June 12

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IN THIS ISSUE / June 12, 2019


A new way to treat warts? Heat may be the answer.
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According to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, an exothermic, epicutaneous heat patch may produce a systemic response leading to the resolution of warts. The heat is believed to alter the immune system response and eliminate human papillomavirus in wart tissue.

Study participants had two warts — one of which was the target and received the heat patch, and an untreated control. The heat patch was placed in a vacuum-sealed pouch and contained a mixture of chemicals including ferric chloride, which reacts with atmospheric oxygen to generate rapid exothermic warming of the skin. Participants applied the heat patch for a minimum of two hours daily for three months. By week 12, nearly 43% of target warts decreased in size by more than 50%, and 29% achieved complete clearance prior to the control warts.

Researchers did note that "the clearance of the untreated warts and the target warts followed a parallel course in the majority of cases." However, age was significantly variable whereas younger participants responded better than older  participants.

Learn about popular at-home remedies used to treat warts in Dermatology World.

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DW Insights and Inquiries: Taking the challenge: Social media, adolescents, and the skin

yan-dww-95px.jpgPatterned skin injury can raise the specter of non-accidental trauma. However, over the past decade or so, striking examples of patterned skin injury have emerged among adolescents and pre-teens that share certain features. These are self-induced voluntarily, the act or the resulting skin findings are then recorded in photographs or videos, and then promulgated via social media platforms, providing secondary gain and notoriety to those who perform these behaviors.

Popularly referred to as “challenges,” these social media skin phenomena have been referred to as the “eraser challenge,” the “salt-ice challenge,” the “deodorant challenge,” and the “fire challenge.” Unfortunately, these challenges are not entirely without complications, as reports of secondary infections and scarring have been reported not infrequently. Keep reading!


 

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Dollars and cents: What’s the cost of physician burnout?

Burnout is now an official medical diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, reports CNN. Increased physician burnout is associated with negative clinical and organizational outcomes, however, its economic costs are not well understood. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a mathematical model estimated that approximately $4.6 billion in costs related to physician turnover and reduced clinical hours is attributed to burnout each year in the United States. The annual economic cost associated with burnout related to turnover and reduced clinical hours is approximately $7,600 per employed physician each year.

The study authors conclude that since previous evidence shows burnout can be effectively reduced with moderate investment, there is a substantial economic value for policy and organizational expenditures to create burnout reduction programs for physicians.

Feeling burned out? Assess your stress and access a variety of resources to help combat burnout in the AADA’s Practice Management Center.

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CMS seeks input on reducing administrative, regulatory burdens

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas from the public on ways to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens, and to increase focus on patient-centered care, innovation, and outcomes. This RFI is part of the agency’s Patients over Paperwork initiative, which has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the “red tape” that weighs down the health care system and prevents physicians from focusing on patient care. As of January 2019, CMS estimates that through regulatory reform alone, the health care system will save an estimated 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through 2021.

CMS is seeking innovative ideas to relieve burdens and improve the following:

  • Prior authorization procedures
  • Reporting and documentation requirements
  • Coding and documentation requirements for Medicare or Medicaid payment
  • Policies and requirements for rural providers, clinicians, and beneficiaries
  • Policies and requirements for dual eligible beneficiaries
  • Beneficiary enrollment and eligibility determination
  • Procedures for issuing regulations and policies.

The RFI on Reducing Administrative Burden to Put Patients over Paperwork can be accessed in the Federal Register. Comments must be submitted by Aug. 12, 2019.

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