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      Specialty Focus   
                                                                                    
Volume VIII | Issue 17                                                                                            
April 23, 2019   
 
Practice specific news, analysis and commentary for Florida's Medical Specialists  
                            From the publisher of FHIweekly & FloridaHealthIndustry.com

Fewer uninsured ED visits, hospitalizations after ACA, JAMA study finds
Les Masterson
Healthcare Dive

The percentage of uninsured patients who visited hospital emergency departments or were discharged declined between 2006 and 2016, according to a new JAMA study. The proportion of ED visits by uninsured patients dropped from 16% in 2006 to 8% in 2016. Uninsured patient hospital discharges dropped from 6% to 4%. For patients between 18 and 64, ED visits declined from 20% to 11% and discharges from 10% to 7%. The report credited the Affordable Care Act for the decline, as well as recent trends like new payment rules and models, patient-centered medical homes, expanding quality measurement and growing hospital ED alternatives such as...
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FDA Announces Expanded Losartan Recall
FDA.gov  
 
Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited is expanding its recall for Losartan Potassium Tablets USP and Losartan Potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets, USP, to the consumer level due to the detection of trace amounts of an unexpected impurity found in an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufactured by Hetero Labs Limited. The recall is expanded to include an additional 36 lots of Losartan potassium Tablets USP and 68 lots of Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP. The impurity detected in the API is N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA). Torrent is only recalling lots of losartan-containing products that contain N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA) above the acceptable daily intake levels released by the FDA. To date, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.
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Scientists propose new theory on Alzheimer's, amyloid connection
Florida Atlantic University via Medical Xpress
It has been more than 100 years since Alois Alzheimer, MD, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, first reported the presence of senile plaques in an Alzheimer's disease patient brain. It led to the discovery of amyloid precursor protein that produces deposits or plaques of Brain amyloid fragments in the brain, the suspected culprit of Alzheimer's disease. Since then, amyloid precursor protein has been extensively studied because of its association with Alzheimer's disease. However, amyloid precursor protein distribution within and on neurons and its function in these cells remain unclear.

A team of neuroscientists led by Florida Atlantic University's Brain Institute sought to answer a fundamental question in their quest to combat Alzheimer's disease-"Is amyloid precursor protein the mastermind behind Alzheimer's disease or is it just an accomplice?"
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Is physician adoption of telehealth at an inflection point?
Rajiv Leventhal shares an interesting examination of the state of telehealth in an April 16 Healthcare Innovation post.
According to the author, a recent study conducted by telehealth firm American Well has determined the following (based on 800 U.S. physicians surveyed):
  • A total of 22 percent of physicians said they have used telehealth to see patients, up 340 percent from 2015 when only 5 percent of physicians reported having ever used telehealth.
  • A total of 69 percent of physicians said they would be willing to use telehealth, up 12 percentage points, from 57 percent in 2015.
  • The top specialties willing to practice via telehealth include urology, emergency medicine, infectious disease, psychiatry, pediatrics, oncology and neurology.
"Physicians are adopting telehealth much faster than they adopted EHRs at a similar stage of market development," Sylvia Romm, MD, VP of Clinical Transformation at American Well, said in a statement.

"Physicians in general are embracing technology in medicine, because either they received money given to them for adoption of technology in Meaningful Use or they didn't and wished that they had joined the movement," states Miami-based Mario Espino, CEO of MGM Medical Consulting Corp. and founder of Complete Care Medical Services ACO. "Telemedicine's inflection point for physicians use will come when the CPT code is followed by a Medicare allowable," he adds.
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