Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for July 2018. 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.

Learning to Change Important for Improving Practice

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Although physicians typically struggle with change, relying on habits created in their practice, learning to change is important in order to improve practices and better deal with the changes sweeping through medicine, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Front Desk Staff Can Set Up a Practice for Successful Billing

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Allowing front desk staff adequate time and an uninterrupted environment to focus on billing can prevent problems later on, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Few Published Programs Address Medical Trainee Mistreatment

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There are very few published descriptions of programs that address the mistreatment of medical trainees, according to a review published online July 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Medical Boards May Contribute to Mental Health Stigma for Doctors

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Existing policy has been amended to encourage licensing boards to require disclosure of physical or mental health conditions only when these would negatively impact a physicians’ ability to practice medicine, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Four Strategies Help Doctors Make Personal, Professional Gains

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In an article published in Physicians Practice, four strategies are presented to help physicians make personal and professional gains.

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NFID Initiative Working to Up Hepatitis B Vaccination Rates

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A new initiative to increase hepatitis B virus vaccination rates among at-risk adults has been developed, according to a report from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) published in support of World Hepatitis Day.

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World Hepatitis Day

FDA: Whey Powder Behind Recent Salmonella-Linked Recalls

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Ritz and Goldfish crackers, Swiss Rolls — they’ve all been tied to possible Salmonella contamination through a common ingredient, dry whey powder, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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July 28 Is World Hepatitis Day

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, according to an announcement published in the July 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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World Hepatitis Day

Assessing, Improving Patient Satisfaction Cuts Malpractice Risk

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Assessing and improving patient satisfaction can help physicians avoid being sued for malpractice, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Canada Updates Guidelines for Hepatitis C Virus Infection

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A guideline published in the June 4 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, provides updated evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

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World Hepatitis Day

CDC: Salmonella-Tainted Melon Outbreak Appears to Be Over

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A Salmonella outbreak linked to melons and fruit salad mixes appears to be over, say officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FDA Outbreak Update
CDC Final Update

WHO Targets for Chronic Hepatitis B Will Be Cost-Effective

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Meeting World Health Organization (WHO) targets for chronic hepatitis B by 2030 will be cost-effective, according to a report published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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World Hepatitis Day

Insurers May Be Underpaying Doctors

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Insurance companies sometimes underpay doctors the contracted amount for a service or procedure, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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One-Third of Hep C Rx Receive Absolute Denial From Insurers

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Insurers are increasingly denying prescriptions of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs for hepatitis C virus treatment, according to a study published online June 7 in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

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World Hepatitis Day

Tools, Methods of RCTs Can Be Adapted to Real-World Settings

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Use of appropriate statistical methodology can allow for the synthesis of data collected as part of traditional clinical trials with real-world data, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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HerbList App Launched to Provide Information on Herbal Products

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has announced the launch of an app for easy access to research-based information on the safety and effectiveness of herbal products.

NIH Press Release
Herbs at a Glance

Physicians and Practices Should Prepare for Emergencies

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Practices and physicians should prepare for emergency situations, such as natural disasters, network communications failures, and active shooter situations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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VA MISSION Act May Up Costs, Lower Vet Health Care Quality

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act may increase costs and reduce quality of health care for veterans, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Walmart Generic Drug Discounts Often Offer More Patient Savings

MONDAY, July 23 2018 (HealthDay News) — Walmart’s Generic Drug Discount Program (GDDP), which sells many commonly used generic medications for $4 per 30-day supply, offers savings over Medicare for some generic cardiovascular medications, according to a research letter published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Medical Organizations Must Address Sexual Harassment

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Medical institutions and organizations need to ensure there are proactive interventions to transform the workplace in order to address sexual harassment and discrimination, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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FDA Warns Against Risks of Contaminated Synthetic Cannabis

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Users of synthetic marijuana products and health care providers should be aware of the risk of bleeding associated with contamination of synthetic cannabinoid products with brodifacoum, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Embezzlement Not Uncommon in Medical Practices

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Embezzlement occurs frequently in medical practices and steps should be taken to prevent it, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Increased Coverage in States With Medicaid Expansion

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Coverage rates and access to care are significantly higher in states with Medicaid expansion, compared with non-expansion states, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Availability of Generic Antivirals for Hepatitis B Increasing

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Availability of generic antivirals for treating chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) is increasing, according to research published in the July 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Complementary Medicine Use Ups Refusal of Usual Cancer Therapy

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with cancer who receive complementary medicine (CM) are more likely to refuse conventional cancer treatment (CCT), according to a study published online July 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Liver Disease-Related Deaths Up Sharply From 1999 to 2016

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Liver disease-related deaths, particularly due to cirrhosis, have been increasing in the United States since 2009, according to a study published online July 18 in The BMJ.

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Same-Day Appointment System Implemented in Health Network

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A same-day appointment system can feasibly be introduced, according to the experiences of one health network presented in an article published in Managed Healthcare Executive.

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Patients Care About the Clothes Doctors Wear

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do in fact care what doctors wear, according to a study recently published in BMJ Open.

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Seven Strategies Can Help Practices Manage Staff Time Off

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Several strategies can be implemented to help address management of staff time off, allowing mutual respect for the employee and employer requests, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Overall Cancer Mortality Rates Decreasing for Men and Women

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cancer incidence rates have decreased among men but remained stable among women, while cancer death rates are decreasing for both men and women, according to a report published in the July 1 issue of Cancer.

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Risk of CRC, Non-CRC Death Up With Positive Fecal Hb Test

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with a positive fecal hemoglobin (f-Hb) test result have an increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer (CRC) and non-CRC causes, according to a study published online July 16 in Gut.

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Alternative Payment Models Should Include Precision Medicine

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association has committed to working to integrate precision medicine into alternative payment models (APMs), according to an article published in the association’s AMA Wire.

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Trials Supporting FDA Approval of Breakthrough Drugs Examined

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Pivotal trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals granted Breakthrough Therapy designation often lack randomization, double-blinding, and control groups, according to a research letter published in the July 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Establishes New Task Force on Drug Shortages

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In a recent statement, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the formation of a new drug shortages task force to thoroughly explore the reasons why drug shortages remain a persistent challenge.

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E. Coli Found in Water at Tennessee Ziplining Facility

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Health officials say they found Escherichia coli in water at a ziplining facility in Tennessee that has been linked to an outbreak affecting at least 500 people.

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FDA: Illnesses Tied to Fresh Crab Meat Imported From Venezuela

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There have been 12 reported cases of people in the United States becoming sick after eating fresh crab meat from Venezuela, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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Harms Reporting Limited in Trials of Prebiotics, Probiotics, Synbiotics

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A considerable number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics do not report harms-related data and/or safety results, according to a review published online July 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Adoption of EHR Linked to Reduction in Mortality Rates

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in U.S. hospitals, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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eCare Plan Set to Improve Doctor/Pharmacist Relationship

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Pharmacist eCare Plan is designed to improve communication between pharmacists and physicians by allowing documentation to be available via electronic health records (EHRs), according to an article published online in Drug Topics.

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Physician Burnout Tied to Higher Risk of Medical Errors

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Physician burnout, fatigue, and work-unit safety grades are independently associated with medical errors, according to a study published online July 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Virtual Assistants Not HIPAA Compliant

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Virtual assistant programs like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are not yet in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), warns an article published in Medical Economics.

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Gender Bias in Medicine Has Far-Reaching Consequences

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overlooking women in medicine can have far-reaching consequences, according to a perspective piece published in the June 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA Aims to Boost Affordability of ACA Marketplace Plans

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted policy to increase the number of people who obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by making marketplace plans more affordable.

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2001 to 2015 Saw Decline in Self-Employment in Health Care

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2001 to 2015 there was a decrease in the percentage of health care professionals who are self-employed and a decrease in the earning gap between self-employed and employed health care professionals, according to a study published online July 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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Patient Experience Officers Can Play Key Role in Medical Offices

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A patient experience officer is an increasingly important new role in physician practices, according to an article recently published in Physicians Practice.

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Peer-Led Education Helps Physicians Save Time With EHRs

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A peer-based education program can improve the efficiency of electronic health record (EHR) use, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Universal Screening Best Strategy for Hepatitis C in France

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Universal screening is the most effective strategy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in France, according to a study published online July 1 in the Journal of Hepatology.

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Apixaban Is Safest Direct Oral Anticoagulant Versus Warfarin

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Apixaban seems to be the safest direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) compared with warfarin, according to a study published July 4 in The BMJ.

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International Group Develops Best Practices for Drug Packaging

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Nine new drug labeling and packaging guidelines have been developed with an aim of reducing medication errors, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

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AMA Calls for Inclusive Family, Medical Leave Policies

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) calls for inclusive family and medical leave policies to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers who care for relatives, spouses, and partners.

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Error Rate 7.4 Percent in Speech Recognition-Assisted Notes

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The error rate in speech recognition (SR)-assisted documentation is 7.4 percent, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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Tick-Caused Meat Allergy on the Rise in the United States

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Red meat allergy caused by a bite from the lone star tick appears to be on the rise in the United States, a researcher says.

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IT Solutions for Easier EHRs Save Physicians Time, Burnout

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Yale Medicine is effectively targeting electronic health record (EHR) use and functionality as a way to improve physician job satisfaction and reduce burnout, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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IV Acetaminophen Minimally Helpful for Colectomy Pain

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Intravenous acetaminophen does not decrease opioid utilization to a clinically significant threshold among colectomy patients, according to a study published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Cabozantinib Improves Survival in Advanced Hepatocellular Cancer

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cabozantinib results in significantly longer overall and progression-free survival than placebo among patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a study published in the July 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Patient Complaints Mainly About Rudeness, Rushing, Reproach

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Understanding patients’ complaints about practice can be instructive for physicians, according to an article published June 6 in Physicians Practice.

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Hospitals Face $218B in Federal Payment Cuts From 2010 to 2028

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cumulative reductions in federal payments to hospitals from 2010 to 2028 are estimated to reach $218.2 billion, according to a study commissioned by the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

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WHO Calls for Renewed Effort to Combat Chronic Disease

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The World Health Organization (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission has proposed six recommendations to address the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), according to a report published online June 1 in The Lancet.

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Patients Comfortable With Doctors Having Tattoos, Piercings

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do not appear to mind if doctors have tattoos or piercings, according to a study published online July 2 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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AMA Urges Caution With Use of Wire-Bristle BBQ Grill Brushes

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) states that caution should be exercised with use of wire-bristle grill brushes due to the potential health and safety risks associated with bristles that may break off and adhere to the grill or cooked food.

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Vegetable Trays Tainted With Cyclospora Put Seven in Hospital

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Federal, state, and local health officials are investigating a Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte 6 oz and 12 oz vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip that were sold at Kwik Trip/Kwik Star locations in Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and 28 oz vegetable trays that were distributed to Illinois and Indiana. The company has recalled the products.

FDA Recall Notice
CDC Outbreak Report

Irrigation Water Likely Cause of Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Tainted irrigation water is likely to blame for a 36-state Escherichia coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that sickened 200 people and caused five deaths, U.S. health officials say.

More Information – AP News
More Information – FDA

Pembrolizumab Not Better Than PTX for Advanced Gastric Cancer

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with previously treated advanced gastric cancer or gastro-esophageal junction cancer, pembrolizumab does not result in a significant improvement in overall survival compared with paclitaxel, according to a study published online June 4 in The Lancet.

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