Gene Emery

Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.

Twitter handle: @jeffmason1

09 Aug 2018

Screening fails to predict most heart deaths in young soccer players

(Reuters Health) - Examinations of more than 11,000 adolescent soccer players in the UK over 20 years have found that routine heart testing prevented very few sudden heart-related deaths during exercise.

18 Jul 2018

Evidence to support 'breakthrough' drugs often very limited: study

(Reuters Health) - The 46 medicines given approval through 2017 as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Breakthrough Therapy program have often been sent to patients without a large double-blind study, direct measurement of benefit, or comparison with a placebo or existing treatment, according to a new analysis by researchers at Yale University and the Yale School of Medicine.

10 Jul 2018

Hormone therapy poses stroke risk for transgender women

(Reuters Health) - Hormones given to people to align their sex with their gender pose a significant risk of serious blood clots and stroke among transgender women, one of the largest studies of transgender patients has concluded.

03 Jul 2018

U.S. defibrillator probe reduced questionable implantation rate

(Reuters Health) - A U.S. government investigation of allegations that doctors were implanting heart-shocking defibrillators into patients who didn't meet federal guidelines led to a dramatic reduction in the number of implants and may have saved many patients from unnecessary surgery, researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.The 2010 Department of Justice probe involved Medicare recipients, but the new research also documents a comparable drop in defibrillator usage among non-Medicare recipients.The number of unnecessary implantations prevented by the investigation is not known because "there are too many factors," senior author Dr. Jeptha Curtis of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.There may have been instances where patients didn't really need the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator they received, he said, "(but) I think that is probably the minority of cases here."In other instances, doctors and hospitals might have inadequately documented the reasons for the implantation or failed to precisely follow the guidelines - for example, by implanting a defibrillator 39 days after a heart attack when the guidelines call for waiting at least 40 days, he said.Nonetheless, more than 500 hospitals ultimately paid the government over $270 million in penalties for implantations that failed to conform to the guidelines.The study team found that after the federal investigation was announced, the decline in implantations was dramatic.In 2007, among hospitals that were destined to reach a settlement with the government, 25.8 percent of the implanted defibrillators did not meet federal guidelines. By 2012, that rate had dropped a whopping 16.1 percentage points.For hospitals not sanctioned in the investigation, the starting rate of implantation outside the guidelines was 22.8 percent; that rate subsequently declined by 12.1 percentage points.Similar declines were seen in patients not covered by Medicare, Curtis said. "It seems like the effect of the investigation extended to all candidates for defibrillators."The decline was not seen among patients whose hearts had already stopped once and who clearly needed an ICD as soon as possible."Many inappropriate procedures were likely avoided," writes Dr. Paul Heidenreich, of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, in an accompanying editorial.The new research looked at data from 1,809 hospitals, 452 of which reached settlements with the government.Curtis said the results show that patients should be asking their doctor hard questions. "If someone offers you an invasive procedure like a defibrillator that carries with it a long term commitment, it's important to have a very detailed discussion on the evidence of the benefit and the risk of the procedure."He said patients can go to the website patientdecisionaid.org to see the types of questions they should be asking their doctor.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recovered $2.6 billion in all types of fraudulent claims and expenses in fiscal year 2017, representing about $4 for every dollar spent investigating allegations, Heidenreich notes.  "Given this huge investment (and return) it seems reasonable to invest more in infrastructure to accurately measure and track care," he writes.SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2KoetVH JAMA, online July 3, 2018.

07 Jun 2018

Drug combination better for restoring womb after miscarriage

(Reuters Health) - Two drugs are better than one when it comes to restoring the womb after an incomplete miscarriage, according to a new study.

05 Jun 2018

Automatic texting helps ease stress of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

(Reuters Health) - A system of automated twice-daily texts and the ability to use text messaging to receive answers to questions about treatment helps relieve some of the stress of chemotherapy for women with breast cancer, researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reported Monday.

30 May 2018

Study hikes Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria death toll to 4,645

(Reuters Health) - Hurricane Maria claimed the lives of 4,645 people in Puerto Rico last year and not the 64 long pegged by the island's government as the official death toll, according to a survey of thousands of residents by a research team led by Harvard University. | Video

30 May 2018

Study hikes Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria death toll to 4,645

May 29 (Reuters Health) - Hurricane Maria claimed the lives of 4,645 people in Puerto Rico last year and not the 64 long pegged by the island's government as the official death toll, according to a survey of thousands of residents by a research team led by Harvard University.

29 May 2018

Puerto Rican death toll from Hurricane Maria 73 times official tally: study

(Reuters Health) - Hurricane Maria claimed 73 times more lives in Puerto Rico than the official death toll of 64, according to new calculations based on a survey of thousands of residents by a team from Harvard and elsewhere.

24 May 2018

Money a better motivator to stop smoking than free e-cigs or quit aids

(Reuters Health) - Providing free electronic cigarettes or other stop-smoking products to employees to get them to give up real cigarettes is less effective than the threat of taking away a cash reward for quitting, according to a new study that weighs the effectiveness of a variety of workplace incentive programs.


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