ACR Master Ralph Snyderman, MD, chancellor emeritus for health affairs at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and founder and chairman of Proventys Inc., recently received the 2007 Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award. The award, given by the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), honors Dr. Snyderman’s efforts to advance predictive and targeted therapies on a national scale.
The Rheumatologist: February 2008
OMERACT selects outcomes measures with an egalitarian process
John Hardesty Bland, MD, professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, died on March 15, 2007. He was midway through his 90th year, fulfilling the prescription of his last book, Live Long, Die Fast: Playing the Aging Game to Win, published when he was 80. A consummate rheumatologist and wonderful bedside doctor and teacher, Dr. Bland was also one of the genuine polymaths in the American medical world.
Osteonecrosis, also called avascular necrosis or aseptic necrosis, is a condition in which the death of bone cells (due to decreased blood flow) can lead to pain and collapse of areas of bone. This collapse of bone, in turn, can lead to degenerative arthritis of nearby joints, most commonly the hips and knees. Less frequently affected are the shoulders, hands, and feet. In rare instances, osteonecrosis can occur in the jaw— resulting in pain and mouth ulceration. Osteonecrosis is not fatal, but can lead to pain, arthritis, problems with physical activity, and even the need for joint replacement. Most of the 10,000 to 20,000 Americans developing osteonecrosis annually are between age 20 and 50. These individuals usually have a history of serious trauma, corticosteroid use, excess alcohol intake, or other conditions including systemic lupus erythematosus, dysbarism (“the bends” that occur with scuba diving), blood disorders, HIV infection, and radiation therapy.
If you work in the field of rheumatology, you know the importance of mentoring students who show interest in the field. With the many specialty options presented to healthcare students, it is of vital importance to open the door to rheumatology.
The 2008 ACR State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium will present current, cutting-edge information on a broad array of topics in rheumatology.
The 2007 AMA House of Delegates interim meeting was held November 10–13 in Honolulu. The ACR was represented by its delegate, Melvin Britton, MD, and alternate delegate, Gary Bryant, MD.
February’s Coding Challenge
February’s Coding Answer
On November 9, during the 2007 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, more than 200 attendees and community friends took steps to ensuring the future of rheumatology by competing in the annual REF 5K Run/Walk. Through the generous donations of those who participated and corporate support from UCB, Inc., the event raised over $67,500 for REF award and grant programs.
While attending the ACR Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, ACR member Ignacio Garcia-De La Torre, MD, visited the ACR Research and Education booth to purchase the latest Rodnan commemorative gout print, A Fisher-King.
The ACR has named Marc C. Hochberg, MD, MPH, as the principal investigator (PI) for the upcoming, “Guidelines for the Management of Osteoarthritis [OA] of the Hip, Knee, and Hand.” Dr. Hochberg is professor of medicine and epidemiology and preventive medicine and head of the division of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
The WOMAC index standardized OA status measurement, as described by its creator
The circadian rhythm offers insight into treating rheumatic diseases
Medically unlikely edits (MUEs), formally known as medically unbelievable edits, took effect with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 2, 2007. The function of MUEs is to detect and deny unlikely CMS claims on a pre-payment basis with the intention of improving Medicare’s payment process.
Over time, one would expect financial management of a medical practice to become more streamlined and simple. With the abundance of electronic tools, software programs, and the Internet, you can find assistance and problem-solving strategies for economic efficiency. In the rush to take advantage of these support tools, basic facets of financial management, such as billing and collection, have fallen by the wayside.
Thoughts from a career spent understanding—and alleviating—pain
How I learned to balance the complex equation of loss and gain from disease
Where should we focus?
The new kids on the block have rheumatologic ramificatons