May 16, 2017



House Narrowly Passes
Bill to Repeal ACA

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Orthopaedic Surgeon Testifies on Lower Extremity Care for Veterans

State Corner: June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

FDA Hearing on Training and Use of Opioids

CMS Releases Lookup Tool to Help Clinicians Determine their MIPS Participation Status

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Medicare Pre-Payment Audit Reviews of CPT Code 99214, Office or Other Outpatient Visit for Established Patient in
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FDA Hearing on Training and Use of Opioids

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a two-day workshop on Training Health Care Providers on Pain Management and Use of Opioids on May 9-10. The workshop provided an opportunity for various professional associations, government officials, and other interested parties to debate and discuss opioid prescription guidelines, along with possible models for delivering pain management education.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the Director for the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), opened the workshop by acknowledging that medically opioids will continue to be the mainstay for many prescriber situations, so awareness and education on pain management issues is critical. Claudia Manzo, Director of CDER’s Office of Medication Error Prevention and Risk Management, later explained that the FDA is updating its Blueprint for Prescriber Education for Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics and welcomes public feedback during that process.

Providing a private sector perspective, Dr. Carol Havens, the Director of Physician Education and Development, for The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), explained how TPMG has handled the issue of opioid management within their system. Specific to orthopaedics, Dr. Havens explained that their recommendations for orthopaedics include to pursue pre-op tapering opportunities; to provide no post-op ER/LA opioids; to require a max of two weeks’ prescription post-op, and to develop recommendations for specific prescription dosage use based on the procedure.

A panel of various representatives of medical professional associations later debated the merits of mandatory versus voluntary opioid and pain management education for prescribers. While the panel was supportive of the idea of education in general, panelists were divided over the value of mandatory education versus the matter of how to incentivize prescribers to participate in voluntary education.