Physician Practice Roundup—Odds of dying of opioid overdose now greater than car crash

Addiction
Among accidental causes of death, opioid overdoses are most likely to kill Americans. (Getty/BackyardProduction)

Odds of dying of opioid overdose now greater than car crash

As further evidence of the toll resulting from the country’s opioid epidemic, Americans are now more likely to die from an accidental overdose than a motor vehicle crash, according to an analysis from the National Safety Council (NSC).

It’s the first time in U.S. history that a person is more to die from an overdose than a car crash, the council said in an announcement about its analysis of the causes of accidental deaths in 2017. The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, while the odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident are one in 103.

The third leading cause of accidental deaths is falling. While people may worry about dying in an airplane crash, it’s routine everyday activities such as taking medication, driving or getting out of bed that lead to the most fatal incidents, the council said. (Announcement)

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Physician is among most popular senators; Rand Paul to have surgery in Canada

When it comes to the physicians who serve in Congress, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso is near the top on the list of most popular senators, according to the latest edition of Morning Consult’s Senator Approval Rankings.

Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon who easily won re-election, had a 62% approval rating in the rankings based on surveys of more than 400,000 registered voters across the country. He was made chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in November.

And perhaps the most well-known physician serving in the Senate, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, will undergo surgery at a Canadian hospital where he’ll pay out of pocket for a hernia procedure, according to the Associated Press. Paul will undergo the outpatient surgery at the private Shouldice Hospital in Ontario, which the AP said touts itself as a world leader in non-mesh hernia repair. The surgery is related to a 2017 attack by a neighbor while Paul was doing yard work at his home in Kentucky. (Morning Consult, Associated Press)

Independent physicians anticipate revenue growth over next two years, survey finds

Independent U.S. doctors anticipate their practice revenue will grow over the next two years, but are worried about the political impact on the healthcare industry, a new survey found.

The data from TD Bank’s survey of 360 medical professionals in the medical, density, veterinary and optometry fields found nearly three-quarters expect revenue to increase. Women (81%) and practitioners under the age of 50 (89%) were most optimistic about increased revenues.

The survey found the top three obstacles to running a practice were overhead costs, growth/new patient acquisition, and private insurance reimbursement. Some 70% of respondents said they are concerned that a new Congress will make changes to the healthcare system. (Announcement)

Osteopathic medical schools graduate record number in 2018

Osteopathic medical schools in the U.S. graduated a record number of new physicians in 2018, according to the American Osteopathic Association’s Osteopathic Medical Profession Report.

The report, an annual snapshot of the profession’s growth and demographics, found there were more than 6,500 new osteopathic medical school graduates last year. One in four medical students in the U.S. choose to attend an osteopathic medical school.

The number of D.O.s climbed to 114,425, over 10% of the physicians in the U.S. If the trend continues, D.O.s are projected to represent more than 20% of practicing physicians by 2030. (AOA report)

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