November 2013 Briefing - Pain Management
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for November 2013. 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.
Insurance Exchanges May Benefit Small Medical Practices
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Small medical practices may not need to offer their employees health insurance, although there may be advantages to doing so, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.
Gabapentin Doesn't Cut Use of Morphine Post-Knee Arthroplasty
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of gabapentin to patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) protocol does not reduce morphine consumption, pain, or opioid-related side effects in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty, according to a study published in the Nov. 20 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Practices Should Start Preparing for Transition to ICD-10
TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Practices should start preparing for the transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.
American Medical Groups Protesting Physician Cuts
MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical societies are taking action against the mass cancellations of physicians in Medicare Advantage plans in many states, according to an article published online Nov. 22 in Medical Economics.
Family Doc Finds Mid-Level Providers Increase Revenue
MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hiring mid-levels -- physicians assistants and nurse practitioners -- can improve productivity, resulting in increased physician take-home pay, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.
White House Extends Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance
FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov will get a few extra days to sign up for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1. The deadline for buying insurance through the federal health insurance exchange will be pushed from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a Friday news conference.
Headache Society Issues Top Five Choosing Wisely Tips
FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The top five headache-related issues that physicians and patients should question have been released by the American Headache Society (AHS) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and published online Oct. 29 in Headache.
CDC Report: Health Disparities Persist in America
THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite progress in some areas, health disparities remain for many Americans, health officials reported Thursday. These inequalities are related to income, education, sex, race, ethnicity, employment and sexual orientation, and they all affect Americans' health and well-being, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lower Extremity Functional Scale Valid for Low Back Pain
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The modified lower extremity functional scale (LEFS) is a valid and reliable instrument for patients with low back pain (LBP) with or without radiating leg pain, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
More Than Half of Hospitalized Patients Given Opioids
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalized, nonsurgical patients are exposed to opioids, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries
TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.
Chiropractic Care Beats Sham Therapy for Spinal Pain
MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term chiropractic therapy is more effective than a sham intervention for treating spinal pain, but the difference is not clinically meaningful, according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.
Arthritis Patients Listen When Doc Tells Them to Exercise
FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations from health care providers are linked with adherence to guidelines for physical activity in adults with arthritis, according to research published online Nov. 7 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.
Obama Nominates Health Care Law Backer to Be Surgeon General
FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country's next surgeon general.
Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Plan (for a Year)
THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bending to political pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for another year, even if that coverage would have been cancelled because it fails to meet new rules under the Affordable Care Act.
Health Care Enrollments Fall Far Short of White House Estimates
THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration late Wednesday released a report revealing a disappointing number of health plan enrollments through the new federal and state insurance exchanges. Just over 106,000 Americans enrolled in health plans through the new marketplaces from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a news conference.
No Promises on Nov. 30 ACA Website Fix: U.S. Tech Chief
THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The nation's chief of information technology would not confirm on Wednesday whether the hobbled HealthCare.gov insurance exchange website would be fixed by month's end.
Many Would Give Health Plans Private Info to Save Money: Poll
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans say they'd submit to insurance company medical tests and lifestyle monitoring in exchange for lower-cost premiums, a new Harris/HealthDay poll finds.
Guidelines Agree on Opioid Risk Mitigation Strategies
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Recent guidelines on chronic pain management agree on several opioid risk mitigation strategies, according to a review published online Nov. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Population Aging Crisis May Have Been Overestimated
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an alternative measure for assessing the number of dependent older people suggests that the population aging crisis may have been overestimated, according to an analysis published online Nov. 12 in BMJ.
Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations
TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.
Patient Beliefs About Back Pain Shaped by Clinicians
TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) Health care professionals have a substantial and lasting effect on patient attitudes and beliefs about back pain, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Analysis Describes Economic Anatomy of U.S. Health Care
TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the increases in resources devoted to health care in the United States, multiple health care metrics show that the United States is trailing peer nations, according to a special communication published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.
Post-Op Prophylactic Heparin Poses Very Low Bleed Risk
MONDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of hemorrhage seems to be very low when prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is initiated 24 to 36 hours after degenerative spine surgery but the associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk is considerable, according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Obama 'Sorry' Some People Losing Health Coverage
FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said he's "sorry" some Americans are losing their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-reform law, but his administration is pressing ahead with the law's implementation. It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans have individual health insurance policies, and many of these people are receiving cancellation notices as insurers switch to plans that comply with new health-reform requirements.
Altered Brain Circuitry May Contribute to Pain in Fibromyalgia
FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with fibromyalgia have disrupted brain responses to pain-related reward and punishment, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Telemedicine Represents Enhanced Care Model
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine may represent an effective care model but there are associated concerns, specifically relating to reimbursement and legal issues, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.
CDC: More Than 1 in 5 Adults Report Having Arthritis
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in five U.S. adults report having been diagnosed with arthritis, with a substantial proportion additionally reporting arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAAL), according to a report published in the Nov. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.
Aspiring Doctors Are Optimistic About the Future of Medicine
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Aspiring doctors are optimistic about the future of medicine, according to a report published by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.
For Hospitalized Adults, Light Inversely Tied to Fatigue, Mood
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized adult patients, light exposure is inversely associated with fatigue and total mood disturbance, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Amount of Care Similar for Rural, Urban Medicare Users
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there may be a limited supply of physicians in some rural areas, little difference is found in the amount of health care received by Medicare beneficiaries for rural versus urban areas within the same region, according to research published in the November issue of Health Affairs.
Intra-Articular, Systemic Steroids Beneficial in Back Pain
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Intra-articular injection of steroids is slightly better than intramuscular injection for the treatment of facet joint syndrome, although both are effective, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Sebelius on Exchange Website: 'Delay Is Not an Option'
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration will not consider delaying implementation of health reform. Nor will it take down HealthCare.gov -- the troubled health insurance marketplace website -- while it's being fixed. "For millions of Americans, delay is not an option," Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on the new health insurance marketplace. "People's lives depend on this," she said.
Senators Seek Answers on Health Marketplace Woes
TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A top Obama administration health official said Tuesday that HealthCare.gov -- the troubled federal website used to sign up for insurance -- is improving, and insisted that private information provided during the online application process is safe and secure.
In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- This is the second issue of a monthly letter from me, HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. The intention of this letter (and the intention of what we do at HealthDay) is to provide tools of communication. At Physician's Briefing, this is by providing you, the busy and buried health care professional, news and information that matters to you in a way that won't slow you down. The intention is to provide news that can help you stay abreast of changing clinical guidelines, cutting-edge technologies, and novel treatment options. And now, we offer free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for you on select clinical articles, enabling you to get (at least) two birds with one stone.
In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines
TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Please allow me to introduce myself: I am HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. This service is intended to provide busy physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with easily accessible, digestible health news that can keep them up-to-date and not missing a beat in their busy days providing care for those in need (and navigating the headaches and heartaches the business of medicine can too often bring). In short, this service is intended to make your professional life flow more smoothly in the way that helpful, useable, relevant, and timely information can.
Exchanges Will Be Cornerstone for Coverage Choices
Young Adults May Be Key to Making It All Work
Expect Pluses, Minuses for Those With Job-Based Coverage
If You're an Uninsured Worker, It's Your Chance to Get Covered
Medicaid Expansion Will Allow More to Get More
Many on Medicare Already Enjoying Benefits
AMA Presents: The National Journal
Worse Outcomes for Early Post-Lumbar Spinal Fusion Rehab
TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Beginning rehabilitation at six weeks as opposed to 12 weeks post-lumbar spinal fusion is associated with higher costs and poorer outcomes, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Study Compares Treatments for Vertebral Compression Fx
TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare patients with new vertebral compression fractures, kyphoplasty correlates with lower risk of death, but with increased likelihood of subsequent augmentation procedures compared with vertebroplasty, according to a study published in the Oct. 2 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Six People Signed Up on Day One of Federal Exchange Website
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Just six people enrolled for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day of operation on Oct. 1, just-released Obama administration documents show.
Etanercept Cuts Sciatic Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with placebo, transforaminal injections of etanercept provide relief from leg and back pain in patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (LDH), according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Physician Buy-In Key to Reducing Health Care Costs
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physician buy-in is essential for creation of any new payment system aimed at reducing health care costs, according to an article published Oct. 21 in Medical Economics.