Physician Practice Roundup—Clinicians should screen women for partner violence

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends clinicians screen women of reproductive age for domestic or dating violence. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Clinicians should screen women for partner violence

An expert task force has recommended that clinicians screen all women of reproductive age for intimate partner violence.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said clinicians should screen for domestic or dating violence, which it says is a major problem in the United States that is often undetected. Such violence can be physical, sexual or psychological, such as stalking, and has potentially serious health effects including injury, mental illness, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy and death, the task force said.

The task force said in its recommendation published in JAMA that clinicians should refer women who screen positive for support services. (JAMA article)

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Lawmakers press CMS on shorter glide path, less risk-sharing for ACOs

Nine legislators from both sides of the aisle are asking the Trump administration to reconsider changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

In a letter (PDF) to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on Tuesday, nine representatives raised concerns about shortening the amount of time accountable care organizations can stay in a one-sided risk model and cutting the shared savings rate from 50% to 25%.

The lawmakers said it is "imperative that MSSP ACO participation remains a workable option” to move forward with alternative payments. (FierceHealthPayer)

FDA approves first flu treatment in nearly 20 years

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action in nearly 20 years, it was announced Wednesday. 

The drug Xofluza was approved for patients 12 and older who have had symptoms for no more than 48 hours. 

“With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., in a statement. (Release

Muscle mass should be a new vital sign, study says

Just as clinicians check patients’ vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature, they should be checking muscle mass as a key factor in evaluating health status, especially if a person is living with a chronic disease, according to a new study.

The review, published in Annals of Medicine, said people with less muscle had more surgical and post-operative complications, longer hospital stays, lower physical function, poorer quality of life and overall greater risk of survival. "Muscle mass should be looked at as a new vital sign," said Carla Prado, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Alberta and principal author of the paper. (Annals of Medicine study)

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