Ohio State researchers develop MRI-safe spinal cord stimulator; Imaging study shows chocolate improves cognitive function;

News From Around the Web

> Neurosurgeons at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have successfully implanted an MRI-safe spinal cord stimulator that helps patients suffering from chronic back or limb pain. "The ability to safely perform MRI scans after spinal cord stimulator implant is an important advance and a major benefit for our patients," said Ali Rezai, director of the Center for Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery at the medical center. "Now, with this new capability, we're able to perform MRI scans of the body for our patients who have implants and that provides a better way for patients to be managed over time." Announcement

> An MRI study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has found that regular consumption of cocoa by the elderly enhances neuronal metabolic function and blood flow, and leads to improved cognition, MolecularImaging reports. In the study, 30 days of liquid chocolate consumption was connected with 5 percent higher levels of neurovascular coupling in patients with cognitive impairment and improved cognitive function. Article

> The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services responding to its proposed decision memorandum, stating that there was insufficient evidence that Beta Amyloid Positron Emission Tomography will improve health outcomes for patients with dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases. "SNMMI believes that sufficient evidence exists to support immediate coverage, which would change patient management, leading to better health outcomes for patients and assisting families who are making care decisions," Gary Dillehay, M.D., president of SNMMI, said. Letter (.pdf)

Health Finance News

> One of the poorest states in the nation--Louisiana--is also one of the most expensive when it comes to healthcare delivery, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. Six of the 10 most expensive cities for delivering healthcare are located in Louisiana, according to the Times-Picayune. Article

Provider News

> With the Affordable Care Act making physician payments more outcomes-focused, some experts predict that telemedicine and Web-based visits will become a more integral part of how physician offices care for patients. To test this notion, the Mayo Clinic is currently piloting video visits, and will decide later this year whether it's practical and beneficial to expand it. Article

And Finally… Elephants never forget. Article

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