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Physicians spend roughly as many hours on computer work as they do meeting with patients, researchers find

HealthDay (4/11, Dotinga) reports, “Physicians spend roughly as many hours on computer work as they do meeting with patients,” investigators found after researching “the daily habits of nearly 500 US” physicians. According to HealthDay, “the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and other organizations have complained about the administrative burden physicians face.” The findings were published in Health Affairs.

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USPSTF releases draft guidelines on PSA testing

The Washington Post (4/11, McGinley) reports the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) “has dropped its controversial opposition to routine screening for prostate cancer, and now says that men between the ages of 55 and 69 should discuss the test’s potential benefits and harms with their” physicians “and make decisions based on their own ‘values and preferences.’” The group said in proposed new guidelines on Tuesday morning, “The decision about whether to be screened for prostate cancer should be an individual one.” … The New York…

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Freedom Caucus chairman says he is “close” to making an ACA repeal deal with Ryan

USA Today (4/11, Collins) reports Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, “intends to deliver an” ACA “repeal and replacement plan to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis...that would leave in place the existing law’s mandates for insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.” Meadows stated, “What I’m getting to him is based on conversations that I’ve had with (Tuesday Group co-chairman) Tom MacArthur and leadership, but I wouldn’t say that it’s approved at this point.” The article adds that in…

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ACA marketplaces could “explode” due to uncertainty about subsidies

The Washington Post (4/11, Johnson) reports even if GOP lawmakers are unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act, “they may still have a way to deliver on President Trump’s promise that the law will ‘explode’ – all via the power of uncertainty.” The article says the Trump Administration “could keep insurers guessing over whether it will continue federal payments that lower deductibles and copays for millions of Americans next year.” In the face of such uncertainty, insurers “may decide not to sell plans on the marketplaces set up by the…

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Nearly 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010

A front-page story in the Washington Post (4/11, A1, Goldstein) reports on the closure of Haywood Park Community Hospital, on which Brownsville, Tennessee had “relied for decades.” Its closure, nearly three years ago, the Post adds, “added Brownsville to an epidemic of dying hospitals across rural America.” According to the article, “Nearly 80 have closed since 2010, including nine in Tennessee, more than in any state but Texas.”

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Spinal manipulation therapy may provide improvements in function for people with lower back pain, review indicates

The San Diego Union-Tribune (4/11, Fikes) reports, “Spinal manipulative therapy, including chiropractic care, provides modest relief from pain and improvements in function for those with acute lower back pain,” research suggests. In its “Shots” blog and on its “All Things Considered” program, NPR (4/11, Neighmond) reports researchers arrived at that conclusion that after analyzing data from “26 studies involving more than 1,700 patients with lower back pain.” The findings of the review were published in the Journal of the American Medical…

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Teaching preschoolers self-control around food, combined with obesity prevention messaging, may not reduce obesity

Reuters (4/11, Brooks) reports that research indicated “teaching preschoolers to regulate their own behavior around food, combined with obesity prevention messages, did not reduce obesity or most obesity-related behaviors.” Researchers came to this conclusion after testing “two interventions, alone and in combination, embedding the experiment within the federally-funded Head Start program.” The findings were published in Pediatrics.

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Chiari malformation may be more common than previously thought

The AP (4/11, Corwin) reports Chiari malformation may be more common than previously thought, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The article explains that “the diagnosis actually covers a wide range of conditions and symptoms but is characterized by an inadequate amount of space at the back and base of the skull that can force part of the brain called the cerebellum through an opening for the spinal cord and press on the brain stem, and can sometimes block the normal flow of cerebral spinal fluid.”

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In search of euphoric high, some opioid addicts turning to loperamide

USA Today (4/11, Bowerman) reports some opioid addicts are turning to the anti-diarrhea medicine loperamide “in search of a euphoric high or to manage withdrawal symptoms.” This can be dangerous, because “large quantities can cause serious heart problems, including abnormal heart rhythm and cardiac arrest, according to the” Food and Drug Administration.

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Mid-life vascular risk factors may be tied to brain changes that can lead to Alzheimer’s, study indicates

Reuters (4/11, Rapaport) reports, “Middle-aged people with risk factors for heart attacks and stroke are also more likely to develop changes in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease,” researchers concluded after examining “data from 346 adults who had been evaluated for vascular risk factors since the late 1980s, when they were 52 years old on average and none of them had dementia.” Then, more than 20 years “later, when participants were around 76 years old, they had brain scans that looked for evidence of Alzheimer’s” in the form of…

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