July 15 - 19, 2013

National Coverage:

New Thinking on Risky Pregnancies
The Wall Street Journal

…Other studies have found detrimental effects to bed rest. A 2010 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that reviewed previous research said that women placed on bed rest had a 19-fold increased chance of getting deep-vein thrombosis, or a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the lower part of the body, said Anne Lyerly, associate director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The doctor won’t take your call
"Market Watch" The Wall Street Journal

…The Affordable Care Act is pushing more health care systems to base physician payments on their patient satisfaction scores—and that satisfaction often depends on how easy it was for a patient to call their doctor. “People will be quick to tell you, I called your office and they never called me back,” says John Thorp, an obstetrician and gynecologist who directs the women’s primary health care division at the University of North Carolina.

Real or fake sugar: Does it matter?

Full disclosure: A lot of journalists at CNN drink diet soda. So when we saw a new study suggesting that artificially sweetened beverages are just as bad for you as sugar-sweetened drinks, we, and our readers, bubbled over with questions. …"It's a taste issue," says Barry Popkin, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Public Health. "They each have separate taste effects and different people react differently to each of them."

Young children with autism benefit regardless of high-quality treatment model
Medical Xpress

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who receive high-quality early intervention benefit developmentally regardless of the treatment model used—a surprising result that may have important implications for special-education programs and school classrooms across the country.

State and Local Coverage:

Local hospitals echo concerns about Medicare readmission penalties
The Herald-Sun

Targeting patients who have been admitted to the hospital multiple times and who are taking 10 or more medications, Beth McKenzie and pharmacist Stephanie Stout work the phones to try to keep those patients from having to come back to UNC Hospitals. …Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, hospitals are penalized for patients who are readmitted for heart stroke, heart failure, and pneumonia within 30 days of discharge at higher-than-expected rates.

Afghan girl receives life-saving treatment at UNC hospitals
WRAL (Raleigh-Durham)

“Her defect results in over circulation of her lungs and dilation of the heart,” said Dr. Elman Frantz, a UNC pediatric cardiologist. “And left untreated, her defect could lead to heart failure and death. A catheter procedure confirmed the problem but also revealed a narrowing of her aorta, which feeds blood from the heart to the body. Both problems required heart surgery, addressed through a small incision in her side.” UNC cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Michael Mill performed the operation and said Maryam is recovering well.

Triangle investment fund focused on health care startups raises $5.1 million
News & Observer

A new Triangle investment fund focused on startup health care companies has attracted $5.1 million in funding from investors and has its sights set on raising more. The Physician Fund announced Monday that it has raised the money from physicians, dentists, health care executives and others. It’s continuing to raise additional funds from investors and has targeted raising a total of $15 million. “There is just not enough capital available for all the great ideas that are generated here in the Triangle,” said Cam Patterson, an advisor to the fund. “So every opportunity we get to make capital available for great ideas is good for entrepreneurs … and for our community and our state.” Patterson is associate dean of UNC Healthcare Entrepreneurship and chief of cardiology at the UNC Center for Heart and Vascular Care.

Related Links: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2013/07/15/durham-health-care-angel-fund-hauls.html


Duke, UNC Hospitals, and Duke Regional ranked among top five N.C. hospitals
The Herald Sun

Three of North Carolina’s top five hospitals are in the Triangle, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “Best Hospitals” rankings. Duke University Medical Center was ranked as No. 1 hospital in the state, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill was ranked as No. 3 and Duke Regional Hospital, the Duke University Health System-operated hospital formerly known as Durham Regional, was ranked as No. 4.

Related Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2013/07/duke-hospital-grabs-top-spot-in-nc.html

RTI researcher calls for solution to diagnostic errors in hospitals
Triangle Business Journal

…Not so fast, says Dr. Linda Butler, chief medical officer for Rex Healthcare, a subsidiary of UNC Health Care. “I am not surprised that there are errors,” she says. “But I am not sure that I can put faith in the numbers cited because there are so many confounding factors and biases in reporting.”

UNC Health Care and Pacolet Milliken Celebrate Wellness Center Opening
Greenville Business Magazine

UNC Health Care and Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc. on July 15 opened the UNC Wellness Center at Northwest Cary in Cary, N.C.  The 60,000 square foot facility, owned by Pacolet Milliken and leased by UNC Health Care, combines preventive health care, regular fitness routine, physical therapy and surgical recovery under the umbrella of medical guidance and expertise.

New SEC rules draw complaints from Triangle investors
The News & Observer (Raleigh)


…Cam Patterson, an advisor to Physician Fund, said that the impact of the rules is uncertain in the absence of SEC guidelines on how it will interpret them. “Having said that, I think the rules needlessly create anxiety at a time when angel investors are just getting back into the startup market,” said Patterson, who is associate dean of UNC Healthcare Entrepreneurship and chief of cardiology at the UNC Center for Heart and Vascular Care. “The timing of this is awful. My hope is that they simply did not think through the implications of what they are doing and that they are either going to patch this or provide us with more direction promptly.”

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