June 2015 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 June 2015. 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.

Three Issues to Consider Before Selecting EHR

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Work flow, features and functionality, and technical infrastructure should all be considered in advance of selecting an electronic heath record (EHR) system, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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New Naloxone Capsule Safe for Opioid-Induced Constipation

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new naloxone sustained release (NSR) capsule appears to be safe and efficacious for opioid-induced constipation (OIC), according to a study published online June 24 in Pain Medicine.

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Patients Want Online Access to Physicians, Health Records

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Internet-savvy Americans would like to add their doctors to their group of Facebook friends or e-mail contacts, according to a study published online June 24 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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AMA Discusses Pre-Retirement Evaluation for Aging Doctors

MONDAY, June 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Issues relating to physician retirement and evaluation of aging physicians before retirement are discussed in a Council on Medical Education report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Surgery May Help Adolescents With Frequent Migraines

MONDAY, June 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine surgery may be an effective choice for adolescents who haven't gotten relief from standard treatment, a small study suggests. The findings were published in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Paraspinal Fat Infiltration Tied to Low Back Pain, Disability

MONDAY, June 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Paraspinal fat infiltration correlates with high-intensity pain/disability and with structural abnormalities in the lumbar spine, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Many Primary Care Physicians Misinformed About Opioids

MONDAY, June 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who are ill-informed about opioids may be unintentionally contributing to their misuse, according to new research published online June 22 in the Clinical Journal of Pain.

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SCOTUS Upholds Subsidies for Affordable Care Act

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the legality of tax subsidies for millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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Methadone Linked to Initial QTc Prolongation in Chronic Pain

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic pain, methadone is associated with a small, but nonsignificant, initial increase in QTc, which does not persist, according to a study published in the June issue of Pain Medicine.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Ease Fibromyalgia

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In a small study, the majority of women with fibromyalgia who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) experienced relief from pain and other symptoms. The research was published online May 26 in PLOS ONE.

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Moderate-Quality Evidence for Marijuana Rx for Pain, Spasticity

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical marijuana may be useful in treating chronic pain and spasticity, but less effective for other conditions, according to the results of a review published in the June 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Edible Cannabis Products Often Mislabeled

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most edible cannabis products sampled in three major U.S. cities are mislabeled, often containing more or less active ingredient than indicated on the packaging, according to a report published in the June 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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ACOG: Doctors Should Urge Against Prenatal Marijuana Use

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors should discourage women from using marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding, due to the potential effects that the drug's active ingredients can have on a child's brain development, new guidance states. The committee opinion was released Monday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and published in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Anxiety Independently Predicts Pain in Patients With MS

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pain is prevalent in more than half of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and is independently predicted by anxiety, according to a study published online June 18 in Pain Medicine.

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Medical Identity Theft Incidents Increasing

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical identity theft is on the rise, costly to consumers, and challenging to resolve, according to the fifth annual report published by the Ponemon Institute.

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Clinical Decision Rule Can Classify Risk of Chronic Back Pain

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule (CDR) with eight items can classify patients with acute low back pain (LBP) by their risk for chronic pain, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Caution in Social Media Age: Self-Promotion Can Backfire

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In a series of experiments, researchers found that people who self-promote often offend others. The study was published in the June issue of Psychological Science.

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Aggressive Malpractice Environment Ups Hospital LOS

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An aggressive malpractice environment is associated with increased hospitalization charges and length of stay for patients undergoing spine surgery, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Medications Can Increase Risk of Heat-Related Illness

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Commonly used medications may increase the risk of dehydration and heat-related illness during hot weather, according to an article published online June 13 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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CDC: Narcon Overdose-Reversal Kits Are Saving Addicts' Lives

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Friends and family members have saved the lives of tens of thousands of opioid users from overdoses by using emergency injection kits containing naloxone (Narcan), according to a new federal report. The findings were published in the June 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Cracks Down on Online Sale of Illegal Medical Products

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with international partners, moved this week against more than 1,050 websites that sell potentially dangerous counterfeit medicines and medical devices, the agency said Thursday.

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Osteoarthritis Care Not Lining Up With Recommendations

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of osteoarthritis care is inadequate for all treatment domains, according to a meta-analysis published online June 17 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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Hundreds Arrested Nationwide for Medicare/Medicaid Fraud

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hundreds of people have been charged after health care fraud sweeps were made across the United States, the federal government said Thursday.

Health Highlights: June 19, 2015

Virtual Credit Card Fees Amount to 3 to 5 Percent of Payments

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Payment with virtual credit cards (VCCs) is associated with considerable fees, although physicians are often unaware of these charges, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Most Chronic Pain Fellowships Include Ultrasound Training

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most chronic pain fellowships are teaching ultrasound-guided procedures, offering training throughout the fellowship year, according to a study published online June 12 in Pain Medicine.

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Exercise May Be Better Than Arthroscopic Sx for Knee Pain

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Arthroscopic surgery to relieve chronic knee pain in middle-aged and older patients is only temporarily effective and might be harmful, a new analysis suggests. The report was published online June 16 in The BMJ.

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Direct Messaging Not Yet Widely Adopted by Physicians

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Direct secure messaging (Direct), which is a standardized protocol for exchanging clinical messages and attachments, has not been widely adopted by physicians, despite its potential for improving care coordination, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Review Examines Inappropriate Prescribing of IV Fluids

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Inappropriate prescribing of intravenous (IV) fluids most often involves incorrect volumes and types of IV fluids prescribed, according to a review published online June 11 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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Article Weighs Paying Off Student Loans Versus Investment

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Newly-minted physicians should consider the issues relating to paying off their loans versus investing for retirement, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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DMARDs May Be Underused for Low Back Pain

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be underutilized for treatment of low back pain (LBP), according to a review published online June 1 in Pain Practice.

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Car Crash Risk Up for New Users of Sedating Sleep Meds

FRIDAY, June 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Sedating sleep medications increase the risk for car accidents among new users compared with nonusers, with risk continued for up to a year among regular users, according to a new report published online June 11 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Some Graduating Seniors Not Matching to Residency Positions

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than 250 of this year's graduating seniors from U.S. medical schools did not match to a residency position, according to the American Medical Association.

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Duloxetine Appears Beneficial for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Duloxetine significantly improves osteoarthritis knee (OAK) pain, according to a meta-analysis published online June 5 in Pain Medicine.

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Geographic Location Most Important for Residents

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For residents, the most important element in a future practice is geographic location, with lifestyle, adequate call hours and personal time, and a good financial package also cited as being important, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Report Offers Guidance on Medical Ethics Education

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of the current state of medical ethics education in the United States has been published in the June issue of Academic Medicine. The article, the Romanell Report, also offers guidance to assist medial ethics educators in meeting expectations.

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Extra Time During MCAT Linked to Less Success in Med School

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical school applicants with Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores obtained with extra test administration time have lower rates of success in medical schools, according to a study published in the June 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ketorolac Doesn't Reduce Pain With IUD Placement

TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing intrauterine device (IUD) placement, ketorolac does not reduce pain with placement, but is associated with pain reduction at five and 15 minutes after placement, according to a study published online June 5 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Analysis Targets U.S. Hospitals With Highest Markups

TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest charge-to-cost ratio have markups approximately 10 times the Medicare-allowable costs, and most of these hospitals are for profit, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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AMA Offers Guidance for Physician-Hospital Relationships

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines can enable successful physician hospital relationships and integrated leadership, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Pain Care Providers at High Risk for Violence

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic pain care providers (CPCPs) are high risk targets for violence, according to research published online June 2 in Pain Medicine.

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Coaching Can Halve Radiation Dose for Pain Physicians

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Knowledge of and real-time coaching on scatter dose profiles can reduce the radiation dose received by physicians performing pain treatment procedures, according to a study published in the June issue of Pain Practice.

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Majority of Fibromyalgia Drug Trials Are Industry Sponsored

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most fibromyalgia drug therapy randomized controlled trials (FM-RCTs) are funded by industry, and many authors have financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs), according to a study published online May 27 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Study IDs Surgical Never Events, Contributing Factors

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical never events and contributing human factors have been identified, with individual cognitive factors contributing one half of all nano-codes, according to a study published online May 29 in Surgery.

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Arthritis, Other Chronic Disease Takes Toll on Work Force

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Among adults with one or more chronic conditions, those with arthritis appear much more likely than those without arthritis to have work disability, according to research published in the June 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Formed

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nine states have enacted the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact law, with the seventh state's enactment triggering formation of a commission to administer a process for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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MRI Can Visualize Effects of Traction on Herniated Discs

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging can be used to visualize the effects of continuous traction on herniated lumbar intervertebral discs and their surrounding structures, according to a study published in the June issue of Radiology.

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Most Part D Plans Cover at Least One Biologic DMARD

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Although most Medicare Part D plans cover at least one biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), copayments are high, according to a study published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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CMS: Hospital Charges for Common Procedures Up

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The prices hospitals charge patients for a number of common procedures rose more than 10 percent between 2011 and 2013, more than twice the rate of inflation, according to data released by the federal government Monday.

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Omega-3s May Be Useful Adjunct to Opioids in Pain Therapy

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic omega-3 fatty acid (O3) supplementation has an additive effect when combined with acute dosages of morphine in an animal model, according to a study published online May 25 in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

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RA-Related Issues Impede Smoking Cessation

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Issues related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), such as distraction from pain and frustration of living with RA, may impede smoking cessation in RA patients, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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