The Watchman Device to Prevent Strokes

The Watchman Device In March 2015 FDA approved the use of the Watchman Device which is inserted via a leg vein into the small chamber of the heart called left atrium. It is meant to prevent blood clots from escaping from the chamber and causing a stroke. It will be used in patients with a heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation who would otherwise be on Warfarin or another strong blood...

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Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

ACP issues policy position paper on e-cigarettes The American College of Physicians issued a policy position paper this week calling for greater regulation and oversight of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-cigareThe policy position paper, which was published in the April 21 Annals of Internal Medicine, is intended to provide updated guidance to policymakers regarding the...

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Your Physician and PECOS

PECOS stands for Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System. It is a Medicare registry that has all the providers registered with their details and NPI numbers and what they do for Medicare. I  learned today that if a physician is not enrolled in PECOS and refers a patient for radiology or ultrasound study, the imaging center does not get paid.  Not sure how long this has been in...

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Food Plate In

(CBS) After almost two decades, the USDA food pyramid is history. First Lady Michelle Obama today unveiled the USDA’s update on America’s visual nutrition guide, replacing the familiar – and much maligned – pyramid with a plate. The food pyramid has been around since 1992, but nutrition experts don’t seem to be mourning its demise. “It’s going to be...

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Cholesterol Particle Size

LDL patterns A and B refer to the size of LDL cholesterol particles in the blood. Some doctors believe that small LDL cholesterol particles in the blood may pose a greater risk for developing atherosclerosis and heart attacks than the absolute level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The size of LDL cholesterol particles is primarily inherited. A special blood test called polyacrylamide gradient...

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Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT)

Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test The carotid intima-media thickness test (CIMT) is a measure used to diagnose the extent of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease. The test measures the thickness of the inner two layers of the carotid artery – the intima and media – and alerts physicians to any thickening when patients are still asymptomatic. Early detection may indicate the need...

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