Easing Restriction on Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Oct 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration have recently been working together to increase access to medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT). The HHS and DEA are aware that doctors able to prescribe these medications are in short supply, which is one of the reasons they are looking to ease restrictions on MAT.

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Topics: Medical Law, Opioids, News

Federal CSR Case is a Win for ACA Insurers

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Sep 14, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Tuesday, September 4th marked a big moment for providers in the Affordable Care Act, when Montana Health Co-op was awarded a win in the ongoing battle between insurers and the government over cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs). The health cooperative, which serves about 50,000 members throughout Idaho and Montana, filed suit against the federal government in January, claiming it was owed approximately $5 million in CSRs for 2017. 

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Topics: Medical Law, News

What’s Your Number? New Blood Pressure Guidelines Impact Millions

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Aug 10, 2018 8:30:00 AM

On August 1st, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released updates to their guidelines for the prevention, detection, and management of high blood pressure. This is the first change to this guidance in 14 years and means that nearly half of all Americans, 46%, now classify as having high blood pressure.

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Topics: News

What’s Driving U.S. Healthcare Costs Higher?

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Jul 6, 2018 3:53:49 PM

In 2016, Americans spent an average of about $9,000 per person on healthcare. This figure is almost double what patients in comparable high-income countries such as Canada, Germany, Denmark and Japan spent on healthcare in the same period. According to the biennial study published by the the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP), the average cost for an MRI in the United States was $1,119 in 2015. This compares quite unfavorably with prices in other nations. The same MRI could be performed for $503 that year in Switzerland and only $215 in Australia. Having appendix removal surgery in America carried a price tag of almost $16,000, while in Switzerland one could have the same operation for only $6,040, and in Spain it was a mere $2,003.

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Topics: News

Health Organizations Concerned by Proposed Medicaid Changes

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Jun 8, 2018 9:06:00 AM

In March of 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that would exempt states with at least 85 percent of their Medicaid managed care population from most access-monitoring requirements for services provided through the traditional fee-for-service avenue.  This would immediately exempt at least 17 states from existing access monitoring requirements, and could also exempt another dozen states whose managed-care enrollment is close to the threshold. 

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Topics: Medical Law, News

HHS Secretary Azar Plans Sweeping Changes

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Jun 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

"The pen is mightier than the sword" is an age-old adage, coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would agree, and would go on to add that the pen is also mightier than Congress.

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Topics: News, Medical Law

Who Can Solve the Opioid Crisis?

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on May 11, 2018 1:52:47 PM

Opioids. The very word can strike fear into a medical practitioner’s heart nowadays. While they are certainly an effective tool for managing pain in the short term, the dangers of extended use are causing serious problems in our country, not only in the medical industry, but the fields of criminal justice, mental health, economics, even the arena of marriage and family is being negatively impacted by the epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction.

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Topics: News, Prevention, Opioids

3-D Printing: The Future is Now!

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on May 4, 2018 8:56:22 AM

A nine-month-old baby was born with a fatal heart defect in China. Suffering from a rare condition which was extremely difficult to repair, the doctors were concerned about performing the delicate surgery. The medical team decided to build a full-sized model of the infant’s heart with  a 3-D printer in order to pre-plan and practice the risky and complex surgery. Thanks in part to the accuracy the 3-D model enabled them to have, the doctors were successful and the little boy is expected to survive with few lasting effects.

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Topics: Member Meetings, News, Treatment

Science Breakthroughs: Cleaning Up the Nation’s Water

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Apr 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Water is a fundamental human need. From drinking to cooking to bathing, everyone must have water. But polluted water isn’t just dirty, it is deadly. Cholera. Botulism. Dysentery. These are just a few of the many diseases that can be transmitted by water. Some 1.8 million people die every year of waterborne diarrheal diseases. Tens of millions of others around the world suffer serious illnesses from an array of water-related ailments, many of which are easily preventable.

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Topics: News, Prevention

Florida's New Law on Controlled Substance Prescribing

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Apr 13, 2018 2:16:20 PM

HB 21, signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on March 19, 2018, imposes a number of legal requirements on health care practitioners who prescribe controlled substances, particularly opioids.  This new law encompasses 205 pages and imposes new obligations on practitioners that carry penalties for noncompliance. The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of the provisions of HB 21, and provide practitioners with the information they need to comply with the new law.  Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of this law go into effect on July 1, 2018.

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Topics: News, Continuing Medical Education

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