FDA Sets Standard for ‘Gluten-Free’ Label

After more than a six-year delay, the Food and Drug Administration has set a new standard for labels that will make shopping easier for consumers on gluten-restricted diets. Until now, the term “gluten free” had not been regulated, and manufacturers made their own decisions about what it means. ABC News (8/2)

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Scientists Seek to Rein In Diagnoses of Cancer

A group of experts advising the nation’s premier cancer research institution has recommended changing the definition of cancer and eliminating the word from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation’s approach to cancer detection and treatment. New York Times Health (7/29)

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When doctors set their own pay

On Tuesday July 30, 2013, USA Today featured an article on Medicare setting reimbursement rates, which included colonoscopy, and mentioned the recent Washington Post article on the same topic. The College, along with AGA and ASGE, responded with a joint letter to the editor. USA Today (7/29)

Update: The College joined AGA and ASGE in responding with a letter to the editor of USA TODAY, an edited version of which appears today.

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How a secretive panel uses data that distort doctors’ pay

The Sunday July 21, 2013 Washington Post front page featured an article on Medicare setting reimbursement rates, including reimbursement for colonoscopy. The College, along with AGA and ASGE, has responded with a joint letter to the editor.

As follow up to this July 21st  article on the process by which Medicare sets reimbursement rates, including reimbursement for colonoscopy, the Washington Post editorial board on July 25th released an opinion on the topic. It includes inaccurate and misleading information about the field of gastroenterology. Washington Post (7/20)

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A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease

The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments. (6/18)

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FDA Backs Off on Regulation of Fecal Transplants

Federal regulators are dropping plans to tightly control a procedure that is becoming increasingly popular for treating people stricken by life-threatening infections of the digestive system.

The College believes the decision by FDA to clarify IND requirements and enforcement in relation to fecal microbiota transplantation to treat refractory C. difficile-associated diarrhea is an important step in right direction. (6/18)

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The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill NYTimes

Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures

The Sunday June 2, 2013 New York Times front page featured story on health care costs in the United States with colonoscopy as the case study. The College responded with a letter to the editor. New York Times (6/1)

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Dr. Ronald Vender’s Letter to NY Times

The New York Times published Dr. Ronald J. Vender’s letter to the editor in response to Sunday’s front page article, “$2.7 Trillion Medical Bill“. Dr. Vender’s letter defends the College and its members for our role as advocates for public health and colorectal cancer prevention. New York Times (6/3)

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Potassium levels often low in NAFLD patients, study says

According to Chinese researchers, data show patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had significantly lowered levels of serum potassium. They said insulin resistance and central-body obesity could be connected to low potassium and the development of NAFLD and called for research into whether addressing low levels of potassium could help prevent NAFLD. MedPage Today (5/21)

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Constipation affects quality of life, longevity, study says

A 15-year study of more than 5,100 elderly women showed constipation lowers quality of life and longevity, researchers report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Only 25% of the women surveyed reported never or rarely having constipation, 20.9% had persistent constipation and 54.1% reported transient constipation. “In light of the enormous economic costs associated with constipation, it is a problem that needs to be further understood and better managed,” the researchers write. MedWire News (U.K.) (5/16)

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