Health Care Buzz Today

July 6, 2011
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Quit Smoking Drug Linked to Cardiovascular Risk. Users of the smoking-cessation drug varenicline (Chantix) who had no previous cardiac history had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular events, a meta-analysis of randomized trials showed.

Quit Smoking Drug Linked to Cardiovascular Risk. Users of the smoking-cessation drug varenicline (Chantix) who had no previous cardiac history had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular events, a meta-analysis of randomized trials showed.

Tracking Public Health Trends with Twitter. Scientists studied 1.5 million health-related tweets from a public cache and claimed they were a “useful source of public health information.” Tidbits included which OTC medicines people used to treat certain symptoms, as well as intriguing patterns about allergies, flu, insomnia, cancer, obesity and depression.

Telehealth Services Could Qualify for Payment under CMS Rule. In the proposed rule, tele-stroke, tele-ICU and other established telehealth services can qualify for payment if they provide a “clinical benefit.”

Studies Examine Autism’s Link to Antidepressants, Other Factors. A study finds women who take antidepressants during pregnancy have a moderately higher risk of having a child with autism. A separate study of twins suggests that environmental factors play a significant role in its development.

HHS to Simplify Electronic Transactions for Physicians. The Department of Health and Human Services has issued an interim final rule aimed at cutting red tape for providers transmitting information electronically.