Should insurance pay for preventive services suggested by genetics?
Physicians, plans and patients are discovering that the promise of genetic testing will be hard to fulfill. Even when a test can show predisposition toward a disease, performing it can't necessarily improve medical outcomes. Unfortunately, doing these tests can have some unintended negative effects. (+info)
Development of a heart failure center: a medical center and cardiology practice join forces to improve care and reduce costs .
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a rapidly growing and expensive cardiovascular disorder. Conventional care for CHF is ineffective and results in a cycle of "crisis management" that includes repeated emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and physician visits. Recently, a number of outpatient coronary care centers that provide consistent, aggressive outpatient therapies and extensive patient education have emerged and are successfully breaking this cycle of dependence on hospital services. One such effort is the Heart Institute's Heart Failure Center, the result of a partnership between a private-practice cardiology group and our tertiary-care medical center. Our program includes not only patient education and outpatient infusions of inotropic agents, but an electronic linkage to the emergency department and home healthcare services. Preliminary data show that 16 months after the program was initiated, hospital admissions decreased by 30%, hospital days by 42% and average length of stay by 17%. An effective outpatient heart failure program can alleviate the economic burden of CHF and improve the quality of patient care. (+info)
Valuing clinical strategies early in development: a cost analysis of allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
Allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (alloPBSCT) is an emerging technology. As this technology develops, transplant centers are concerned with looking for technologic advances that will result in improvements in clinical outcomes and lower costs. We provide comparative estimates of costs and resource use for alloPBSCT in comparison to allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT) for persons with hematologic malignancies from the time of harvest to 100 days post transplant. A retrospective, cost-identification analysis was conducted for patients in two consecutive phase II clinical trials at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Identical preparative regimens, graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis, post-transplant hematopoietic colony-stimulating factor treatment regimens, and discharge criteria were used. Total median costs were $18,304 lower for alloPBSCT, with lower costs during recovery; specifically for hospitalization, platelet products, hematopoietic growth factors, intravenous hyperalimentation, supportive care agents, supplies, and antibacterial agents. This study provides preliminary evidence for short-term cost savings associated with alloPBSCT. However, concerns exist over the potential for higher costs due to preliminary reports of higher rates of chronic graft-versus-host disease, as well as more intensive induction regimens that may result in lower relapse rates. The premature adoption of new technologies based on short-term economic factors, in the absence of adequate clinical trial data, may prove to be ill-advised, particularly for complex medical treatments such as allogeneic transplantation. (+info)
Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in range beef calves at weaning.
This study was designed to determine the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection of beef calves at weaning, prior to arrival at the feedlot or mixing with cattle from other sources. Fifteen range cow-calf herds, which weaned calves in October and November, were sampled in Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota. Faecal culture for E. coli O157:H7 was performed and anti-O157 serum antibody titres were determined by blocking ELISA. Thirteen of the 15 herds (87%) were found to have at least one positive isolation of E. coli O157:H7 in faecal samples. Within positive herds, prevalence ranged from 1.7-20.0%, with an average of 7.4+/-6.2% S.D. of individual animals shedding E. coli O157:H7 in faeces. All herds had high prevalence of anti-O157 antibodies, ranging 63-100% of individuals within herds seropositive. This study indicates that E. coli O157:H7 infection before weaning, prior to entry into feedlots, is widespread. Furthermore, serologic evidence suggests that most calves (83%) and all herds (100%) have been exposed to E. coli O157. (+info)
Rubella among Hispanic adults--Kansas, 1998, and Nebraska, 1999.
Since 1994, the incidence of rubella has been low; most reported rubella cases have been associated with outbreaks (1,2). Recent outbreaks have occurred primarily among adult Hispanics, many of whom are natives of countries where rubella vaccination is not routine or has been implemented recently (1). This report describes two workplace-associated outbreaks of rubella and summarizes the characteristics of the recent outbreaks in the United States. (+info)
Prevalence of non-O157:H7 shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in diarrheal stool samples from Nebraska.
We determined the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in diarrheal stool samples from Nebraska by three methods: cefixime-tellurite sorbitol MacConkey (CT- SMAC) culture, enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) enzyme immunoassay, and stx1,2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fourteen (4.2%) of 335 specimens were positive by at least one method (CT-SMAC culture [6 of 14], EHEC enzyme immunoassay [13 of 14], stx1,2 PCR [14 of 14]). Six contained serogroup O157, while non-O157 were as prevalent as O157 serogroups. (+info)
Protracted outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis associated with swimming pool use--Ohio and Nebraska, 2000.
Swimming is the second most popular exercise in the United States with approximately 400 million pool visits annually. During the summer of 2000, five outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis linked to swimming pools were reported to CDC. This report summarizes the investigations of two of these outbreaks involving approximately 1000 cases and provides recommendations to reduce the transmission of pool-related disease. (+info)
Bacteriological quality of runoff water from pastureland.
Runoff from a cow-calf pasture in eastern Nebraska was monitored for total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC), and fecal streptococci (FS) during 1976, 1977, and 1978. Bacteriological counts in runoff from both grazed and ungrazed areas generally exceeded recommended water quality standards. The FC group was the best indicator group of the impact of grazing. Rainfall runoff from the grazed area contained 5 to 10 times more FC than runoff from the fenced, ungrazed area. There was little difference in TC counts between the two areas, but FS counts were higher in runoff from the ungrazed area and reflected the contributions from wildlife. Recommended bacteriological water quality standards, developed for point source inputs, may be inappropriate for characterizing nonpoint source pollution from pasture runoff. The FC/FS ratio in pasture runoff was useful in identifying the relative contributions of cattle and wildlife. Ratios below 0.05 were indicative of wildlife sources and ratios above 0.1 were characteristic of grazing cattle. Occasions when the FC/FS ratio of diluted cattle waste exceeded one resulted from differential aftergrowth and die-off between FC and FS. The FC/FS ratio and percentage of Streptococcus bovis in pasture runoff are useful indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of livestock management practices for minimizing bacterial contamination of surface water. The importance of choice of medium for the enumeration of FS in runoff derived from cattle wastes is discussed. (+info)