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Category: Orthopedics | Monthly Briefing

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March 2014 Briefing - Orthopedics

Last Updated: April 01, 2014.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Orthopedics for March 2014. 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.

Risk-Stratified Care Improves Outcomes in Low Back Pain

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of risk-stratified care in a primary care setting for patients with low back pain improved outcomes without increasing health care costs, according to research published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Pre-Op Pregabalin Best for Pain in Spinal Surgery

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative pregabalin is superior to either gabapentin or placebo for the relief of pain in patients undergoing lumbar discectomy, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

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NCHS Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for 2013

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the first nine months of 2013, 6.7 percent of children and 20.5 percent of adults were uninsured, according to a study published online March 27 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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White House Extends Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who've started applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but can't complete the process by the March 31 enrollment deadline will be given an extension.

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1 in 25 Inpatients Has Health Care-Associated Infection Daily

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, according to research published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physically Active Youth May Retain Bone Health

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bone size and strength developed with physical activity in males during youth is maintained to some extent in old age, regardless of activity level, according to research published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Americans Seem Unprepared for Health Insurance Exchanges

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in the United States seem not to be sufficiently informed about the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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AMA Introduces Medical Education Initiative

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association's (AMA) Accelerating Change in Education initiative is being introduced in 11 medical schools in an effort to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, according to an AMA report.

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More Global Disability for Low Back Pain Than Other Ailments

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain (LBP), including that arising from ergonomic exposures at work, is associated with considerable global disability and burden, according to two studies published online March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Abstract - Driscoll
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Patient Request Impacts Doc Prescribing Behavior

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients requesting specific medications are more likely to be prescribed those medications, according to research published in the April issue of Medical Care.

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Cervical Spine Clearance Protocols Vary Considerably

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cervical spine clearance protocols for level-1 trauma centers are highly variable, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Spine.

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Practices Can Take Steps to Improve Care Transitions

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a rigorous process can improve transitions of care, according to an article published March 10 in Medical Economics.

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Blood Transfusions for Spinal Fusion Holding Steady

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. patients undergoing spinal fusion, the rates of allogeneic blood transfusion (ALBT) increased from 2000 to 2009, while predonated autologous blood transfusion (PR-ABT) rates decreased, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Rx Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug costs are projected to rise 3 to 5 percent across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

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Insurers Must Offer Same-Sex Couples Spousal Benefits

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health plans that offer benefits for heterosexual couples must do the same for same-sex married couples, the Obama administration says.

Other Health Highlights: March 17, 2014

NATA: Recommendations Issued for Sport Concussion Management

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for management of sport-related concussion. The recommendations have been published online March 7 in the Journal of Athletic Training as a National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement.

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Improving EHR Interoperability Is a National Priority: HHS

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a national priority of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to an article published March 4 in Medical Economics.

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Chronic Hyperglycemia Tied to Worse Surgical Outcomes

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic hyperglycemia (A1C >8 percent) is associated with poor surgical outcomes, as measured by an increased hospital length of stay (LOS), according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Repeat Spine Imaging Frequent With Injured Patient Transfers

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a substantially high rate of repeat spine imaging when patients with known spinal injuries are transferred from an outside hospital (OSH) to a tertiary receiving institution (RI), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Multiple 60-Minute Massage Sessions Effective for Neck Pain

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple 60-minute massage sessions are effective for neck dysfunction and pain among patients with chronic neck pain, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Glucosamine Fails to Prevent Knee Cartilage Deterioration

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Oral glucosamine supplementation is not associated with a decrease in knee cartilage deterioration among individuals with chronic knee pain, according to a study published online March 10 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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AMA: CMS Wants Physician Input on Practice Transformation

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are being given the opportunity to describe what resources they need in order to transition to value-based models of care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Adoption of Surgical Safety Checklists Doesn't Cut Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of surgical safety checklists is not associated with significant reductions in mortality or surgical complications, according to a study published in the March 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Lumbar Sx Complications at Teaching Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery at teaching hospitals incur longer hospitalizations and have more postoperative complications compared to those treated at nonteaching hospitals, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Spine.

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Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.

Other Health Highlights: March 11, 2014

Discrepancies ID'd in Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, Journals

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all clinical trials reported on ClinicalTrials.gov and published in high-impact journals report at least one discrepancy in cohort, intervention, or results, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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White House: More Than Four Million Have Signed Up for ACA

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than four million Americans have signed up for health coverage through state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

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Consultant Offers Tips for Evaluating Staff Pay

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Setting salaries and dealing with raises for a practice's staff can be tricky, according to an article published Feb. 24 in Medical Economics.

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Keeping Salaries Secret Harms Worker Performance

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping salaries secret hurts worker performance and increases turnover of top talent, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Academy of Management Journal.

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Diagnosis of Pseudarthrosis After Fusion Remains Difficult

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is no definitive method besides surgical exploration to make the diagnosis of pseudarthrosis following spinal fusion surgery, according to a review published in the March 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Gender Gap Exists in Domestic Duties of Working Physicians

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in domestic activities among career-oriented academic physicians with children, according to a study published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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AMA Grants Curriculum Efforts to Address Health Disparities

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools are beginning to change their curriculum to address ways to eliminate health disparities, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Drop in Compensation Gap for Primary Care Docs, Specialists

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, there was a 5.7 percent increase in the median total cash compensation for primary care physicians, with a smaller gap seen for medical and surgical specialists, according to the results of a recent survey from SullivanCotter.

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Relative Value Units Useful In Evaluating Practice Finances

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a useful tool for managing practice finances, according to an article published Feb. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Pre-Op Pain Patterns Affect Stenosis Surgery Outcomes

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with spinal stenosis without degenerative spondylolisthesis, predominance of back pain (BP) versus leg pain (LP) is associated with worse surgical outcomes, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Value-Based Insurance Plans Can Up Rx Adherence

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans with certain features aside from solely lowering cost sharing can increase medication adherence, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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WHO Program Improves U.S. Medical Facility Hand Hygiene

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. health care facilities, participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene practices is associated with improved hand hygiene, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Gap in Regulatory Coverage Affects 5 to 16 Percent of Trials

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Human subjects protections (HSP) policies do not provide regulatory coverage for all clinical trials, while up to about a quarter of trials are considered overlap trials, according to a research letter published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Women-Specific Research Is Still Inadequate

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are still underrepresented in medical science and research, and sex differences are often ignored, according to a report published March 3 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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Catastrophizing Can Predict Low Back Pain, Disability

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients treated for low back pain, catastrophizing may predict the degree of pain and disability, according to a review published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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CMS: No More Delays to ICD-10 Implementation Deadline

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no more delays to the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Feb. 27 in Medical Economics.

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