Today’s Top Story
Study: Malnutrition may be better predictor than obesity of complication following THA.
Findings from a study published online in The Journal of Arthroplasty suggest that malnutrition may increase with obesity, and compared with obesity may be an improved predictor of complications following total hip arthroplasty (THA). The authors reviewed data on 20,210 THA patients for whom preoperative albumin measurements were available. They found that malnutrition (albumin
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Study: Is there a preferred order for application of preoperative preparation solutions?
According to a study published in the May issue of the journal Foot & Ankle International, preoperative preparation with isopropyl alcohol solution followed by chlorhexidine solution may reduce bacterial colonization compared to the reverse, although both application methods may be effective. The research team conducted a prospective, randomized trial of 95 consecutive patients undergoing orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery who received either 4 percent chlorhexidine application followed by alcohol rinse (N = 49) or alcohol followed by chlorhexidine (n = 46). Both groups had 100 percent bacterial growth from specimens obtained prior to operative site preparation. The researchers found that culture results favored the alcohol-first group at all collection points: after draping, after completion of surgery, and after skin closure. There was one operative site infection in the first 30 days in each cohort. There were no additional skin or wound complications during the 6-month study follow-up.
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Senate committee recommends increased oversight of physician-owned distributorships.
A report from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee argues that physician-owned distributorships (PODs) “present an inherent conflict of interest that can put the physician’s medical judgment at odds with the patient’s best interests.” The committee notes that PODs are most prevalent in the field of spinal surgery, and that patients “are strongly inclined to follow their doctor’s recommendation. […] Unchecked, this position of power can give POD spinal surgeons the opportunity to grant themselves a steady stream of income by increasing the use of the products supplied by their POD. An analysis conducted by the committee suggests that, compared to non-POD surgeons, POD surgeons are more likely to perform fusion surgeries and surgery overall compared to non-POD surgeons. As reported in Bloomberg BNA, the committee’s recommendations include:
- Revising federal law to require physicians to disclose any interest they have in a POD
- Requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to review Open Payments data and document that they have used the data when making purchasing decisions
- Expanding law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute hospitals and PODs that violate the law
FDA: PharMEDium recalls sterile preparations compounded with a single recalled lot of bupivacaine HCl.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that PharMEDium Services, LLC is voluntarily recalling sterile preparations compounded with a single recalled lot of Fresenius Kabi Sensorcaine-MPF (bupivacaine HCl). Fresenius Kabi recalled the specific lot due to identification of particulate matter, characterized as glass, during reserve sample inspection. The drug products affected by this recall are indicated for the production of local or regional anesthesia or analgesia for surgery procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and for obstetrical procedures. The product was distributed to hospital customers and acute surgery centers in the United States.
Read the PharMEDium statement, with list of affected lots (PDF)…
CMS proposal to reduce drug payments receives opposition from some healthcare providers.
An article in Modern Healthcare notes opposition to a U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal to shift how Medicare pays for outpatient drugs. A reimbursement framework proposed by CMS in March would reduce drug payments from 6 percent to 2.5 percent over a drug’s average sales price, and substitute a flat payment of $16.80 per drug per day to compensate for the difference. The change was proposed to reduce a profit motive from administering more expensive drugs. However, some physicians groups have argued that the move would have the opposite effect, pressuring physicians to prescribe less expensive drugs even when a more expensive pharmaceutical would be more appropriate.
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HHS challenges providers and other experts to design a better medical bill.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a challenge to encourage healthcare organizations and other stakeholders to design a medical bill that is simpler, cleaner, and easier for patients to understand, and to improve patients’ experience of the overall medical billing process. The challenge will issue two awards: one for the innovator that designs the bill that is easiest to understand and a second for the innovator that designs the best transformational approach to improve the medical billing system, focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process. Submissions will be judged based on understandability, creativity, and how well they address the challenges outlined by patients, providers and payers, among other criteria explained on the challenge website. The challenge will accept submissions until Aug. 10, 2016. Winners will receive cash prizes of $5,000 each.
Read the HHS statement…
Submit your 2017 AAOS Annual Meeting abstracts now!
Share your knowledge with orthopaedic surgeons from around the world at the 2017 AAOS Annual Meeting, to be held March 14-18, 2017, in San Diego. Nowhere else will your discoveries reach such a wide-ranging orthopaedic audience! June 1 is the deadline to submit abstracts for paper presentations, poster presentations, and scientific exhibits. The deadline for Orthopaedic Video Theater submissions is July 15. Please note that, prior to abstract submission, presenters and all coauthors must disclose current financial relationships in the AAOS Disclosure Database Program. Disclosure reported on April 1, 2016 or later is acceptable.
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