Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for July 2018. 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.

Learning to Change Important for Improving Practice

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Although physicians typically struggle with change, relying on habits created in their practice, learning to change is important in order to improve practices and better deal with the changes sweeping through medicine, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Front Desk Staff Can Set Up a Practice for Successful Billing

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Allowing front desk staff adequate time and an uninterrupted environment to focus on billing can prevent problems later on, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Few Published Programs Address Medical Trainee Mistreatment

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There are very few published descriptions of programs that address the mistreatment of medical trainees, according to a review published online July 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Medical Boards May Contribute to Mental Health Stigma for Doctors

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Existing policy has been amended to encourage licensing boards to require disclosure of physical or mental health conditions only when these would negatively impact a physicians’ ability to practice medicine, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Four Strategies Help Doctors Make Personal, Professional Gains

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In an article published in Physicians Practice, four strategies are presented to help physicians make personal and professional gains.

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Acupuncture May Cut Arthralgia From Aromatase Inhibitors

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Acupuncture may cut joint pain among postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer and aromatase inhibitor-related pain, according to a study published in the July 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Outpatient Opioid Prescriptions for Children Often Filled

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Children often fill outpatient opioid prescriptions, with the most common indication for dental procedures, according to a study published online July 16 in Pediatrics.

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Assessing, Improving Patient Satisfaction Cuts Malpractice Risk

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Assessing and improving patient satisfaction can help physicians avoid being sued for malpractice, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Insurers May Be Underpaying Doctors

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Insurance companies sometimes underpay doctors the contracted amount for a service or procedure, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Many U.S. Adults View Marijuana Use Positively

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Most U.S. adults believe that marijuana has at least one benefit, according to a study published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Tools, Methods of RCTs Can Be Adapted to Real-World Settings

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Use of appropriate statistical methodology can allow for the synthesis of data collected as part of traditional clinical trials with real-world data, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lowering Default Number of Pills Can Reduce Prescribed Opioids

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Reducing the default number of opioid pills prescribed in an electronic medical record (EMR) system can effectively decrease the amount of opioids prescribed after procedures, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Surgery.

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Physicians and Practices Should Prepare for Emergencies

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Practices and physicians should prepare for emergency situations, such as natural disasters, network communications failures, and active shooter situations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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VA MISSION Act May Up Costs, Lower Vet Health Care Quality

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act may increase costs and reduce quality of health care for veterans, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Medical Organizations Must Address Sexual Harassment

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Medical institutions and organizations need to ensure there are proactive interventions to transform the workplace in order to address sexual harassment and discrimination, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Guidelines Conflict for Long-Term Opioid Tx in Cancer Survivors

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Evidence is lacking about the need for and outcomes of long-term opioid therapy in cancer survivors, and contemporary guidelines offer conflicting recommendations, according to a viewpoint article recently published online in JAMA Oncology.

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Embezzlement Not Uncommon in Medical Practices

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Embezzlement occurs frequently in medical practices and steps should be taken to prevent it, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Increased Coverage in States With Medicaid Expansion

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Coverage rates and access to care are significantly higher in states with Medicaid expansion, compared with non-expansion states, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Same-Day Appointment System Implemented in Health Network

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A same-day appointment system can feasibly be introduced, according to the experiences of one health network presented in an article published in Managed Healthcare Executive.

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L-Glutamine Reduces Number of Pain Crises in Sickle Cell Disease

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with sickle cell-related pain, those receiving oral therapy with L-glutamine have a lower median number of pain crises, according to a study published in the July 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hand-Holding, Stress Ball Don’t Cut Anxiety in Skin CA Removal

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Hand-holding and squeezing a stress ball do not provide anxiety reduction among patients during excisional removal of non-melanoma skin cancer, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Patients Care About the Clothes Doctors Wear

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do in fact care what doctors wear, according to a study recently published in BMJ Open.

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Seven Strategies Can Help Practices Manage Staff Time Off

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Several strategies can be implemented to help address management of staff time off, allowing mutual respect for the employee and employer requests, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Trials Supporting FDA Approval of Breakthrough Drugs Examined

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Pivotal trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals granted Breakthrough Therapy designation often lack randomization, double-blinding, and control groups, according to a research letter published in the July 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Alternative Payment Models Should Include Precision Medicine

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association has committed to working to integrate precision medicine into alternative payment models (APMs), according to an article published in the association’s AMA Wire.

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FDA Establishes New Task Force on Drug Shortages

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In a recent statement, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the formation of a new drug shortages task force to thoroughly explore the reasons why drug shortages remain a persistent challenge.

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Preoperative Opioids Used by 23.1 Percent of Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Preoperative opioid use is reported in 23.1 percent of patients undergoing surgery, according to a study published online July 11 in JAMA Surgery.

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Multiple Factors to Consider When Selecting NSAID for Arthritis

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Factors to be considered when choosing the correct nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for arthritis include effectiveness, concurrent health conditions, and frequency of use, according to a blog post published by the Arthritis Foundation.

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Adoption of EHR Linked to Reduction in Mortality Rates

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in U.S. hospitals, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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eCare Plan Set to Improve Doctor/Pharmacist Relationship

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Pharmacist eCare Plan is designed to improve communication between pharmacists and physicians by allowing documentation to be available via electronic health records (EHRs), according to an article published online in Drug Topics.

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Physician Burnout Tied to Higher Risk of Medical Errors

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Physician burnout, fatigue, and work-unit safety grades are independently associated with medical errors, according to a study published online July 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Virtual Assistants Not HIPAA Compliant

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Virtual assistant programs like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are not yet in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), warns an article published in Medical Economics.

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Gender Bias in Medicine Has Far-Reaching Consequences

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overlooking women in medicine can have far-reaching consequences, according to a perspective piece published in the June 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Most Back Pain Patients Halt Opioid Use After Surgery

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Duration of preoperative opioid use appears to be the most important predictor of sustained opioid use following back surgery, according to a study published in the June 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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2001 to 2015 Saw Decline in Self-Employment in Health Care

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2001 to 2015 there was a decrease in the percentage of health care professionals who are self-employed and a decrease in the earning gap between self-employed and employed health care professionals, according to a study published online July 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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AMA Aims to Boost Affordability of ACA Marketplace Plans

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted policy to increase the number of people who obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by making marketplace plans more affordable.

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Patient Experience Officers Can Play Key Role in Medical Offices

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A patient experience officer is an increasingly important new role in physician practices, according to an article recently published in Physicians Practice.

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Peer-Led Education Helps Physicians Save Time With EHRs

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A peer-based education program can improve the efficiency of electronic health record (EHR) use, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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U.S. Surgeon General Urges More Americans to Carry Naloxone

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Surgeon General released an advisory urging increased availability of the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone earlier this year, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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Surgeon General’s Advisory

International Group Develops Best Practices for Drug Packaging

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Nine new drug labeling and packaging guidelines have been developed with an aim of reducing medication errors, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

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AMA Calls for Inclusive Family, Medical Leave Policies

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) calls for inclusive family and medical leave policies to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers who care for relatives, spouses, and partners.

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Any Opioid Use Tied to Involvement in Criminal Justice System

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Any opioid use is associated with involvement in the criminal justice system in the past year, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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Error Rate 7.4 Percent in Speech Recognition-Assisted Notes

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The error rate in speech recognition (SR)-assisted documentation is 7.4 percent, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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High Rates of Salmonella Contamination ID’d in Kratom

MONDAY, July 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — High rates of Salmonella contamination have been identified in kratom products collected and tested since February 2018, according to a statement published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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IT Solutions for Easier EHRs Save Physicians Time, Burnout

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Yale Medicine is effectively targeting electronic health record (EHR) use and functionality as a way to improve physician job satisfaction and reduce burnout, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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IV Acetaminophen Minimally Helpful for Colectomy Pain

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Intravenous acetaminophen does not decrease opioid utilization to a clinically significant threshold among colectomy patients, according to a study published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Patient Complaints Mainly About Rudeness, Rushing, Reproach

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Understanding patients’ complaints about practice can be instructive for physicians, according to an article published June 6 in Physicians Practice.

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Hospitals Face $218B in Federal Payment Cuts From 2010 to 2028

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cumulative reductions in federal payments to hospitals from 2010 to 2028 are estimated to reach $218.2 billion, according to a study commissioned by the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

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Anticonvulsants Seem to Be Ineffective for Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Anticonvulsant drugs are ineffective for chronic low back pain and can cause harm, despite a recent increase in prescribing, according to a review published online July 3 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Patients Comfortable With Doctors Having Tattoos, Piercings

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do not appear to mind if doctors have tattoos or piercings, according to a study published online July 2 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Use of Palliative Care, Oxygen Therapy Increasing for COPD

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the use of formal palliative care services and long-term oxygen therapy has increased but remains low, according to a study published online June 11 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Intensive Management Program Benefits High-Risk Patients

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For high-risk patients, use of an intensive management program is associated with greater receipt of outpatient care with no increase in total costs, according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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