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How important is price variation between health insurers?

J Health Econ 2021 Feb 16;77:102423. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and NBER, United States.

Prices negotiated between payers and providers affect a health insurance contract's value via enrollees' cost-sharing and self-insured employers' costs. However, price variation across payers is difficult to observe. We measure negotiated prices for hospital-payer pairs in Massachusetts and characterize price variation. Read More

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February 2021

Distance to water source in early childhood affects growth: a cohort study.

Public Health 2021 Apr 7;193:139-145. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

School of Economics and Resource Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Objectives: Approximately 165 million children aged <5 years are at risk of low height-for-age. This study explored whether water quality and distance to water source affected short- and long-term growth, and the critical time windows of such effects.

Study Design: This study used data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), which was a cohort study performed in 15 Chinese provinces. Read More

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Addressing Challenges in Health Technology Assessment Institutionalization for Furtherance of Universal Health Coverage Through South-South Knowledge Exchange: Lessons From Bhutan, Kenya, Thailand, and Zambia.

Value Health Reg Issues 2021 Apr 7;24:187-192. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Nonthaburi, Thailand. Electronic address:

Health Technology Assessment (HTA), a tool for priority setting, has emerged as a means of ensuring the sustainability of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system. However, setting up an effective HTA system poses multiple challenges and knowledge exchange can play a crucial role in helping countries achieve their UHC targets. This article reports the results of the discussion during a preconference session at the 2019 HTAsiaLink Conference, an annual gathering of HTA agencies in Asia, which supports knowledge transfer and exchange among HTA practitioners. Read More

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Microwave-assisted assembly of AgO-ZnO composite nanocones for electrochemical detection of 4-Nitrophenol and assessment of their photocatalytic activity towards degradation of 4-Nitrophenol and Methylene blue dye.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 27;416:125771. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Department of Chemistry and Centre of Advanced Studies in Chemistry, Panjab University Chandigarh, 160014, India; SAIF/CIL, Panjab University Chandigarh, 160014, India. Electronic address:

4-Nitrophenol (4-NP) is an extensively utilized industrial chemical and one of major toxic water pollutant. Therefore, there is an urgent need to monitor the levels of 4-NP from environmental samples as well as its eradication are extremely important. Keeping this as a motivation, this research for the first-time reports microwave-assisted cost-effective synthesis of silver oxide (AgO)-zinc oxide (ZnO) composite nanocones (CNCs, 80-100 nm) for simultaneous electrochemical detection and photodegradation of 4-NP from aqueous solutions. Read More

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A co-financing model for the mitigation of highway runoff pollution.

J Environ Manage 2021 Apr 7;289:112432. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Centre for Research in Economics and Management (NIPE), University of Minho, Portugal.

Highway runoff impacts urban and natural ecosystems negatively. A financing model, that is economically feasible and accepted by all stakeholders, has been a limitation for the implementation of pollution control measures. A case-study on a 279-km Portuguese Highway is presented as a basis for a co-financing model. Read More

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Three-dimensional heterogeneity analysis of climate aid's carbon reduction effect.

J Environ Manage 2021 Apr 7;289:112524. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

School of Economics, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, PR China.

Exploring the effectiveness of climate aid is crucial to distribute funds scientifically and maximize its impact. A body of related literature has estimated the impact of international climate aid on carbon emissions. However, these studies did not adequately consider the multi-dimensional heterogeneity of climate aid's carbon reduction effect. Read More

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Study on the Hg removal characteristics and synergistic mechanism of iron-based modified biochar doped with multiple metals.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Apr 2;332:125086. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

College of Electrical and Power Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, PR China. Electronic address:

An iron-based composite adsorbent with biochar as the support was prepared by coprecipitation and the sol-gel method. Both single-iron-based modified biochar without doping with other metals and iron-based modified biochar doped with multiple metals (Ce, Cu, Co, Mn) were synthesised. The adsorption kinetics were analysed, and temperature-programmed desorption measurements were performed to reveal the inherent difference in mechanism between the oxidation and adsorption of Hg by the modified biochar and to elucidate the key mechanism of Hg removal. Read More

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Biochar modulates mineral nitrogen dynamics in soil and terrestrial ecosystems: A critical review.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 28;278:130378. Epub 2021 Mar 28.

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States.

Biochar, over the last two decades, has become the focal point of agro-environmental research given its unique functionality, cost-effectiveness and recyclability potentials. It has been studied intensively as an efficient scavenger for the decontamination of several organic and inorganic pollutants. However, the ability of biochar to modulate nitrogen (N) dynamics in soil and terrestrial ecosystems remains controversial. Read More

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Review of carbon leakage under regionally differentiated climate policies.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 27;782:146765. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China; School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China; Beijing Key Lab of Energy Economics and Environmental Management, Beijing 100081, China.

Despite the increasing challenges of coping with global climate change, current climate policy is still implemented unilaterally at national and subnational levels, with different forms and intensities in both time and space dimensions. Such regionally differentiated climate policies inevitably cause carbon leakage phenomenon, that is, reduced carbon emissions in abating areas may be offset to some extent by increased carbon emissions in non-abating areas. The occurrence of carbon leakage could undermine the environmental effectiveness of implemented climate policies and cause extra emission reduction costs. Read More

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Chinese household environmental footprint and its response to environmental awareness.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 25;782:146725. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Research Center for Strategy of Global Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, 26 Baiwanzhuang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100037, China.

Sustainable consumption has become an important issue when the world has limited resources and deteriorating environment. Given the context, this study first examines the influence of income disparities on different environmental footprints of Chinese households. We combine the input-output model with Chinese household survey data from the China family panel studies. Read More

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Implementing building-level SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance on a university campus.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 30;782:146749. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223, United States of America.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of ongoing challenges and presents an increased risk of illness in group environments, including jails, long-term care facilities, schools, and residential college campuses. Early reports that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detectable in wastewater in advance of confirmed cases sparked widespread interest in wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) as a tool for mitigation of COVID-19 outbreaks. One hypothesis was that wastewater surveillance might provide a cost-effective alternative to other more expensive approaches such as pooled and random testing of groups. Read More

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Transoral endoscopic vestibular approach for thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy - From promise to practice.

Am J Otolaryngol 2021 Mar 31;42(5):103022. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

A.R.M. Center of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Assuta Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Objectives: To describe the evolution and recent series on transoral endoscopic vestibular approach thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy (TOET/PVA).

Data Sources: PubMed, Google Scholar.

Review Methods: Review of the available English literature. Read More

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Evaluating the impact of the travel ban within mainland China on the epidemic of the COVID-19.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Lamps and Canadian Centre for Disease Modelling (CCDM), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada. Electronic address:

Objectives: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic expanded its geographic distribution through the movement of humans and caused subsequent local outbreaks. Hence, it is essential to investigate how human mobility and travel ban affect the transmission and spatial spread while minimizing the impact on social activities and national economics.

Methods: We developed a mobility network model for spatial epidemics, explicitly taking into account time-varying inter-province and inner-province population flows, spatial heterogeneity in terms of disease transmission, as well as the impact of media reports. Read More

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Photocatalytic hydrogen evolution over a nickel complex anchoring to thiophene embedded g-CN.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 Mar 19;596:75-88. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Engineering of Guangdong Province, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, PR China. Electronic address:

Evolution of hydrogen from water by utilizing solar energy and photocatalysts is one of the most promising ways to solve energy crisis. However, designing a cost-effective and stable photocatalyst without any noble metals is of vital importance for this process. Herein, an extremely active molecular complex cocatalyst NiL(Cl) is successfully designed. Read More

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Oligonucleotide sensor based on magnetic capture and photoligation of upconverting nanoparticles in solid surfaces.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 Mar 11;596:64-74. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Optics, Complutense University of Madrid, E-28037 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

In this work, we present a luminescence platform that can be used as point of care system for determining the presence and concentration of specific oligonucleotide sequences. This sensor exhibited a limit of detection as low as 50 fM by means of: (i) the use of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) functionalized magnetic microparticles that captured and concentrated ssDNA-upconverting nanoparticles (ssDNA-UCNPs) on a solid support, when the target sequence (miR-21-5p DNA-analogue) was in the sample, and (ii) a photoligation reaction that covalently linked the ssDNA-UCNPs and the ssDNA magnetic microparticles, allowing stringent washes. The presented sensor showed a similar limit of detection when the assays were conducted in samples containing total miRNA extracted from human serum, demonstrating its suitability for detecting small specific oligonucleotide sequences under real-like conditions. Read More

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Eliciting Beliefs about COVID-19 Prevalence and Mortality: Epidemiological Models Compared with The Street.

Methods 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, USA (Swarthout). Harrison is also affiliated with the School of Economics, University of Cape Town USA. Electronic address:

Subjective belief elicitation about uncertain events has a long lineage in the economics and statistics literatures. Recent developments in the experimental elicitation and statistical estimation of subjective belief distributions allow inferences about whether these beliefs are biased relative to expert opinion, and the confidence with which they are held. Beliefs about COVID-19 prevalence and mortality interact with risk management efforts, so it is important to understand relationships between these beliefs and publicly disseminated statistics, particularly those based on evolving epidemiological models. Read More

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Feasibility and Acceptability of Virtual Mock Oral Examinations for Senior Vascular Surgery Trainees and Implications for the Certifying Exam.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO. Electronic address:

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of in-person testing across the country. We sought to understand the feasibility of conducting virtual oral examinations as well as solicit opinions of vascular surgery program directors regarding the use of virtual platforms to conduct both low stakes mock oral examinations with their trainees and potentially "real" high stakes certifying examinations (CE) moving forward.

Methods: Forty-four senior vascular surgery trainees from 17 institutions took part in a virtual mock oral examination conducted by 38 practicing vascular surgeons via Zoom. Read More

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Gains in insurance coverage following the affordable care act and change in preventive services use among non-elderly US immigrants.

Prev Med 2021 Apr 7:106546. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Wayne State University, Institute of Gerontology, USA; Wayne State University, Department of Economics, USA; University of New Mexico, Department of Sociology, USA; University of California San Diego, Department of Neurosciences and Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, USA; Wayne State University, Department of Healthcare Sciences, USA. Electronic address:

Immigrants have lower and disproportionate use of preventive care. We use longitudinal panel data to examine how the 2014 full implementation of the ACA mandates affected change in preventive services (PS) use among immigrants that gained insurance. We used data on Foreign-Born (FB) and US-Born (USB) adults, ages 26-64 years, from the 2013/16 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey longitudinal files to examine within-person change in yearly utilization of age/sex specific United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended services. Read More

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Implementation of a 3D-printed custom mask fitter in an ophthalmology setting during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Can J Ophthalmol 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. Electronic address:

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a 3D-printed custom mask fitter in lieu of N95 respirators among ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals who may not be prioritized to receive N95 respirators amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Methods: This was a proof-of-concept study from a tertiary eye care center in Oakville, Canada. All participants underwent the N95 Qualitative Fit Test with a custom mask fitter secured over an American Society for Testing and Materials Level 3 face mask. Read More

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Dental trauma in toddlers 1-3 years of age living in multicultural areas of Stockholm, Sweden: A retrospective cohort study.

Dent Traumatol 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Division of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background/aim: Traumatic dental injuries are common and affect many children. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of dental trauma as well as the costs and resource use in a cohort of children aged 1-3 years in low socioeconomic areas (low income and educational level) of Stockholm.

Materials And Methods: Data were extracted from a larger intervention trial and analyzed for the prevalence and other characteristics of dental trauma as well as patient characteristics of children (n = 1346) from six dental clinics in low-income, multicultural areas. Read More

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Partial-film mulch returns the same gains in yield and water use efficiency as full-mulch with reduced cost and lower pollution: A meta-analysis.

J Sci Food Agric 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China.

Background: Plastic film mulch is widely used to improve crop yield and water use efficiency (WUE, yield per unit evapotranspiration) in the semi-arid regions. It is commonly applied as partial-film mulch (PM: at least 50% soil cover) or full-film mulch (FM: complete soil cover). The PM has lower economic and environmental cost; hence it would be a superior technology provided it delivers similar gains in yield and water use efficiency in relation to FM. Read More

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Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) Containing Low or No Dairy Compared to Standard RUTF for Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Adv Nutr 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Centre for Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) containing less dairy may be a lower-cost treatment option for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The objective was to understand the effectiveness of RUTF containing alternative sources of protein (nondairy), or <50% of protein from dairy products, compared with standard RUTF in children with SAM. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were searched using terms relating to RUTF. Read More

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Modifiable lifestyle risk factors and C-reactive protein in patients with coronary artery disease: Implications for an anti-inflammatory treatment target population.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Apr;28(2):152-158

Department of General and Interventional Cardiology, University Heart and Vascular Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Modifiable lifestyle risk factors (modRF) of coronary artery disease (CAD) are associated with increased inflammation represented by elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Lifestyle changes may influence the inflammatory burden in patients with CAD, relevantly modifying the target population for emerging anti-inflammatory compounds.

Aims: The aims of this study were to analyse the association of modRF and CRP levels in CAD patients, and to define a potential target population for anti-inflammatory treatment with and without the optimisation of modRF. Read More

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Accordion-Like Fluorinated Graphite Nanosheets with High Power and Energy Densities for Wide-Temperature, Long Shelf-Life Sodium/Potassium Primary Batteries.

Small 2021 Apr 10:e2008163. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Xiangtan University, Xiangtan, Hunan, 411105, China.

Sodium and potassium are considered to be the most promising anode candidates due to their easy availability, low-cost and similar chemical properties to lithium. Here, novel 3D accordion-like fluorinated graphite nanosheets (FGNSs) are reported as cathodes for sodium primary batteries (SPBs) and potassium primary batteries (PPBs). The FGNSs-x cathode exhibits unprecedented power and energy density due to the impressive 3D structure, high F/C ratio (1. Read More

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Economic evaluation of differentiated service delivery models for HIV treatment in Lesotho: costs to providers and patients.

J Int AIDS Soc 2021 Apr;24(4):e25692

Kheth'Impilo AIDS Free Living, Cape Town, South Africa.

Introduction: Lesotho, the country with the second-highest HIV/AIDS prevalence (23.6%) in the world, has made considerable progress towards achieving the "95-95-95" UNAIDS targets, but recent success in improving treatment access to all known HIV positive individuals has severely strained existing healthcare infrastructure, financial and human resources. Lesotho also faces the challenge of a largely rural population who incur a significant time and financial burden to visit healthcare facilities. Read More

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Effects of motor imagery training on lower limb motor function of patients with chronic stroke: A pilot single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Int J Nurs Pract 2021 Apr 10:e12933. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Neurology, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, People's Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, China.

Aims: This pilot study aimed to evaluate the effects of motor imagery training on lower limb motor function of stroke patients.

Background: Motor imagery training has played an important role in rehabilitation outcomes of stroke patients.

Methods: In this pilot randomized controlled trial 32 stroke patients were randomly divided into experimental and control groups from January to June 2017. Read More

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Prophylactic negative-pressure wound therapy for prevention of surgical site infection in abdominal surgery: a nationwide cross-sectional survey.

Updates Surg 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Division of Digestive Surgery, University Hospitals of Geneva, Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1211, Geneva 14, Switzerland.

Our objective was to determine current practice in Switzerland regarding the use of pNPWT in abdominal surgery. An online survey was carried out to evaluate the use of pNPWT among abdominal surgeons in Switzerland. One hundred and ten participants replied to the survey from 16. Read More

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Mitigating environmental degradation with institutional quality and foreign direct investment (FDI): new evidence from asymmetric approach.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Faculty of Economics Administrative and Social Sciences, Istanbul Gelisim University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Chile is currently rated among the performing countries towards the achievement of the global goals of reducing carbon emission. It is on recorded that Chile as a country has moved from highly insufficient to insufficient and still working towards conforming to recommend the region of 2°C in quest of controlling climate change through carbon emission reduction. From this development, it is essential to investigate on the country's strategies in achieving this success and equally make recommendation for other countries to adopt Chile's strategy as a blue print in controlling carbon emission. Read More

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Towards a green economic policy framework in China: role of green investment in fostering clean energy consumption and environmental sustainability.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

School of Economics & Management, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China.

Recently, China has relished rapid green investment, and its influence on clean energy consumption and environment is substantial. Therefore, this study scrutinizes the effects of green investment on clean energy consumption and CO2 emissions in China by using autoregressive distributed lag model (ARDL) approach over time from 1998 to 2019. The results show that green investment tends to have a positive effect on clean energy consumption in China in the long run. Read More

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Tofacitinib in the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in China: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Based on a Mapping Algorithm Derived from a Chinese Population.

Adv Ther 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Pharmacy, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 139 Renmin Rd., Changsha, 410011, Hunan, China.

Introduction: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of tofacitinib for patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who failed conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs from the Chinese healthcare system perspective.

Methods: An individual patient simulation model was used to estimate the lifetime cost and effectiveness. The comparator sequence commenced with etanercept, followed by rituximab-tocilizumab- non-biologic therapy. Read More

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