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

Opioid Use Often Persists in Workers’ Compensation Claimants

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Many patients in a workers’ compensation cohort have persistent opioid use, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in JAMA Network Open.

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AMA Announces Initiative to Reinvent Physician Training

TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced a new $15 million competitive grant initiative, the “Reimagining Residency” initiative, aimed at improving residency training.

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Many Hospitals Noncompliant With Record Request Regulations

MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Among top-ranked U.S. hospitals, data reveal discrepancies in information provided to patients regarding medical records release processes as well as noncompliance with state and federal regulations, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Network Open.

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Trump Administration Announces Plan to Cut Drug Prices

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In an effort to cut high drug costs, the prices paid by Medicare for certain prescription drugs would be based on those in other advanced industrial nations, according to a proposal announced Oct. 25 by the Trump administration.

HHS Study
New York Times Article

Open Surgery for Early Lung CA Tied to Long-Term Opioid Use

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Surgical invasiveness might play a role in the odds of becoming a long-term opioid user after early-stage lung cancer surgery, according to a research letter published online Sept. 24 in JAMA Oncology.

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Pace of Change Has Accelerated in Alternative Payment Models

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The impact of alternative payment models (APMs) on physician practices has been described in a study published by the RAND Corp. and the American Medical Association.

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Most Supplements Contain Prohibited Stimulants

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Many supplements contain one or more stimulants that have been the subject of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-issued public notices, according to a research letter published online Oct. 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editor’s Note (subscription or payment may be required)

White House Unveils New Insurance Option for Small Firms

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A plan to allow small businesses to use tax-free accounts to provide health coverage for employees was announced today by the Trump administration.

AP News Article
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Postnatal Education Increases Pain Relief Use at Vaccinations

MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In-hospital postnatal education about infant pain management at vaccinations leads to more frequent use of pain relief interventions, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Light Use of Topical Skin Tx Before Radiotherapy Seems Safe

FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Contrary to the advice most cancer patients receive, light or moderate use of topical agents before radiation treatment does not appear to increase the radiation dose to the skin, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in JAMA Oncology.

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Editorial

Sharp Drop in U.S. Life Expectancy Rankings by 2040

THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The United States will have the largest drop in life expectancy rankings of all high-income countries by 2040, a new study says.

CNN Article
Abstract/Full Text
Editorial

Procurement Requirements Drive Interoperability in Health Care IT

THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Interoperability of health care information technology (IT) must be improved to facilitate creation of a fully integrated health care system that can improve health and health care at lower cost, according to a report published by the National Academy of Medicine.

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Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Canada

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Recreational marijuana became legal in Canada today, and while many welcome the move, others have serious concerns.

The New York Times Article
CMAJ Editorial

Gabapentin Beats Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic sciatica (CS), gabapentin (GBP) is superior to pregabalin (PGB), with fewer and less severe adverse events (AEs), according to a study published online Oct. 15 in JAMA Neurology.

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Without Medicaid Expansion, Poor Patients Forgo Medical Care

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Doing without medical care is much more common among low-income residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid than among low-income people in other states, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

AP News Article

Cannabinoids Mildly Effective for Treating MS Symptoms in Adults

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cannabinoids may be mildly effective at treating spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a review published online Oct. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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Editorial

Active Pharmaceuticals ID’d in >700 Dietary Supplements

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Dietary supplements often include active pharmaceuticals, even after warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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Editorial

Payer Policies May Discourage Non-Pharma Tx for Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, Oct. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There is a need for public and private insurers to broaden their coverage policies for non-drug pain treatments for low back pain, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Network Open.

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Editorial

Aetna-CVS Merger Approved

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A $69 billion merger between health insurer Aetna and pharmacy manager CVS Health has been approved, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The New York Times Article

Risk of Opioid-Benzodiazepine Overlap Up for Dual Prescribing

TUESDAY, Oct. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Receiving prescriptions from both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D is associated with increased risk for overlapping of opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions, according to a study published online Oct. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Minority Residents Experience Burdens Linked to Race/Ethnicity

TUESDAY, Oct. 9 2018 (HealthDay News) — Minority residents describe burdens associated with race/ethnicity, including microaggressions and bias on a daily basis, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

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Editorial

Congress Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Crisis

FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A bipartisan bill to fight the opioid addiction crisis in the United States has been passed by Congress. President Donald Trump said he would sign the bill into law.

AP News Article

Industry-Funded Trials Often Involve Employees in Studies

FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Industry employees are often involved in the design, conduct, and reporting of industry-funded trials in high-impact journals, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in The BMJ.

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Editorial

Clinical Comorbidities Up After Arthroscopic Hip Surgery

FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Following elective arthroscopic hip surgery, the rate of seven major clinical comorbidities increases significantly, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Three-Quarters of Health Care Workers Got Flu Shot Last Year

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Just over three-quarters of health care personnel received a flu vaccine last season, according to research published in the Sept. 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Tips Provided for Budgeting in Medical Residency

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Medical residents should start budgeting and save for the future, according to an article published in the American Medical Association AMA Wire.

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Price Hikes Noted in Small Subset of Generic Drugs

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A small but growing subset of generic drugs experienced sudden large price increases from 2007 to 2013, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

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Opioid Use Down With ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery’ Program

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — An “enhanced recovery after surgery” (ERAS) program is associated with a significant reduction in opioid consumption after gynecologic surgery with no increase in pain scores, according to a study published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Opioid-Related Hospital Use Up in Elderly Adults

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Rates of opioid-related prescriptions and health care utilization are rising among seniors, according to two September statistical briefs released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The reports relied on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Abstract/Full Text – Weiss
Abstract/Full Text – Moriya and Miller

Uninsured Rate at 8.8 Percent in First Quarter of 2018

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In the first quarter of 2018, the uninsured rate was 8.8 percent, not significantly different from a year earlier, according to a report released Aug. 29 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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For Employer-Based Plans, Spending Across Services Steady

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Despite large health policy changes, the distribution of spending across service areas has remained fairly consistent over the past 10 years for those enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

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Voluntary Recall of Robaxin 750 mg Due to Dosage Misprint

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Endo Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily recalling two lots of Robaxin (methocarbamol tablets) 750 mg tablets (100-count bottles) due to incorrect dosage information.

Endo Press Release
FDA Recall Notice

Number of Health-Related Data Breaches Increasing

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The number of health data breaches has steadily increased since 2010, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Interviews Can Help Ensure Physician Candidates Fit Culture

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In preparing to interview to hire a new physician, practices must understand their own cultures, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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More Non-Elderly Americans Uninsured in 2017 Versus 2016

MONDAY, Oct. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2017, there was an increase in the number of uninsured non-elderly Americans, according to a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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