Today’s Top Story
Seema Verma confirmed as CMS administrator.
The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm the nomination of Seema Verma as administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Ms. Verma holds a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and is president and chief executive officer of healthcare policy consulting company Strategic Health Policy Solutions.
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Other News

President names Scott Gottlieb, MD, to head FDA.
President Trump has named Scott Gottlieb, MD, to be the next commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Gottlieb is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an internist at NYU Langone Medical Center. Scientific American reports that the next commissioner of FDA is expected to face issues related to approval processes, clinical trial requirements, use of investigational drugs by terminal patients, and regulation of off-label use of drugs and devices. Dr. Gottlieb must still be approved by the U.S. Senate.
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     Dr. Gottlieb is scheduled to speak at the President’s Symposium, Symposium W, to be held on Friday, March 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in Room 6C at the AAOS Annual Meeting.

CBO report examines savings and costs of American Health Care Act.
A report released from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, relative to current law, implementation of the American Health Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 14 million through 2018 and 24 million through 2026. In addition, the bill would reduce Medicaid spending by 880 billion over the next decade, with most of the savings made through the loss of Medicaid coverage to 14 million current beneficiaries.
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Read the CBO report (PDF)…

Study: NSAID use does not impair long-bone fracture healing in pediatric patients.
Results of a prospective randomized controlled trial suggest that NSAID use may not impair long-bone fracture healing in pediatric patients, and may be a useful alternative for pain control in the acute fracture setting. Researchers randomized 81 skeletally immature patients with a long-bone fracture to receive either acetaminophen (control) or ibuprofen (NSAID) for post-fracture management At 6-month follow-up of 78 patients, the researchers found no statistically significant differences in pain scores between the groups at any time point. Study findings are presented in Scientific Poster P262, on display in Academy Hall.
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Study: Additional left-hand radiograph may be unnecessary for pediatric knee conditions that require MRI.
Findings presented in Scientific Poster P263, on display in Academy Hall, suggest that it may not be necessary to obtain an additional left-hand radiograph to assess bone age in pediatric patients with knee conditions that require magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The research team retrospectively reviewed 846 knee MRIs from pediatric patients obtained for pain or trauma between 2007 and 2015. They found that the patella, tibia, fibula, and femur undergo a consistent and reproducible sequence of skeletal maturation and ossification that make it possible to accurately determine bone age from knee MRIs.
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AAOS releases CPG on treatment of hip OA.
The AAOS Board of Directors has approved a new clinical practice guideline (CPG) on treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. Among other things, the guideline strongly recommends the use of pre-surgical treatments to ease pain and improve mobility, including corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and non-narcotic medications. The new CPG does not recommend use of hyaluronic acid or glucosamine sulfate to minimize OA symptoms, due to a lack of evidence of efficacy. Finally, the guideline notes evidence that obesity, smoking, age and mental illness may diminish outcomes, although these factors may not rule out total hip arthroplasty surgery for select patients with severe OA.
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