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State expansions of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study released on Wednesday.

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(PRWEB) June 26, 2013

Angelina Jolie recently shocked the world when she revealed that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after she tested positive for the faulty BRCA1 gene. Not only did this disclosure stun the world, but it was also viewed as a brave and courageous act, reminding the public that that even the most glamorized celebrities are vulnerable to cancer; the same disease that takes the lives of millions of women every year. Tellwut’s community of online survey panelists were supportive of this decision at 47%, with support from women only being slightly higher at 50%. 37% overall were undecided with just 16% feeling that this was a wrong decision.

Interested in gathering more information about panel members views and opinions regarding gene testing, market research company Tellwut conducted a survey about this health issue. According to the results, 42% of participants were familiar with the faulty BRCA1 gene. When asked whether participants knew of someone that had cancer due to the BRCA1 gene mutation, 12% of participants indicated that they knew someone with the gene. Although results indicate that the mutation gene has not touched too many participants, Jolies goal is that her story will open up a dialogue and encourage women to get tested for faulty genes, such as, the BRCA1 mutation gene. When asked whether panel members had ever considered having genetic testing done, the results indicated that only 16% of participants had considered genetic testing while 58% had not.

The lack of concern regarding genetic testing may be attributed to the fact that testing is very expensive, inaccessible and may result in denial of insurance for the person tested or their children. The BRCA1 test costs around $ 300 to $ 3,000 depending on the depth of the test according to breastcancer.org and is generally only covered under insurance for those who have a pre-existing family history of cancer such as breast cancer. According to the online survey results, the top reasons people choose not to have genetic testing performed were due to limited finances, no family background with cancer and poor insurance coverage. This correlates with a comment made by one Tellwut panel member who stated, If you have the cash or the insurance it will be no problem to get the tests and decide to have the surgery and the reconstructive surgery. Angelina has the money to have everything necessary to ensure her health…most people do not!

With most panelists in favor of her action, credit must go to Angelina Jolie for bravely disclosing her health issues to the public, for educating women about the BRCA1 gene and for being an advocate to women around the world. Education brings change and the ability to ensure better testing where warranted.

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Though assisted-reproduction techniques (ART) are known to come with a higher risk for birth defects, a new review of defect rates in Western Australia shows major birth defects becoming less common over the course of a decade among babies born through ART.

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Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) September 05, 2012

With HHS issuing a final rule that establishes October 2014 as the deadline for ICD-10 compliance, physicians and medical personnel are girding themselves for what many perceive to be a complex labyrinth of documentation.

ICD-10 is the acronym for the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) and Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS). This diagnosis code set will replace ICD-9 and expand the number of codes from 17,000 to approximately 141,000.

In a recent survey of 480 physicians, administrators, office managers and billers, Attitudes Toward the Transition to ICD-10 and ANSI-5010, conducted by Nuesoft Technologies, 96 percent of the respondents reported that they are concerned about the potential impact of the transition to ICD-10. In fact, 60 percent of all respondents indicated that they are significantly or highly concerned.

By comparison, when asked about the impact of the January 2012 adoption of ANSI 5010, 64 percent indicated it had a negative impact on their practice. Three months later, 50 percent of the respondents indicated they were either not at all or only minimally upset. The other 50 percent responded that they were moderately, significantly or highly upset.

Respondents also expect that the ICD-10 transition will significantly affect their practice. More than 73 percent of the respondents anticipate the process will negatively impact their operations and finances, as well as their personal and staff state of mind.

Physicians continue to be unfairly burdened by the rising cost of the reimbursement process and interruptions to their workflow, said Massoud Alibakhsh, Chief Executive Officer and President of Nuesoft Technologies, Inc., a leader in the development of practice management, medical billing and EHR software.

The transition to ICD-10 will be one of the most significant changes the physician practice community has ever undertaken. The more detailed level of specificity required by ICD-10 will impact all practice management processes, including documentation, billing, workflow, and quality reporting. In addition, practice software systems will need to be upgraded, and physicians and responsible staff will need extensive training to successfully make the transition.

Most physicians are dreading the change to ICD-10 because the number of codes and level of specificity will increase exponentially, said Barbara Dunn, president of MedRecovery Solutions, Inc., a large billing firm that works with practices throughout the country to optimize operations through appropriate coding and billing.

Julie Nobles, president of Premiere Medical Billing, echoed Dunns concern. Most physicians I have spoken with are worried about the rollout of ICD-10 because they are not certain the increased costs and staff hours justify the change to a new and larger set of diagnostic codes.

Yet, for some physicians, the impending transition is being taken in stride. According to Robert Goldman, M.D., the founding physician of Georgia Hormones, We wanted to stay ahead of the curve so the transition to ICD-10 would be as streamlined as possible. Our practice coding specialist, as well as all of our physicians, finished a course this year all about ICD-10 and the new diagnosis codes. Even though the list of codes will be the size of ten Manhattan phone books, we are prepared. In fact, Europe has been using ICD-10 codes successfully since 2002.

AAPC, the nation’s largest training and credentialing organization for medical coding, auditing, compliance and practice management, offers several courses on ICD-10 implementation. According to Rhonda Buckholtz, the organizations vice president responsible for ICD-10 training and education, Most often the response we receive from attendees after completing the training is that they no longer fear ICD-10.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has stressed that ICD-10 will provide more specific data than ICD-9 and better reflect current medical practices. CMS, a division of Health and Human Services, indicated that the added detail embedded within ICD-10 codes will inform health care providers and health plans of patient incidence and history, which improves the effectiveness of case management and care coordination functions.

The ICD-10 transition is one example of the many challenges facing medical practices today. Others challenges expressed by physicians include:

1.

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More than one in five middle-aged U.S. adults, and nearly half of adults over age 65, have more than one chronic health condition, such as hypertension and diabetes, according to a new government report.

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State expansions of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study released on Wednesday.

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A study out Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the number of MRIs quadrupled, CT scans tripled and PET scans went up 57 percent between 1996 and 2010.




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As the U.S. Supreme Court ponders the fate of healthcare reform in the current election year, a study released on Thursday shows that one in four working-age Americans went without insurance at some point in 2011, often as a result of unemployment and other job changes.

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As the U.S. Supreme Court ponders the fate of healthcare reform in the current election year, a study released on Thursday shows that one in four working-age Americans went without insurance at some point in 2011, often as a result of unemployment and other job changes.

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As the U.S. Supreme Court ponders the fate of healthcare reform in the current election year, a study released on Thursday shows that one in four working-age Americans went without insurance at some point in 2011, often as a result of unemployment and other job changes.

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