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February 2013 Briefing - Rheumatology

Last Updated: March 01, 2013.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for February 2013. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Sunshine Act

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule requiring drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report payment or gifts of more than $10 to physicians, hospitals, and other providers, and necessitating manufacturers and GPOs to report ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their family members.

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ACR Releases Five 'Don'ts' for Rheumatologists

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued a list of the top five tests and treatments commonly misordered by rheumatologists; the list has been published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Preparation Underway for Implementation of ACA in 2014

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nears, states are preparing for some of its provisions, including expanded access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the use of information technology, according to a report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits Expanded

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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CMS Proposes Payment and Policy Updates for 2014

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Payment and policy updates have been proposed for 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Advanced Notice and draft Call Letter published Feb. 15.

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Report Discusses Impact of ACGME 2011 Requirements

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although many residency program directors approve of individual components within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements introduced in 2011, less than half express overall approval, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Faster Adoption of Electronic Health Records Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by health providers for Medicare is increasing, but not quickly enough to avoid penalties in 2015, according to a letter published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Two Endocrine Disruptors Linked to Osteoarthritis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Higher serum concentrations of two endocrine disrupting chemicals, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are associated with nearly twice the risk of osteoarthritis in women, but not men, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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CMS: Unnecessary Medicare Regulations to Be Reformed

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare regulations which are unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospital or health care providers will be reformed, according to a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the President's instructions in Executive Order 13563.

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Multimodality Approach Needed to Reengineer Health Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A multimodality approach focusing on reengineering the U.S. health care system may provide a way to improve quality and reduce costs, according to a viewpoint published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Patient Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an artificial intelligence (AI) framework can improve patient outcomes at one-third of the costs of the current standard of care, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

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Race Affects Physical Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In persons with or at risk for radiographic knee osteoarthritis (RKOA), African-Americans are 72 to 76 percent less likely than whites to meet the 2008 United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Physical Activity Guidelines aerobic component, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Health Care-Associated Infections Decreased in 2011

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In 2011, decreases were noted for some health care-associated infections (HAIs), according to a report prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Self-Rated Health Measure Can Predict Outcomes in Knee OA

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA), a single-item measure of self-rated health can be used to predict mental and social health outcomes, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Most Docs Able to Explain Gaps in Quality of Rheumatology Care

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Data from the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care in Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries show that up to one-quarter of physicians provided reasons in the system explaining why care was considered but not provided, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Psychological, Sexual Impact of Female Breadwinners Explored

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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IOM Urges International Action to Eradicate Fake Drugs

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Falsified and substandard medications pose public health problems around the world, and international action should be taken to combat the phenomenon, according to a report published Feb. 13 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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Oregon Experiment Will Provide Insight Into ACO-Based Reform

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of the Oregon experiment, an ambitious program centered on a model of an accountable care organization (ACO), will offer important lessons for the wider implementation of ACOs as cost-saving mechanisms, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Insurance Exchanges Are Top Priority on U.S. Agenda

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The public's health care agenda places creation of a health insurance exchange or marketplace as a top priority, according to a report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health.

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In Veterans With RA, PTSD Worsens Disease Activity

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. veterans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with worse patient-reported outcomes and tender joint counts, according to a study published online in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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ACR Supports Patients' Access to Treatments Act of 2013

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has joined the Coalition for Accessible Treatments, in support of the Patients' Access to Treatments Act of 2013, which will reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for medications, including biologics.

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Naltrexone Linked to Reduction in Pain in Fibromyalgia

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose naltrexone treatment is associated with significant reductions in pain in patients with fibromyalgia, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Increasing Patient Activation Tied to Lower Health Care Costs

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patient activation is associated with improved outcomes and lower health care costs, according to a review published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Brain Activity Linked to TNF Inhibitor Response in RA

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who respond to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) show changes in activity in pain-related areas of the brain before clinical signs of improvement are observed, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Goes Into Effect March 26

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The final omnibus rule, which makes changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, goes into effect March 26, and physicians must be in compliance by Sept. 23.

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Study Explores Link Between UV-B Light Exposure, RA Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In a cohort of older women, exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) light is associated with a significantly reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but this relationship is not seen among younger women, according to research published online Feb. 4 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Physicians' Pay for Existing Patients Dropped in 2012

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' pay for existing patients dropped considerably in 2012, according to the results of the Fee Schedule Survey published Jan. 31 in Physicians Practice.

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FSMB: Approaches Explored for Expediting Multi-State Licenses

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New approaches are being explored for streamlining physician multi-state licensure to accommodate the use of telemedicine in the delivery of health care, according to a report from a meeting held from Jan. 16 to 17 by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

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Knowing Cost of Imaging Tests Doesn't Cut Utilization

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians do not order fewer imaging tests if they are aware of the costs, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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