April 2016 Briefing - Pain Management

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for April 2016. 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.

FDA Reconsidering Training for Doctors Prescribing Opioids

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Mandatory safety training for doctors who prescribe opioids is being reconsidered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Wide Variation in Health Care Costs Across the U.S.

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Health care prices vary widely across the United States, even within the same state, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

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Article Discusses Workplace Violence in Health Care

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is a lack of data relating to the prevalence of workplace violence in health care and how to address it, according to a review article published in the April 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Doctors Have a Only a Few Weeks Left to Review Financial Data

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, physicians have only a few weeks left to review and report disputes relating to their financial ties to drug and medical device manufacturers, according to the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Health Report Card Finds Racial, Ethnic Disparities Persist

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An update on Americans' health finds that racial and ethnic disparities persist, with significant gaps in obesity, cesarean births, and dental care. But advances have been made in some important areas, including infant mortality rates, women smokers, and numbers of uninsured, according to the new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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A Doctor's View: EHRs Impair Physician-Patient Relationship

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) may be impairing the physician-patient relationship, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Heavy Cannabis Use in Teen Years Tied to Earlier Mortality

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Men who were heavy cannabis smokers in their teens may not live as long as those who did not use cannabis when they were young, according to a study published online April 22 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Physicians Can Get Involved in Developing Payment Models

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors can be involved in developing new payment models for their practices, according to the American Medical Association.

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Spinal Manipulation Offers Little Low Back Pain Disability Relief

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal manipulative therapy reduces disability from low back pain (LBP) more than functional technique, but not in a clinically meaningful way, according to a study published in the March issue of The Spine Journal.

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Post-Op Gouty Arthritis Described in Patient Taking Thiazide

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A case of postoperative acute gouty arthritis following laparoscopic cholecystectomy with umbilical hernioplasty, secondary to hydrochlorothiazide use, has been documented in a case report published in the March issue in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

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Provocative Discography May Up Risk of Clinical Disc Problems

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Provocative discography, an invasive diagnostic procedure involving disc puncture with pressurization, is associated with increased risk of clinical disc problems, according to a study published in the March issue of The Spine Journal.

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2016 Match Marks Record Highs for Registrants, Matching

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The 2016 Match was the largest ever recorded by the National Resident Matching Program, with a higher match rate that 2015, according to a report from the American Medical Association.

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Decrease in Medicare Spending for 2012 ACO Entrants

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Early reductions in Medicare spending were seen for the first full year of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) contracts for 2012 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) entrants, according to a study published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Care Workers Skip Hand Washing One-Third of the Time

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Staff at many outpatient health care facilities in New Mexico failed to follow recommendations for hand hygiene more than one-third of the time, according to findings published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Fusion Not Always Necessary for Back Pain From Stenosis

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal fusion surgery is too often used to treat lower back pain caused by stenosis when decompression would suffice, but is still beneficial for select patients, according to a pair of new clinical trials published in the April 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Coalition Calls for Changes to Hospital Pain Assessments

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage patient pain lead to overprescribing of addictive opioids and need to be changed, critics say.

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Doctors Can Be Misled About FDA 'Breakthrough' Drug Designation

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the word "breakthrough" in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expedited approval process could mislead doctors about the new drugs' actual benefits, according to a research letter published in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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VA Commission on Care: Eliminate VA Medical Centers

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A radical proposal has been suggested for eliminating all Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and outpatient facilities in the next 20 years, floated by seven of 15 members of the VA Commission on Care, according to an article published in the Military Times.

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Are Guidelines Needed to Assess Competence of Aging Physicians?

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The question of whether national guidelines need to be developed for assessing the competence of aging physicians was discussed during a recent meeting of key stakeholders, according to a news release from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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