Today’s Top Story

Providers should check CMS QPP website to verify MIPS eligibility

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that physician practices and groups may now log into the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP) website to check their 2018 eligibility for Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Providers can use the site to determine whether they are required to participate during the 2018 MIPS performance year. CMS will not directly advise physicians of their eligibility status during 2018, so the QPP participation status look-up tool is the only way to determine or verify eligibility status. In addition, eligibility rules have been updated for 2018, so provider participation status may have changed since 2017. As is indicated in the look-up tool, exempt individual clinicians still need to report if their group is eligible and if they choose to report as a group.

Read more and check participation status…

 
 
Other News

President announces proposals to reduce drug prices

President Donald J. Trump has announced a blueprint that seeks to reduce drug costs in the United States. As reported in Fierce Healthcare, the “American Patients First” proposal includes measures to bring more generics and biosimilars to the market to address competition issues, reforms to Medicare Part D to allow plan sponsors to negotiate lower prices for high-cost drugs, and incentives in Part D to encourage drug companies to lower prices. In addition, Mr. Trump seeks to increase prices in foreign markets in order to reduce U.S. pricing. Administration officials say that the United States currently pays for 70 percent of the profits on branded drugs among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries because many have government-run health systems that pay a single price for drugs.

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Read the White House statement…

 
 
 
Study: Anesthesia choice may reduce length-of-stay for THA, TKA patients

A study published in the May 15 issue of the Journal of the AAOS reports that a combination of total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and short-acting spinal anesthesia may be linked to more day-of-surgery physical therapy sessions and earlier hospital discharge compared to traditional anesthesia. Investigators conducted a retrospective chart review of 116 patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) with TIVA and short-acting spinal blockade and compared hospital length-of-stay with a control group of 228 patients who received traditional anesthesia. They found that both THA and TKA patients who received TIVA plus short-acting spinal anesthesia had reduced hospital length-of-stay compared with the traditional protocol group. The investigators also note that patients who received the combination protocol were more likely to undergo at least one day-of-surgery postoperative physical therapy session.

Read the abstract…

 
 
 
Study: Many joint and spine patients report unused opioids, lack of proper disposal

According to a study published online in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, following joint and spine surgery, many patients report unused opioids, infrequent use of analgesic alternatives, and lack of knowledge regarding safe opioid storage and disposal. The authors surveyed 140 adult patients who underwent elective joint and spine surgery at a single center, with 115 patients (82 percent) available at one-month follow-up and 110 patients (80 percent) available at six-month follow-up Among patients who stopped opioid therapy, the authors found that possession of unused opioids was reported by 73 percent at one month and 34 percent at six months. At one month, 46 percent of patients had 20 or more unused pills, 37 percent had 200 or more morphine milligram equivalents, and only 6 percent reported using multiple nonopioid adjuncts. In addition, at six months, 92 percent of patients reported unsafe storage of opioids, and 47 percent reported a failure to dispose of unused opioids.

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Read the abstract…

 
 
 
Study: Anxiety may contribute to risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women

Anxiety may be linked to an increased risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women, specifically in the lumbar spine and femoral neck, according to results from a study published online in the journal Menopause. Researchers recruited 92 women with osteoporosis with a mean age of 67.5 years. They found that participants with the lowest Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA) score had lower probability of fracture than patients with the highest scores. In addition, women with the highest HAMA scores exhibited lower lumbar T-score values in the lumbar spine and lower T-score values in the femoral neck compared with women in the lowest score group.

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Read the abstract…

 
 
 
In the States

Maryland

AMA Wire reports that a case currently under consideration in the Court of Appeals of Maryland could affect the standard of determining negligence in medical liability cases in the state. The publication explains that negligence in Maryland medical liability cases has traditionally been guided by the “reasonably competent” physician standard of care. However, a circuit court judge recently instructed the jury that it could base a negligence determination on what a layperson would consider reasonable. Observers say that holding physicians to such a standard could result in an increase in meritless lawsuits, higher medical costs, and implications for what standards other nonmedical professionals are held to in court.

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Your AAOS

International Registry Presentations from AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting now available

The International Society of Arthroplasty Registries “What Can a Registry Do for Me?” symposium held during the AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting showcased 12 real-world data outcome uses from registries from around the world, and engaged attendees with the data and insights gained through such registry efforts. Recordings and highlights from the symposium’s four parts are now available online.

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Access the symposium content…

 

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