickly evolve to resist engulfment by macrophages, scientists have found.
Scientists have now looked at the evolution of bacterial resistance toward live agents: cells of the immune system. In a report published in PLOS Pathogens (December 12), a team led by Isabel Gordo from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Oeiras, Portugal, challenged the common human intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli with mouse macrophages—immune system cells that engulf foreign elements like bacteria—and observed the rapid evolution of mutants capable of escaping capture. The same E. coli mutants could successfully establish infections in mice.


Scientists Discover Another Genetic Code

Another code within DNA has been discovered by scientists -- a finding that the researchers say sheds light on how changes to DNA affect health. Since the genetic code was first deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have believed it was used solely to write information about proteins. But this new study from University of Washington scientists found that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages. One language describes how proteins are made, and the other helps direct genetic activity in cells. One language is written on top of the other, which is why this other language went undiscovered for so long, according to the report in the Dec. 13 issue of Science.


Human Stem Cells Converted to Functional Lung Cells

Possibility of generating lung tissue for transplant using a patient’s own cells.
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance, reported by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers, has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation. “Researchers have had relative success in turning human stem cells into heart cells, pancreatic beta cells, intestinal cells, liver cells, and nerve cells, raising all sorts of possibilities for regenerative medicine,” said study leader Hans-Willem Snoeck, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (in microbiology & immunology) and affiliated with the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology and the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative. “Now, we are finally able to make lung and airway cells. This is important because lung transplants have a particularly poor prognosis.


Kidney Grown From Stem Cells by Australian Scientists

Scientists in Australia have grown the world's first kidney from stem cells – a tiny organ which could eventually help to reduce the wait for transplants. The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, followed years of research and involved the transformation of human skin cells into an organoid – a functioning "mini-kidney" with a width of only a few millimetres. Scientists are hoping to increase the size of future kidneys and believe the resulting organs will boost research and allow cheaper, faster testing of drugs.


New Mosquito-borne Virus Emerges

Doctors should learn more about chikungunya virus because the mosquito-borne disease can now be contracted in the Americas for the first time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Ten cases have been confirmed among people who live on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean, the agency said, nothing that the disease could spread to other islands in the region. Doctors should consider screening people for the disease if they show symptoms and have traveled to the Caribbean, the CDC said.


Developing a Malaria Vaccine: New Antibodies Block Signaling Pathway Vital to Parasitic Invasion

There have been some monumental advances in eradicating malaria from the world as of late. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its World Malaria Report stating that the past decade has seen over 3.3 million lives saved from the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne disease. Furthering these prospects of ridding the world of malaria, a team of researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have created antibodies that could block a signaling pathway in the malaria parasite, and subsequently prevent infection.


Brief Laser Light may Boost Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness

Pretreating the skin site of a vaccine, rather than muscles, with a wavelength of laser light may boost vaccine effectiveness, U.S. researchers say. Senior author Mark Poznansky, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, said current vaccines are designed to be safe for most patients, but their ability to produce an immune response needs to be strengthened by the presence of adjuvants, which are chemical or biological additives that prime the immune system to respond to the vaccine antigen. 


Researchers Step Toward a Universal Flu Vaccine

Every year the approach of flu season sets off a medical guessing game with life or death consequences. There are many different strains of flu and they vary from year to year. So each season authorities must make an educated guess and tell manufacturers which variants of the flu they should produce vaccines against. Against this backdrop Stanford researchers report promising steps toward the creation of a universal flu vaccine, one that could be produced more quickly and offer broader protection than the virus-specific inoculants available today. The researchers detail their work in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team was led by chemical and bioengineer James Swartz, who is the James H. Clark Professor in the School of Engineering.


To Learn About Obesity, Researchers Turn to Grizzly Bears

On a recent visit to a laboratory where he researches obesity, Kevin Corbit walked over to one of the patients he is studying to say hello. He believes insights gleaned from the animals, who can take in as much as 58,000 calories in a day and weigh 1,000 pounds, could reshape understanding of obesity and identify new treatments for a condition that has stymied doctors and drug developers.


Dogs May Guard Babies Against Asthma, Allergies

Researchers say they've discovered why infants who live in homes with a dog are less likely to develop asthma and allergies later in childhood. The team conducted experiments with mice and found that exposing them to dust from homes where dogs live triggered changes in the community of microbes that live in the infant's gut and reduced immune system response to common allergens. The scientists also identified a specific species of gut bacteria that's crucial in protecting the airways against allergens and viruses that cause respiratory infections, according to the study published online Dec. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Limits of Vitamin D Supplements

A large review of studies has found that vitamin D supplements have little or no benefit beyond the low levels required for bone health. The meta-analysis, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, combined data from 290 observational studies and 172 random trials. All the studies used blood levels of vitamin D to measure outcomes. Dosages varied, but most trials used 800 units or more. The observational studies generally found an association of lower vitamin D levels with increases in cardiovascular disease, lipid concentrations, glucose levels, weight gain, infectious disease and mood disorders. But random trials showed little or no effect of vitamin D supplements on any of these problems. The authors conclude that low vitamin D levels are almost surely an effect of these diseases, and not a cause.


Apple-a-day Call for All Over-50’s

If everyone over the age of 50 ate an apple a day, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be avoided every year in the UK, say researchers. Apples would give a similar boost to cardiovascular health as medicines, such as statins, yet carry none of the side-effects, the University of Oxford researchers say in the BMJ. They base their assumptions on modelling, not direct scientific study. 
Nutritional composition of an apple
  • Energy: 35.4kcal
  • Fat: 0.09g
  • Saturated fat: 0.02g
  • Monosaturates: 0.01g
  • Polyunsaturates: 0.05g
  • Cholesterol: 0.00mg
  • Fibre: 1.39g
  • Salt: 0.00g


Global Resistance to TB Drugs is 'Ticking Time Bomb'

Increasing resistance to tuberculosis drugs around the world is a "ticking time bomb", says the World Health Organization (WHO). It estimates almost 500,000 people around the world have a type of TB which is resistant to at least two of the main types of drugs used to treat the disease. But most are not diagnosed and are walking around spreading these more deadly strains. More than half the cases are in China, Russia and India.

Source: Web Site Icon


The Ten Biggest Medical Successes of 2013

Medical science had a banner year in 2013, including a development, according to Dr. Stephen Shrewsbury, that offers the first long-term proof that a much-discussed new medical technology can work, at least with one disease.
  • The Long Term Success of a Gene Patch That Allows Boys with Duchenne Muscular  Dystrophy To Remain Walking             
  • The Creation of Beating Human Heart Cells Grown in a Petri Dish!
  • A Step Towards a Drug That Can Fight Alzheimer's
  • A High Blood Pressure Treatment that Zaps the Kidneys.
  • FDA Approval of an "Artificial Pancreas" For Diabetes Patients.
  • An Artificial Retina Restores Sight to Certain Blind People.
  • Your Complete Medical History Became Something You Can Permanently Carry With You.
  • A Pacemaker That Zaps Your Migraines Away
  • A Handheld Scanner for Melanoma Skin Cancer.
  • A New, Faster Way to Identify Specific Bacteria via Mass Spectrometry.


Report: States Failing on Public Health Front

Most states scored 50% or lower on a report card assessing their ability to respond to infectious disease threats, according to an analysis released. Just 16 states and the District of Columbia scored 60% or better on a set of 10 indicators of public health capability, according to the nonprofit Washington-based Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J. Another 15 states got a 50% score and the rest did worse, TFAH executive director Jeffrey Levi, PhD, told reporters during a media call to launch the report, titled Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases. The 10 indicators cover such things as vaccination rates, public health budgets, screening for chronic diseases, and public health laboratory capacity.


FDA Seeks Anti-‘superbug’ Bill

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants Congress to pass a bill to help the agency combat the scourge of germs that have grown resistant to antibiotic drugs. Legislation would allow the agency to create a program to develop special drugs designed to attack so-called “superbugs” that have become resistant to other medicine, the director of FDA's drug evaluation center, Janet Woodcock, said. Though the agency might have the legal power to develop a program on its own, Woodcock said, legislation would be the best way to start the initiative swiftly and forcefully.


FDA Restricts Antibiotics Use for Livestock

The Food and Drug Administration put in place a major new policy to phase out the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens raised for meat, a practice that experts say has endangered human health by fueling the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance. The change, which is to take effect over the next three years, will effectively make it illegal for farmers and ranchers to use antibiotics to make animals grow bigger. The producers had found that feeding low doses of antibiotics to animals throughout their lives led them to grow plumper and larger. Scientists still debate why. Food producers will also have to get a prescription from a veterinarian to use the drugs to prevent disease in their animals.


FDA Questions Safety of Antibacterial Soaps

After years of mounting concerns that the antibacterial chemicals that go into everyday items like soap and toothpaste are doing more harm than good, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was requiring soap manufacturers to demonstrate that the substances were safe or to take them out of the products altogether. The proposal was applauded by public health experts, who for years have urged the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk scrambling hormones in children and promoting drug-resistant infections, among other things. Producers argue that the substances have long been proved to be safe. Studies in animals have shown that the chemicals, triclosan in liquid soaps and triclocarban in bar soaps, can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism, and health experts warn that their effects could be the same in humans. The chemicals were originally used by surgeons to wash their hands before operations, and their use exploded in recent years as manufacturers added them to a variety of products, including mouthwash, laundry detergent, fabrics and baby pacifiers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemicals in the urine of three-quarters of Americans.


Genetic Analysis Software Could Help Pinpoint Disease Roots

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health have developed new software they said improves the process of genetic analysis. The research, outlined online this week in the journal Nature Genetics, holds the potential to improve disease root tracking. The software, according to Goncalo Abecasis, the Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics at U-M, helps speed the process of identifying rare gene variants by allowing researchers to sift through large numbers of people to pinpoint genetic mutations. Abecasis, according to an announcement from the school, said that's a change from practices of the last decade, in which genetic studies focused more on common variants.


New Credential for Health Care Security Professionals

Health care information security and privacy practitioners both in government and private industry now have access to a new credential that allows them to validate their skills to protect the privacy and security of sensitive patient health information. (ISC)2 announced the new Health Care Information Security and Privacy Practitioner credential (HCISPPSM), which will provide health care employers and those in the industry with validation that a health care security and privacy practitioner has the core level of knowledge and expertise to address specific security concerns.


10 Key Recommendations That Will Shape the Next Generation of HIE

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) Foundation, a leading authority on the use of Health IT to improve healthcare information exchange, in partnership with industry leaders, has released the 2013 WEDI Report. The culmination of a nine-month public-private effort with more than 200 subject matter expert volunteers, the 2013 WEDI Report will serve as a new roadmap for Health IT over the next decade.
Key Report Areas of Recommendation
The 2013 WEDI Report identifies four critical areas of focus:
  • Patient Engagement: consumer (patient) engagement through improved access to pertinent healthcare information.
  • Payment Models: Business, information, and data exchange requirements that will help enable payment models as they emerge.
  • Data Harmonization and Exchange: Alignment of administrative and clinical information capture, linkage, and exchange.
  • Innovative Encounter Models: Business and use cases for innovative encounter models that use existing and emergent technologies
The full report is available at: Web Site Icon.


Management & Performance Challenges

Annually, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) prepares a summary of the most significant management and performance challenges facing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This summary fulfills OIG's requirement under the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, Public Law 106-531 to identify these management challenges, assess the Department's progress in addressing each challenge, and submit this statement to the Department annually.
  • Management Challenge 1: Overseeing the Health Insurance Marketplaces
  • Management Challenge 2: Transitioning to Value-Based Payments for Heath Care
  • Management Challenge 3: Ensuring Appropriate Use of Prescription Drugs in Medicare and Medicaid
  • Management Challenge 4: Protecting the Integrity of an Expanding Medicaid Program
  • Management Challenge 5: Fighting Fraud and Waste in Medicare Parts A & B
  • Management Challenge 6: Preventing Improper Payments and Fraud in Medicare Advantage
  • Management Challenge 7: Ensuring Quality of Care in Nursing Facilities and Home- and Community-Based Settings
  • Management Challenge 8: Effectively Using Data and Technology to Protect Program Integrity
  • Management Challenge 9: Protecting HHS Grants and Contract Funds from Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
  • Management Challenge 10: Ensuring the Safety of Food, Drugs, and Medical Devices Printable version of the 2013 Top Management & Performance Challenges


30% of Adults Delay Medical Treatment for Financial Reasons

Thirty percent of adults say either they or a relative delayed medical treatment for financial reasons in the past year, according to a new Gallup poll. The poll found that 59 percent of the uninsured have delayed treatment, making them more than twice as likely to put it off as Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries, or people with private insurance. Twenty-two percent of Medicaid and Medicare patients reported that they had put off care, and 25 percent of adults with private insurance said the same.


$50M Awarded Over Birth Defect; Test Said Baby Would be OK

After his severely disabled cousin was found to have a rare genetic defect called an “unbalanced chromosome translocation,” Brock Wuth discovered that any future children of his were at risk.
In fact, Brock and Rhea Wuth were told they had a 50-50 chance of having a child with that defect or a related translocation. So they sought genetic counseling and testing and carefully followed all the recommendations. When Rhea Wuth became pregnant, genetic tests pronounced their unborn child normal. But as soon as their son was born on July 12, 2008, the Burien couple knew something was very wrong. Oliver, who has the genetic defect, was born with profound mental and physical disabilities. 
The lab missed the translocation. Had the couple known of the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy, according to court filings in the case.  The verdict is the largest individual award in Washington state history, according to Jury Verdicts Northwest, which tracks jury awards.
Source: Web Site Icon

Disclaimer- The information provided in this news digest is intended only to be general summary information. It does not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is not intended to take the place of applicable laws or regulations.

External Web Site Policy This symbol means you are leaving the Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario