Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nephrology for December 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Machine Learning System Makes More Alerts for Med Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A machine learning system can generate clinically valid alerts for medication errors that might be missed with existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems, according to a study published in the January issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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Bariatric Surgery in Teens May Cut Diabetic Kidney Disease Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes, metabolic bariatric surgery is associated with decreased rates of hyperfiltration and elevated urinary albumin excretion (UAE), according to a study published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

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Many Hospitals Fail to Provide Instructions for Patient Portals

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Many hospital patient portals fail to educate patients fully and set expectations for secure messaging, according to a study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Palliative Care Services Lagging Worldwide

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Greater palliative care development and implementation is needed worldwide, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

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Patient Share of Out-of-Network Costs Rising

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network (OON) care grew rapidly for privately insured Americans from 2012 to 2017, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Holds Steady for Third Straight Year

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Enrollment in Affordable Care Act coverage for next year has surpassed 8 million, a sign that many Americans still turn to the government health insurance program to help pay for their medical care.

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Tivozanib Bests Sorafenib in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, progression-free survival was longer in those receiving tivozanib versus sorafenib as third- or fourth-line therapy, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Increasing Proportion of Dialysis Patients Rely on Safety-Net Care

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Safety net-reliant patients initiating maintenance dialysis are disproportionately cared for at nonprofit/independently owned and hospital-based facilities, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Death Rates for Dialysis Patients in U.S. Territories Vary by Race

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing dialysis in the U.S. territories versus the 50 states, mortality rates differ by race/ethnicity, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Private Care Program for U.S. Vets Gets $8.9 Billion in Budget Deal

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A controversial program meant to get more U.S. veterans to use private health care received $8.9 billion as part of a government spending bill approved by the House.

AP News Article

FDA to Allow States to Import Prescription Drugs From Other Countries

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Federal health officials have unveiled plans to allow prescription drug imports from Canada and other foreign nations.

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New Rules Seek to Increase Organ Transplants in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Two new rules meant to increase organ transplants in the United States have been proposed by the federal government.

AP News Article

Outcomes Worse for Rural Residents With Chronic Conditions

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Rural Medicare beneficiaries with complex chronic conditions have higher preventable hospitalization and mortality rates than their urban peers, which is partially explained by reduced access to specialists, according to a report published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Hahn Confirmed as New FDA Chief

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Stephen Hahn, M.D., was confirmed as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 72-18 Senate vote on Thursday.

The New York Times Article

Potentially Nephrotoxic Meds Prescribed to Children With CKD

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Potentially nephrotoxic medications are prescribed at a higher rate to children with versus without chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Endovascular AVF for Dialysis Access Shows High Patency Rate

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A proximal radial artery endovascular arteriovenous fistula to allow vascular access in patients who require hemodialysis remains highly functional at two years, according to a study recently published online in the Journal of Vascular Access.

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U.S. Primary Care Doctors Face Challenges in Coordinating Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians from the United States and other high-income countries report difficulties with care coordination, with a substantial proportion of U.S. physicians not receiving timely notification or the information needed from specialists or other sites of care, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Health Affairs.

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U.S. Health Care Spending Up 4.6 Percent in 2018

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2018, U.S. health care spending increased 4.6 percent, a faster rate than that seen in 2017, according to a report published online Dec. 5 in Health Affairs.

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2016 to 2019 Saw Increase in Medical Students With Disabilities

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of medical students reporting disabilities, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Retail Prescription Drug Prices Fall for First Time in 45 Years

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Retail prescription drug prices in the United States fell by 1 percent last year, a new government report shows.

AP News Article

Rural Population Underrepresented Among Medical Students

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2017, less than 5 percent of all incoming medical students were rural students, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Services Affected by Rural Hospitals Joining Health Systems

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — While affiliating with health systems may boost a rural hospital’s financial viability, the affiliation is often associated with reductions in critical services, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Adults Not Living in Metro Areas Have Reduced Access to Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Adults not living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are more likely to have reduced access to or use of health care services, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Physician Depressive Symptoms Tied to Higher Risk for Medical Errors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians showing depressive symptoms are at higher risk for medical errors, according to a review published Nov. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Risk for Hospital Admission Up With Short-Term PM2.5 Exposure

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) is associated with increased hospital admission risks and costs, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in The BMJ.

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End-Stage Renal Disease Patients at Higher Risk for Syphilis

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients are at a higher risk for contracting syphilis, according to a study recently published in the Clinical Kidney Journal.

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