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ACR identifies five practices, therapies, or procedures physicians and patients should question
On February 21, the ACR--along with 16 other national medical societies--released its list of Five Things Patients and Physicians Should Question in Rheumatology.
The implementation of a bundle of quality measures for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) helped identify gaps in care delivery, and another quality improvement study resulted in increased safety of intravenous infusions at a pediatric rheumatology practice. These abstracts were among six presented at a session titled, “Quality Measures and Innovations in Practice Management and Care Delivery I,” here at the 2011 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago in November.
Departments: Ethics Forum: Letters from our Readers
We received several letters in response to the September 2011 “Ethics Forum,” which asked about the proper way to adopt ultrasound in your practice. We thank our respondents for their thoughtful and provocative comments. As many of you are aware, the ACR is currently drafting guidance for the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound. Perhaps we will rethink this topic once these are available.
Rheumatology caught the attention of the broader medical community with an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that only 63% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Medicare Advantage programs received disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) from 2005 to 2008. Lower than the overall DMARD use rates reported by the National Center for Quality Assurance in 2008, which range from 70% for Medicare plans to 85% for commercial plans, a treatment gap is apparent for RA...
ACR leaders met with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, November 15, 2010 to discuss key issues affecting rheumatology, including quality measurements, consultant fees, and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
From the College: Practice Page
The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PRQI) is a voluntary quality reporting program initiated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2007. CMS provides bonus payments to eligible providers who successfully report on applicable PQRI measures. For 2010, rheumatologists who successfully participate in PQRI can earn an incentive payment of 2% of the total Medicare Physician Fee Schedule–allowed charges for services provided during the 2010 reporting period. Here are answers to...
Columns: A New Pain PILL
In caring for patients with chronic pain, I have tried all kinds of treatments to reduce bothersome symptoms, hoping to achieve improvements that are better than the usual one or two points on a visual analog scale. The list of these treatments is long—no doubt, you have tried the same ones—and include the expected array of traditional and not-so-traditional approaches. Not feeling very successful, I have decided it is time for something new. I am going to try the PILL.
Features: How a Rheumatologist Thinks
The Institute of Medicine has reported that each year up to 98,000 deaths result from iatrogenic injury and error. Autopsy series have suggested a 15% error rate in the practice of medicine. These numbers are surprising and concerning and raise important questions about how we practice medicine. What kind of errors do we make as providers? How can we reduce the incidence of such occurrences?
Departments: Ethics Forum
Welcome to the second installment of the quarterly “Ethics Forum,” a collaborative effort of the ACR Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee and The Rheumatologist to foster dialog among rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals concerning real-life ethical issues that they may encounter in medical practice or research.