The meeting with something for everyone!
Below is a sneak peek at some of the 2015 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting’s scientific sessions and content specific to each educational track.
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Explore This IssueSeptember 2015
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Basic Science Track
Our knowledge of autoimmunity, bone pathology and other aspects of rheumatic disease is expanding rapidly due to the important research data produced by scientists around the world. While Basic Science Track sessions cover a broad variety of topics, several talks at this year’s meeting will focus on “understanding more about the immune system and its mechanisms,” says Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. “We now have greater tools to dissect the immune system, and many sessions will stem from recent developments” in this complex area.
Check out a sample of this year’s exciting Basic Science sessions:
- New Tools in Genomic Discovery will cover emerging technologies that allow rheumatology researchers to sequence and analyze genetic data as never before, allowing more accurate understanding of rheumatic diseases and symptoms.
- Function of Non-Coding RNA will explore new data about RNA that do not make proteins but are involved in gene expression—knowledge that may lead to the development of new therapies.
- T Cell-Based Treatments, a discussion of the development of innovative immunotherapies for cancer and how the same approach might be adapted for use in autoimmune diseases.
- Fibrosis and New Therapeutic Approaches, including intriguing data on new, targeted therapies to treat fibrosis in scleroderma and other diseases.
- Osteoimmunology, an innovative session exploring the close interaction between bone cells and immune cells that play an important role in many rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatology practices of every size and type function in challenging times. Cost, technology requirements, shifting reimbursement landscapes, coding changes: all of these have a strong impact on your practice’s ability to thrive. If you need to get up to date on the latest trends in practice management, master ICD-10, learn proven business tools to apply to your practice, or get clear guidance on new regulatory and technology requirements, the Practice Management sessions are perfect for you. “There has been an awful lot of talk about the ability to maintain independent rheumatology practices,” says Colin Edgerton, MD, a rheumatologist at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Ga. “We definitely need to bring people together so we can identify best business practices for independent rheumatology practices. Everyone is always interested in what everyone else is doing.”
This year’s Business/Administration sessions include:
- How to be a strong advocate at the state level;
- Biosimilars, and how you may face pressure from payers or even state regulations to prescribe these drugs over other treatments for your patients; and
- Alignment of strategies for private practices.
Clinical Science/Clinical Practice Track
Busy rheumatology clinicians see patients with a wide variety of diagnoses and challenging symptoms. In Clinical Track sessions, you’ll hear the latest information on diseases and treatments from “outstanding clinicians from academics and practice who can provide a real-time assessment of educational needs,” says Gregory Gardner, MD. Such sessions as Coming to a Joint Near You: Chikungunya will help you prepare to treat patients with this surging viral infection. “It’s a combined clinical and basic science symposium on a virus with rheumatologic manifestations,” says Dr. Gardner. “Chikungunya is growing in importance, and the session will serve to alert the rheumatology community to its presence and educate us on the manifestations and treatment.”
This year’s Clinical Track sessions will include:
- New data on the use of mycophenolate mofetil to treat interstitial lung disease patients with systemic sclerosis;
- Up-to-date information on maintenance therapy in ANCA-associated vasculitis; and
- In-depth discussions of the microbiome, and gut bacteria’s potential influence on the immune system in people with rheumatic diseases.
Health Professionals Track
This year’s ARHP sessions will be practical, offering useful tools, interactive discussions and thorough updates on research data and cutting-edge issues. “You’ll say, ‘Wow! That is happening right now in our practice, and here’s what we can do about it,’” says Hazel Breland, PhD, OTR/L.