Colon cancer

Mortality by stage for right vs. left-sided colon cancer

Mortality by stage for right vs. left-sided colon cancer

In this article by Dr. Jennifer Weiss et al., the authors used SEER-Medicare data to predict all-cause 5-year mortality by colon cancer stage and location. There was no significant difference in 5-year mortality between right- and left-sided cancers for all stages combined or for stage I cancers. Right-sided cancers had a lower 5-year mortality in stage II and higher mortality in stage III. 

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Diabetes sugar testing

Minority status and diabetes screening in an ambulatory population

Minority status and diabetes screening in an ambulatory population

Ethnicity has been identified as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, as well as increased morbidity and mortality with the disease. This study looked at the effect of minority status on diabetes screening practices in an ambulatory, insured population. The authors found that minority status did not independently lead to recommended diabetes screening. Factors other than insurance or access to care may affect preventive care for minorities.

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Disabled elderly woman getting out of van

Low frequency of primary lipid screening among Medicare patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Low frequency of primary lipid screening among Medicare patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Dr. Christie Bartels et al. examined the performance of primary lipid screening in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The retrospective cohort study examined a 5% Medicare sample and found that primary lipid screening was performed in fewer than half of eligible RA patients highlighting a key target for cardiovascular disease risk reduction efforts. Half of RA patients saw their rheumatologist as often or more often than they saw a primary care provider, illustrating the need for optimal partnerships betweeen PCPs and rheumatologists for screening patients for CVD risks.

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Large medical center building

For-profit hospital status and rehospitalizations at different hospitals: an analysis of Medicare data

For-profit hospital status and rehospitalizations at different hospitals: an analysis of Medicare data

Dr. Amy Kind and co-authors examined predictors of and payments for rehospitalization at a different hospital among a 5% random national sample of Medicare patients with rehospitalizations within 30 days of discharge. They found rehospitalizations at different hospitals are common for Medicare patients. Rehospitalizations are more likely among those initially hospitalized at a for-profit hospital, and are related to increased overall payments without improved mortality. 

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Man showing doctor stomach pain

The diagnosis of diverticulitis in outpatients: On what evidence?

The diagnosis of diverticulitis in outpatients: On what evidence?

Investigators used electronic health record data to examine the clinical assessment generating the diagnostic label of diverticulitis in outpatients. They found that diverticulitis in the outpatient setting is often characterized by infrequent use of CT scans, lack of leukocytosis, and rare need for urgent surgery or early admission. Further study is needed as this diagnostic label seems to be commonly applied without objective evidence.

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Blood sugar test

Analysis of guidelines for screening diabetes mellitus in an ambulatory population

Analysis of guidelines for screening diabetes mellitus in an ambulatory population

This study compared the case-finding ability of current national guidelines for screening diabetes mellitus and characterized factors that affect testing practices in an ambulatory population. In this retrospective analysis, investigators found that compared with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines result in a lower number of patients eligible for screening and decreased case-finding significantly. The number and type of risk factors predict diabetes, and lack of health insurance decreases testing.

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Nurse holding a tablet and smiling

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners as a usual source of care

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners as a usual source of care

This article published in The Journal of Rural Health used Wisconsin Longitudinal study data to identify characteristics and outcomes of patients who primarily see physician assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs). Populations served most by PA/NPs tend to live in rural areas and have public insurance or no insurance coverage. They are also more likely to be women, younger, and have lower extroversion scores. There were few differences in utilization and no reported differences in difficulties/delays in care or outcomes compared to patients that primarily see doctors. 

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Health insurance form

Insurance disruption due to spousal Medicare transitions

Insurance disruption due to spousal Medicare transitions

In this study, researchers looked at the care of married women under age 65 from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. The authors found that despite consistent insurance coverage, the insurance disruption that accompanies a spouse's Medicare transition has adverse access and health care utilization consequences for women, including a greater probability of experiencing a change in usual clinic/provider, delaying filling medications or taking fewer medications than prescribed because of cost, going to the emergency room, and having lower average mental health scores than women who did not experience an insurance disruption. 

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