Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for December 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Machine Learning System Makes More Alerts for Med Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A machine learning system can generate clinically valid alerts for medication errors that might be missed with existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems, according to a study published in the January issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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MIV-711 No Better Than Placebo for Pain Relief in Knee OA

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A novel cathepsin K inhibitor, MIV-711, is no more effective than placebo for reducing pain in patients with symptomatic, radiographic knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Closures of Automotive Assembly Plants Tied to Opioid OD Deaths

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Automotive assembly plant closures from 1999 to 2016 were associated with increases in opioid overdose mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Marijuana Use for MS Tied to Legal Permissiveness

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cannabis use among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is more likely where cannabis laws are more permissive, according to a study published in the February issue of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

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Liposuction Benefits Women With Lipedema

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Liposuction improves the quality of life for women with lipedema, according to a study published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Prescribing Practices Can Mitigate Opioid Overdose Risk for Teens

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Older teens may have similar risk factors for prescription opioid overdose as adults, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Many Hospitals Fail to Provide Instructions for Patient Portals

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Many hospital patient portals fail to educate patients fully and set expectations for secure messaging, according to a study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Palliative Care Services Lagging Worldwide

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Greater palliative care development and implementation is needed worldwide, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

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Patient Share of Out-of-Network Costs Rising

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network (OON) care grew rapidly for privately insured Americans from 2012 to 2017, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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Acupuncture, Acupressure May Help Cancer Patients Control Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The use of acupuncture and/or acupressure is associated with reduced cancer pain and decreased use of analgesics, according to a review published online Dec. 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Holds Steady for Third Straight Year

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Enrollment in Affordable Care Act coverage for next year has surpassed 8 million, a sign that many Americans still turn to the government health insurance program to help pay for their medical care.

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Sleep Fragmentation Linked to Odds of Migraine

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Sleep fragmentation, defined by low sleep efficiency, is associated with increased odds of migraine a day later, but there is no temporal association for short sleep duration and low sleep quality with migraine, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Neurology.

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Gabapentinoids, Opioids Combo Carries Risk for Breathing Problems

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — New warnings about the risk for dangerous breathing difficulties when gabapentinoids are used with opioids or by certain patients must now appear on product labels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

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Private Care Program for U.S. Vets Gets $8.9 Billion in Budget Deal

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A controversial program meant to get more U.S. veterans to use private health care received $8.9 billion as part of a government spending bill approved by the House.

AP News Article

Variability in Lumbar Fusion Surgery Driven by Patient Factors

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Variations across hospitals and surgeons in patient-reported outcomes following elective lumbar fusion surgery are mainly driven by differences in patient populations undergoing surgery, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Spine.

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Misuse of Nonopioid Medications Appears to Be on the Rise in U.S.

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Misuse/abuse, use in suicide attempts, and hospital admissions associated with gabapentin and baclofen have significantly increased among U.S. adults since 2013, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Clinical Toxicology.

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FDA to Allow States to Import Prescription Drugs From Other Countries

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Federal health officials have unveiled plans to allow prescription drug imports from Canada and other foreign nations.

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Benzodiazepines With Opioid Agonist Tx May Up Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Coprescription of benzodiazepines and opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is associated with an increased risk for drug-related poisoning (DRP) mortality in opioid-dependent individuals, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in PLOS Medicine.

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Early Regional Anesthesia Effective for Extremity Injury Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Regional anesthesia may aid pain management if used soon after traumatic injury of the extremities, according to a study published in the December issue of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

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Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Remain High in U.S.

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The rate of in-hospital births with neonatal abstinence syndrome was 6.7 per 1,000 births in 2016, according to a research letter published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Outcomes Worse for Rural Residents With Chronic Conditions

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Rural Medicare beneficiaries with complex chronic conditions have higher preventable hospitalization and mortality rates than their urban peers, which is partially explained by reduced access to specialists, according to a report published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Domestic Abuse Increases Risk for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There is an association between a history of intimate partner violence (IPV) and the development of functional syndromes, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), in women, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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Palliative Care Reaching More Inpatients With Serious Illness

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Inpatient palliative care teams are reaching a broader mix of patients earlier in the course of their illness, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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Hahn Confirmed as New FDA Chief

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Stephen Hahn, M.D., was confirmed as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 72-18 Senate vote on Thursday.

The New York Times Article

Factors Predict Adverse Opioid-Related Outcomes in Cancer Survivors

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among cancer survivors, demographic, cancer, and treatment factors can predict adverse opioid-related outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Evidence Supports Use of High-Dose Aspirin for Migraine

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Evidence supports the use of high-dose aspirin for treating acute migraine and low-dose aspirin for prevention of recurrent attacks, according to a review recently published in the American Journal of Medicine.

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Use of Pain, Sleep Drugs Ups Risk for Frailty in the Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Prescription pain and sleep drug use is significantly associated with an increased incidence of frailty, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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U.S. Primary Care Doctors Face Challenges in Coordinating Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians from the United States and other high-income countries report difficulties with care coordination, with a substantial proportion of U.S. physicians not receiving timely notification or the information needed from specialists or other sites of care, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Health Affairs.

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U.S. Health Care Spending Up 4.6 Percent in 2018

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2018, U.S. health care spending increased 4.6 percent, a faster rate than that seen in 2017, according to a report published online Dec. 5 in Health Affairs.

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2016 to 2019 Saw Increase in Medical Students With Disabilities

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of medical students reporting disabilities, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Half of U.S. Physicians Recommend Complementary Health Approaches

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — More than half of office-based physicians recommend complementary health approaches (CHAs) to their patients, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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Rural Population Underrepresented Among Medical Students

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2017, less than 5 percent of all incoming medical students were rural students, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Daily Cannabis Use Tied to Lower Illicit Opioid Use for Chronic Pain

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with chronic pain who use daily cannabis have lower odds of using illicit opioids, according to a Canadian study published online Nov. 19 in PLOS Medicine.

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6.5 Percent of Adults Report Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Overall, 6.5 percent of adults aged 20 years and older reported using a prescription opioid analgesic in the previous 30 days during 2013 to 2016, according to a report published in the December Health E-Stats, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

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Ubrogepant Relieves Pain, Symptoms of Acute Migraine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The percentage of patients with migraine reporting freedom from pain is higher for those receiving ubrogepant than those receiving placebo, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Services Affected by Rural Hospitals Joining Health Systems

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — While affiliating with health systems may boost a rural hospital’s financial viability, the affiliation is often associated with reductions in critical services, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Adults Not Living in Metro Areas Have Reduced Access to Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Adults not living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are more likely to have reduced access to or use of health care services, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Postpartum Opioid Prescription Rates Vary Widely by Hospital

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Postpartum opioid prescription rates vary widely among hospitals, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

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About One in Three in ED for Low Back Pain Receive Imaging

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Imaging is obtained for about one in three patients with emergency department visits for low back pain, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Physician Depressive Symptoms Tied to Higher Risk for Medical Errors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians showing depressive symptoms are at higher risk for medical errors, according to a review published Nov. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Implant Survival Poor for Converted ‘Partial’ Knee Replacements

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) converted from medial unicompartmental (or “partial”) knee arthroplasty (UKA) has a risk for revision that is threefold higher than that for primary TKA, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Inhaled Cannabis Cuts Headache, Migraine Severity

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache and migraine severity, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Pain.

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