AMA Opposes Plan To Mandate Doctors Learn About Opioid Abuse Disorder
Stat notes the position of the American Medical Association against a new bill to mandate training on opioid use disorder seems uncomfortably at odds with other moves by the same body to boost treatment. Also: burnout in emergency staff, a doctors' alleged kickback scheme in Texas, and more.
AMA Fights Popular Bill Requiring Training Doctors About Opioid Use Disorder
The American Medical Association wants doctors to have more training on treating people with opioid use disorder. The group’s Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force has recommended it. The AMA website regularly lauds doctors who integrate addiction treatments into their practice. One past president even issued a nationwide “call to action” for doctors to get training on the topic. But the AMA is opposing an otherwise popular bipartisan bill that would mandate doctors be trained on treating people with opioid use disorder, according to a letter from the powerful lobbying organization obtained by STAT. (Florko, 5/31)
More news from the health care industry —
Emergency Medical Staff Report High Levels Of Burnout Amid COVID-19
Two-plus years into the pandemic, an online survey of emergency-medicine professionals in 89 countries reveals that 62% reported one or more symptoms of COVID-19–related burnout syndrome, and 31% reported two. In a study published today in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine, the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM) surveyed 1,925 emergency-medicine physicians (84%), nurses (12%), and paramedics (2%) in January and February 2022. (Van Beusekom, 5/27)
Six Texas Doctors Received More Than $1 Million In Kickback Scheme, DOJ Alleges
Six Texas doctors received more than $1 million in kickbacks for their referrals to two laboratories for diagnostic testing, the Department of Justice alleged in a civil complaint. True Health Diagnostics of Frisco and Boston Heart Diagnostics of Framingham, Mass. allegedly conspired with small Texas hospitals to pay physicians to make referrals to the two labs for tests, according to the complaint. The complaint named one hospital, Rockdale Hospital, which was located in Rockdale, a city in central Texas with a population of about 5,000 people. (Carballo, 5/27)
Cleveland Clinic Records Q1 Operating Loss As Labor Costs Rise, Admissions Lag
Cleveland Clinic reported a $104.5 million operating loss in the first quarter as labor expenses rose and inpatient admissions declined. The 20-hospital not-for-profit health system's revenue rose to $3.04 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from $2.81 billion in the prior-year period, when it posted $61.7 million in operating income. Cleveland Clinic's labor costs jumped 16.6% over that span while supply and pharmaceutical expenses rose 7.8% and 11.2%, respectively. The system recorded $212.5 million in investment losses in the first quarter, down from $243.2 million in investment income in the first quarter of last year. (Kacik, 5/27)
Bill Of The Month: Her First Colonoscopy Cost Her $0. Her Second Cost $2,185. Why?
Elizabeth Melville and her husband are gradually hiking all 48 mountain peaks that top 4,000 feet in New Hampshire. “I want to do everything I can to stay healthy so that I can be skiing and hiking into my 80s — hopefully even 90s!” said the 59-year-old part-time ski instructor who lives in the vacation town of Sunapee. So when her primary care doctor suggested she be screened for colorectal cancer in September, Melville dutifully prepped for her colonoscopy and went to New London Hospital’s outpatient department for the zero-cost procedure. (Andrews, 5/31)
In updates on the Theranos scandal —
Disgraced Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Asks Judge To Overturn Convictions
Convicted healthcare tech fraudster Elizabeth Holmes is asking a judge to overturn jurors’ decision, arguing that there was "insufficient" evidence for them to reach their "guilty" verdicts, according to recent court papers. Holmes, the 38-year-old founder and former CEO of Theranos, was convicted in January on three counts of wire fraud and one counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. But the jury’s decision should be thrown out because "the evidence is insufficient to sustain the convictions," Holmes’ attorneys argued in a motion on Friday. (Pagones, 5/30)