Luis C Torrellas, MD

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Physician burnout a key driver of medical errors

(Reuters Health) - Burned-out doctors are more likely to make major medical errors, regardless of workplace safety measures, new research shows.<p>"Just trying to fix the setting of health care environments in order to prevent errors is not sufficient. We also need to address the actual underlying …

Health Care

Sun-sensitive people need more than sunscreen to avoid sunburn

(Reuters Health) - People with pale skin who are sensitive to the sun should use several sun-protective behaviors to avoid sunburn, according to a new study.<p>Those who only used sunscreen had a higher likelihood of burning versus those who also wore a hat, wore protective clothing, and sat in the …

Skin Care

Hospitals are learning from industry how to cut medical errors

AFTER a brain aneurysm in 2004, Mary McClinton was admitted to Virginia Mason Medical Centre in Seattle. Preparing for an x-ray, the 69-year-old was …

Medicine

Feeling poorly? The app will see you now

LONDON (Reuters) - London-based Babylon Health says its artificial intelligence technology, in tests, has outperformed most physicians in assessing disease symptoms, throwing down a challenge to doctors, some of whom doubt its true abilities.<p>Babylon, which was founded by entrepreneur Ali Parsa in …

Digital Health

Depression may be more severe in elderly people

(Reuters Health) - Elderly people with major depressive disorder may be more likely to suffer severe and persistent symptoms than younger adults with the same mental health diagnosis, a Dutch study suggests.<p>Researchers examined data on 1,042 adults with major depressive disorder who ranged in age …

Depression

Why Atul Gawande Will Soon Be The Most Feared CEO In Healthcare

When news broke that Dr. Atul Gawande had been named CEO of the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Chase healthcare partnership, industry insiders were quick to raise doubts about his credentials.<p>Some pointed to his limited administrative experience, questioning how someone who has never managed a hospital …

Health Care

Most Americans miss out on preventive healthcare

(Reuters Health) - Very few U.S. adults receive all the preventive health care services recommended for them, reports a new study.<p>Researchers looked at survey data from nearly 2,800 people over age 35 and found only 8 percent were getting all of the highly recommended preventive services with the …

Young surgeons face high debt, financial instability

(Reuters Health) - As the costs of medical school and training continue to rise, young surgeons often face debt burdens that make it difficult for them to start their careers and pay off their loans, according to a new study.<p>"Most people who go into medicine are scientifically-oriented and want to …

Personal Finance

Fed up with rising costs, big U.S. firms dig into healthcare

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - At its Silicon Valley headquarters, network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc is going to unusual lengths to take control of the relentless increase in its U.S. healthcare costs.<p>The company is among a handful of large American employers who are getting more deeply involved …

Health Care

More U.S. kids dying from injuries

(Reuters Health) - Murder, suicide, car crashes, and addiction have all contributed to a spike in deaths among U.S. children and teens in recent years, a government study suggests.<p>The death rate for youth aged 10 to 19 rose 12 percent between 2013 and 2016, eroding a previous decline stretching …

U.S. Medicare reserves seen lasting three years less than prior forecast

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government's healthcare program for the elderly will exhaust its reserves for hospital insurance in 2026, three years earlier than last year's forecast, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees said in a report on Tuesday.<p>The report also said the costs of …

Retirement

Do Most Hospitals Benefit from Directly Employing Physicians?

How can hospitals and health systems generate a return on their investment in their physician enterprises? According to the most recent figures, from the American Medical Association, over 25% of U.S. physicians practiced in groups wholly or partly owned by hospitals in 2016 and another 7% were …

Healthcare price transparency in U.S. not improved in recent years

(Reuters Health) - Although government measures and healthcare industry initiatives have tried to make prices more accessible to U.S. patients recently, researchers say there has been little improvement.<p>In a follow-up to a 2011 study, researchers canvassed hospitals and surgeons trying to get price …

Strong grip may predict longer life at all ages

(Reuters Health) - Grip strength may be a better predictor of future health than some measurements doctors currently use to gauge risk, a large UK study suggests.<p>Although grip strength has long been a good indicator of frailty or health in older people, it could help doctors understand adults' risk …

Hospitals can save billions by improving operational efficiencies; Qventus just raised millions to help

There’s about $140 billion lost every year in the U.S. healthcare system thanks to inefficient management of basic internal operations, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.<p>While there are many factors that contribute to the woeful state of healthcare in the …

Hearing aids tied to less hospitalization for older U.S. adults

(Reuters Health) - Older adults with hearing loss are less likely to be hospitalized or to visit the emergency room when they wear hearing aids, compared to those who don't, a U.S. study suggests.<p>Researchers examined Medicare payment data collected in 2013 and 2014 for 1,336 adults 65 and older …

Physical fitness linked to language skills in older adults

(Reuters Health) - Older adults who exercise regularly may have an easier time finding words to express themselves than their peers who aren't as physically fit, a small study suggests.<p>Researchers examined results from 28 volunteers, mostly in their late 60s or early 70s, who played word games on a …

Flexible ICU visiting hours tied to less delirium and anxiety

(Reuters Health) - When intensive care units (ICUs) have flexible visiting hours that allow families to spend more time at the bedside, patients may be less likely to suffer delirium or severe anxiety, a research review suggests.<p>Most ICUs have restrictive visiting policies, often driven by a …

Tick, mosquito-borne infections surge in United States: CDC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of Americans sickened each year by bites from infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 through 2016, with infection rates spiking sharply in 2016 as a result of a Zika outbreak, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.<p>The U.S. Centers for Disease Control …

U.S. doctors' group calls for equal pay, opportunities for female physicians

(Reuters Health) - Physicians' employers should commit to gender equity in pay, leadership development, career opportunities, and parental and family leave policies, a leading U.S. doctors group recommends.<p>Among other things, the recommendations from the American College of Physicians (ACP) urge …

Certain common medications tied to 30% higher dementia risk, study finds

<b>(CNN) —</b> Many older adults know that long-term use of certain medications can negatively affect cognition and increase one's risk of dementia.<p>But a new study suggests that some classes of anticholinergic drugs -- particularly those used to treat depression, Parkinson's and urinary incontinence -- …

Dementia

Express Scripts targets Amgen, Lilly migraine drugs in pricing shift

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The largest U.S. manager of prescription benefits is telling drugmakers that the current pricing model is broken, and taking aim at Amgen Inc, Eli Lilly and Co and other makers of new migraine medicines to try and fix it.<p>Express Scripts told Reuters it is pressing them to …

Pharma

Uninsured struggle to obtain, afford doctor appointments

(Reuters Health) - Without some kind of health insurance, getting an appointment with a primary care doctor, and being able to pay in full or over time remains a challenge for millions in the U.S., a recent study suggests.<p>Although the number of uninsured is down from a high of 49 million people in …

Patients more satisfied when doctors treat fewer people

(Reuters Health) - Doctors who see fewer patients may get better online reviews than physicians who have higher-volume practices, a study of U.S. urologists suggests.<p>Researchers examined data on 665 urologists with Medicare patients in California, looking at how many patients they treated as well …

Food delivery programs may reduce senior healthcare costs

(Reuters Health) - Ensuring that vulnerable elderly are well-fed could trim their healthcare costs, especially for emergency-room visits, U.S. researchers say.<p>Seniors in the Boston area who received meals at home through programs like Meals on Wheels had fewer emergency department visits and fewer …

U.S. death rates falling, but health gains bypassing some states

(Reuters Health) - Even as U.S. death rates decline, wide variation in life expectancy persists at the state level, a new study shows.<p>The state-by-state differences are due in large part to problems people can control, like how much they eat, drink, smoke, and exercise, researchers say.<p>Overall, …

Biomedicine

Fall injuries in very elderly rising, outcomes may be slightly better

(Reuters Health) - As the elderly population grows in the U.S., an increasing number of patients in their 90s are hospitalized with injuries after falling, but they may be faring slightly better than in the past, a small study suggests.<p>Researchers looked at patients over age 90 admitted to a single …

University of Maryland

Drug copays sometimes exceed costs

(Reuters Health) - Insurance companies may be asking people to shell out more money for drug co-payments than the drugs actually cost, a new study suggests.<p>Generic drug co-payments in the U.S. exceeded the cost of medicines about 28 percent of the time – or for more than one in four prescriptions, …

Health Care

U.S. health spending twice other countries' with worse results

(Reuters Health) - The U.S. spends about twice what other high-income nations do on health care but has the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates, a new study suggests.<p>More doctor visits and hospital stays aren’t the problem. Americans use roughly the same amount of health …

Opioids no better than NSAIDs for chronic back or arthritis pain

(Reuters Health) - Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are better than opioids at easing the intensity of chronic pain in the back, knees or hips, a U.S. experiment suggests.<p>And opioids are no better than these other drugs at reducing how much pain …