Physician Practice Roundup—FDA warns of reports of seizures with e-cigarettes

Doctor computer medical records
Doctors react to a Twitter account that parodies their frustration over electronic health records. (Getty/BrianAJackson)

FDA warns of reports of seizures with e-cigarettes

Doctors and other healthcare providers should be aware that seizures may be associated with e-cigarette use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Wednesday.

The agency said it is investigating 35 reports, with cases going back to 2010, of seizures among e-cigarette users, mainly in youth or young adults.

In a statement, FDA officials said it is not known yet whether there’s a direct relationship between vaping and risk of seizure, but they wanted to alert the public about the possible safety concern. (FDA alert, statement)

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Doctors vent EHR frustration through humor via Twitter parody

Sometimes when faced with frustration over something over which one has little or no control, the only thing to do is laugh. That’s the case for thousands of doctors who have taken out their frustration with electronic health records via a Twitter parody, according to CommonHealth.

It began when a doctor tweeted in early March, “I once saw a doctor make eye contact with a patient. This horror must stop.” Who knew his Twitter account @EPICEMRparody would attract more than 1,500 followers in its first day or so. Now, it’s up to more than 13,000 followers.

Tongue in cheek, the account description says, “My goal is to create confusion for doctors. I will not rest until doctors do nothing but click buttons. Eye contact is evil.” Doctors have tweeted their many (and often funny) reactions. (CommonHealth article)

Ohio, Montana attorneys general join industry groups in urging appeals court to uphold ACA

Following the Trump administration’s support last week of a judge’s ruling invalidating the Affordable Care Act, healthcare organizations—and two Republican attorneys general—are calling on the courts to protect the law. 

In a brief (PDF) filed Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Montana Attorney General Timothy Fox argue that the ACA's individual mandate, which was repealed by Congress, can be removed from the law without rendering the other provisions unconstitutional. 

The American Medical Association alongside a number of other physician groups echoed (PDF) others’ concerns, saying that the majority of reforms in the ACA—especially those directly impacting doctors—are unrelated to the individual mandate. (FierceHealthcare)

Experts on Capitol Hill: Solution to surprise billing should fall to hospitals, insurers—not patients

Calling surprise billing a clear example of a "market failure," a collection of experts testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday told lawmakers to focus on solutions that would address the role of health providers and insurers—not further burden patients.

“The key is to avoid placing the onus on the consumer to protest a surprise bill," testified Jack Hoadley, a research professor emeritus at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute to a House Committee on Education and Labor subcommittee.

He was laying out a number of examples of how states have tried to address surprise, or balance, billing where hospitals or providers charge patients the difference between what the hospital and the insurer think their care was worth for out-of-network patients. (FierceHealthcare)

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