Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The ACCME Report (monthly newsletter)

This latest issue contains a link to the presentation given by Kate Regnier at the Fall SACME conference on the ACCME's Program & Activity Reporting System,..."a web-based system designed to collect activity-level and program data from accredited providers to be used for both the reaccreditation and annual report processes." Click here to access the newsletter.

Dr. Healy sounds off on health reform

From her commentary published in U.S. News & World Report :
The ground is being laid already, with the announcement by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government-appointed body, of new guidelines for mammograms just days ago. Such a board of experts, composed mainly of primary care, prevention, public health, and epidemiology experts, would recommend the list of preventive services covered in the post-health-reform insurance plan that all would have no choice but to buy. Until now, the government's task force has been one voice among several medical groups issuing sometimes conflicting prevention guidelines, leaving room for patient-doctor choice. But in an elevated role under health reform, the federal preventive task force's declarations would carry greater force and have an economic impact on everyone.
With the same facts, there are sharp differences in interpretation. Many health experts and economists in armchairs wearing green eyeshades are willing, say, to accept a 20 percent reduction in cancers found if costs are cut in half. But doctors see before them the mothers and grandmothers, sisters and daughters who benefit from early detection of cancer; they see the husbands who still have their wives, the children who still have their moms. They do know the science and statistics, and they know when to pull back and respect a patient's wishes not to have a study or treatment. But they're all too aware that early therapy is easier and more likely to bring a happier outcome.
Click here to access.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

From the New York Times editorial:
It is rare when antidiscrimination law is extended to a whole new group of people, but that happened on Saturday, when a federal ban on discriminating on the basis of genetic background took effect. The new law is an important step in protecting people who have inherited a predisposition to disease. It removes a significant obstacle to genetic testing, which can help prevent and treat serious illnesses.
Click here to access the editorial.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

The end of MECCs?

From the Wall Street Journal article:
Health legislation moving through Congress would force drug makers to disclose how much they spend on continuing medical education classes for doctors, sparking some resistance from the industry.

For-profit continuing medical education companies have seen revenue fall by double digits in the last year, according to industry statistics, following congressional investigations into the influence of drug makers on medical research and course content.
Click here to access the WSJ article (sub. req.).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

At the end of the ROAD?

From the New York Times article "Primary Care’s Image Problem":
...choosing specialties: I’m heading for the ROAD (radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesia and dermatology).

That ROAD has had devastating effects on the physician work force in the United States. While 50 years ago half of all physicians were in primary care, almost three-quarters are now specialists. The future implications are even more dismal. According to one study published last year in The Journal of the American Medical Association, as few as 2 percent of medical students are choosing to step away from the ROAD or from other similar “high prestige” and competitive specialties in order to pursue general internal medicine. The statistic has the power to bring even the best efforts at reform and universal coverage to a grinding halt. Even with other health care practitioners like nurses and physician assistants helping to care for as many patients as they can, universal health care will be doomed if there are not enough primary care doctors.
Click here to access the NYT article.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ICMJE proposes new disclosure policy for authors

From the American Medical News article:
An influential group of medical journal editors in October announced a new, more probing conflict-of-interest disclosure form that it hopes will become the industry standard. The effort comes in response to criticism that medical journals have failed to properly inform their readers about authors' financial relationships with industry.

The uniform disclosure form, adopted by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, asks authors submitting for publication to disclose any payment for the research that generated the article as well as other kinds of industry relationships such as consultancies, honoraria or stock options from the last three years.

The form also asks authors to disclose whether spouses or children have financial relationships with "entities that have an interest in the content of the submitted work." Writers also should provide "any relevant nonfinancial associations or interests" of a personal, political or religious nature "that a reasonable reader would want to know about."
Click here to access the AMN article. Hat tip to FierceHealthcare.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sunshine in the health care reform bill?

From the New York Times article:
As part of the health care overhaul under consideration by Congress, lawmakers have included so-called sunshine provisions intended to shed light on the financial relationships between the medical industry and doctors.

The targets are common business practices like drug company payments to doctors for speeches and consulting services, which have the potential to influence patient care and drive up the nation’s medical bills.

But if previous attempts by state legislatures, federal agencies and academic hospitals are any indication, such sunshine efforts are all too vulnerable to cloud cover.
Click here to access the NYT article.