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In The News

September 23, 2016 News Headlines

Health system seeking clinical partnership with academic medical centers
Source: Tribune-Democrat
September 23, 2016
… Requests for proposals are being solicited from West Virginia University Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical System, said Barry Ronan, the health system’s president and CEO, in a blog post. …

23 Plans Earn Top Mark in Health Insurance Ratings
Source: WebMD
September 22, 2016
… The Kaiser Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Capital District Physicians, Tufts, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts were among the 2016 standouts. …

UPMC sues Cleveland firm over Altoona pension valuation
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 23, 2016
UPMC is suing a Cleveland financial and business services firm in federal court, alleging that an actuary for CBIZ Inc. understated the pension liability at Altoona Regional Health System by about $132.5 million. …

UPMC sues firm over Altoona hospital's pension liability
Source: Associated Press via WJAC-TV
September 22, 2016
… The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has filed a lawsuit against a Cleveland firm, alleging that an actuarial employee vastly understated the pension liability of the hospital that's now UPMC Altoona. ...

UPMC-backed company to offer telemedicine in nursing homes
Source: Pittsburgh Business Times
September 22, 2016
… A UPMC doctor has helped launch a company, backed by UPMC Enterprises, that will bring comprehensive telemedicine services to a crucial population — nursing home patients. ...

Pitt receives $14M from NIH to study effects of stress on children pre-conception
Source: Pittsburgh Business Times
September 22, 2016
… The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded a seven-year grant totaling $14 million by the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of maternal stress on fetal development even before a child is conceived. …

Medicare Advantage rates shuffle but remain stable for 2017 in Pittsburgh region
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
September 22, 2016
… Insurers Highmark Inc. and UPMC Health Plan dominate the Medicare Advantage market in Western Pennsylvania, but UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna and its subsidiary, Coventry, are competing for customers. …

Wife in 'Fault in Our Stars' couple dies days after husband
Source: WPXI-TV
September 22, 2016
… Katie Prager ended up contracting the bacteria and the couple entered the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center together in August 2014 to wait for new lungs. …

Patient dies 5 days after husband; young couple both had cystic fibrosis
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
September 22, 2016
… Dalton Prager moved back to suburban St. Louis after a 2014 lung transplant at UPMC in Pittsburgh so his parents could care for him. …

Katie Prager, lung transplant recipient, dies 5 days after her husband
Source: Lexington Herald Leader
September 22, 2016
… Both Katie and Dalton had the Burkholderia cepacia infection, which limited the number of surgery centers specializing in their conditions. Katie, after a lengthy bureaucratic snafu over insurance coverage, received her new lungs at the University of Pittsburgh medical center in July 2015. …

'Fault in Our Stars' wife dies days after husband
Source: WFMZ-TV
September 22, 2016
…In 2014, the infection got the best of their lungs, and both Katie and Dalton entered the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center together to wait for new lungs. Dalton's came first, and on November 17, he had his transplant. In July 2015, after a long fight with Medicare, Medicaid and her hospital, Katie got her transplant, too. …

Wife in Real-Life Fault in Our Stars Couple Dies Five Days After Husband: 'My Girl Lived, She Really Lived,' Says Mom
Source: PEOPLE
September 22, 2016
… Following an acceleration of hospital stays starting in their teen years – each battled an additional bacterial infection, burkholderia cepacia, transferred from Dalton to Katie that complicated their illness – the couple entered the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in August 2014.  ...

UPMC HealthTALK: Birth Place at UPMC Horizon – Our Region’s Birthing Center
Source: WKST Newsradio 1200 and News Talk 790 WPIC
September 20, 2016
Jen Shaffer, RN, BSN, director, the Birth Place and Women’s Health Unit, UPMC Horizon, and Natalie Cekovich, Registered Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, discuss the Birth Place at UPMC Horizon. The program highlights how UPMC Horizon partners with Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC…

A big national health crunch
Source: Star Beacon
September 23, 2016
… The problem, on the horizon for years, received new attention last week with a report by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and with the launch of a project by the University of Pittsburgh and Rand Corp. to better grapple with the needs of caregivers. Richard Schulz, a Pitt psychiatry professor, chaired the work on the National Academies report and will lead the new initiative as well. …

The caregiving crunch: An aging America needs caring families (Editorial)
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 21, 2016
… The problem, on the horizon for years, received new attention last week with a report by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and with the launch of a project by the University of Pittsburgh and Rand Corp. to better grapple with the needs of caregivers locally. ...

Manhattan Project-Level' of Money Needed to Fight Cancer
Source: Bloomberg BNA
September 22, 2016
… AACR President Nancy E. Davidson, who is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, called for a long-term, bipartisan commitment in Congress to make biomedical research funding a national priority. …

New AACR Report Highlights Impact of Cancer Research
Source: CureToday
September 22, 2016
… Nancy Davidson, M.D., the president of AACR and the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, says this figure demonstrates progress. In an interview with CURE, she attributes the advancements to “an increasing knowledge about cancer biology, what underlies cancer cells.” …

Cracking concussions: Iowa hospitals, clinics, other groups team up to clear up confusion
Source: The Gazette
September 22, 2016
… In fact, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Concussion Clinic published in the journal Pediatrics, playing through the pain of a concussion not only doubles your recovery time, it could also lead to more severe symptoms. …

Family celebrating news of muscular dystrophy drug approval (Subscriber content)
Source: Daily American
September 23, 2016
… He travels to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh weekly for the infusions and to Baltimore every three months for follow-up appointments. …

Kennedy Twp. teen celebrates tentative FDA approval of muscular dystrophy drug
Source: Beaver County Times
September 23, 2016
Billy Ellsworth was welcomed at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Wednesday with emphatic congratulations and warm hugs from his caregiving staff. …

Why bed time is SO important: Sleep-deprived children 'more likely to abuse drugs and binge-drink as teenagers'
Source: Daily Mail
September 22, 2016
… A study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. …

Sleep Habits Linked to Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Use
Source: Sleep Review
September 22, 2016
A study led by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pitt Department of Psychology has identified a possible link between adolescent sleep habits and early substance abuse. …

Bad sleep may predict pot and alcohol use
Source: Futurity
September 22, 2016
… “Treating problems with drugs and alcohol once they exist and preventing them can be challenging, and we are always looking for modifiable risk factors,” says Brant P. Hasler, assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. …

Buprenorphine Prescribers Treat Far Below Legal Patient Limits (Registration required)
Source: Medscape
September 22, 2016
… "Given that we were looking at physicians who were prescribing buprenorphine over an extended period, and therefore we assume more experienced with using it, we were surprised that the median duration of a treatment episode was less than 2 months, particularly since studies are increasingly suggesting that longer treatment episodes are associated with better outcomes for individuals being treated for opioid use disorders," Dr Stein, senior physician scientist at RAND and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News. …

CMS Tips Hat to Neurology in 2017 Proposed Payment Rule
Source: Neurology Today
September 22, 2016
… “As patients have become sicker in the outpatient setting because we have fewer inpatient admissions, that's just not true any longer,” said Neil A. Busis, MD, FAAN, director of community neurology of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians department of neurology. “It's really great to see that CMS recognizes this.” …

DNA-based vaccine guards against Zika in monkey study
Source: UPI
September 22, 2016
… "When a vaccine is effective in a lower primate species, it is a good signal that it will be effective in humans," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh's UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore. "The NIH vaccine candidates have cleared an important hurdle, and we are awaiting results from phase 1 human studies." …

Best Nut Butters to Eat Right Now
Source: Consumer Reports
September 22, 2016
… You should check with your doctor, but “not everyone with a peanut allergy is allergic to tree nuts, and they often can be safely brought into a peanut-free school,” says Todd D. Green, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. …

Senior expo to include flu, pneumonia shots, troops donation
Source: Allied News
September 22, 2016
… For non-veterans, flu shots will be covered under Medicare Part B and various insurance plans including … UPMC. …

Clinic for Special Children hires first pediatric neurologist in its 26-year history
Source: Lancaster Online
September 22, 2016
… Heaps said the clinic started looking for a pediatrician in January 2015 and got Carson to commit as he was heading into his final year of residence at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. …

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