Civic duties may soon be too burdensome for even willing public servants
The Rheumatologist: August 2007
Personal history of the BILAG index
Handpicked Reviews of Contemporary Literature
A pair of rheumatologists among this year’s NAS inductees
August’s coding challenge
August’s coding answer
Of the numerous training and research opportunities the REF offers, it is the Preceptorship Awards that best illustrate its commitment to ensuring the future of rheumatology.
Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) is a rare and complex blood-vessel disease affecting men and women equally. Although the cause of the disease is unknown, it can be treated and managed effectively.
Because so much is still unknown about RA – what causes it, why it affects people differently, how to cure it – and because research is underfunded (see Table 1), the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) launched “Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
Ephraim P. Engleman, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and an ACR Master, was awarded the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Gold Medal for excellence in clinical medicine. It is the highest honor the school’s alumni association can bestow.
The spirit of volunteerism has changed from the baby boomers to Gen Xers, but the need has not. As professional associations and organizations evolve, the need for volunteers continues. Because fellows-in-training are new to rheumatology as well as the ACR, they bring a unique perspective to their volunteer roles.
Evidence-based practice has become the standard of care in the 21st century. Evidence-based practice is “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” It requires the integration of a health professional’s clinical expertise, the best available scientific evidence, and patient values and preferences to guide clinical decisions for individual patients.
On May 11, the ACR leadership approved a revised strategic plan for 2007–2009 that will guide the College’s work and determine the path the organization will take. The plan has a direct effect on the way the organization serves its members because ACR committees develop and implement programs and services based on the priorities it outlines.
There are approximately 9 million uninsured children in the United States, and the number is increasing. Of those 9 million, 6 million are eligible for – but not enrolled in – the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or Medicaid.
DXA reimbursement will be cut 75% by 2010 if Congress does not act now. Reimbursement for imaging studies such as DXA has been reduced to the Hospital Outpatient Perspective Payment System (HOPPS) rate, based on a Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) provision. This reduction not only negatively affects rheumatologists who perform imaging studies in their offices, but will also affect access to care and increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
Medicare may start profiling physicians as soon as mid 2008. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) develop a profiling system to identify physicians with inefficient practice patterns. At a House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing, Herbert Kuhn, acting deputy administrator of the CMS, said that identifying inefficient physicians, or “profiling,” would involve comparing the number of tests ordered by a physician for certain types of patients with the number ordered by colleagues in cases with the same outcome.
How should we deal with a shrinking workforce and expanding patient pool?
Many of the specialty’s challenges and goals hinge on your participation
Workforce study shows positive trends in rheumatology training
Impact factor’s influence on peer-reviewed journals – and authors – is on the rise
Limited evidence and diagnostic options make this increasing condition difficult to treat