Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Institute of Medicine releases COI report

From the Science News article:
1) Congress should require that pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies report on some public website all payments they make to physicians, researchers and medical organizations. "Such a public record would deter inappropriate relationships,” Lo said, and help medical institutions, publishers and others verify that physicians and researchers who do work for them have disclosed all real or potential conflicts of interest.

2) Medical centers and other research institutions should establish a policy prohibiting human trials if the researchers "have a significant financial interest in an existing or potential product or a company that could be affected by the outcome of the research." Any exceptions should be made public and allowed if only if no unbiased researchers can be found. And even then, the report said, a mechanism must exist to make data on the potential bias publicly available.

3) Research centers and hospitals should prohibit faculty, students, residents and medical fellows from: accepting “items of material value” from industry; giving presentations or writing papers where content is controlled by industry or “written by someone who is not identified as an author or who is not properly acknowledged;” consulting without a written contract and receiving payment at “fair market value" for services; using or distributing drug samples provided by industry “except in specified situations for patients who lack financial access to medications.”

4) Most state licensing boards, medical-specialty boards and hospitals require that physicians commit to lifelong learning. Indeed, participation in continuing medical education, or CME, courses can be essential for a doctor to remain licensed or certified. The new report finds that industry provides roughly 25 percent of the funding to run CME courses offered by professional societies, more than half of the costs to medical schools for CME courses and almost 75 percent of the costs incurred by outside commercial groups who offer CME courses. That’s got to change, the IOM panel argues. Indeed, Lo says, “the goal would be to have a [CME] system . . . that is free of industry or industry influence.”
Click here to access the Science News article. Click here to access the free Executive Summary of the IOM report.

Monday, April 27, 2009

AMA throws their hat into the online ring

From the FierceHealthIT news article:
The American Medical Association is pilot-testing what could turn out to be a hefty portfolio of web services to doctors, including electronic prescribing capabilities, reference databases and access to online continuing medical education. To build the services, the AMA is working with the Detroit-based healthcare IT platform provider Covisint.
Click here to access.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ACCME issues calls for comments...

  • ACCME Rule Making

  • Commercial Support-Free Accredited Continuing Medical Education designation

  • Promotional Teacher and Author-Free Accredited Continuing Medical Education designation

  • Independent CME Funding Entity

    Click here to access.

Monday, April 20, 2009

CMEHUB (online CME catalog)

Came across an online CME course catalog that allows physicians to search for CME courses by keywords, and CME providers apparently can have their CME courses listed for free. Click here to access. Disclosure: I have no relationship with this website service.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A champion bull rider/an elegant fox trotter

My hat is off to you, Ty!

A checklist for ethics?

From the AMNews article:
For ages, doctors have used lists and other reminders to help them give the right care to patients. Recently, the use of checklists in areas such as surgery and infection control has delivered remarkable results, greatly reducing morbidity and mortality.

Beginning in April, residents working in the intensive care unit at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., got a different kind of reminder when caring for patients -- an ethics checklist.

The idea is the brainchild of Daniel K. Sokol, PhD, a medical ethicist at the University of London St. George's Hospital Medical School who served as a visiting bioethics scholar at the Washington Hospital Center in January and February.
Click here to access.

ACCME posts examples from providers

ACCME posted a compendium of actual provider practices that were reviewed through the accreditation process over the past several months. Click here to access this resource.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Harvard-affiliated hospitals issue new COI policy

From the NEWSInferno article:
Hospitals affiliated with Harvard University are implementing a stricter conflicts-of-interest policy for their doctors. According to a press release from Partners in Health Care, the new policy not only bans doctors from accepting gifts from drug or medical device makers, it also prevents physicians from serving as paid speakers for such companies.
In addition to banning gifts - including free meals - and paid speaking engagements, the new policy also bars drug makers from accepting fee drug samples. Instead, such samples must be provided through a hospital pharmacy or another central mechanism. Sales reps won’t be able to visit staff unless they have “written invitations defining the purpose and terms of visits”, the press release said.
Click here to access the article.

Google and Microsoft think HIPAA doesn't apply to them

From the iHealthBeat article:
Google and Microsoft maintain that they are not subject to HIPAA privacy regulations, BNET Healthcare reports.

Last month, Google Health Product Manager Roni Zeiger said, "Our understanding is that HITECH, which is the jargon for (the health IT) part of the legislation, did not change the definition for a covered entity or a business associate, so our service is offered directly to the consumer." He added, "(O)ur understanding is that we are neither a covered entity nor a business associate. We're providing a service directly to the consumer or a patient."

At this week's annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Chicago, David Cerino, general manager of Microsoft's Health Solutions Group, said, "We're still outside" of HIPAA.
Click here to access the article.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Something seniors should be aware of...

From the New York Times article:
EARLY this year, Barbara Plumb, a freelance editor and writer in New York who is on Medicare, received a disturbing letter. Her gynecologist informed her that she was opting out of Medicare. When Ms. Plumb asked her primary-care doctor to recommend another gynecologist who took Medicare, the doctor responded that she didn’t know any — and that if Ms. Plumb found one she liked, could she call and tell her the name?
Two trends are converging: there is a shortage of internists nationally — the American College of Physicians, the organization for internists, estimates that by 2025 there will be 35,000 to 45,000 fewer than the population needs — and internists are increasingly unwilling to accept new Medicare patients.
Click here to access the NYT article.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Check out this new JAMA article

"Professional Medical Associations and Their Relationships With Industry: A Proposal for Controlling Conflict of Interest". Click here to access (sub. req.)