Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

You may be more likely to wind up a long-term user of opioid painkillers if you're treated by a doctor who frequently prescribes those drugs, a new study reports. Emergency room patients are at greater risk for long-term opioid use…

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Final Medicare Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made considerable changes to policies in its proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) with the release of its final rule. Learn more at AMA Wire.

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MACRA Final Rule Release

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final version https://qpp.cms.gov/education of its physician Quality Payment Program under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA replaced SGR and moves physicians to a value-base payment…

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Are The Promises of ACOs Panning Out?

Vitalyst Health Foundation, in their new report titled The Progress and Promise of Accountable Care Organizations, offers a look at the standing and role of ACOs in Arizona. Lead author, Palmer Evans, MD interviewed ACO leaders throughout the state for…

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New OCR Guidance On Ransomware Puts Pressure On Providers

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has recently release new HIPAA guidance on the risks of being victimized by file-encrypting malware. Under the new guidelines if any healthcare organization’s computers are infected with ransomware…

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CMS Issues New Physician Fee Schedule

In early July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that updates payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017.…

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HHS Announces New Actions To Combat Opioid Epidemic

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced several new actions the department is taking to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The actions include expanding access to buprenorphine, a medication to treat opioid use disorder, a proposal…

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New CDC Flu Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. CDC continues to recommend annual flu vaccination, with…

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PCHD Releases Updated Zika Guidance

The Pima County Health Department has released the following guidance to answer questions about identifying and testing for Zika. This information is intended to inform the way providers in Pima County consider Zika virus infection as a  diagnosis for their…

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VA Proposes Scope Of Practice Expansion For Nurses

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released its proposed rule regarding Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.  It grants independent practice to all APRNs in the VA health system, including nurse anesthetists. While nurse practitioners (NPs) and certified nurse midwives (CNM) can…

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