Physician Practice Roundup—More than half of new osteopathic doctors choose primary care

More than half of new osteopathic doctors choose primary care

In the final American Osteopathic Association (AOA) match, 56% of new osteopathic physicians were placed into primary care residencies.

More than 500 new DOs participating in the match chose residencies in family or internal medicine, according to the AOA. A total of 886 osteopathic medical school seniors and recent graduates received placements in 21 specialties. Orthopedic surgery was the number one specialty choice.

This year marked the last AOA match as the organization and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education winds down the fourth year of a five-year transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education. (AOA announcement)

Commission says $3B investment needed to avoid healthcare worker shortage in California

Solving the looming doctor and healthcare worker shortage will require a $3 billion investment over the next 10 years, according to a final report (PDF) from the California Future Health Workforce Commission.

The commission recommended a series of steps including maximizing the role of nurse practitioners by giving them greater practice autonomy, increasing opportunities to study medicine and expanding physician training programs. The commission said the state must expand the number of primary care physician and psychiatry residency positions to avoid shortfalls. (Commission report—PDF)

Study finds rise in obesity-related cancers among young adults in U.S.

Researchers reported a significant increase for six of 12 obesity-related cancers in young adults in the U.S.

The study, published in Lancet Public Health, found an increase in the incidence of multiple myeloma, colorectal, uterine, gallbladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer in young adults age 25 to 49, with steeper rises in successively younger generations. (Lancet Public Health study)

FDA warns about recalled warfarin test strips

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning patients and doctors who use at-home or in-office medical devices to monitor levels of the blood thinner warfarin that certain test strips may provide inaccurate results.

The agency said doctors and other healthcare professionals should not rely upon the results to adjust drug dosages. Medical product distributor Terrific Care/Medex Supply LLC issued a voluntary recall of certain Roche Diagnostics test strip lots used with CoaguChek test meter devices. The FDA classified the action as a class I recall, the most serious type, which means use of the devices may cause serious injury or death. Roche previously recalled more than 1.1 million packages of the test strips. (FDA warning)

Healthcare groups urge ONC to focus on interoperability, usability to reduce EHR burdens

Healthcare and health IT industry groups are urging the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to put a greater focus on usability and creating a better alignment of workflow and documentation requirements in their responses to a federal draft strategy on reducing the regulatory burden on clinicians caused by technology.

EHR burdens have been a near-constant complaint from physicians that see the technology as an impediment to their relationship with patients. Numerous studies have documented that EHR tasks take up a large part of a doctor’s workday.

In late November, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its 74-page draft strategy, which was developed by ONC in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The strategy, required under the 21st Century Cures Act, details three overarching goals to reduce clinician burden revolving around entering information into EHRs, meeting regulatory requirements and improving EHR ease of use.

Industry groups also encouraged HHS to look at leveraging newer technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to reduce clinician burden around documenting in the EHR and meeting regulatory reporting requirements. (FierceHealthcare)