There is a critical shortage of rheumatologists in the U.S. The aging of the U.S. population, along with recent changes in healthcare reform, makes it critical for rheumatology practices across the U.S. to plan for the maintenance of accessible, high-quality care for patients. Establishing a collaborative rheumatology practice between a rheumatologist and a nurse practitioner or physician assistant (NP/PA) has been identified as one solution, but there are few rheumatology specialty training opportunities for NPs and PAs. The ARHP has identified the need to provide training for this portion of its membership and is now expanding its offerings for NPs and PAs through four new workshops at the annual meeting in November.
In response to the need for education to help a busy practicing rheumatologist tackle some of the business tasks associated with practice, the 2010 Annual Meeting Planning Committee has created a new track: the Business of Rheumatology. This track was created to help the busy private practitioner identify sessions that address pertinent and timely business issues, such as coding, reimbursement, the impact of healthcare reform, EHRs, and other business-related issues.
This spring, 120 rheumatologists, rheumatology health professionals, and patient advocates travelled to Washington, D.C., for the ACR’s annual Advocates for Arthritis conference.
With the rapid expansion of new classes of medications, clinical practice has changed dramatically, and rheumatology health professionals must have a fundamental knowledge of immunology and the mechanisms of action of the biologic agents that have emerged with this expansion. Familiarity with the predrug screening recommended for biologic agents and the appropriate safety and disease monitoring necessary when a person uses these products is essential for the best patient outcomes. Additionally, being able to obtain drug plan authorization for use of biologics and being able to educate patients and their families or support team members about the financial considerations of these drugs helps to ensure best rheumatology practice.
Building on the success of last year’s attendance-breaking ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting, the ACR and ARHP planning committees are offering an annual meeting program that that will exceed expectations. Plan to join your colleagues in Atlanta November 6–11 to benefit from both high-quality rheumatology education and a unique blend of cosmopolitan experiences and cultural charm—all of which will quench an array of intellectual, cultural, and culinary appetites.
The 2010 State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium offers attendees a chance to review the latest clinical and scientific information on topics such as the treatment and research of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, pediatrics, ultrasound, and cardiovascular comorbidities. The symposium—which provides a platform for attendees to have personal interactions with key opinion leaders in the field of rheumatology—will be held April 24–25 in Chicago, and will cover a range of diverse topics.
Global insights from the Bone and Joint Decade Network Conference
Updated guidelines, online assessment tool, and new therapies coming this year
I’m writing this column in my hotel room in rainy, somewhat chilly, Copenhagen. So much for the summer dresses that I packed in preparation for attending this European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting. Instead it’s been all about layering and trying to stay dry, dodging puddles, and struggling with blown-out umbrellas. The rain has impeded any desire to explore Tivoli gardens, but it hasn’t dampened the friendliness and welcome of our European counterparts in EULAR’s Allied Health Professionals (AHP) standing committee.
EULAR captured the complex picture of rheumatology’s future