Genetic insights into a complex and baffling disease
The Rheumatologist: June 2008
Handpicked Reviews of Contemporary Literature
It’s not always easy to keep up with medical news on a daily basis. With so much available information, the busy rheumatologist or health professional could spend hours just trying to stay on top of it all. With that in mind, the ACR wanted a way to provide members with the latest medical news.
Responders to the recent ACR membership survey emphasized the importance of political advocacy for their practices and institutions. RheumPAC, the ACR’s political action committee, was created in February 2007 to focus on the legislative issues affecting the rheumatology community.
Fredrica Smith, MD, a rheumatologist in Los Alamos, N.M., was recently invited to become a part of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council (PPAC), a congressionally mandated council that advises the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the administrator of CMS on proposed changes in regulations.
Are there genetic indicators that can help rheumatologists identify the people who are at risk for developing the disease? Are there environmental factors that trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Simply put, what causes RA and how do we treat and cure it?
Osteoporosis is a condition of weak bone caused by a loss of bone mass and a change in bone structure. Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is a form of osteoporosis caused by taking glucocorticoid medications, such as prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, etc.), prednisolone (Prelone), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol), and cortisone (Cortone Acetate). These medications are used to help control many rheumatic diseases, including RA, systemic lupus erythematosus, and polymyalgia rheumatica.
The 2007 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting was well received by attendees, and the ACR and the ARHP are building on that foundation by offering a variety of in-depth sessions at the 2008 meeting in San Francisco on October 24–29.
CMS has announced alternative reporting periods and reporting criteria for the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI).
Online access to Arthritis & Rheumatism and Arthritis Care & Research is a member benefit of the ACR and the ARHP. In order to use this benefit, you must activate your online access by creating a login specifically for the journals through a one-time registration process. Here is a Q&A to help you access journals online.
June’s Coding Challenge
June’s Coding Answer
CMS has replaced the general and lab advanced beneficiary notice with the Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) of Non-coverage. The new titled notice requires physicians and other healthcare providers to use a new form when services are not expected to be covered by Medicare.
Have you ever wondered why you are able to get up-to-the-minute sports scores, but it could take weeks to receive potentially lifesaving drug safety alerts? (And that is only if your front-office staff is able to separate the “Dear Doctor” letter from junk mail.)
Denials management and appeals are the two most underestimated processes in rheumatology offices. Most practices lose thousands of dollars every year because they are not following up or writing off denied claims correctly.
Quality adds new dimension to the three-part mission
What can college athletics show us about teaching medicine?
We need to address the specter of ghostwriting in medical research
Early treatment lessens arthritis pain and disability, but challenges to early detection remain
Gait analysis can improve the walk of patients with arthritis