AAAASF Week in Review
Jul. 18, 2013

Self-referred biopsies cost taxpayers millions, GAO says
Kaiser Health News
Physicians who prepare and examine tissue samples within their own practices, or who use services in which they have a financial interest, report higher use of these services — which could be driving up costs to Medicare, according to the Government Accountability Office.More

Pilot program finds improving quality easier than lowering health care costs
WatchList News
The Wall Street Journal's report on the first year of the health law's pilot project, known as the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, showed mixed results. Quality of services improved, but only half the facilities in the program were able to lower costs.More

Video: 2-handed (no assistant) technique for glued IOL surgery
Priya Narang, MS, explains the two-handed procedure for glued IOL, which can be accomplished without an assistant, in this video from the Indian Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery meeting in Chennai, India.More

Doctors: Social media is boosting the cosmetic surgery industry
American Health & Beauty
Dr. Sam Speron, a Chicago-based cosmetic surgeon, says social media caused a 28 percent increase in cosmetic procedures in his practice during a four-month span.More

FDA allows quicker method for checking efficacy of device steam sterilization
Infection Control Today
The Food and Drug Administration is allowing marketing of the Verify Cronos Self Contained Biological Indicator, a new test that can help speed the determination of whether steam sterilization of reusable medical devices is effective.More

Phase 1 study of hypertrophic scar, keloid treatment called positive
RXi Pharmaceuticals recently announced positive phase 1 study results regarding its RXI-109 for treatment of abnormal dermal scars, including hypertrophic scars and keloids in conjunction with scar revision surgery.More

FDA panels form joint meeting to consider colorectal cancer screening
The FDA's Gastroenterology-Urology Panel and the Radiological Devices Panel will join forces later this year to consider colorectal cancer screening in asymptomatic patients.More

Telehealth's role in outpatient surgery
Outpatient Surgery
Assessing patients over the phone after outpatient procedures is just as safe and effective as traditional follow-up appointments, according to a study published online in JAMA Surgery.More

Physician assistants in rural America
Maria Frisch
There is a shortage of doctors in rural America, and this is not a new problem. In 1977, Congress enacted the Rural Health Clinics Act, which entitled physician assistants to receive reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid on a cost basis, thereby improving care access and reducing care costs in underserved areas. Since 2009, federally qualified rural clinics have received significant federal support, designed to improve access to cost-efficient care. More

CodeSmart™ begins ICD-10 transition pilot program for rural facilities
IT Business Net
CodeSmart Holdings Inc. is launching a new ICD-10 pilot program for rural healthcare facilities to extend a best practices and streamlined approach to transitioning to ICD-10.More

Virtual reality helps promote neuroplasticity
Advance for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine
A variety of treatment strategies are emerging in physical therapy literature with the intention of enhancing motor skill development through experience-dependent plasticity. Virtual reality is one of these treatment strategies.More

HIPAA final omnibus ruling: What does it mean?
Erica Cohen
Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about HIPAA, the Department of Health and Human Services issued its final omnibus ruling. Although the ruling went into effect March 26, the compliance deadline is not until Sept. 23. More

Increased interleukin-10 delays wound healing
A recent study indicates lymphatic drainage could help promote wound healing. In the presence of lymphedema, an overabundance of mast cells, which normally promote wound healing, may cause harm by leading to the overproduction of interleukin-10, preventing certain white blood cells from reaching the wound area.More

Facility-wide philosophy: Trust through accurate information, personal advice
Swiss Plastic Surgery
As a team of medical practitioners dedicated to achieving the best possible results, the surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists at Swiss Plastic Surgery in St. Gallen, Switzerland, believe in clear communication, personal attention and realistic goals. The AAAASF International-accredited facility offers reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery, along with a range of physiotherapy services, including lymphatic drainage. More

Palm surgery to fix fate: The latest craze
The New Zealand Herald
People who aren't happy with the fortune their palm predicts are opting to have it surgically altered in a bid to improve their future. The drastic surgery, on the rise in Japan, is performed with an electric scalpel, which burns the flesh and leaves a semi-permanent scar.More

Cosmetic surgery tourism: Time for regulation?
Patients today have a multitude of choices for overseas cosmetic surgery, with a range of destinations, agencies and clinics vying for the medical tourist's business. How can patients compare care?More