May 15, 2014

Helping Patients with Liver Disease Choose Wisely

As in every field of medicine, there are certain tests and procedures that patients with liver disease and their physicians should discuss to ensure they are truly necessary and will improve care. The AASLD is proud to partner with the ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely® campaign to identify specific tests, procedures, and treatments that may be unnecessary and may even cause harm.

AASLD has made recommendations on a wide range of liver conditions that affect patients with:

  • Cirrhosis and small varices
  • Hepatitis encephalopathy
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Benign focal liver lesions

View the specific recommendations [PDF]

AASLD's list was developed by a group of experts to broadly represent varying practice settings and subspecialty expertise within the field of hepatology after soliciting the input of the entire AASLD membership. The recommendations that AASLD made are based on the most current evidence found in scientific literature.

Health care in America often includes practices that may provide little, if any, benefit to patients. Some estimate that up to 30 percent of health care spending goes toward duplicative or unnecessary interventions. The Choosing Wisely® campaign of the ABIM Foundation is one way of encouraging conversations between physicians and patients to avoid these unnecessary tests or procedures and improving overall health.

Since launching in April 2012, nearly 100 national, regional and state medical specialty societies, health collaboratives and consumer groups have become Choosing Wisely partners. The campaign has released 54 lists covering more than 250 tests and procedures that the specialty society partners say are overused or inappropriate.

“AASLD is pleased to be working with the ABIM Foundation to help streamline the care of our patients with liver disease and spark conversations with their physicians about the care that is best for them,” said Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, AASLD president.

To view the specific recommendations, click here. [PDF]To learn more about Choosing Wisely and to view the complete lists and additional detail about the recommendations and evidence supporting them, visit


About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit, read our blog, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Choosing Wisely®
First announced in December 2011, Choosing Wisely® is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician's role in helping patients make wise choices. Learn more at


U.S. health officials urge use of HIV pill for at-risk individuals

CHICAGO Wed May 14, 2014 7:11pm EDT

(Reuters) - U.S. health officials on Wednesday issued new recommendations urging healthcare workers to consider offering an HIV prevention pill to healthy individuals who are at substantial risk for HIV infection.

The guidelines, issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service, involve the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a strategy in which at-risk individuals take a daily dose of an antiretroviral drug to reduce their risk of HIV infection.

The strategy builds on a landmark 2010 study that found Gilead Sciences Inc's Truvada - a pill already widely used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus - was more than 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infections among test subjects who took the drug as prescribed.

According to the new guidelines, healthcare providers should consider PrEP for anyone who meets specific risk criteria, such as being in a relationship with an HIV-infected partner or having sex without condoms with partners known to be at risk for HIV, such as injecting drug users.

The guidelines offer the first comprehensive guidance from the CDC, replacing interim guidance that emerged after studies showed PrEP to be effective in different patient populations.

The CDC now estimates as many as 275,000 uninfected gay men and 140,000 heterosexual couples, in which one partner is HIV-infected, could benefit from PrEP.

Some 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV, and new infections are estimated at 50,000 each year.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Tom Brown)