Healthcare Roundup—Providers mount opposition to Dignity, UCSF partnership

Dignity Health
About 1,500 University of California, San Francisco doctors and hospital staff have signed a petition opposing a planned expansion of its affiliation with Catholic-health system Dignity Health, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. (Dignity Health)

Providers mount opposition to Dignity, UCSF partnership

About 1,500 University of California, San Francisco doctors and hospital staff have signed a petition opposing a planned expansion of its affiliation with Catholic-health system Dignity Health, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. 

The opposition stems from concerns that Dignity Health's policies as a faith-based organization—including declining services such as abortions and transgender surgery—discriminate against women and LGBTQ people. (San Francisco Chronicle)

UPMC researchers use machine learning to reduce lung cancer false positives

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center have found a way to sort out benign from cancerous nodules in lung cancer screenings using machine learning without missing a single case of cancer, which significantly cuts down false positive rates.

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Screening is key for early detection and increased survival, but the current method has a 96% false positive rate. In a study published in the journal Thorax, UPMC researchers said they applied artificial intelligence to lung cancer screenings from 218 patients and were able to rule out cancer in about one-third of patients, saving those patients from unnecessary biopsies, PET scans or short-interval CT scans.

A low-dose CT scan is the standard diagnostic test for lung cancer for those at high risk. Nationwide, about a quarter of these scans turn up a positive result, but fewer than 4% of those patients actually have cancer. 

“For the 96 percent of people who have benign nodules, these procedures are unnecessary. So, we try to mine the data to tell which are benign and which are malignant,” study co-author Panayiotis Benos, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of computational and systems biology and associate director of the Integrative Systems Biology Program at Pitt. (Study)

Florida healthcare executive convicted in $1.3B Medicare, Medicaid fraud scheme 

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