Today’s Top Story

Study: Pressure ulcer reduction program linked to improvements in patient safety

A study published online in the Journal of Patient Safety suggests that a program designed to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) may help improve outcomes and reduce cost of care. The authors implemented a program consisting of a best practices toolkit, timely and appropriate data for focusing efforts, and continuous implementation support across 149 participating hospitals. Participating facilities were empowered to use and adapt available resources to meet local needs and to share best practices for implementation across the system. Following program implementation, the authors found that the rate of stage III and IV HAPUs decreased 66.3 percent (from 2011 to 2013). Of all participating facilities, 40 (27 percent) had zero stage III and IV HAPUs, while 77 (52 percent) saw a reduction in their overall rate of HAPUs.

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Other News

Study: How does spine alignment affect risk of RCT among long-term wheelchair users?

Data from a study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery suggest that duration of spinal cord injury may be associated with an increased risk of rotator cuff tear (RCT) among wheelchair-dependent individuals. The researchers reviewed information on 319 wheelchair users with long-standing paraplegia. Based on magnetic resonance imaging scans, they found that 192 patients had RCTs, of which 37 were bilateral. Of the 192 patients with RCTs, 135 (70.31 percent) had a kyphotic-lordotic posture. The researchers noted that kyphotic-lordotic posture, longer duration, and more rostral neurologic level of injury were highly associated with cuff tear prevalence. However, based on a multivariate analysis of the 37 patients with bilateral RCT, they found that only the duration of spinal cord injury was significantly associated with RCT.

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HHS may mine databases to help identify high prescribers and users of opioids

Healthcare IT News reports that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is considering an initiative to use data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify practitioners who write a high number of opioid prescriptions. In addition, HHS is considering requiring states to monitor high-risk billing activity to identify abnormal prescribing and usage patterns that may indicate abuse in the Medicaid system, as well as a proposal to monitor state prescription drug monitoring programs to identify high prescribers.

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Study: Minority patients with peripheral vascular disease more likely to undergo amputation

A study published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suggests that black patients with significant peripheral vascular disease may be more likely than white patients to undergo amputation. Members of the research team identified from a statewide database 215,480 patients with peripheral vascular disease who had been treated with either amputation or a salvage procedure between 1999 and 2014. They found that the overall amputation rate was 38.0 percent, with blacks significantly more likely to receive amputations than whites on both unadjusted and multivariable analyses. The researchers note that high procedural volume was not associated with a reduction in unequal treatment, but diversity of surgeon practice was linked to more equal treatment.

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In the States


The California Medical Association reports that the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has issued proposed regulations for calculating payers’ “average contracted rate” under the state’s out-of-network billing and payment law. The law, which took effect July 1, 2017, requires fully insured commercial payers to make interim payments to noncontracted physicians for covered, nonemergent services performed at in-network health facilities. The interim payment rate is the greater of 125 percent of Medicare or the plan/insurer’s average contracted rate.

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Apply now for the 2018 AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Career Development Program

March 31, 2018, is the last day to submit an application to participate in the 2018 AAOS/Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF)/Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) Clinician Scholar Career Development Program (CSCDP). CSCDP is an annual workshop that seeks applicants in years PGY-2 to PGY-5 of orthopaedic residency, fellows, and junior faculty through year 3 who have the potential and desire to become orthopaedic clinician scientists Up to 15 AAOS-sponsored participants will be selected to participate in the 1.5-day CSCDP career training program. The 2018 CSCDP will be held Sept. 27–29, 2018, in Rosemont, Ill.

Learn more and submit your application…

Call for volunteers: TJC Review Panel on Fluoroscopy Services

AAOS seeks to nominate one member with clinical experience in the provision of fluoroscopy services to The Joint Commission (TJC) to serve on a panel to review new and revised draft standards in this area. Nominees should have knowledge and experience related to this topic, but do not need to be experts. Applicants for this position must be active fellows, candidate members, candidate members osteopathic, candidate member applicants for fellowship, or candidate member applicants for fellowship osteopathic. In addition, all applicants must provide the following: an online AAOS CAP application, a current curriculum vitae, and a 100-word biography. All supporting materials must be submitted to Kyle Trivedi by Feb. 26, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. CT, at:

Learn more and submit your application…  (member login required)