Today’s Top Story
SGR fix likely to be delayed again.
Medpage Today reports on comments regarding the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula made by Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.), chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee. According to Dr. Price, Congress will likely pass a 4- to 6-month patch to prevent cuts to physician reimbursement called for under the SGR. Currently, physicians are scheduled to see a greater than 20 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement under the SGR, starting April 1. Dr. Price stated that a full-scale repeal of the SGR is likely to be tied in to reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires at the end of September. Read more…
CDC report highlights concerns about use of opioids.
According to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, sales of opioid analgesics quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, while opioid-related deaths (per 100,000) more than tripled from 1999 to 2012. Other findings of the report include:
- From the periods 1999–2002 to 2003–2006, the percentage of adults aged 20 and over who used a prescription opioid analgesic in the past 30 days increased from 5.0 percent to 6.9 percent, but that rate remained relatively stable through 2011–2012.
- From 1999–2002 to 2011–2012, the percentage of opioid analgesic users who used an opioid analgesic stronger than morphine increased from 17.0 percent to 37.0 percent.
- During 2007–2012, the use of opioid analgesics was higher among women (7.2 percent) than men (6.3 percent).
Study: Shorter stay after hip fracture linked to increased risk of death after discharge.
Data from a Swedish study published online in the journal The BMJ suggest that patients who stay in the hospital 10 days or less after hip fracture may be at increased risk of death after hospital discharge. The researchers reviewed data on 116,111 patients who had an incident hip fracture at age 50 years or older. They found that the mean inpatient length of stay after hip fracture decreased from 14.2 days in 2006 to 11.6 days in 2012. The researchers noted that association between length of stay and risk of death after discharge was non-linear: for patients with length of stay of ≤10 days (n = 59,154), each 1-day reduction in length of stay increased the odds of death within 30 days of discharge by 8 percent in 2006 and by 16 percent in 2012. For patients with a length of stay of ≥11 days (n = 56,957), a 1-day reduction in length of stay was not associated with an increased risk of death after discharge during any follow up. Read more…
Read the abstract…
Study: Use of NSAIDs linked to increased risk of bleeding and cardiovascular events among patients receiving antithrombotic therapy after MI.
According to findings from a Danish study published in the Feb. 24 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, use of NSAIDs may be associated with increased risk of bleeding and excess thrombotic events among patients who receive antithrombotic therapy after myocardial infarction (MI). The authors reviewed data on 61,971 patients aged 30 years and older who were admitted with first-time MI and who were alive 30 days after discharge. Overall, 34 percent of patients studied filled at least one NSAID prescription. At median 3.5-year follow-up, the authors found that the crude incidence rates of bleeding (events per 100 person-years) were 4.2 with concomitant NSAID treatment and 2.2 without NSAID treatment, whereas the rates of cardiovascular events were 11.2 and 8.3 respectively. After adjustment, the authors noted increased risk of bleeding and cardiovascular events with NSAID treatment compared with no NSAID treatment, regardless of antithrombotic treatment, types of NSAIDs, or duration of use. Read the abstract…
CMS ICD-10 claims testing periods will help physicians to assess readiness for transition.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will conduct ICD-10 claims testing during two national testing weeks: March 2-6 and June 1-5, 2015. Although registration is not required to participate, physicians should contact their local Medicare Administrative Contractor for more information about how to submit test claims. Physicians who participate in the testing will better assess their readiness for ICD-10 implementation and will help CMS prepare for industry-wide use of the code set next fall. Beginning Oct. 1, 2015, all HIPAA-covered entities will be required to submit claims using ICD-10 codes. Read more…
Learn more about the transition to ICD-10…
New website offers consumer information on medical costs.
The not-for-profit Health Care Cost Institute has launched a website to assist consumers with navigating prices for medical services. Guroo.com will provide national, state and local cost information for 70 services across more than 300 hundred cities, 41 states, coastal California, and the District of Columbia. The information is drawn from claims from multiple insurers for more than 40 million insured individuals. The organization plans further enhancements to the site, including more healthcare pricing data, information on quality information, prescription costs, and a Spanish language version. Read more…
OKOJ March updates now online!
Check out the new topics and video in the Orthopaedic Knowledge Online Journal (OKOJ) on the AAOS OrthoPortal website. The following topics have been recently added or updated: “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Skeletally Immature Patients: An Updated Review of Research and Treatment Options,” “Elbow Fractures in Children,” and “Salvage Treatment of Hip Fractures After Failure of Surgical Fixation: A Systematic Review.” Three new videos have also been made available: “Neurologic Examination for Supracondylar Fractures of the Humerus in Children,” “Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning for Supracondylar Fractures of the Humerus in Children,” and “Milking Maneuver for Supracondylar Fractures of the Humerus in Children.” In addition, OKOJ now offers full-text, downloadable PDFs for articles in recent issues, with more on the way! View these topics and more…(member login required)
Call for volunteers: MedPAC.
AAOS seeks to nominate members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). MedPAC is an independent congressional agency established to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. In addition to advising Congress on payments to private health plans participating in Medicare and providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program, MedPAC is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. 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 submit the following: an online AAOS CAP application, a current curriculum vitae, a 100-word biosketch, and a letter of interest highlighting his or her expertise in the relevant subject area and a statement that he or she is able to participate in full capacity. All supporting materials must be submitted by Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CT, to Kyle Shah at email@example.com.
Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)