Week in Review: May 8

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

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Contrary to Goals, ER Visits Rise Under Obamacare 

Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they've seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases last year in the early days of the Affordable Care Act. Via USA Today.

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Blood Test 'Boost' in Ovarian Cancer Fight

Ovarian tumours are often deadly as they are caught too late. The first results of the 14-year trial of more than 46,000 women suggest tumours can be detected early. However, the University College London team caution that it is still unknown whether more lives were saved. Around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 4,200 die of the disease each year in the UK. Via BBC. 

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Sepsis, A Wily Killer, Stymies Doctors' Efforts to Tame It

If you ran down the list of ailments that most commonly kill Americans, chances are you wouldn't think to name sepsis. But this condition, sometimes called blood poisoning, is in fact one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Via NPR.

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Surprise! Gold-Plated Onion Cells Make Great Artificial Muscles 

You can use an onion to flavor your stir fry, keep an avocado from turning brown, and make you cry when you aren't sad. Now, according to a new study, you can also use it to make an artificial muscle. To be clear, no one is talking about a fist-sized onion pumping away like a heart. The first onion muscle prototypes are very small -- just a few onion cells long. They were created from the thin, translucent layer of epidermal cells that lie just below the dry outer skin of the average store-bought onion. Via LA Times.

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Pioneer Model Saved Medicare Nearly $400 Million in Two Years

A key pilot program in the federal health law saved Medicare nearly $400 million over two years and is the first alternative-payment model certified to cut costs while improving health-care quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. That finding by independent actuaries makes the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization model eligible to be expanded to larger group of Medicare beneficiaries, CMS officials said. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Mayo ER Seeing Uptick in Farming-Related Injuries During Planting Season 

Planting season is a busy time for farmers, and Mayo Clinic trauma doctors say it also means a busy time for the emergency room. Dr. Donald Jenkins, Trauma Medical Director at Saint Marys Hospital, says he's seeing an increase in agriculture-related injuries in his ER. "There always seems to be a race against the clock and that's where we see, we think, these injuries happen," Jenkins said. Via ABC 6 News.

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Digital Technology Helps Lower Risk of Heart Attacks

The Internet is helping patients with cardiovascular disease actually stay healthy, says a meta-analysis in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Health-related smartphone apps, text-message reminders and other digital technologies significantly reduced recurrences of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular illnesses, the analysis found. Use of the technologies was associated with a significant 1.24% reduction in patients’ Framingham risk score, which estimates the 10-year risk of a first heart attack. A research team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., reviewed 51 studies conducted in North America, Asia and Europe from 2003 to 2013. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Mayo Clinic's Digital Marketing Strategy Drives Engagement

Mayo's chief marketing officer talks about the #StrongArmSelfie campaign, his online marketing strategy, and why he thinks it's vital for all hospital marketers to go digital. If you've noticed a surge of Twitter users sharing photos of themselves flexing their biceps this spring, Mayo Clinic is responsible. Via HealthLeaders Media.

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Little Risk of Vitamin D Toxicity, Study Say

The risk for developing vitamin D toxicity is rare, researchers have found. With vitamin D supplementation on the rise, investigators set out to assess the odds of developing dangerously high blood calcium levels. "We found that even in those with high levels of vitamin D over 50 ng/mL, there was not an increased risk of hypercalcemia, or elevated serum calcium, with increasing levels of vitamin D," study co-author Dr. Thomas Thacher, a family medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic, said in a journal news release. Via HealthDay.

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Nine Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes. Prolonged exposure and damage can lead to various forms of skin cancer, many of which, thankfully, are preventable. The sun isn’t the only skin-damaging predator — tanning beds, smoking and unhealthy diet can also have ill effects on the body’s outer layer. The key is to be sun savvy and know how to keep your skin healthy. Tammy Losee, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner, offers nine tips to help protect your skin. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.