Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for December 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Machine Learning System Makes More Alerts for Med Errors
TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A machine learning system can generate clinically valid alerts for medication errors that might be missed with existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems, according to a study published in the January issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.
Many Hospitals Fail to Provide Instructions for Patient Portals
THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many hospital patient portals fail to educate patients fully and set expectations for secure messaging, according to a study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Patient Share of Out-of-Network Costs Rising
TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network (OON) care grew rapidly for privately insured Americans from 2012 to 2017, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.
Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Holds Steady for Third Straight Year
MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Enrollment in Affordable Care Act coverage for next year has surpassed 8 million, a sign that many Americans still turn to the government health insurance program to help pay for their medical care.
Private Care Program for U.S. Vets Gets $8.9 Billion in Budget Deal
THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A controversial program meant to get more U.S. veterans to use private health care received $8.9 billion as part of a government spending bill approved by the House.
FDA to Allow States to Import Prescription Drugs From Other Countries
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Federal health officials have unveiled plans to allow prescription drug imports from Canada and other foreign nations.
Outcomes Worse for Rural Residents With Chronic Conditions
MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rural Medicare beneficiaries with complex chronic conditions have higher preventable hospitalization and mortality rates than their urban peers, which is partially explained by reduced access to specialists, according to a report published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.
Hahn Confirmed as New FDA Chief
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stephen Hahn, M.D., was confirmed as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 72-18 Senate vote on Thursday.
Western Diet Linked to Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of a Western dietary pattern is associated with an increased likelihood of developing late age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Household Cleaning Product-Linked Ocular Exposure Declining
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2000 to 2016, there was a decrease in the annual frequency of ocular exposures associated with household cleaning products among children, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Eye.
U.S. Primary Care Doctors Face Challenges in Coordinating Care
TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians from the United States and other high-income countries report difficulties with care coordination, with a substantial proportion of U.S. physicians not receiving timely notification or the information needed from specialists or other sites of care, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Health Affairs.
U.S. Health Care Spending Up 4.6 Percent in 2018
TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In 2018, U.S. health care spending increased 4.6 percent, a faster rate than that seen in 2017, according to a report published online Dec. 5 in Health Affairs.
2016 to 2019 Saw Increase in Medical Students With Disabilities
MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2016 to 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of medical students reporting disabilities, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Retail Prescription Drug Prices Fall for First Time in 45 Years
FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Retail prescription drug prices in the United States fell by 1 percent last year, a new government report shows.
Rural Population Underrepresented Among Medical Students
FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In 2017, less than 5 percent of all incoming medical students were rural students, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.
Cellphone-Related Injuries to Head, Neck on the Rise
FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of head and neck injuries related to cellphone use that require emergency department attention has increased during a 20-year period, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
Reductions in Air Pollution Yield Substantial Health Gains
FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in air pollution yield prompt and substantial health benefits, according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Services Affected by Rural Hospitals Joining Health Systems
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While affiliating with health systems may boost a rural hospital's financial viability, the affiliation is often associated with reductions in critical services, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.
Adults Not Living in Metro Areas Have Reduced Access to Care
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Adults not living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are more likely to have reduced access to or use of health care services, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Physician Depressive Symptoms Tied to Higher Risk for Medical Errors
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians showing depressive symptoms are at higher risk for medical errors, according to a review published Nov. 27 in JAMA Network Open.
Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution May Increase Risk for Glaucoma
TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with a higher risk for glaucoma and adverse structural characteristics of the disease, according to a study published in the November issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.