June 2014 Briefing - Pain Management

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for June 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.

New Plan Would Permit Doctors to Treat Patients in Other States

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A proposal to make it much easier for doctors licensed in one state to treat patients in other states in person, online, or by videoconference has been prepared by the Federation of State Medical Boards, which includes the agencies that license and discipline doctors.

Health Highlights: June 30, 2014

UnitedHealth Cutting More Docs From Medicare Advantage

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- UnitedHealth Group's Medicare Advantage network has begun notifying physicians of a new wave of cuts to its network, according to an article published June 17 in Medical Economics.

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Court: Patients Responsible for Outcomes of Risky Behavior

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that patients can be at least partially responsible for their health outcomes resulting from their own unhealthy behavior, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), which supported the physicians in the case.

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Lithium May Protect Against Cartilage Decline in Osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lithium reduces catabolic events in interleukin-1 β (IL-1β)-treated human articular chondrocytes and protects against cartilage degradation in IL-1β-treated mouse knee joints, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Regular Aspirin Use Linked to Drop in Pancreatic Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aspirin use may be associated with a reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online June 26 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Tips Offered for Improving Practice Productivity

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Four steps can be utilized to improve practice productivity, according to an article published June 24 in Medical Economics.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Don't Aid Muscular Injuries

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections do not provide clinical benefit for acute hamstring injuries, according to a correspondence piece published June 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Wikipedia Drug Entries Often Not Up-to-Date

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients frequently turn to digital media for drug information; however, many Wikipedia entries about medications aren't up-to-date and accurate, according to a perspective piece published in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Previous Knee Surgery Ups Risk for TKA at Younger Age

WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a history of a previous knee surgery tend to undergo total knee arthroplasty (TKA) at a younger age, a trend particularly seen among men, according to a study published May 21 in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Medicaid Backlog May Have Financial Ramifications

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a considerable backlog in Medicaid enrollment applications, which may have financial ramifications on physicians and practices, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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No Mortality Benefit for Epidural During Hip Repair

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regional anesthesia does not offer a mortality benefit among hospitalized patients undergoing repair for a hip fracture, according to a study published June 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Best Spinal Manipulation Result in LBP May Come From 12 Sessions

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP), 12 sessions of spinal manipulation was found to result in modestly improved outcomes compared to light massage, but such improvements may not be clinically significant, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

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CMS Launches Initiative to Assist Newly Insured

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A national initiative has been launched to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage and to offer health providers the tools needed to promote patient engagement, according to a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Complex Electronic Record Safety Issues Surface Long After Launch

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health record-related safety concerns involving both unsafe technology and unsafe use of technology persist long after "go-live," according to a study published online June 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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Patient Variables Predict Expectations in Spine Surgery

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical and demographic variables can predict patients' expectations regarding anticipated improvement from cervical spine surgery, according to a study published June 15 in Spine.

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Guidance Offered for Protection When Firing Employees

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Steps can be taken to protect employers in the case of termination of an employee, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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NCHS: Insurance Coverage Expands, Gaps Remain

THURSDAY, June 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two new U.S. government reports provide a statistical snapshot of health and health insurance coverage in 2013, before new coverage options took effect under the Affordable Care Act.

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Tofacitinib Beats Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Tofacitinib is superior to methotrexate in treating rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published June 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ACA May Mean Healthier Young Adults, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A popular provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on a parent's health insurance plan up to age 26 may be good for their health and financial security, a new study suggests. The study was published as a research letter in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tips Offered for Finding Buyer for Medical Practice

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Suggestions are provided for finding a buyer for a medical practice in an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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U.S. Health Care System Ranked Last Again: Report

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The United States' health system once again comes in last when compared to 10 other rich nations, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund report on the issue.

Health Highlights: June 16, 2014
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Clinicians Often Fail to Empathize After Adverse Event

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The health care industry is recognizing the benefits of prompt and transparent physician communication with patients and families about bad outcomes, according to an article published June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Physician Leadership, Ownership Dominates ACOs

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are playing strong leadership and ownership roles in accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to research published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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Walking Protects Against Functional Limitation of OA

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More walking can protect against the functional limitation associated with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published online June 12 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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HHS Inspector General Finds Big Problem With Medicare Coding

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 42 percent of Medicare claims for evaluation and management (E/M) services are incorrectly coded, according to an article published June 2 in Medical Economics.

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Obesity Explains More Rapid Growth Rate of Knee Replacement

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The differential increase in total knee arthroplasties over total hip arthroplasties is mainly due to more rapid growth in knee arthroplasties in adults with a body mass index of ≥ 25 kg/m², according to a study published in the June 4 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Researchers Hesitant to Use Social Media to Show Findings

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers remain uncertain about the use of social media to communicate their findings to policy makers, according to research published online June 6 in Health Affairs.

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New Research Standards Created for Chronic Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A multidisciplinary panel has developed standards for research on chronic low back pain (cLBP), according to a guideline article published in the June issue of the The Journal of Pain.

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Data From EHRs Should Be Used to Improve Patient Care

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The data from electronic health records (EHRs) should be utilized to improve the quality of patient care, according to an article published online June 10 in Medical Economics.

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Brodalumab Effective for Psoriatic Arthritis

THURSDAY, June 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The monoclonal antibody brodalumab significantly improves response rates among patients with psoriatic arthritis, according to a phase 2 study published in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Minimally Invasive Interbody Fusion Feasible in Obese

WEDNESDAY, June 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MiTLIF) is safe and produces satisfactory outcomes for treatment of overweight or obese patients, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Sleep Quality Tied to Subsequent Low Back Pain Intensity

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute low back pain, sleep quality is strongly related to subsequent pain intensity, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Millions Will Not Have to Pay ACA Tax Penalties: Report

TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although an estimated 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2016, only four million are expected to pay penalties, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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Incentives May Lead to Greater Support for Practice Goals

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Incentives may aid employees in meeting practice goals, according to an article published May 23 in Medical Economics.

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Anatomic Features Not Tied to Pain in Rotator Cuff Tears

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Anatomic features associated with the severity of atraumatic rotator cuff tears are not associated with pain level, according to a study published in the May 21 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Frequent Exercise With Bracing Aids Low Back Pain

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent exercising and bracing seems effective for long-term prevention of recurrent low back pain (LBP), according to a study published in the June 1 issue of Spine.

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Physician Political Contributions Are Increasing, Shifting

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The political alignment of physicians in the United States has shifted from predominantly Republican to predominantly Democrat, based in part on the larger number of women physicians and smaller percentage of physicians practicing solo or in small practices, according to research published online June 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Veterans Affected by Scandal May Seek Private Care

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The recent scandal at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may lead to more veteran visits to private physicians and community health centers, according to an article published June 2 in Medical Economics.

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Periodontitis Independently Tied to Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Periodontitis (PD) is independently associated with established seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Pot Isn't Harmless, Top U.S. Health Official Says

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- States joining the march toward marijuana legalization need to take a step back and consider the drug's adverse effects on health, the U.S. drug "czar" argues in a new paper.

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Many 'Inconsistencies' in ACA Sign-Ups: Report

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new government document finds that more than a quarter of the eight million people who signed up for coverage under the Obama Administration's new health care law have "inconsistencies" in the data they supplied.

Health Highlights: June 5, 2014

Naloxegol Found Effective for Opioid-Induced Constipation

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the oral, peripherally acting µ-opioid receptor antagonist naloxegol is safe and effective for opioid-induced constipation, according to a study published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Claim Denials Expected to Increase

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Even with good office procedures, most practices are plagued by claim denials, a hassle that is expected to increase in the coming years, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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Most Physicians Would Forgo Aggressive Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although physicians regularly recommend high-intensity, aggressive, life-prolonging care for their terminally ill patients, the vast majority would choose to forgo such care for themselves at the end of life, according to a study published online May 28 in PLOS ONE.

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EHRs Can Be Used to Boost Practice Revenue

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practices can achieve return on investment (ROI) for implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems if they participate in alternative delivery models, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Generic Version of Celebrex

MONDAY, June 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave its approval to the first generic version of the pain reliever Celebrex (celecoxib).

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