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New survey data1 reveals the critical role of family practitioners in shaping patient statin knowledge. As family physicians, you’re on the front lines of treating common ailments ranging from fevers to fibromyalgia, cataracts to cancer, and everything in between, including America’s number one killer—heart disease. You may be familiar with this scenario: a patient with high cholesterol, at risk for heart disease, stops taking the statin that you prescribed, blaming muscle pain, forgetfulness, or cost of monthly prescription. It’s not just you. Data shows that at least 50% or more of people on a statin medication discontinue it within one year after treatment2, so many other doctors may be experiencing the same frustration that their patients are stopping this life-saving medication. To motivate patients to work with their doctors and “speak up before they stop their statin,” a new educational initiative—“Take Cholesterol to Heart”—recently launched in partnership with the AAFP Foundation and Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. The initiative was informed by the results of a new Harris Poll survey —commissioned by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.—of more than 5,000 cholesterol patients, including polypharmacy patients and those with common comorbidities to heart disease. ACTION: The Statin Survey found that 82% of patients were first diagnosed by their family physician or internist, highlighting the pivotal role family doctors play in shaping patients’ knowledge and mindset towards statins. The survey also found that 59% of patients say it’s extremely important to them that their provider takes an individualized approach to selecting the right statin for them.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive issues. A growing body of research suggests that consumption of probiotics, known as the “good” bacteria that naturally exist in the digestive system, can help support a healthy digestive system. Specifically, probiotics may help support regularity of bowel movements, a healthy gut microflora, and digestive health during travel. The production and absorption of certain nutrients in the colon may also be enhanced by probiotics. Learn more about probiotics, common species, and what to look for on probiotic product labels.
Though colonoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing IBD, routine use is not warranted as it is costly, invasive, and associated with low but measurable morbidity. Calprotectin may be used as one of the initial tests in patients with suspected IBD. Calprotectin has three important clinical uses: 1) Diagnose inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 2) Differentiate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 3) Monitor patients with IBD for treatment response and relapse Calprotectin is a small calcium-binding protein that makes up about 60% of neutrophil cytosol protein content. During inflammation, neutrophils migrate to the intestinal mucosa, and calprotectin is leaked into the bowel lumen. Numerous studies have shown that stool calprotectin concentration can help diagnose IBD, and distinguish it from IBS and other conditions with a similar presentation. In a 2010 meta-analysis, elevated stool calprotectin demonstrated a sensitivity of 93%, and a specificity of 96% for differentiating IBD from other causes of GI symptoms in adults. In children and teenagers, the sensitivity is 92% and the specificity is 76%. Calprotectin may be used as one of the initial tests in patients with suspected IBD; levels can help avoid unnecessary colonoscopy, as normal levels are not typically associated with active IBD. Conversely, levels above normal are consistent with organic diseases such as IBD and colorectal cancer, and warrant consideration of colonoscopy.
November is National COPD Awareness Month - COPD Today is a resource for COPD patients and their families created by the American Thoracic Society and supported by an educational grant from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. The e-booklet discusses COPD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments, and features the latest research on COPD presented at the ATS 2017 International Conference.
Home-based primary care (HBPC) has enormous potential to improve the lives of older Americans with multiple chronic conditions and other medically complex patients. From enhancing coordination of care, to improving medical outcomes, to lowering medical costs, HBPC will play a critical role in addressing future pressures on the healthcare system. Yet, home-based primary care providers are in short supply. The Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI) estimates there are only 1,000 providers in the U.S. making most of the HBPC visits. That’s why HCCI is dedicated to engaging current and future home-based primary care providers, launching its new HCCI Essential Elements of Home-Based Primary Care™ program for healthcare professionals interested in establishing, growing, or joining a house call program. This first-of-its-kind program features the only comprehensive HBPC curriculum in the U.S. Learn more about the program, and the role HBPC will play as the healthcare landscape continues to evolve.
Sanofi Pasteur is pleased to offer AAFP members access to their annual webinar, "Cracking the Codes: Coding and Billing for Vaccinations with Fluzone® (Influenza Vaccines).” Influenza vaccine billing is seasonal, and with 25 codes for influenza vaccines, it can be confusing. This program is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of reimbursement for influenza vaccines and their administration. Start the influenza season right with a thorough review of coding, billing, and payment by joining our live session on September 14, 2017. This is followed by a question-and-answer session with our expert in Coding and Billing. If you are unable to make the live session, you can also view the program's on-line modules at your convenience 24/7. The on-demand site also provides access to nine downloadable resources including Vaccination ICD-10 Codes, Fluzone® Vaccine Presentations Quick Coding Reference Sheet, State-Specific Medicaid Summaries, as well as six Provider-Specific Medicare Billing Fact Sheets.
Although more than 50% of U.S. adults use dietary supplements, little information is available on the impact of supplement use frequency on nutrient intakes and deficiencies. A recent study published in Nutrients, examines nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to assess intakes from food alone versus food plus multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplements of 17 nutrients with an Estimated Average Requirement and a Tolerable Upper Intake Level, and of the status of five nutrients with recognized biomarkers of deficiency. The research concludes that among U.S. adults, multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement use is associated with decreased micronutrient inadequacies, intakes slightly exceeding the UL for a few nutrients, and a lower risk of nutrient deficiencies. This research was supported by Bayer Consumer Healthcare, DSM and Pharmavite, which are members of the Campaign for Essential Nutrients (CFEN). This information is brought to you by Nature Made.
Health care is no longer local. Improving care coordination across the health care continuum has the potential to dramatically improve patient care, reduce duplicative tests and procedures, and positively impact care quality. The key driver of better care coordination is patient data that is easily accessible and shareable. However, data silos among disparate systems have made true nationwide interoperability—and the potential for better care—a challenge.
Autoimmune diseases are difficult to diagnose; their symptoms can be vague, vary from patient to patient, and often overlap. Moreover, there is no single diagnostic test for any one autoimmune disease. Diagnosis is most often based on a compilation of clinical information, family history and data from laboratory testing. Laboratory tests include highly sensitive but relatively nonspecific antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing and/or tests for individual antibodies that are more disease specific. This test guide discussed the approaches to testing, provides an algorithm for the primary care physician, and a convenient table of autoantibody prevalence in autoimmune diseases. In sum, 1) ANA by IFA is the gold standard as an initial test according to the American College of Rheumatology. This test is very sensitive and if positive this provides a titer and pattern. Higher titers indicate greater likelihood of disease. 2) ANA antibodies by multiplex measures specific antibodies which cause various ANA IFA patterns and helps physicians specifically pin point what specific antibodies are present. Testing for antibodies alone will miss ANA related diseases. 3) Optimal approach is to order ANA IFA with reflex to antibodies cascade panel, because it initially screens by a highly sensitive test and only if positive does it reflex for relevant antibodies in the cascade panel. Thus this combines the power of both high sensitivity and high specificity to rule in or rule out autoimmune disease.
30 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes and its effects can be devastating to the patient, and costly to treat. In fact, in 2012 the direct medical cost of treating diabetes in the United States was $176 billion. CoxHealth serves a population of over 24,000 patients with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of adult-onset blindness, however more than 95 percent of vision loss is preventable thanks to modern therapies. One of the most effective therapies is called a diabetic retinopathy exam (DRE). Through this exam it is possible to diagnose retinal pathologies in patients with diabetes, including blindness. For CoxHealth, the challenge was getting their patients to follow through on referrals to ophthalmologists for their annual exams. Generally speaking, only about 50 percent of at-risk diabetic patients undergo retinal evaluation largely because of the barriers of cost, inconvenience, lack of awareness, and even procrastination. For CoxHealth, their compliance rate for DRE screenings was just 32%, creating a detrimental clinical and financial impact on the organization. By partnering together, IRIS and CoxHealth are saving sight and changing the lives of thousands by providing diabetic retinopathy exams in primary care facilities.
Evolving discussions around optimal first foods for babies can often leave parents confused, hesitant and insecure in the food choices they make for their infants and toddlers. As a health professional, you are in a unique position to educate parents on the importance of nutritious complementary foods that support early growth and development. This webinar will review the emerging evidence supporting nutrient-rich protein, including beef, as a first solid food to an infant’s diet and address important nutrient requirements for nourishing the early stages of life.