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Palmetto GBA defining pathology Medicare fraud with new standards
The Pathology Blawg
Palmetto GBA, the Medicare Administrative Contractor for Jursidiction 11 (the Carolinas and Virginias), is taking the rather extraordinary step of defining, using an evidence-based approach, the standards by which certain specimens should be pathologically evaluated. By doing this, Palmetto is placing itself at the forefront of combating Medicare fraud by pathologists and in-office laboratory owners.
The next generation of gene tests for cancer takes an all-in-one approach to tumor biomarkers
Reuters via MedCity
A new way of evaluating tumors may soon help cancer patients identify the underlying genetic link to their disease — and the best possible treatment — all in a single test. Researchers are set to begin clinical trials using a more comprehensive testing method that looks for all of the known genes that may be active in a tumor.
Study uses supercomputer to shorten time required to analyze whole human genome sequences
It's a breakthrough in the time required to analyze data from whole human genome sequencing. Researchers at the University of Chicago have successfully demonstrated that genome analysis can be radically accelerated. This could be a big deal for pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists. That's because a faster time-to-answer from gene sequencing would increase its diagnostic and therapeutic value to clinicians.
Cancer hospitals make gene tests a new standard for care
Pinpointing the genetic changes that cause cancer has been a focus of researchers for more than a decade. Now, top cancer hospitals are making genetic testing a new standard of care in the field.
Biomarkers distinguish between mesothelioma and non-cancer
A team at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark have identified four biomarkers which could help identify between malignant pleural mesothelioma and non-cancerous pleural tissue with reactive mesothelial proliferations. This is a common but difficult diagnostic problem in pleural biopsy samples taken from patients who have suspected MPM. The ability to make quicker and more accurate diagnoses could help improve patient outcomes.
The outrageous cost of working in medicine
The Washington Post
Over the past two decades, medical school tuition has increased by 312 percent in public institutions and 165 percent in private institutions. This has left students in the health professions with enormous amounts of student debt and, perhaps even worse, has turned many others away from pursuing such fields all together.
Gene variants that lead to longer telomeres boost brain cancer risk
New genomic research led by UC San Francisco scientists reveals that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres, the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging, also significantly increase the risk of developing the deadly brain cancers known as gliomas.
How to understand hospital ratings
The Wall Street Journal
Studies have shown that hospitals that do well on one rating system, let's say the one put out by the Leapfrog Group, might do quite poorly on another, such as Consumer Reports or HealthGrades. There's a saying in medicine that there are now about 1,000 different U.S. hospitals that are one of "America’s 100 best hospitals." With so many different rankings producing such divergent results, this quip isn’t far from the truth.
Prostate cancer diagnosis may be more accurate with semen test
Medical News Today
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and a major cause of cancer-related deaths. Yet it is tricky to diagnose — the commonly used PSA test can result in over-diagnosis and unnecessary further procedures. Now, new research led by the University of Adelaide in Australia promises to improve the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis with the help of biomarkers in seminal fluid.
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