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Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain: Case Studies and Best Practices

October 14, 2022

In 2020 (the latest year for which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data are available), 68,630 Americans died of opioid-involved overdose—a 37.6 percent increase over 2019*, and the largest yearly increase in opioid-involved overdose deaths in two decades.1 A total of 16,416 (23.9 percent) of those deaths involved prescription opioids.1 Approximately 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them,2 and between 8 and 12 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain will develop an opioid use disorder (OUD).2 It’s no surprise, then, that overdose death involving opioids is referred to as “a public health emergency”3 and an epidemic.4

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Filed under: Pain Management, Best Practices, Practice Manager, Physician, Opioids, Patient Care, Medication Management, Claims Rx

Avoid Ambiguity in Pathology Reports to Improve Communication

March 26, 2021

A pathologist’s main objectives in writing a pathology report are to communicate the diagnosis and create a permanent record.1 The entire purpose of specimen procurement and pathology consultation may be defeated if the pathology report is inaccurate, incomplete, difficult to read, or difficult to understand.2

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Filed under: Best Practices, Patient Care

Parental Concerns with Adolescent Vaccines

June 25, 2020

While the number of people getting vaccinations for their children is relatively stable,1 some parents and guardians are hesitant about or refuse vaccines, or they want to depart from the recommended schedule. Researchers have identified seven primary reasons for this:2,3,4

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Filed under: Best Practices, Patient Care

Consent for Treatment of an Adolescent: When Divorced Parents Disagree

June 25, 2020

Complicated family dynamics are often on full display in family practice and pediatric offices. Situations involving divorced or separated parents who disagree about their child’s treatment are a typical reason that insured physicians contact the NORCAL Risk Management department for advice. Sometimes the issue is about access to medical records. And, on occasion, a clinical problem is not at the forefront, but the parents are involving their children’s physicians in the family’s difficulties.

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Filed under: Best Practices, Patient Care

Adolescent Health Information Privacy

June 25, 2020

Adolescent privacy laws vary in significant ways from state to state and may conflict with federal laws.1 In addition to minor consent laws, clinicians treating adolescent patients should be familiar with state and federal medical information privacy laws as they relate to adolescent healthcare and should develop clear policies and protocols for appropriately protecting this confidential information.

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Filed under: Best Practices, Patient Care
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