August 21, 2013
Triump: UPS Drops Coverage for 15,000 Spouses
"If you like your
doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health
care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will
take it away. No matter what." - Barack Obama, July 2009
Today's ObamaCare triumph
is the announcement by United Parcel Service that it will drop working spouses
from its health care plan, loudly and repeatedly citing the Affordable Care Act
as the reason.
The move is projected
to save UPS $60 million per year. The company's letter to employees repeatedly
cites the Affordable Care Act as a major factor in the decision, describing how
a number of its provisions would increase corporate costs to unacceptable
Malpractice payouts hit record lows
Malpractice lawsuit awards
are at an all-time low, according to an analysis from the consumer watchdog
group Public Citizen.
But the news isn't all
good. Despite the fact that malpractice awards fell 28.8% between 2003 and 2012,
the drop in payments isn't translating into a decline in overall health care
costs or improvements in safety, according to Public Citizen.
Examining data from
the National Practitioner Data Bank,
Public Citizen found that in 2012, both the number of awards (9,379) and the
amount of those payouts ($3.1 billion) was the lowest on record, once adjusted
for inflation. In 2012, the average payment was about $335,000.
Names Kronick as New Director
Health reform researcher Richard Kronick, PhD, will become the new director of
the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) after longtime director
Carolyn Clancy, MD, leaves the post later this month.
The announcement was made
public in the agency's daily afternoon electronic newsletter.
Kronick joined the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January 2010 as deputy
assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and oversaw the Office of Health
With How to Label Pot
Under Colorado's new
recreational-marijuana law, all retail pot products-from joints to laced
brownies-will have to be labeled according to their potency starting next
But pot growers are running
into a hurdle: There are no state or industry standards to test marijuana for
tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance mainly responsible for its
Access may be limited to
Guidelines on Wireless Medical Devices
The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has released final guidelines on the design, testing and
use of radio-frequency (RF) wireless medical devices. Although it doesn't
promulgate legally enforceable responsibilities, the document is intended to
guide both device manufacturers and healthcare providers toward the safe and
secure use of wireless medical devices.
Covered are devices "that
are implanted, worn on the body or other external wireless medical devices
intended for use in hospitals, homes, clinics, clinical laboratories, and blood
establishments." The FDA document has no relation to the impending guidance from
the agency about how it will regulate apps that turn smartphones and tablets
into medical devices.
Closely Guards its List of Suspect Doctors
Over the last decade, the
maker of the potent painkiller OxyContin has
compiled a database of hundreds of doctors suspected of recklessly prescribing
its pills to addicts and drug dealers, but has
done little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities.
Despite its suspicions,
Purdue Pharma continued to profit from prescriptions written by these
physicians, many of whom were prolific prescribers of OxyContin. The company has
sold more than $27 billion worth of the drug since its introduction in
Purdue has promoted the
idea that the country's epidemic of prescription
drug deaths was fueled largely by pharmacy robberies, doctor-shopping
patients and teens raiding home medicine cabinets. The database suggests that
Purdue has long known that physicians also play a significant role in the
Practitioners Seek Right To Treat Patients on Their Own
Nurse practitioners in five
states are fighting for the right to treat patients without oversight from
doctors, as they can in many parts of the country.
The battle is particularly
pitched in California, where a bill that would let some nurse practitioners do
their work independently passed a key legislative committee this week.
California doctors strenuously oppose the idea, arguing that it could jeopardize
Access may be limited to
Health Insurers to Limit Choices of Doctors, Hospitals
This fall, Indiana's new
online health-insurance marketplace will present some tough choices for
consumers like John Nowak, who will be able to pick a plan from his current
insurer-or go for one that includes his primary-care doctor.
That is because Mr. Nowak's
current insurer won't include Indiana's biggest health-care provider,
19-hospital Indiana University Health, in the plans it sells on the consumer
exchange. If Mr. Nowak buys a new exchange plan from WellPoint Inc.'s WLP
-0.41% Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, he will generally have to
pay the cost out of his own pocket if he sees the system's doctors, because they
aren't in the network.
Access may be limited to
Slow to Act on Pharmacy, Public Citizen Charges
The FDA should have closed a Texas compounding pharmacy in March shortly after
inspectors found sterility problems, an action that would have prevented the
recent hospitalization of 15 patients, public health advocates charged
In fact, Speciality
Compounding in Cedar Park, Texas, is one of 50 compounding pharmacies the FDA
has identified as having "significant objectionable conditions" despite only 16
such entities initiating a recall or being the subject of the agency enforcement
action, consumer watchdog Public Citizen said.
projected to increase
Specialty and primary care
physicians can expect slight salary increases in 2014 says consulting firm, the
In its 2013 Physician
Compensation Survey, the consulting firm predicts physicians' median salary will
increase 2.4 percent in 2014. Doctors in group-based practices can expect to see
larger pay increases (3.7 percent) than those in hospital-based settings (2.2
How physicians can
ensure context in the medical record
The digitization of medical
records has given physicians opportunities to do much more with their patients'
records than they were able to do with them in paper form. But have electronic
health records lessened the opportunity for the record to be viewed in the
Experts say the most useful
patient record will strike a good balance between structured data (data readable
by a computer) and a physician's narrative. This balance is sometimes hard to
strike, however, as many electronic health records focus on creating templates
meant to capture the structured data.
Pain-Wise a Great
Resource for Patients and Doctors
Pain-Wise is a patient and Medical
guide to simplifying the
confusing and often overwhelming process of finding the appropriate treatment
for chronic pain.
by three ASIPP Member doctors with years of experience in pain
Pain-Wise teaches the basics of how pain works, explains different interventional pain therapies in layman's terms, and helps a patient
communicate with their doctor. Doctors have found Pain-Wise to be a strong tool in creating a
meaningful dialogue with their patients.
Click here to buy
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|State Society News
CASIPP Plans Fall
The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 4th
Annual Meeting this September 20-22 at the Terranea Resort
Palos Verdes, CA.
Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians Schedule Symposium
is now open for the Pain Medicine Symposium, 2013, which is set for Thursday,
November 7, 2013-Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey
the great success of the 2012 program, this program again will be a joint effort
between the New York and New Jersey Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians.
The curriculum is presented by Course Directors: Sudhir Diwan, MD and Peter
Speakers will be Sanjay Bakshi,
MD, Sudhir Diwan, MD, and Peter Staats, MD.
Click here to register for the
NYNJSIPP Pain Symposium.
Click HERE for more
* Please send in your
State Society meeting news to:
Holly Long at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are
interested in advertising on the Physicians Wanted page, please contact Holly Long for pricing information
554-9412 ext. 230
Fax: (270) 554-5394
Click HERE to view Classified
Physicians Wanted Ads listed on the ASIPP website.
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