Medicine

Hyperpolarized MRI aims to slash time needed to determine tumor treatment response

A new MRI technique being studied at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City could cut the time needed to reveal whether a tumor is responding to treatment from a matter of weeks to just a few days.
The technology in question makes use of hyperpolarized MRI to track tumors as they metabolize a sugar solution.

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Meaningful Use Not Necessarily Associated With Quality Improvement

Although one of the main goals of the Meaningful Use program is to improve the quality of care, there appears to be “no association” between being a “meaningful user” of electronic health records and the quality of care provided to patients, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Hospital CEO Turnover Brings Fresh Perspective, Evolving Leadership Position

In an innovative and dynamic period for the healthcare industry, high CEO turnover, leaders from outside the traditional realm and C-suite changes bring new skills and fresh blood into hospitals and healthcare systems, according to a Hospitals & Health Networks post by Mary Grayson.

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SPECT Less Costly Than PET, CTA

For the evaluation of patients with suspected CAD, the costs of single-photo emission CT were significantly lower than that of PET or coronary CTA, according to new data from the SPARC registry.  At 2 years, patients who underwent PET had higher costs and mortality compared with SPECT, and patients who underwent coronary CTA had higher costs and similar mortality compared with SPECT, researchers reported.

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Radiation-Free Cancer Scans May Be On The Horizon

A new way to scan children — and potentially adults — for signs of cancer’s spread without exposing them to dangerous radiation has been developed, researchers say.

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CMS Releases First ACO Outcomes Data

Accountable care organizations (ACO) have had varied success so far with diabetes and heart disease patients, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of Medicare data.

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Imaging Looms Large On New List Of Low-value Emergency Exams

If one list of unnecessary medical procedures is good, then two lists should be better, right? That could be the thinking behind a new list released this week in JAMA Internal Medicine of unnecessary tests in emergency medicine that are driving up healthcare costs. And the new list takes aim specifically at medical imaging.

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American College of Cardiology Highlights Noninvasive Cardiovascular Imaging Issues

Noninvasive cardiovascular imaging in U.S. medical practice today raises two policy challenges, according to a statement released on Feb. 17 by the American College of Cardiology and 13 collaborating medical groups: fostering a volume of imaging that balances patient needs with responsible use of societal resources, and continued improvement in the quality of care based on noninvasive cardiovascular imaging. “The purpose of this document is to provide a brief exposition of the issues involved [in usage volume of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging] and the possible ways in which the medical care system can balance responsible use of imaging with patient safety concerns while maintaining or even enhancing quality of care,” wrote the 20-member panel in a health policy statement (J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2014;63:698-721).

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New Data From Canadian Study Revive Breast Screening Battle

The battle over breast screening was revived yet again this week with data from a controversial Canadian study in BMJ that cast doubt on mammography’s effectiveness for women ages 40 to 59. Mammography proponents quickly rose to point out flaws in the trial, which contradicts other population-based breast screening studies.

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ACOs and Cardiology: Trend Hints At Some Alignment

Cardiology may be a step ahead of some other specialties in participation in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). An analysis of self-referrals to specialists found that the percentage of new patient self-referrals in cardiology was lower than the national norm for both Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries.

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