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The Cost of Medical Liability Claims

The Cost of Medical Liability Claims

34% of physicians have been sued:

The AMA released three new trend reports demonstrating the high frequency and cost burden of medical liability claims.

“Information in this new research paints a bleak picture of physicians’ experiences with medical liability claims and the associated cost burdens on the health system,” David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, president of AMA, said in a press release. “The reports validate the fact that preserving quality and access in medicine, while reducing cost, requires fairness in the civil justice system. Every dollar spent on the broken medical liability system is a dollar that cannot be used to improve patient care.”

In the first report, the AMA evaluated how often physicians are subjected to medical liability claims. The report found that it is common for physicians to get sued, with 34% having a claim filed against them during their career. The likelihood of getting sued increases with age — almost half (49.2%) of physicians aged 55 years and older have been sued vs. 8.2% of physicians aged 40 years and younger.

The occurrence of liability claims varies greatly between specialties, according to the report. General surgeons and OB/GYNs have the greatest risk of being sued, whereas pediatricians have the lowest risk. More than half of general surgeons and OB/GYNs have been sued before the age of 55 years.

“Even though the vast majority of claims are dropped, dismissed or withdrawn, the heavy cost associated with a litigious climate takes a significant financial toll on our health care system when the nation is working to reduce unnecessary health care costs,” Barbe said.

The second report examined indemnity payments, expenses and claim disposition and found that the average expense incurred on medical liability claims increased 64.5% from 2006 to 2015, amounting to $54,165. Dropped, dismissed or withdrawn claims (68.2% of all claims in 2015) still contributed to the cost burden, averaging a cost of $30,475 per claim in 2015 and contributing to 38.4% of total expenses, according to the report.

In the third report, the AMA assessed the annual changes in medical liability insurance premiums from 2008 to 2017. The report revealed that more premiums increased than decreased since 2015, which was a reversal of the trend observed earlier in the study. In addition, 12% to 17% of premiums rose from the prior year since 2010.




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Homemade Yogurt Resolves Irritable Bowel Symptoms

Homemade Yogurt Resolves Irritable Bowel Symptoms

Damian McNamara

December 07, 2017

ORLANDO — The daily consumption of homemade yogurt can lead to a complete resolution of symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, a prospective study shows.
“We were surprised by the response. We had 189 patients in the study, and 169 had remission within 6 months,” said Manju Girish Chandran, MBBS, from the Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital in Hyden, Kentucky.
And some of the participants had lived with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome for 9 or 10 years, she reported here at the World Congress of Gastroenterology.
“Our study is based on the fact that there is an internal gut–brain microbiome axis,” Dr. Chandran told Medscape Medical News. “If you modulate the intestinal microbiome, you can actually achieve remission in some cases.”
Medication does not adequately treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome for many people, she said. As a result, “they just live with it.”
That is one of the reasons Dr. Chandran and her colleagues wanted to assess the potential of homemade yogurt with Lactobacilli to influence the gut microbiome.

Part of a Regular Diet

For their study, the team enrolled 189 consecutive patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome at one of two medical centers in Eastern Kentucky.
Patients were instructed to consume 2 to 3 cups of yogurt every day and record their symptoms in a chart. Their responses were assessed every 2 months for 6 months.
Complete remission — defined as the relief of pre-existing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and one or two normal bowel movements daily — was achieved by 89% of the study participants.
The yogurt is inexpensive and easy to make. First, boil a gallon of milk for 5 minutes and let it cool to lukewarm. Next, mix in 1 cup of Dannon plain yogurt, which is used as a starter and source of Lactobacilli. Place in an oven with the light on overnight (do not turn the oven on), and then refrigerate the next morning. Save 1 cup from each batch to use as a starter for the next batch.
“You can make enough yogurt for 1 week, and it’s pretty cheap,” Dr. Chandran pointed out. “And it doesn’t have to be eaten as plain yogurt.” Because it can be mixed with fruit or used in a smoothie, it doesn’t “feel like it’s a medicine; it is part of a regular diet.”
This is the first study to show “that yogurt — even though it’s homemade — is usable in IBS,” said Ronnie Fass, MD, from the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.
“In traditional diets, we recommend that people with IBS be careful with milk-related products,” he told Medscape Medical News. “This study suggests what we thought all along is not so clear cut.”
“The homemade yogurt with Lactobacillus was very effective at controlling symptoms of belly pain and alterations in bowel movements. It did both, to my surprise,” Dr. Fass said. “This is the kind of study that could change standard of care, although more work is needed.”

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Apple Cider Vinegar Pros and Cons

Apple Cider Vinegar Pros and Cons

Apple Cider Vinegar has a long history as a home remedy, used to treat everything from a sore throat to varicose veins. But there’s not much science to support the claims. Still, in recent years, some researchers have been taking a closer look at apple cider vinegar and its possible benefits.

What’s in It?

It’s mostly apple juice, but adding yeast turns the fruit sugar into alcohol — this is fermentation. Bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. That’s what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell.

How Is It Used?

Vinegar’s used in cooking, baking, salad dressings, and as a preservative. There’s a lot of acid in it, so drinking vinegar straight isn’t recommended. And it can cause serious problems if you have a lot of it. If you’re looking to take some for health reasons, most people recommend adding one to two tablespoons to water or tea.

The Benefits

Vinegar has been used as a remedy since the days of Hippocrates. The ancient Greek doctor treated wounds with it. In recent years, people have explored apple cider vinegar as a way to lose weight, improve heart health, and even treat dandruff.

Many of these claims aren’t supported by modern research. But some studies have found that acetic acid — which gives vinegar its distinctive taste and smell — may help with a variety of conditions.

  • Japanese scientists found that drinking vinegar might help reduce obesity.
  • One small study found that vinegar improved blood sugar and insulin levels in a group of people with type 2 diabetes.

Vinegar also has chemicals known as polyphenols. They’re antioxidants that can curb cell damage that can lead to other diseases, such as cancer. But studies on whether vinegar actually lowers your chances of having cancer are mixed.

The Downsides

Did we mention it’s highly acidic? Drinking a lot of apple cider vinegar can damage your teeth, hurt your throat, and upset your stomach. Also:

  • Though some studies have been promising, there’s still little evidence that drinking apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight.
  • It may also cause your potassium levels to drop too low. Your muscles and nerves need that nutrient to work the way they should.
  • Another study of people with type 1 diabetes found that apple cider vinegar slows the rate food and liquids leave the stomach to be digested. That makes it harder to control your blood sugar level.
  • It might also affect medications that treat diabetes and heart disease, as well as diuretics (medicines that help your body get rid of water and salt) and laxatives.
  • And of course, its strong taste might not be for everyone.

In short, apple cider vinegar probably won’t hurt you. Enjoy it in your diet because it’s calorie-free, adds lots of flavor to food, and has health benefits. But it’s not a miracle cure.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on January 16, 2017


© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Association of Dietary Inflammatory Potential With Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men and Women

Association of Dietary Inflammatory Potential With Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men and Women

Association of Dietary Inflammatory Potential With Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men and Women

Fred K. Tabung, MSPH, PhD1,2Li Liu, MD, PhD1,2,3,4,5Weike Wang, PhD1,2; et alTeresa T. Fung, PhD1,6Kana Wu, MD, PhD1Stephanie A. Smith-Warner, MS, PhD1,2Yin Cao, MPH, ScD1,7Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD1,2,8Shuji Ogino, MD, PhD2,4,9Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH4,8,10Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD1,2,8

JAMA Oncol. Published online January 18, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.4844

This original article was published last week in Journal of American medical association. Diet and Food groups do play an important role in our health preservation. Diet can be pro- inflammatory or anti-inflammatory in nature. Below are some of the examples of both as it related to subject group in this article.

Pro-Inflammatory diet included: Processed meat, red meat, organ meat, fish (other than dark meat fish), Vegetables other than green leafy vegetables and dark yellow vegetables, refined grains, high and low energy carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit drinks and tomatoes.

Anti-Inflammatory diet included: Dark met fish, Green leafy vegetables, dark yellow vegetables, (Carrots, yellow squash and sweet potatoes), tea coffee, beer, wine, snacks, fruit juice and pizza

Consumption of pro-inflammatory food was higher in over weight and obese men, diabetics and lean women or men and women not consuming alcohol.

In conclusion findings from this large prospective study of 121050 adults for 26 years suggested a potential role of pro-inflammatory diet and inflammation as one of the mechanism for development of colon-rectal cancer

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