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RECENT NEWS ARCHIVES

Fri./Sat., July 24-25

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  July 24, 2015
bullet point Summary of the Forum of ESRD Network's 4th Annual Creating a Culture of Quality Conference
The conference was convened in Baltimore on March 23-24, 2015. Link to PDF document download.

Editor's note: There are some good points here, but it fails to address the two long-term causes of stagnant dialysis care in the U.S.  These causes remain outside the control of any quality improvement group.

The first is that CMS and U.S. nephrology have never approached working-age dialysis patients differently than elderly dialysis patients. By lumping them all together, the only issues that get addressed are mortality and hospitalizations and a few others like safety and comfortable chairs. This approach drives almost no changes in technology or dialysis modalities.  In terms of patient employment, U.S. dialysis care has gone backwards from where it was forty years ago.

The second is the Stark Law, which permits nephrologists to have ownership stakes in dialysis clinics. The effects of this law have been evolving over the decades. It originally led to the vast overutilization of fast, cheap dialysis treatments. It then led to businessmen usurping control of both dialysis care and medication regimens. Today, as a group, U.S. nephrologists will never take patient advocacy positions that conflict with the interests of their business partners (and/or bosses). The Stark Law was supposed to prevent abuse in the Medicare program. Instead, it has primarily promoted the business interests of dialysis corporations and nephrologists, leading to standards of dialysis care (i.e. enslavement to a life called dialysis) that nephrologists would never accept for themselves or their own family members.

Until the financial incentives are changed to increase dialysis patient employment and rehabilitation, U.S. dialysis care will remain horribly stagnant... and will never be able to attract the best young physicians into this specialty.

New leadership and ideas are needed. To start, I believe U.S. nephrologists owe U.S. dialysis patients a huge apology.

bullet point The Forgotten Element: Magnesium Minimizes Mortality in Maintenance Hemodialysis
Posting from the AJKD blog.
bullet point Experts Urge Transplantation of Hepatitis C-Infected Kidneys in Some Non-Infected Patients
Summary from Infection Control Today.
bullet point Management and Prevention of Posttransplant Malignancies in Kidney Transplant Recipients
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point

Patient-Reported Outcome Instruments for Physical Symptoms Among Patients Receiving Maintenance Dialysis: A Systematic Review
Article in Press abstract from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases.

"Conclusions: The number of available instruments focused exclusively on physical symptoms in dialysis patients is limited. Few symptom-containing instruments have short recall periods, assess diverse symptom attributes, and have undergone comprehensive psychometric testing. Improved symptom-focused assessment tools are needed to improve symptom evaluation and symptom responsiveness to intervention among dialysis-dependent patients."

Editor's note: If it's not a biochemical marker, CMS and U.S. nephrology have little interest.

bullet point Baseline Characteristics of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish oils) and Aspirin in Vascular access OUtcomes in REnal Disease (FAVOURED) Study
Accepted Article abstract from Nephrology.
bullet point Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease in Resource Limited Settings from Peru: a Population-based Study
Free full-text article from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point Regenerative Medicine: Federal Investment, Information Sharing, and Challenges in an Evolving Field
GAO publication.
bullet point Researchers Identify Potential New Targets for Treating Kidney Disease
bullet point Arch Scientists Use 'BORG' Peptides to Improve Biocompatibilty of Polysulfone for Use in Dialysis
bullet point World Hepatitis Day — July 28, 2015
bullet point Top Oncologists Push Back On ‘Outrageous’ Costs Of Cancer Drugs
News summary from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Antibiotic Use Among Adult Consumers, Adult Hispanic Consumers, and Health Care Providers — United States, 2012–2013
Report from the CDC's MMWR.
bullet point FDA Approves Diagnostic Test to Differentiate between Types of HIV Infection
 


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Thursday, July 23

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  July 23, 2015
bullet point New MIQS Report Tool Makes CMS Audit Compliance Easy
Press release.
bullet point Social Functioning and Socioeconomic Changes after Introduction of Regular Dialysis Treatment and Impact of Dialysis Modality: A Multi-Center Survey of Japanese Patients
Free, full-text article from Nephrology.

"The odds of unemployment after dialysis inception were 5.02 fold higher in those on ICHD (In-Center Hemodialysis) compared to those on PD, after adjustment for covariates."

Editor's note: In the 16 years that I have been editing the news, I cannot remember any major study on dialysis patient employment that has been done by U.S. nephrologists.
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Hemodialysis International:
bullet point Significance of the Decreased Risk of Dialysis Related Amyloidosis Now Proven by Results from Japanese Nationwide Surveys in 1998 and 2010
Advance Access abstract from NDT.
bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from Kidney International:
bullet point

Aerobic or Resistance Training and Pulse Wave Velocity in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A 12-Week Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial (the Exercise in Renal Transplant [ExeRT] Trial)
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

bullet point

Researchers Find Key Player in Diabetic Kidney Disease through Power of Metabolomics
Press release from UC San Diego.

bullet point Study: Popular New Anticoagulants Drive Increase in Atrial Fibrillation Treatment
Press release from the University of Michigan Health System.
bullet point New Drug Combination Treats Hepatitis C Patients Also Infected with HIV
bullet point Cell Damage Occurs When People Have CT Scans
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Shifting Vaccination Politics — The End of Personal-Belief Exemptions in California
Free, full-text, Online First perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine.
bullet point Navigating the Minefields of Medicine and Journalism
Free, full-text, Online First perspective piece from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Medicare Trustees Report Shows Continued Slow Cost Growth
CMS press release. Article from Kaiser Health News.


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Wednesday, July 22

New MIQS Report Tool Makes CMS Audit Compliance Easy
Press release.
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  July 22, 2015
bullet point Best Hospitals for Adult Nephrology
Annual rating from U.S. News & World Report.
bullet point Appeals Court Ruling Allows Novartis To Begin Selling Biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen on Sept. 2
Articles from AP and Los Angeles Times.
bullet point Natural Gas Leak Causes Explosion at Liberty Dialysis Clinic in Texas
Article from the Waxahachie Daily Light.
bullet point A Retrospective, Longitudinal Study Estimating the Association between Interdialytic Weight Gain and Cardiovascular Events and Death in Hemodialysis Patients
Free, full-text article from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point Management of Anticoagulation in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation
Abstract from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Long-Term Growth Hormone Treatment in Short Children with CKD Does Not Accelerate Decline of Renal Function: Results from the KIGS Registry and ESCAPE Trial
Online First abstract from Pediatric Nephrology.
bullet point Plasma Iohexol Clearance for Assessing Residual Kidney Function in Dialysis Patients
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis:
bullet point Ferric Pyrophosphate: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait?
Advance Access editorial extract from NDT.
bullet point Published Ahead-of-Print Abstracts from Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension:
bullet point Predicting Hospital Costs for Patients Receiving Renal Replacement Therapy to Inform an Economic Evaluation
Online First abstract from the European Journal of Health Economics.
bullet point Foods with Added Phosphate Cause Spike in Blood, Even in People with Healthy Kidneys
Press release from Houston Methodist.
bullet point High Soda Intake May Boost Diabetes Risk, Even Without Obesity
Article from HealthDay. Free, full-text article from the BMJ.
bullet point Antibiotic May Lower Effect of Some Blood Thinners
bullet point FDA Public Workshop - Medical Device Patient Labeling, September 29-30, 2015
bullet point When Bystanders Give CPR Right Away, Lives Are Saved
Article from HealthDay. Free, full-text article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Call9 Connects You to Standby Physicians During Medical Emergencies
Article from MedGadget.
bullet point Despite Gains In Advance Directives, Study Finds More Intensive End-Of-Life Cancer Care
Article from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point PCORI Board Approves $142.5 Million to Fund Expansion Phase of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network
Press release from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
GAO Says Additional Actions Needed to Improve Eligibility Verification of Medicare Providers and Suppliers


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Tuesday, July 21

Best Hospitals for Adult Nephrology
Annual rating from U.S. News & World Report.
Possible Natural Gas Leak Causes Explosion at Liberty Dialysis Clinic in Texas
Article from the Waxahachie Daily Light.
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  July 21, 2015
bullet point Former Cobb County (Georgia) Inmate Died despite Pleas for More Dialysis
Article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
bullet point Blacks at Higher Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Press release from the American Heart Association. Article from HealthDay. Publish-Ahead-of-Print abstract from Circulation.
bullet point FDA Recall Notice for Normal Saline due to Particulate Matter: 0.9 Percent Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, 50mL and 100mL by Baxter
FDA MedWatch notice.
bullet point Group from Home Dialyzors United (HDU) Meets with CMS
News item from the HDU web site.
bullet point In UK, First Organ Donation Drop for Decade
Article from the BBC.
bullet point Pretransplant Malnutrition, Inflammation, and Atherosclerosis Affect Cardiovascular Outcomes after Kidney Transplantation
Free, full-text article from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point A Prospective International Multicenter Study of AKI in the Intensive Care Unit
CJASN Express abstract.
bullet point Impact of Parathyroidectomy on Survival among Hemodialysis Patients: a Prospective Cohort Study
Accepted Article abstract from Nephrology.
bullet point Transition between Home Dialysis Modalities: Another Piece in the Jigsaw of the Integrated Care Pathway
Advance Access extract from NDT.
bullet point New Insights into Biofilm Formation Could Lead to Better Therapies, but Mysteries Remain
Press release from the American Society for Microbiology.
bullet point Allopurinol Use and Risk of Fatal Hypersensitivity Reactions: A Nationwide Population-Based Study in Taiwan
Online First abstract from JAMA Internal Medicine.
bullet point Reduced Kidney Function Increases Pregnancy Complications
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from Annals Of Internal Medicine:
bullet point Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia
CMS Selects Hospices for Medicare Model Combining Hospice, Curative Services
News brief from AHANewsNow.


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Monday, July 20

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  July 20, 2015
bullet point Ohio EPA Outlines New Toxic Water Warning Plans
AP article via The Columbus Dispatch.
bullet point Patient Innovation — Not All Progress Comes from Industry
Blog posting from HealthNewsReview.

Editor's note: Have any U.S. dialysis patient groups ever come up with an innovation that has been implemented? Have they even come up with a prioritized list of suggestions for improving dialysis care?

This article from Patient Preference and Adherence makes it clear that many of the outcomes judged to be important by the patients are not regularly considered in research, evaluation studies, or quality programs.
bullet point

DOPPS Launching Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter Study
News item from Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study Program.

bullet point Full-Text Articles from BMC Nephrology:
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Seminars In Dialysis:
bullet point Does Asymmetric Dimethylarginine Play a Role in Depression in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients?
Advance Access article extract from NDT.
bullet point State Police Probing Pennsylvania Woman's Dialysis Death
bullet point HHS Launches Online Compendium of Health Emergency Resources
News brief from AHANewsNow. HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium.
CMS Launches 'Dry Run' Test of Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings


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Fri./Sat., July 17-18

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  July 17, 2015
bullet point Boston-Area Face-to-Face Dialysis Support Group Tells It Like It Is
Article from the Dorchester Reporter.

Editor's note: AMEN!
bullet point Dialysis at Home in Ontario Could Be Made Easier with New System
Article from CBC.
bullet point Report Calls for National Strategy, Policies to Support Family Caregivers
News brief from AHANewsNow. Report from the AARP Public Policy Institute.
bullet point ANCA Disease: How Do Patients Do on RRT?
Posting from the AJKD blog.
bullet point CJASN Express Abstracts:
bullet point Serum Magnesium and Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients in the United States: A Cohort Study
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Advance Access Abstracts from NDT:
  Therapeutic Clearance of Amyloid by Antibodies to Serum Amyloid P Component
Free, full-text, Online First article from the New England Journal of Medicine.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from Indian Journal of Nephrology:
bullet point Possibility of Lanthanum Absorption in the Stomach
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Effects of Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy on Heart Function in SDB Patients Undergoing Dialysis
Early Online abstract from Renal Failure.
bullet point Body Temperature Change May Trigger Sudden Cardiac Death
News release from Simon Fraser University.
bullet point Does Salt Cause Thirst? It's Really Not All That Certain
News release from the University of Haifa.
bullet point Electronic Capsule for Delivering Drugs Deep Down the GI Tract
bullet point Mayo Expert: Artificial Liver Ready for Human Testing
bullet point "The Scandal of Poor Medical Research" Comes First in Top Papers Poll
Ranking from the BMJ.
bullet point Insured Americans Up to 3 Times Likelier to Get Preventive Care: CDC
Article from HealthDay. Report from MMWR.
bullet point Hospitalization Rates Jump Near 'Fracking' Sites: Study
Article from HealthDay.
CMS Releases First Round of Home Health Compare Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings
CMS press release.
As Medicaid Turns 50, Debate On Expansion Clouds Celebration
News summary from Kaiser Health News.


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Thursday, July 16

Boston-Area Face-to-Face Dialysis Support Group Tells It Like It Is
Article from the Dorchester Reporter.
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  July 16, 2015
bullet point State of Hawaii Wins $7 Million for False Claims against Liberty Dialysis, Suing for $21 Million More; Mostly Epogen-Related
Articles from KHON and Pacific Business News.
bullet point The Death of Death Rates?
Editorial from the BMJ.

"How then to monitor and improve quality? Pioneer Ernest Codman’s approach was to look beyond adverse outcomes: he took the radical and deeply unpopular step of publishing not only his patients’ outcomes but also his judgments on whether the results could have been improved and the probable causes of failure to achieve “perfection.”

Editor's note: I would suggest that in order to improve dialysis care, all nephrologists should state what treatment regimens they would choose for themselves and their loved ones. I have found it is a question that nearly all dialysis business leaders and chief medical officers will not answer on the record.
bullet point Kt/V (and Especially Its Modifications) Remains a Useful Measure of Hemodialysis Dose
Advance Online abstract from Kidney International.
bullet point Failed MILLER Banding Complicated by Pseudoaneurysm: Report of a Case
Free, full-text article from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Spiral Laminar Flow, the Earliest Predictor for Maturation of Arteriovenous Fistula for Hemodialysis Access
Full-text article from Indian Journal of Urology.
bullet point Population Pharmacokinetics and Dosing Simulations of Cefepime in Septic Shock Patients Receiving Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy
Article in Press abstract from International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
bullet point Exercise Can Improve Brain Function in Older Adults
bullet point Rockwell Medical Announces Triferic(TM) Phase 3 CRUISE Studies Published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
bullet point The Trans-Pacific Partnership — Is It Bad for Your Health?
Free, full-text, perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine.
bullet point Five Principles for Better End-of-Life Care
Article from Hospitals & Health Networks.
bullet point $2 Paper Machine Performs DNA Disease Diagnostics
Article from MedGadget. Press release from the American Chemical Society.
Former CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner Name Top Health Insurance Lobbyist
Article from Kaiser Health News.


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Wednesday, July 15

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  July 15, 2015
bullet point Investigational Drug Provides Improvement for Diabetic Kidney Disease Patients with High Potassium Levels
Press release, abstract and editorial extract from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Press release from the University of Chicago Medical Center. Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Cappuccinos with Claudio Ronco — Video and Free Access to Articles from Blood Purification:
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Hemodialysis International:
bullet point Long-term Outcomes of Parathyroidectomy in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Persistent Hyperparathyroidism
Free, full-text, Issue in Progress article from Kidney & Blood Pressure Research.
bullet point Articles in Press Abstracts from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases:
bullet point Mortality in Hospitalized Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Starting Unplanned Urgent Hemodialysis
Accepted Article abstract from Nephrology.
bullet point Nephrotoxicity of Dietary Supplements and Alternative Medicine: Not Just an Urban Legend
Posting from Renal Fellow Network blog.
bullet point Management of the Dialysis Patient with Sickle Cell Disease
Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point KDIGO To Strengthen Implementation Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries
(2-page pdf) News release from Kidney Disease | Improving Global Outcomes.
bullet point Don't Bug Me! Understanding Infectious Disease
KidneyTalk podcast from Renal Support Network.
bullet point FDA Recall: Calcium Chloride Intravenous Infusion 10% w/v 10mL Prefilled Syringe by Mylan
Health care providers are urged to check inventory and crash boxes.
bullet point FDA: June 2015 Safety Labeling Changes
Includes 30 products with revisions to Prescribing Information.
bullet point Too Much Sitting May Raise a Woman's Cancer Risk: Study
bullet point Rockwell Medical Announces Triferic(TM) Phase 3 CRUISE Studies Published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
bullet point Rockwell Medical Announces Triferic(TM) ESA-Sparing PRIME Study Published in Kidney International
bullet point Wider Use of Statin Drugs Could Save Thousands More Lives: Report
Article from HealthDay. Abstracts  #1  and  #2  from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Antidepressant Trials Exclude Most 'Real World' Patients with Depression
Press release from Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
RPA Letter to CMS re: Planned Revision of the ESRD Medical Evidence Report - Form 2728
Letter from the Renal Physicians Association.
National ICD-10 Listening Session on July 15, 2015


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Tuesday, July 14

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  July 14, 2015
bullet point Perspectives of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy in the Intensive Care Unit: a Paired Survey Study of Patient, Physician, and Nurse Views
Free, full-text, Open Access article from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point The Removal of ß2-Microglobulin in Spent Dialysate Cannot Be Monitored by Spectrophotometric Analysis
Free, full-text, Issue-in-Progress editorial and related abstract from Blood Purification.
bullet point Issue in Progress Abstracts from Blood Purification:
bullet point Hypomagnesemia and Mortality in Incident Hemodialysis Patients
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Advance Access Abstracts from NDT:
bullet point Multidisciplinary Views toward Pharmacist Delivered Medication Therapy Management Services in Dialysis Facilities
Abstract from the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
bullet point Treatment and Outcome of Primary and Secondary Thrombotic Microangiopathies
Free, full-text, Issue-in-Progress editorial and related abstract from American Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point Comparison of Avena Sativa, Vinegar, and Hydroxyzine for Uremic Pruritus of Hemodialysis Patients: a Crossover Randomized Clinical Trial
Abstract and link to full-text PDF from Iranian Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Hidden Risks of Blood Transfusions: A Teachable Moment
Online First editorial extract from JAMA Internal Medicine.
bullet point Personalizing Death in the Intensive Care Unit: The 3 Wishes Project: A Mixed-Methods Study
Online First abstract from Annals of Internal Medicine.
bullet point Rockwell Medical Announces Triferic(TM) ESA-Sparing PRIME Study Published in Kidney International
bullet point Walking the Tightrope of Academia–Industry Relationships
Free, full-text, Online First editorial from Annals of Internal Medicine.
bullet point New Regulations Would Require Modernizing Nursing Home Care
Article from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point White House Conference on Aging Showcases Physical Activity through Go4Life Month
Press release from the National Institutes of Health.
bullet point Free, Full-Text, Online First Articles from Annals of Internal Medicine:
bullet point Climate Change May Already Be Costing American Lives
Sandoz, Amgen: CMS Part B Pay Proposal Makes It Hard To Track Biosimilars
(Pay-for-view web site) Headline/intro only from InsideHealthPolicy.com.
Spending in the Last Year of Life and the Impact of Hospice on Medicare Outlays
(39-page pdf) Report to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.


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Monday, July 13

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  July 13, 2015
bullet point Preferences of Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis-Results from a Questionnaire-based Study with 4518 Patients
Free, full-text article from Patient Preference and Adherence.

"Conclusion: Outcomes concerning the delivery or provision of care and aspects influencing quality of life are rated by patients to be at least as important as clinical outcomes. Many of the outcomes judged to be important by the patients are not regularly considered in research, evaluation studies, or quality programs."

Editor's note: This is a study of German patients. Average age was 66.6 years. Of the patients age 21-40, work was the most important outcome.
bullet point FDA Takes Steps to Prevent Sales of Unapproved Kidney Drugs for Dogs and Cats
FDA news release.
bullet point Management of Pain and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Undergoing Hemodialysis
Article in Press abstract from Pain Management Nursing.
bullet point Abstracts from Journal of Nephrology:
bullet point Administration of Chemotherapy in Patients on Dialysis
Abstract from Anti-Cancer Drugs.
bullet point Free, Full-Text, Open Access Articles from BMC Nephrology:
bullet point Comparison of C-Reactive Protein Levels with Delivered Dose of Kt/V in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease on Maintenance Hemodialysis
Free, full-text article from Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation.
bullet point PDI in Press Abstracts:
bullet point Can Bioimpedance Measurements of Lean and Fat Tissue Mass Replace Subjective Global Assessments in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients?
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.
bullet point Impact of Fractional Phosphate Excretion on the Relation of FGF23 with Outcome in CKD Patients
Free, full-text article from Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point FDA Recall: Covidien's Palindrome SI Chronic Catheter Kit 14.5 Fr x 19 cm
Notice from the July 8, 2015 Enforcement Report.
bullet point Ultrasound Accelerates Skin Healing, Especially for Diabetics and the Elderly
Press release from the University of Sheffield.
bullet point GlySure Continuous Intravascular Glucose Monitoring System Cleared in Europe
bullet point House Overwhelmingly Votes to Pass 21st Century Cures FDA Reform Bill
News briefs from Healthcare DIVE and AHA News Now.
New CMS Bundled Payments Proposal May Be 'Too Much, Too Fast'
News brief from Healthcare DIVE. News summary from Kaiser Health News.
CMS to Provide August Update on ICD-10 Implementation As Deadline Approaches


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Fri./Sat., July 10-11

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  July 10, 2015
bullet point  
bullet point

What Nephrologists Learned from Hurricane Sandy
Posting from the AJKD blog.

Editor's note: What they fail to mention is that the ESRD community hoards information during natural disasters. This allows providers to maintain control of patients with private insurance.

bullet point Severe Harmful Algal Bloom Predicted for Lake Erie
Press release from the University of Michigan.
bullet point From the Nephrologist's Point of View: Diversity of Causes and Clinical Features of Acute Kidney Injury
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Can We Improve Dialysis Arteriovenous Graft Survival?
Free, full-text, Issue-in-Progress editorial from American Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point Arteriovenous Grafts: Early Ultrasonography Tells Their Fortune
Issue in Progress abstract from American Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point Pregnancy in Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease and End-stage Renal Disease
(Registration required, but free.) Free full-text article from Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension via Medscape Nephrology.
bullet point ECG Scans Predict Kidney Disease Patients' Risk of Dying from Heart Disease
Press release and JASN Express abstract from the American Society of Nephrology.
bullet point Outcomes of Transient Ischemic Attack in Maintenance Dialysis Patients and Those with Chronic Kidney Disease
Advance Access abstract from NDT.
bullet point The Use of Mycophenolate Mofetil in Experimental Encapsulating Peritoneal Sclerosis
Online First abstract from International Urology and Nephrology.
bullet point Deaths From High Blood Pressure Should Plummet Under 'Obamacare': Study
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Uncontrolled Diabetes May Boost Dementia Risk
bullet point Non-Aspirin Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Strengthens Warning of Increased Chance of Heart Attack or Stroke
Notice from the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Consumers Are Denied Price Information As They Pay Bigger Share Of Health Costs
Summary from Kaiser Heatlh News.
bullet point Only 1 in 10 Americans Eats Enough Fruits and Veggies: CDC
Obama Nominates New Medicare Chief, Sparking ObamaCare Fight
Article from The Hill.


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Thursday, July 9

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  July 9, 2015
bullet point ESRD National Coordinating Center Launches Ask the Experts, Topics for Renal Professionals
Announcement.
bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from Kidney International:
bullet point The Effect of Various Boiling Conditions on Reduction of Phosphorus and Protein in Meat
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from Yonsei Medical Journal:
bullet point Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children with Chronic Kidney Disease
Online First abstract from Pediatric Nephrology.
bullet point Influence of Sterilization and Storage Period on Elution of Polyvinylpyrrolidone from Wet-Type Polysulfone Membrane Dialyzers
Abstract from ASAIO Journal.
bullet point FDA Draft Guidance — Heparin-Containing Medical Devices and Combination Products: Recommendations for Labeling and Safety Testing
(8-page pdf) This guidance document is being distributed for comment purposes only.
bullet point SiMPore, U of Rochester, RIT Collaborate to Improve Blood Dialysis Filters
bullet point Peppermint Oil and Cinnamon Could Help Treat and Heal Chronic Wounds
bullet point Drugstore Based Lab Offers 153 Blood Tests for under $10
Posting from the Huffington Post.
bullet point Study: Why Social Workers Aren't Discussing Religion and Spirituality with Clients
Press release from Baylor University.
bullet point AHRQ: One Third of Adult Hospital Stays Involve Mental/Substance Use Disorders
News brief from AHA News Now.
CMS Begins Implementation of Key Payment Legislation (End-of-Life Counseling OR Sarah Palin's Death Panels)
Press release and fact sheet. Article from Sentinel Republic.
CMS Releases Proposed 2016 Physician Payment Rule
News brief from AHA News Now.


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Wednesday, July 8

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  July 8, 2015
bullet point Fresenius Medical Care Recalls More Than 1.8 Million Bottles of NaturaLyte Liquid Bicarbonate Concentrate Due to Bacterial Contamination
FDA Recall notice from the Enforcement Report for July 1, 2015.
bullet point KDIGO Activities Update
2-page pdf from the Kidney Disease | Improving Global Incomes.

Editor's note: More nephrologists ignoring the outcomes that are important to dialysis patients.
bullet point FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Heart Failure
Press release.
bullet point Effect of the Combination of Hemodialysis and Hemoperfusion on Clearing Advanced Glycation End Products: A Prospective, Randomized, Two-Stage Crossover Trial in Patients Under Maintenance Hemodialysis
Issue in Progress abstract from Blood Purification.
bullet point Articles in Press Abstract from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases:
bullet point Health State Utilities Associated with Major Clinical Events in the Context of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism and Chronic Kidney Disease Requiring Dialysis
Open Access article from Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.
bullet point Organ Transplant Rejection May Not Be Permanent
Press release from the University of Chicago Medical Center.
bullet point Spectrometer Small Enough to Work With Smartphones for Bedside, Field Work
Article from MedGadget.
bullet point Age-Related Self-Destruction of Cells Makes Kidney Prone to Injury
bullet point Wide Variations Seen in U.S. Stroke Care
Article from HealthDay. Free, full-text article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point FDA Issues Final Rule on Drug Shortage Notification Requirements
News brief from AHA News Now.
Prepare Now for the New QIP Measurement Review System – ESRD QIP 1.0.0
Notice from Renal Services Exchange.
CMS to Reimburse for Incorrect ICD-10 Codes for One Year
News brief from Healthcare DIVE.


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Tuesday, July 7

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  July 7, 2015
bullet point Patients Protest FMC's Closing of Brooklyn Dialysis Center
Article from Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

"While there are other Fresenius-owned clinics, supporters claim that Fresenius is giving priority to the 20 or so patents with private health insurance, leaving the roughly 150 Medicaid and Medicare patients to fend for themselves.

(Fresenius spokesman) Stone says that claim is untrue. "Fresenius Medical Care is making efforts to assist all patients in transferring to new facilities," he told the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday.

That news has yet to reach the patients."

Editor's note: This is patient engagement?

According to this recent Fresenius Medical Care press release, "As a company, we believe it's our responsibility to do whatever it takes to get patients the care they need to live, whatever the circumstances, " said Bill Numbers, Fresenius Medical Care's Sr. Vice President Operations Shared Services and Incident Commander.

For these patients, this is a Fresenius-made Superstorm Sandy.

When major storms do occur, the dialysis establishment hoards information about clinic openings and closings so that the dialysis providers can first take care of patients with private insurance. Patients should sue to end this practice.
bullet point Calcium Scan Can Predict Premature Death Risk, Study Says
Article from HealthDay. Abstract from Annals of Internal Medicine.
bullet point July 15 Webinar: Implementation of Shared Decisionmaking
Notice from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
bullet point Information Sharing Preferences of Older Patients and Their Families
Online First abstract from JAMA Internal Medicine.
bullet point Effects of Blood Pressure on Renal and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Asian Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Overt Nephropathy: A post hoc Analysis (ORIENT-Blood Pressure)
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from NDT.
bullet point Provisional Abstracts and Full-Text PDFs from BMC Nephrology:
bullet point Clinical Validation of a Peritoneal Dialysis Prescription Model in the PatientOnLine Software
Early View abstract from Artificial Organs.
bullet point The PROPKD Score: A New Algorithm to Predict Renal Survival in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease
JASN Express abstract.
bullet point Blueprint for a European Calciphylaxis Registry Initiative: European Calciphylaxis Network (EuCalNet)
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Proteus Swallowable Smart Pills FDA Approved to Measure Medication Adherence
bullet point 'A Terrible Way To End Someone’s Life’
Article from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point Fundamental Beliefs about Atherosclerosis Overturned
Press release from University of Virginia Health System.
bullet point Heart Attack Treatment Hypothesis 'Busted'
Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
bullet point Health Insurers Announce Merger Plans
bullet point Some People Do Age Faster Than Others
bullet point Vaccine Researcher Jailed for Fraud
Audit: Drs. Are Overprescribing Drugs to Get Medicare Cash
Article from The Hill.
Medicare May Soon Pay Doctors For End-Of-Life Planning, Advocates Say
News brief from Kaiser Health News.
Press Releases from CMS:


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Monday, July 6

FacebookTwitter
  July 6, 2015
bullet point End-Stage Vascular Access Failure: Can We Define and Can We Classify?
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Overcoming the Body Mass Index as a Barrier in Kidney Transplantation
Free, full-text, Early View editorial and related Early View abstract from American Journal of Transplantation.
bullet point Vascular Access Modifies the Protective Effect of Obesity on Survival in Hemodialysis Patients
Article in Press abstract from Surgery.
bullet point

Meta-Analysis of Statin Therapy in Maintenance Dialysis Patients
Early Online abstract from Renal Failure.

bullet point Issue in Progress Abstracts from Blood Purification:
bullet point Anaphylactic Shock at the End of Hemodialysis
Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Intraocular Pressure Changes during Hemodialysis
Online First abstract from International Urology and Nephrology.
bullet point Antioxidant Vitamins Status in Children and Young Adults Undergoing Dialysis: a Single Center Study
Free, full-text article from Indian Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point His Wife Is ill. He's a Doctor. Isn't He Supposed to Know What to Do?
Article from The Washington Post.
 


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Fri./Sat., July 3-4

FacebookTwitter
  July 3, 2015
bullet point Observation of Microbubbles during Standard Dialysis Treatments
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Abstracts from Supplemental Issue of Kidney International:

Editor's note: Impressive long-term survival seen in Japan. Impressive rehabilitation and employment rates in Korea. The U.S. is far behind these countries.

bullet point Fracture Burden and Risk Factors in Childhood CKD: Results from the CKiD Cohort Study
JASN Express abstract.
bullet point CJASN Express Abstracts:
bullet point Unintended Consequences of the New National Kidney Allocation Policy in the United States
Early View abstract from American Journal of Transplantation.
bullet point Participation in a Structured Weight Loss Program and All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Morbidity in Obese Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Seminars In Dialysis:
bullet point Addressing Violence in the Health Care Workplace
Article from Hospitals & Health Networks.
bullet point Many Americans Trying to Cut Their Salt Intake: CDC
Articles from HealthDay and the CDC's MMWR.
 


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Thursday, July 2

 
Dialysis Workers at Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Center in Brooklyn Protest Abrupt Closing; Patients, Community Activists Angry
Article extract from from News 12 Brooklyn.

"Workers, patients and community activists are calling out the center's owner, Fresenius Medical Care, for shutting down the facility on Sterling Place without public input or considering the needs of (nearly 200) patients."
FacebookTwitter
  July 2, 2015
bullet point Eliminate Emotional Harm by Focusing on Respect and Dignity for Patients
Press release from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

"Emotional harms can erode trust, leave patients feeling violated and damage patient-provider relationships," writes lead author Lauge Sokol-Hessner, MD, a clinician in the BIDMC Hospital Medicine program and the Associate Director of Inpatient Quality. "Such injuries can be severe and long-lasting, with adverse effects on physical health. Failure to acknowledge and systematically address these harms ensures that they continue."

Editor's note: This is a major source of iatrogenic harm in U.S. dialysis care. According to U.S. dialysis patient focus groups (1) (2), the patients’ biggest complaints are that they are not respected as human beings and that their individual needs and concerns are ignored by their caregivers. U.S. nephrology does not address the whole patient.
bullet point Caveats About Favored Access (AV Fistula) For Dialysis
Article (and earlier article touting AV fistulas) from NPR.

"To say that everyone who has a catheter should have a fistula, that's not easy," Hiremath says. "Doctors need to have an open mind, but unfortunately many people have already decided that fistulas are the best option."
bullet point Health Insurance 101: Options for People with ESRD
Article from Home Dialysis Central.
bullet point Acute Kidney Injury Linked to Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure
Press release from UCSF. JASN Express abstract.
bullet point Living Donors Increase Kidney Function Over Time
Press release from the National Kidney Foundation.
bullet point Cardiac Assist Devices and Hemodialysis Catheter Procedures – What Do the Nephrologists Need to Know?
Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Placebo Effects in Medicine
Free, full-text, perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine.
bullet point Experts Call for 'All Hands on Deck' to Tackle Global Burden of Noncommunicable Disease
Press release from the European Society of Cardiology.
bullet point Implantable 'Artificial Pancreas' Could Help Diabetes Patients Control Their Blood Sugar
bullet point Promise From a New Weight-Loss Drug
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Strategies to Improve Survival From Cardiac Arrest
Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Pathogen Killing Light Fixture Kills Bugs on Surfaces and in Air
Article from MedGadget.
New HHS OIG Fraud Unit to Levy Fines, Exclusions-and Target Physicians
News brief from Healthcare DIVE.


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Wednesday, July 1

 
Caveats About Favored Access (AV Fistula) Method For Dialysis
Article (and earlier article touting AV fistulas) from NPR.

"To say that everyone who has a catheter should have a fistula, that's not easy," Hiremath says. "Doctors need to have an open mind, but unfortunately many people have already decided that fistulas are the best option."
FacebookTwitter
  July 1, 2015
bullet point New Law Allows Outpatient Dialysis Clinics To Treat Acute Care Dialysis Cases
Article from Nephrology News & Issues.

Editor's note: As usual, the only parts of ESRD legislation that get slipped into non-related bills at the last minute are those that benefit the groups with money: drug companies, dialysis companies, and U.S. nephrologists. The other parts of the ESRD legislation that would benefit patients are always somehow excluded.

Who is going to fight for the parts that benefit patients?

On another note, are dialysis technicians going to be caring for patients with acute kidney injuries? Do nephrology nurses think this is a good idea?
bullet point Scans Suggest Recurrent Depression May Take Toll on the Brain
Article from HealthDay. Free, full-text, Advance Online article from Molecular Psychiatry.

"This large study confirms the need to treat first episodes of depression effectively, particularly in teenagers and young adults, to prevent the brain changes that accompany recurrent depression," Hickie said in a university news release.
bullet point Satisfaction with Care of Patients on Hemodialysis
CJASN Express abstract.

Editor's note: Do patients know all too well the futility of expressing their needs and concerns to dialysis care professionals? The only changes that "satisfaction" surveys like KDQOL-36 seem to drive are new TVs and chairs.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from Kidney International:

bullet point Why Do Diabetic Patients with CKD Die?
Posting from the AJKD blog.
bullet point Mini-Pig Study: Inflammation May Drive Diabetic Kidney Injury
Article from Asian Scientist.
bullet point Free, Full-Text, Advance Access Articles from Clinical Kidney Journal:
bullet point Whether or Not to Accept a Deceased Donor Kidney Offer for a Pediatric Patient
Online First abstract from Pediatric Nephrology.
bullet point Articles in Press Abstracts from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases:
bullet point Impact of BMI Variations on Survival in Elderly Hemodialysis Patients
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.
bullet point Early Online Abstracts from Renal Failure:
bullet point Immunosuppression in the Failing and Failed Transplant Kidney: Optimizing Outcomes
Advance Access abstract from NDT.
bullet point Conference to Focus on Translating Hurricane Sandy Research into Practice
News brief from AHA News Now. August 10-11 NYC conference registration.
bullet point Most U.S. Hepatitis C Infections May Be Missed: Study
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Microrobots to Drill Through Blocked Arteries (VIDEO)
bullet point California Enacts Mandatory Vaccination Law for Students
Article from the BBC.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from the Journal of the American Medical Association:
bullet point IOM Panel Issues Recommendations to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates
News brief from AHA News Now. Report from the Institute of Medicine.
Medical Companies Paid Doctors $6.49 Billion in 2014
Article from The Hill. Press release from CMS.
Federal Register: Proposed Rule for End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System for CY2016, and Quality Incentive Program


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Tuesday, June 30

New Law Allows Outpatient Dialysis Clinics To Treat Acute Care Dialysis Cases
Article from Nephrology News & Issues.

Editor's note: As usual, the only parts of ESRD legislation that get slipped into non-related bills at the last minute are those that benefit the groups with money: drug companies, dialysis companies, and U.S. nephrologists. The other parts of the ESRD legislation that would benefit patients are always somehow excluded.

Who is going to fight for the parts that benefit patients?

On another note, are dialysis technicians going to be caring for patients with acute kidney injuries? Do nephrology nurses think this is a good idea?
FacebookTwitter
  June 30, 2015
bullet point Atlanta Doctor, Nurse May Win More Than $110 million in DaVita Whistleblower Case
Posting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog.
bullet point Wisconsin Purity Dialysis Centers Use AHRQ Toolkit to Reduce Infections
News release from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
bullet point Commencement Speech for New Medical Student Graduates (and for U.S. Nephrologists)
Posting from MedPage Today's KevinMD.com.

“Whatsoever house I may enter, my visit shall be for the convenience and advantage of the patient."

Editor's note: Keep in mind that virtually no U.S. nephrologists would accept the treatment regimens that they provide to over 85% of their patients.

bullet point Mentorship in the Digital Age: NephMadness and Beyond
(Registration required, but free.) Article from the National Kidney Foundation via Medscape Nephrology.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from Pediatric Nephrology:
bullet point Successful Creation of an Anemia Management Algorithm for Hemodialysis Patients
Abstract and link to full-text pdf from International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease.
bullet point Issue in Progress Abstracts from Blood Purification:
bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from the Journal of Vascular Access:
bullet point For Type 2 Diabetes, Where You Live Matters
Article from HealthDay. Online First abstract from JAMA Internal Medicine.
bullet point Agency for Healthcare Quality Research (AHRQ) Teeters on Brink of Extinction
Article from HealthLeaders Media.
bullet point Many Americans Wait Too Long for Needed Health Care: IOM Report
Article from HealthDay. News release and report from the Institute of Medicine.
bullet point Measuring the Performance of Health Insurance Marketplaces
Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CMS Issues Proposed CY 2016 Rule for ESRD Facilities
News brief from AHA News Now.
Restrictions for Medicaid Reimbursement of Sofosbuvir for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States
Free, full-text, Online First article from Annals of Internal Medicine.


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Monday, June 29

Atlanta Doctor, Nurse May Win More Than $110 million in DaVita Whistleblower Case
Posting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog.
FacebookTwitter
  June 29, 2015
bullet point Aug. 12-13 Workshop in Baltimore — Understanding Patients' Preferences: Stimulating Medical Device Development in Kidney Disease
Notice from the Kidney Health Initiative.
bullet point Adverse Effects of Conventional Thrice-Weekly Hemodialysis: Is It Time to Avoid 3-Day Interdialytic Intervals
Free, full-text, Issue in Progress article from American Journal of Nephrology.
bullet point Renal Transplantation in Infants
Free, full-text, Online First educational review from Pediatric Nephrology.
bullet point Predicting Early Death Among Elderly Dialysis Patients: Development and Validation of a Risk Score to Assist Shared Decision Making for Dialysis Initiation
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Journal of Renal Care:
bullet point Living Donor Kidney Transplantation: Improving Education Outside of Transplant Centers about Live Donor Transplantation—Recommendations from a Consensus Conference
CJASN Express abstract.
bullet point Tedizolid Adsorption and Transmembrane Clearance during in vitro Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy
Issue in Progress abstract from Blood Purification.
bullet point Current Outcomes and Indications for Cryopreserved Vein Allografts in Hemodialysis Access Surgery
Advance Online abstract from the Journal of Vascular Access.
bullet point Professor Develops New Method for Delivering Drugs to Polycystic Kidneys
Press release from UC Santa Barbara.
bullet point Kidney Care Partners Letter to the Senate Finance Committee on Chronic Care
See link at bottom of page.
bullet point Daily Bathing of Pediatric Patients with Antiseptic Cuts Bloodstream Infections by 59 Percent
bullet point OSHA May Soon Fine Hospitals to Protect Nurses from Injury
News brief from Healthcare DIVE.
bullet point Obamacare's Next Hurdles to Clear
Articles from Kaiser Health News and HealthDay.
bullet point Fat No Longer the Focus of New U.S. Dietary Guidelines
CMS Releases Proposed Rule for End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System and Quality Incentive Program for CY 2016
Fact sheet, proposed rule (194-page pdf), and Downloads links.


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Fri./Sat., June 26-27

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  June 26, 2015
bullet point The Peer Kidney Care Initiative: Improving Dialysis Care in the US
Posting from the AJKD blog. Free, full-text, supplement issue of American Journal of Kidney Diseases on the Peer Kidney Care Initiative.

Editor's note: One would usually want to applaud such an effort by so many experienced physicians.  Unfortunately, it fails to address the greatest shortcomings and blind spots of U.S. dialysis care.

U.S. dialysis care has trailed far behind other fields of medicine in improving patient outcomes and has trailed other first-world countries in dialysis care for decades. U.S. nephrology has always focused solely on hospitalizations and mortality statistics as the way to improve the patients’ quality of life.  This Peer effort continues and solidifies that mistake. It also continues a very limited search for solutions that will improve morbidity and hospitalization rates, as the solutions must fit the infrastructure, dialysis machines, and mindset that U.S. nephrologists have invested in over the last several decades.

Usually, only the top specialists in a field of medicine make astronomical amounts of money. The Stark law, which permitted nephrologists to own the clinics to which they referred patients, made it possible for most U.S. dialysis-care nephrologists to become multi-millionaires. A nephrologist's net worth was based on the number of patients they had in their dialysis clinics. Not unlike cattle farmers, they found a herd medicine approach was best for them. There was no need to be a great physician or even an engaged physician. With fixed reimbursements per treatment, the cheapest and fastest dialysis treatments were the primary goal of most nephrologists’ care and business. There were no centers of excellence that focused on patients’ life and health goals.  As patients had no other options, U.S. nephrologists could ignore patients’ needs and concerns and still become rich. This is the revered tradition of U.S. nephrology, where this easily-gained wealth ─ unfortunately ─ seems to equate with being right.

Does any other field of medicine avoid patient engagement like U.S. dialysis care? Major organ replacement therapy must include, as was expected forty years ago when federal funding was approved, major emphases on rehabilitation, psychosocial wellbeing, and patient employment. U.S. nephrology has ignored all of these with disastrous results. Patients become enslaved to a life called dialysis. Without focus on the meaning and purpose of patients’ lives, too many patients become depressed, lose hope, as well as the will to survive.  Nephrologists admit that virtually none of them would accept the therapy that over 85% of their patients receive. According to the USRDS, less than 10% of working-age patients are employed.  Why won’t U.S. nephrology leaders address this? Is it because the money would come out of their own pockets?

Due largely to their ownership positions, U.S. dialysis care nephrologists continue to cling to the image and power of being "captains of the ship." Dialysis care will be greatly improved when they finally realize that while they can continue to be the captain for acute care, for long-term chronic care they should simply be the ship's doctor … on the patient's boat.

The Stark law keeps U.S. nephrologists firmly aligned with business interests. As a result, this Peer group, the Renal Physicians Association, and Kidney Care Partners can and will never act as effective patient advocates to policymakers and lawmakers.

I have watched this Peer movement evolve since the 2009 Boston meeting. From the beginning, they did NOT attempt to include patients, address their psychosocial needs, or consider the impact of their financial interests in caring for their patients.  

A message for U.S. dialysis-care nephrology: First, diagnose (and demote) thyself. Acknowledge that you can’t serve two masters. Change the system so you can be physicians -- and effective patient advocates -- once again.

bullet point Dental Health and Mortality in People With End-Stage Kidney Disease Treated With Hemodialysis: A Multinational Cohort Study
Free, full-text, Article in Press from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point 2015 American Transplant Congress Targets Hot Issues in Transplantation
Free full-text article from American Journal of Transplantation.
bullet point Tapping into Electronic Health Records to Improve Care for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
Press release and CJASN Express abstract from the American Society of Nephrology.
bullet point Early Dialysis and Adverse Outcomes After Hurricane Sandy
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators in Patients
CJASN Express abstract.
bullet point Association Between Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 and Coronary Artery Calcification in Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis Therapy
Early View abstract from Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis.
bullet point

The Incidence of Thrombocytopenia Associated with Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy in Critically Ill Patients
Early Online abstract from Renal Failure.

bullet point Smart Glucose Responsive Patch for Insulin Delivery to Replace Injections
Article and photos from MedGadget.
bullet point Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Health Law Subsidies
Article and news summary from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point In Wake of High Court Ruling, What's Next for Obamacare
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point 4 Rules for Using the Internet When You're in the Hospital
Article from The Daily Dot.
Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Connects: ESRD QIP System Training on July 8, 1:30 - 3 PM ET
Registration is now open.
NRAA Sponsoring 3-Part Webinar Series on New QIP Measurement Review System — Open to Non-Members
Announcement and link to registration from the National Renal Administrators Association.
Physicians Are Not Ready for ICD-10: Here's Why
Article from Medical Economics.


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Thursday, June 25

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Health Law Subsidies
FacebookTwitter
  June 25, 2015
bullet point DaVita to Pay $450 Million to Resolve Allegations That it Sought Reimbursement for Unnecessary Drug Wastage
Press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. News summary from Kaiser Health News.

Editor's note: This is the official notice of the settlement reached in April. See this May 4th press release from DaVita. See this 2012 CNN story (10-minute video) on this case.

Kent Thiry wants his employees to vote him among the most influential people in healthcare (Modern Healthcare poll). There is no argument that he does influence DaVita doctors and nurses to practice perverse forms of medicine. It is painful and sad to read his statements about EPO use in this 2007 New York Times article. This illustrates why business people shouldn't try to influence medical decisions.
bullet point Geography Is Destiny in Deaths from Kidney Failure (Due to Catheter vs. A/V Fistula-related Mortality)
Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Online First abstract from JAMA Surgery.
bullet point First European Society of Cardiology Recommendations for Arrhythmias and Chronic Kidney Disease Published
Press release.
bullet point A Nephrology Guide to Reading and Using Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from NDT.
bullet point

Cost of Renal Replacement: How to Help As Many As Possible While Keeping Expenses Reasonable?
Advance Access abstract from NDT.

Editor's note: One must also remember that fast, cheap dialysis treatments debilitate nearly all hemodialysis patients, as is routinely done in the U.S. This results in enormous additional social services costs and lost opportunity costs.

bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from Kidney International:
bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from the Journal of Vascular Access:
bullet point Older Patients with ANCA Associated Vasculitis and Dialysis Dependent Renal Failure: a Retrospective Study
Provisional abstract and full-text article (5-page pdf) from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point GOP Keeps in Place Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research
Article from The Hill. Australian comedian Jim Jeffries's stand-up routine (15-minute YouTube video) on U.S. gun control policies.
bullet point Articles from Kaiser Health News:
RPA Comments to Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group on Impact of Chronic Disease and the Medicare Program
Letter from the Renal Physicians Association.

Editor's note: Are these physicians or renal administrators?


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Wednesday, June 24

Geography Is Destiny in Deaths from Kidney Failure (Due to Catheter vs. A/V Fistula-related Mortality)
Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Online First abstract from JAMA Surgery.
FacebookTwitter
  June 24, 2015
bullet point DaVita HealthCare Subpoenaed Over Medicare Coding
Articles from StreetInsider.com, Denver Business Journal, and Bloomberg.

Editor's note: I believe what Kent Thiry is building is unsustainable because no other healthcare executive would be willing to bend and abuse government rules as he does.

He has settled three whistleblower lawsuits within the last three years for a total of nearly $1 billion. The government is unlikely to tolerate his actions much longer.

He can walk away at any time with hundred of millions of dollars. Who would want his job then?
bullet point

Can CMO Agenda Influence Dialysis Providers in Improving Quality?
Article from Nephrology News & Issues.

Editor's note: The chief medical officers (CMOs) in U.S. dialysis care seem unable to consider a bigger picture than their internal medicine toolbox. Despite trailing the rest of medicine for decades in improving patient outcomes, they continue to ignore:

  • The effects of physician ownership of dialysis centers on patient outcomes
  • The effects of financial incentives on dialysis care
  • Patient engagement and what is important to them
  • Renal rehabilitation, psychosocial wellbeing, and patient employment

This CMO group continues to search the data for answers, despite the fact that much of it is routinely "scrubbed" for the purpose of fraudulent gains. They practice the kind of medicine they want to practice, not what patients need. They seem collectively unable to "think outside the box," apparently trapped by their financial interests, infrastructure, and legal positions. As patient advocates, they should be opposing business interests, not be in bed with business.

What is the biggest problem in U.S. dialysis care? IMO, those trusted professionals who think they can serve two masters... but are unwilling to discuss it. In reality, there are egregious conflicts of interest in U.S. dialysis care which allows corruption to thrive. New leadership is needed.

bullet point Renal Dietitians' Perceptions of Roles and Responsibilities in Outpatient Dialysis Facilities
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.

"It appears that the renal dietitian's role of providing nutrition assessments and counseling in outpatient dialysis facilities is being expanded to include administrative and (care) coordination responsibilities."

Editor's note: The dietitians are spending their time enrolling patients in pharmacy programs, while the social workers are coordinating transportation and filling out insurance forms to get maximum reimbursements for the clinics. The patient-to-social worker and patient-to-dietitian ratios are already well above 100.

This is patient-centered care?
bullet point National Kidney Foundation Proposes New Medicare Payment System to Improve Care for Kidney Patients
Press release.
bullet point Peritoneal Dialysis for Chronic Congestive Heart Failure
Free, full-text, Issue-in-Progress in-depth review from Blood Purification.
bullet point Nephrology in China: Similarities, Differences Astound
(Registration required, but free.) Berns on Nephrology video blog from Medscape Nephrology.
bullet point Dialysis Health Starts in the Digestive Tract
News item from the National Kidney Foundation.
bullet point Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of High-Efficiency Hemodiafiltration Versus Low-Flux Hemodialysis Based on the Canadian Arm of the CONTRAST Study
Free, full-text article from Applied Health Economics and Health Policy.
bullet point Treatment Time or Convection Volume in HDF: What Drives the Reduced Mortality Risk
Issue in Progress abstract from Blood Purification.
bullet point Early View Abstracts from Hemodialysis International:
bullet point Improved Cognitive Performance after a Single Dialysis Session: Where Do We Go from Here?
Advance Access extract (and abstract) from NDT.
bullet point Early Online Abstracts from Renal Failure:
bullet point Full-text, Online First articles from the New England Journal of Medicine: Article from the American College of Cardiology.
bullet point Thyroid Status, Cardiac Function and Mortality in Patients with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Abstract from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
bullet point When Inflammation Occurs, Kidneys Work to Protect Themselves, Researchers Find
bullet point Evidence Supports Medical Pot for Some Conditions, Not Others
Article from HealthDay. JAMA Patient Page and press release.
bullet point China Bets on Telemedicine to Solve Its Healthcare Woes
Medicare Slow To Adopt Telemedicine Due To Cost Concerns
Article from Kaiser Health News.
Fewer Than 1 in 10 Older Heart Patients (on Medicare) Get Life-Saving Defibrillators
Press release from Duke University Medical Center. Free full-text article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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Tuesday, June 23

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  June 23, 2015
bullet point Improving Outcomes with Better CKD Care
Article by Doug Johnson, M.D. from Nephrology News and Issues.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from NDT:
bullet point Study Shows Importance of Cause of Kidney Failure When Planning Future Treatment
Press release from Stanford University Medical Center. CJASN Express abstract.
bullet point Free, Full-Text Articles from American Journal of Kidney Diseases:
bullet point Generic Immunosuppression in Solid Organ Transplantation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Free, full-text article from The BMJ.
bullet point Supervised Oral Protein Supplementation during Dialysis in Patients with Elevated C-Reactive Protein Levels: a Two Phase, Longitudinal, Single Center, Open Labeled Study
Provisional abstract and full-text article (8-page pdf) from BMC Nephrology.
bullet point Inertia in Health Care Organizations: A Case Study of Peritoneal Dialysis Services
Abstract from Health Care Management Review.
bullet point Outcome and Treatment of Elderly Patients with ANCA-Associated Vasculitis
CJASN Express abstract.
bullet point Management of Dyslipidemia for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction: Synopsis of the 2014 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline
Free, full-text, Online First clinical guidelines from Annals of Internal Medicine.
bullet point More Than Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults Now Overweight or Obese: Study
Article from HealthDay. Extract from JAMA Internal Medicine. Article from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point Seven Questions for Personalized Medicine
Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Airing, a Hoseless Micro-CPAP, Hoping to Become a Reality
Recent Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Transmittals:


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Monday, June 22

FacebookTwitter
  June 22, 2015
bullet point Fresenius Medical Care Recalls 22.6 Million CRIT-LINE Blood Chambers Due to Leaks
FDA Recall Notice from the June 17, 2015 Enforcement Report.
bullet point Can Too Much Sitting Make You Anxious?
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Manhattan Nephrologist Arrested for Assaulting Kidney Patient
Article from New York Post.
bullet point Internists Give Senate Recommendations to Improve Care for Patients with Chronic Diseases
Press release from the American College of Physicians.
bullet point "Out of Sight, Out of Mind": The Failed Renal Allograft as a Cause of ESA Resistance
Free, full-text, Early View article from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Renal Effects of Anti-Cancer Medications
Posting from the Renal Fellow Network blog.
bullet point Debating Organ Procurement Policy Without Illusions
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point Iatrogenic Baclofen Neurotoxicity in ESRD: Recognition and Management
Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Lean Body Mass Assessment Based on UV Absorbance in Spent Dialysate and Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry
Advance Online abstract from the International Journal of Artificial Organs.
bullet point Cephalic Vein and Radial Artery Diameter in Formation of Radiocephalic Arteriovenous Fistula: a Systematic Review
Advance Online abstract from the Journal of Vascular Access.
bullet point CBO Finds 19 Million Would Become Uninsured If Health Law Repealed
Article from Kaiser Health News.
bullet point ACO Leaders Underscore Need for Two-Sided Models
Article from HFMA.
bullet point What Nurses Really Want
Blog posting from National Nurses United.
243 Arrested, Charged with $712 Million in False Medicare Billings. Includes Doctors, Nurses, and Other Licensed Professionals
Press release from the FBI. News summary and follow-up summary from Kaiser Health News.
CMS: Medicare Chronic Care Model Saves $25 Million in First Performance Year
News brief from AHA News Now.


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Fri./Sat., June 19-20

243 Arrested, Charged with $712 Million in False Medicare Billings. Includes Doctors, Nurses, and Other Licensed Professionals
Press release from the FBI. News summary from Kaiser Health News.
FacebookTwitter
  June 19, 2015
bullet point Share Your Passion for Nephrology: Ten Tips to Invigorate Attending Rounds and Precepting Sessions
Free, full-text, Article in Press from the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Related posting from the AJKD blog.

Editor's note: While I applaud the author's emphasis on patient engagement, this field of medicine still has no concept of patient wellness and places no emphasis on renal patient rehabilitation and employment. We need leaders who see a bigger picture than "fixing the numbers."
bullet point Survey on Sex Hormones in Chronic Kidney Disease
Online survey from the University of Calgary via the International Society of Nephrology web site.
bullet point Sexual Health in America: Improving Patient Care and Public Health
Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point

Acute Kidney Injury after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Issue in Progress abstract and full-text editorial from American Journal of Nephrology.

bullet point The Relationship between Weight, Height and Body Mass Index with Hemodynamic Parameters Is Not Same in Patients with and without Chronic Kidney Disease
Online First abstract from Clinical and Experimental Nephrology.
bullet point Cost Effectiveness of Lanthanum Carbonate in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients in Spain before and during Dialysis
Abstract and full-text article (9-page pdf) from Health Economics Review.
bullet point Can U.S. Health-Care System Afford New, Improved Cholesterol Drugs?
Article from HealthDay.

"Medications may cost as much as $12,000 per person each year."
bullet point Margaret McCartney: Time to Give Patients Informed Choice
Viewpoint article from The BMJ.
bullet point FDA Seizes Counterfeit Drugs, Devices Sold Online
Article from HealthDay. Press release from the FDA.
Save the Date — MLN Connects: ESRD QIP System Training on July 8, 1:30 - 3 PM ET
Registration will open soon.


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Thursday, June 18

FacebookTwitter
  June 18, 2015
bullet point Simplified Phosphate Binder Pill Regimen Could Improve Health
News release from Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study Program (DOPPS).

Editor's note: Guess what country has the highest pill burden.
bullet point Phosphorus Sky High and Hidden in Many U.S. Beverages
Press release from the National Kidney Foundation.
bullet point Young Adult Patient Retreat
Notice from the Northwest Renal Network.
bullet point A Randomized Trial of Intravenous and Oral Iron in Chronic Kidney Disease
Advance Online abstract from Kidney International.
bullet point Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Transplant Recipients
Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition.
bullet point Lactate Clearance and Metabolic Aspects of Continuous High-Volume Hemofiltration
Free, full-text, Advance Access article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point Published Ahead-of-Print Abstracts from Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension:
bullet point Tissue Engineering: Organs from the Lab
Article from Nature.com.
bullet point Scientists Grow Artificial Vessels Using Collagen, Human Muscle Cells
Article from MedGadget.
bullet point

How Four Words In Huge Health Law Divide The Supreme Court
Article from Kaiser Health News.

bullet point Progress and Hurdles for Follow-on Biologics
Free, full-text, perspective piece from the New England Journal of Medicine.
bullet point Middle East Respiratory Syndrome: A Global Health Challenge
Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Majority Polled Say Prescription Drug Prices Are Too High And Point Finger At Drugmakers
Save the Date — MLN Connects: ESRD QIP System Training on July 8, 1:30 - 3 PM ET
Registration will open soon.
Some ACOs Save Money By Adding Dentists


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Wednesday, June 17

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  June 17, 2015
bullet point Surgery Better Than Cinacalcet for Hyperparathyroidism
(Registration required, but free.) Article from Medscape Medical News. Recent posting from the Renal Fellow Network blog.
bullet point Patient Engagement Progress
Posting from the Northwest Renal Network.

"Still, the most common score in 2015 was 2 out of 13, so we've no shortage of work ahead of us."
bullet point Tissue 'Scaffold' Technology Could Help Rebuild Large Organs
Press release from the University of Bristol.
bullet point A Potential Solution to the Shortage of Solid Organs for Transplantation
Free, full-text, viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point In UK, Hospitals Urge Muslims to Donate Organs
Article from the BBC.
bullet point Kibow Biotech To Introduce Novel Concept of "ENTERIC DIALYSIS®" with its Product Renadyl™ at the 2015 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia - June 15-18
Press release.
bullet point Challenges and Clinical Decision-Making in HIV-to-HIV Transplantation: Insights From the HIV Literature
Early View abstract from American Journal of Transplantation.
bullet point Not Losing Sight of Your Dreams
KidneyTalk podcast from Renal Support Network.
bullet point Many Americans ill-Informed About Heart Failure: Survey
bullet point Poll: Most Want Congress to Save Obamacare Subsidies
Article from The Hill.
bullet point The FDA Takes Step to Remove Artificial Trans Fats in Processed Foods
FDA news release. Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Thinking Like Michael Porter
Article from Hospitals & Health Networks.
MedPAC Releases Report on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System
(2-page pdf) Press release and fact sheets (5-page pdf) from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Prescription Drug Benefit Doesn't Save Money for Medicare
Press release from Northeastern University.
Medicare at 50: Is It Working?
Article from Medical Economics.


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Tuesday, June 16

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  June 16, 2015
bullet point Latest USRDS ESRD Quarterly Update
Data on end-stage renal disease from the United States Renal Data System.
bullet point More Dialysis Patients Living in Poor Neighborhoods, Study Finds
Press release from Loyola Medicine.
bullet point EURODOPPS Winners Have Been Announced
(2-page pdf) Press release from the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA web site.)

Editor's note: Until there is a change in leadership in U.S. nephrology, American dialysis patients should look to Europe, Canada and Australia for the best dialysis care practices.
bullet point Trends in Anemia Management Practices in Patients Receiving Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis
Issue in Progress abstract from American Journal of Nephrology.

"Conclusions: In patients receiving persistent dialysis, dose and frequency of ESA administrations decreased during the period 2007-2011. Mean hemoglobin levels decreased by more than 1 g/dl, while transfusion rates increased by approximately 25%."
bullet point Harms Associated with Single Unit Perioperative Transfusion: Retrospective Population Based Analysis
Free full-text article from The BMJ.

"In vitro data and data from animal and human studies show that packed red blood cell transfusion introduces inflexible hyperaggregable red blood cells, activates the thrombogenic potential of vascular endothelium and platelets, and can initially hamper tissue oxygenation, providing biological plausibility for a link between transfusion and perioperative stroke/myocardial infarction. We and others have now found that this association can be shown in large retrospective cohorts, though data from randomized controlled trials are lacking."

Editor's note: Weren't dialysis patients' hemoglobins lowered to reduce the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction?
bullet point Test Your Knowledge: Too High or Too Low Potassium in ESRD
Posting from the AJKD blog.
bullet point Introducing CExpress ~ Concise, Online Nephrology Education
Pay-for-CEs feature from the American Nephrology Nurses Association.
bullet point Eculizumab Induced Reversal of Dialysis Dependent Kidney Failure from C3 Glomerulonephritis
Free, full-text, Advance Access exceptional case article from Clinical Kidney Journal.
bullet point The Potential Use of Antisclerostin Therapy in Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder
Free, full-text article from Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension.
bullet point Hyperlipidemia, Caused by a High-Fat Diet, Aggressively Accelerates Organ Rejection
Press release from Tufts University.
bullet point Existing Drug Used in Transplants Causes Older Rats to Lose Weight
Press release from the University of Florida.
bullet point Intramuscular and Subcutaneous Forearm Parathyroid Autograft Hyperplasia in Renal Dialysis Patients: a Retrospective Cohort Study
Article in Press abstract from Surgery.
bullet point Therapeutic Area Data Standards for Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease: A Report From The Polycystic Kidney Disease Outcomes Consortium (PKDOC)
Article in Press abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
bullet point New AHRQ-Funded Centers to Study Health Systems and Their Efforts to Disseminate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Press release from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
bullet point The Consult Guys - Controlling Hypertension: The Pressure Is Killing Me!
Free, Web-Only video from Annals of Internal Medicine.
bullet point Temple University Researchers Look into the Brains of Chronic Itch Patients
bullet point Visualizing Calcified Coronary Arteries May Be Wake-Up Call to Change Lifestyle
bullet point Physicians Should Help Families with Decisions about End-Of-Life Care
bullet point Smoking Blamed for Half of Deaths From Major Cancers in People Over 35
Article from HealthDay.
bullet point Majority of Adults Favor Ban on Powdered Alcohol
Press release from the University of Michigan Health System. Free, full-text, Online First viewpoint article from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
bullet point Express Scripts, Insurers Press for Pay-For-Performance Drug Pricing
News brief from Healthcare DIVE.
Trends in Prevalence of Patient Case Mix Adjusters Used in the Medicare Dialysis Payment System
Article from Nephrology News & Issues.
CMS Pays out $1.3B to Hospitals to Clear Medicare Appeals Backlog


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Monday, June 15

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  June 15, 2015
bullet point 50 Years Later, Minnesota Woman's Donated Kidney Is Going Strong
Article from Duluth News-Tribune.
bullet point

Free, Full-Text Articles from Journal of Renal Nutrition:

bullet point Cancer Incidence Among US Medicare ESRD Patients Receiving Hemodialysis, 1996-2009
(Registration required, but free.) Free full-text article from American Journal of Kidney Diseases via Medscape Nephrology.
bullet point Increases in Intravenous Magnesium Use among Hospitalized Patients: an Institution Cross-Sectional Experience
Provisional abstract and full-text article (17-page pdf) from Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease.
bullet point Dialysis Facility Safety: Processes and Opportunities
Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis.
bullet point Advance Online Abstracts from the Journal of Vascular Access:
bullet point FDA May 2015 Safety Labeling Changes
Includes 43 products with revisions to Prescribing Information.
bullet point Medtronic Fortex PTA High Pressure Balloon to Maintain Access During Dialysis
Article from MedGadget.
bullet point Here's How to Buy Your Way Into a Meeting With a Congressman
Article from The Daily Dot.

"Members of Congress are 231% more likely to meet with you if you've paid them."
bullet point HIMSS Survey: Nurses ‘Won't Go Back To Paper'
Article from Nurses.com.
ICD-10: The Four Steps to Being Prepared


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