Today’s Top Story
AHCA found to comply with rules on reconciliation, but Senate may write its own healthcare bill.
The Hill reports that the U.S. Senate Budget Committee has determined that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed May 4 by the U.S. House of Representatives complies with the Senate reconciliation process. Bills that comply with reconciliation can bypass filibuster and be passed with a simple 51-vote majority. However, the reconciliation process may not matter, as Senate leaders have indicated intent to write their own healthcare bill. Read more…

Other News

EMR “clutter” may increase risk of inappropriate testing.
An article on AMA Wire argues for “healthy skepticism” when ordering lab tests, especially by residents. One expert suggests that one-third of tests may be unnecessary, and notes a 2013 meta-analysis that found that 20 percent of 1.6 million lab orders were unneeded. One factor may be the way menus are added to the electronic medical records (EMR) system, which is often left to hospital information technology staff and which may simply include “every test that the lab can receive an order for and make sure that you can order that out of the EMR.” The resulting clutter may cloud decision-making, promotes increased testing, and increase the risk of inappropriate tests being selected. Read more…

WHO updates essential medicines list with new recommendations for antibiotics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its essential medicines list with new advice on which antibiotics to use for common infections and which to preserve for the most serious circumstances. The organization has grouped antibiotics into three categories: ACCESS, WATCH, and RESERVE, with recommendations on when each category should be used to treat 21 of the most common general infections. WHO recommends the following:

  • Antibiotics in the ACCESS group should be available at all times as treatments for a wide range of common infections.
  • The WATCH group includes antibiotics that are recommended as first- or second-choice treatments for a small number of infections.
  • Antibiotics in the RESERVE group should be considered last-resort options, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for life-threatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.

If demonstrated to be useful, WHO states that it may broaden the recommendations in future versions of the essential medicines list. Read more…
View the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (PDF)…
View the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (PDF)…

Staff training an important key to repelling ransomware attacks.
An article from Modern Healthcare looks at the issue of ransomware attacks on the health system. Ransomware restricts user access to the computer until the user pays a fee to the attackers, and can be delivered via email attachments or links within emails. Several healthcare systems in the United States and elsewhere have been the subject of recent attacks. The writer notes that a few malicious emails are likely to penetrate even sophisticated firewalls, and argues for implementation of employee training programs to reinforce cybersecurity efforts and complement technologies such as antivirus software. “Training takes a concerted effort that cuts across the entire hospital,” she writes. “… everyone needs to understand how vulnerable their organization is to an attack and the dangers of unleashing a virus or malware. Training must teach employees how important it is to be unceasingly careful. … it takes perseverance and the understanding that guarding against all kinds of malware, including ransomware, is more than a one-time class—it’s an entire mindset necessary not only for protecting the organization’s reputation, but for protecting patients.” Read more…(registration may be required)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued guidance on ransomware attacks. Read more…

Reminder: Groups must register by June 30 to submit data via web interface or CAHPS for MIPS Survey.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a reminder that medical groups that plan to use the CMS web interface or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for MIPS Survey to submit data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), must register through the CMS Enterprise Portal by June 30, 2017. Clinicians do not need to notify CMS of their intent to participate in MIPS as a group. Registration is only required if a group chooses to submit data using the CMS web interface (only available to groups of 25 or more clinicians), or administer the CAHPS for MIPS Survey (available to groups with two or more clinicians). Learn more and register…

Manuscript submission open for 2018 Kappa Delta and OREF Clinical Research Awards.
Manuscripts are currently being accepted for the 2018 Kappa Delta Awards and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Clinical Research Award. Up to two $20,000 Kappa Delta awards (Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award and Ann Doner Vaughan Award), one $20,000 Kappa Delta Young Investigator award, and one $20,000 OREF award will be bestowed, provided manuscripts of requisite quality are submitted. Manuscripts should represent a large body of cohesive scientific work, generally reflecting years of investigation. If the submission reflects a single project, it should be of high significance and impact. Manuscripts must be submitted by members (or candidate members) of the AAOS, Orthopaedic Research Society, Canadian Orthopaedic Association, or Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society. Submissions for the 2018 Kappa Delta and OREF Clinical Research Awards will be accepted in electronic format only. A PDF of the entire submission must be emailed no later than 11:59 p.m. CT on July 1, 2017. Late submissions will not be considered. Read more…

Call for volunteers: Evaluation Committees.
Aug. 1 is the last day to submit your application for a position on an Evaluation Committee. Members of Evaluation Committees write questions for Orthopaedic Self-Assessment Examinations. The following openings are available:

  • Hand & Wrist (chair, seven members)
  • Hip, Knee & Adult Reconstruction (one member)
  • Shoulder & Elbow (chair, eight members)
  • Trauma (chair)

Members of evaluation committees must be active fellows, emeritus fellows, candidate members, candidate member applicants for fellowship, or candidate member applicants for fellowship osteopathic. Evaluation Committee chairs must be active fellows. All members must have a practice emphasis in the relevant topic. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)

Note: Item #4 in the Friday, June 2 issue of AAOS Headline News Now erroneously reported that the American College of Surgeons had published a clinical practice guideline on noninvasive treatment of low back pain. The guideline was published by the American College of Physicians.