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August 2014 Briefing - Pain Management

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for August 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Report Highlights Progress, Challenges in Health IT

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Progress has been made toward widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), although there are still barriers to adoption of advanced use of EHRs, according to a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Factors ID'd for Late Hospice Admission for Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer, factors associated with late admission to hospice have been identified, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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AMGA: Physician Turnover Still High in 2013

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

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Doctors Frequently Experience Ethical Dilemmas

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

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Sensory Deficits Common in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment-naive patients with multiple myeloma (MM) frequently have sensory deficits, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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African-Americans Have Worse Cervical Spine Surgery Outcomes

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- African-American patients have significantly higher rates of in-hospital complications and mortality associated with cervical spine surgery than Caucasian patients, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

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Team Approach Improves Practice Efficiency

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing administrative requirements of a medical practice are requiring a team-based approach to care, and physicians must learn to manage the team, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

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Factors Tied to Neck, Back Pain Improvement Identified

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Observational registry-based research can inform patients and physicians about prognosis for subacute or chronic neck or low back pain, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Review: Surgery Doesn't Benefit Age-Related Meniscal Tears

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that arthroscopic surgery does not benefit middle-aged patients with degenerative meniscal tears, according to research published online Aug. 25 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Restrictive, Non-Solicitation Covenants Are Valid

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Restrictive and non-solicitation covenants are valid and can be enforced, according to an article published Aug. 5 in Medical Economics.

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State Medical Cannabis Laws Cut Opioid Overdose Mortality

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- State medical cannabis laws correlate with reduced state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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U.S. to Tighten Access to Certain Narcotic Painkillers

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is going ahead with tough new controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, which has been tied to a surge in dangerous addictions across the United States.

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Organizations Can Help Docs Retain Their Independence

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ways for physicians to remain in independent practice are highlighted in an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

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Opioid Use in Disabled Medicare Patients Common

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid use is common among disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 years of age, according to research published in the September issue of Medical Care.

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Organized Processes Help Practices Hire Well

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A defined process is necessary to help physicians hire the right staff for their practice, according to an article published July 24 in Medical Economics.

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Boxed Warnings Are Common in Novel Therapeutics

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Boxed warnings are common on recent drug approvals, and many occur years after approval, according to a research letter published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Post-Op Doc Shopping Ups Narcotic Use in Ortho Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic trauma patients who seek multiple narcotic providers postoperatively are at greater risk of prescription drug abuse, according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Extra Time Spent Counseling, Coordinating Care Billable

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Extra time spent counseling patients and coordinating care can be billed using evaluation and management (E/M) and prolonged service codes, according to an article published July 24 in Medical Economics.

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Nonadherent MRIs Up Subsequent Medical Costs

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nonadherent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilization is tied to a cascade of higher medical costs and potentially unnecessary and unhelpful medical services following the MRI, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Meta-Analysis Strategy Impacts Estimation of Tx Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Estimation of treatment outcome varies with the meta-analysis strategy, according to a study published in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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EHR Adoption Increasing, But Stage 2 Criteria Often Not Met

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. hospitals and office-based physicians have adopted electronic health records (EHR), according to two studies published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Issues to Consider With Integration of Telemedicine

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Integrating telemedicine raises various considerations, including operational and legal issues, according to an article published July 24 in Medical Economics.

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Past Pain Patterns Can Help Predict Future Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated measurements of low back pain (LBP)-related variables are necessary to identify patterns in a fluctuating condition, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Manipulative Therapy Linked to Cervical Artery Dissection

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests there may be an association between cervical manipulative therapy and cervical artery dissections (CDs), according to an American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association scientific statement published online Aug. 7 in Stroke.

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Nomogram Predicts Risk of Second Kidney Stone Episode

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Recurrence of Kidney Stone (ROKS) nomogram identifies patients with kidney stones who are at high risk for a second symptomatic episode, according to research published online Aug. 7 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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VA Health Care Reform Bill Signed Into Law

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A bill signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama is meant to provide veterans with easier access to government-paid health care.

Health Highlights: Aug. 7, 2014

Pain Reduction Tied to One-Year Spine Surgery Outcomes

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing elective surgery for degenerative lumbar spine conditions, postoperative improvement in pain intensity is associated with improvements in physical function and reductions in disability in the year following surgery, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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U.S. Hospitals See Big Rise in Drug-Related Suicide Attempts

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-related suicide attempts in the United States increased over a recent six-year period, with dramatic increases seen among young and middle-aged adults, health officials reported Thursday.

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Acupuncture Cuts Comorbid Symptoms of Cancer Pain

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electroacupuncture (EA) may reduce comorbid symptoms of pain in women with breast cancer who have aromatase inhibitor (AI)-related arthralgia, according to research published online July 30 in Cancer.

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Lasting Clinical Results for Total Lumbar Disc Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Total lumbar disc replacement (TDR) yields mid- to long-term clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Skip the Steroids for Shoulder Pain?

TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For relief of shoulder pain, physical therapy and steroid shots provide similar results, according to a study published in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Physicians Have Secondary Income

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report earning income from sources other than their primary practice/employer, according to an article published July 24 in Medical Economics.

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Coflex Interspinous Device No Extra Benefit in Spinal Stenosis

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a Coflex interspinous device does not further improve outcomes beyond decompressive surgery for the treatment of symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to a study published online in the August issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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CT Effective in Detection of Significant Cervical Spine Injury

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) is effective in detecting clinically significant cervical spine (CS) injuries in patients with neurologic deficit or CS pain, according to a study published online July 30 in JAMA Surgery.

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CMS Recognizes Telehealth in New Physician Fee Schedule

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued proposed rules for updates to the Physician Fee Schedule and will accept comments until Sept. 2, according to an article published July 7 in Medical Economics.

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