Physician Practice Roundup—Spanking is harmful to kids, pediatrician group says

A pediatrician and his patient
Doctors need to educate parents about positive and effective strategies to discipline their children at each stage of development. (Getty/shironosov)

Spanking is harmful to kids, pediatrician group says

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday took its strongest stand yet against spanking children.

In an updated policy statement on corporal punishment that was published in Pediatrics, the pediatricians’ group said new evidence suggests spanking children may cause harm to the child by affecting normal brain development. Spanking as a disciplinary tool increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control, the group said, adding that other methods of discipline teach children right from wrong and are safer and more effective. Those approaches include positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, setting limits, redirecting and setting future expectations.

The AAP also said parents should avoid using verbal punishment such as shaming or humiliation, which is also harmful and ineffective. (Announcement)

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Atul Gawande takes an in-depth look at ‘why doctors hate their computers’

“Something’s gone terribly wrong,” writes surgeon Atul Gawande, describing why doctors hate their computers in a column in The New Yorker.

“Doctors are among the most technology-avid people in society; computerization has simplified tasks in many industries. Yet somehow we’ve reached a point where people in the medical profession actively, viscerally, volubly hate their computers,” writes Gawande, now CEO of the independent healthcare venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.

Gawande describes his own experiences using an electronic health record system, possible solutions and the need to ensure computers don’t get in the way of face-to-face connections with patients. (The New Yorker)

Doctors, medical professionals provide a ‘lesson in decency’

The doctors and nurses at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh provided a lesson in human decency following the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, writes columnist John Kass in the Chicago Tribune.

When the injured shooter arrived at the hospital, Jewish and non-Jewish doctors and nurses treated the man who murdered 11 people and was still spewing anti-Semitic slurs in the emergency room.

“America desperately needed to see decent people do the decent thing,” said Kass. Jeffrey Cohen, M.D., president of the hospital and a member of the synagogue, publicly praised the doctors and nurses who did their jobs and treated the shooter with care. (Chicago Tribune)

Coalition releases new guidelines for palliative care for all provider settings

Not enough patients are able to access palliative care at the end of their lives because there aren't enough providers offering it to meet their needs.

The National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care is releasing a new set of clinical guidelines (PDF) for providers offering care to seriously ill patients in any setting—including primary care offices, hospitals, specialty practices, behavioral health and long-term nursing care facilities—to expand its use. (FierceHealthcare)

American Hospital Association plans to sue CMS over final site-neutral payment rule

Another legal battle between the nation's largest hospital association and the Trump administration is imminent after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule to institute site-neutral payments for clinic visits.

CMS finalized its 2019 Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule (PDF) on Friday morning, which will gradually institute site-neutral payments in the Medicare program over the next two years.

In a press release, the agency said site-neutral payments for clinic visits will lower out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries and save the program as much as $380 million in 2019.

Hours after the rule was released, the American Hospital Association signaled its intent to challenge the new policy in court, arguing that the administration has overstepped its boundaries. (FierceHealthcare)

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