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Medical Muse: July 2018 Issue

Medical Muse


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Why Every Practice Needs More APPs


Research from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) found that medical practices with more APP support experience higher revenue and productivity.


Primary-care practices with at least 0.41 APPs per physician earned $100,748 more in revenue, and multispeciality practices were more productive and earned 160% more in total revenue when they had more APPs per physician.


This data indicates that every practice, whether it be primary-care or specialty, can benefit from a greater APP presence.


How to Qualify Pain for Better Patient Care


Measuring pain has been an ongoing struggle for the medical community, the reason being that most patients don’t know how to accurately evaluate their pain.


A new study from the University of Rochester asked patients to rate their pain on the standard 0 to 10 scale, as well as answer the question, “Is your pain tolerable?”


What the researchers found was that 75% of patients who rated their pain between 4 and 7 on the numeric scale, a moderate pain rating, also said that the pain was “tolerable,” meaning they did not require further pain treatment. The discrepancy in feedback has highlighted the dangers of quantifying pain.


Clinicians feel obligated to alleviate their patients’ pain, no matter how inaccurately self-assessed. This phenomenon can lead to excessive treatment and prescriptions.


That’s why providers need to look beyond the numeric scale and prompt patients to qualify their pain. For tips on how to do this, check out the full article.


How Hospitals Can Fight Human Trafficking


According to the FBI, human trafficking is the third-largest criminal activity in the world. Yet most cases go unreported.


However, because the industry is fraught with violence, many of its victims end up in the hospital. In fact, a 2014 study found that 88% of survivors had had contact with a healthcare provider while they were being trafficked, usually while receiving treatment in emergency departments.


As family physician Dr. Santhosh Paulus noted, “When trafficking victims come through the health care system but we don’t identify them, it’s a big missed opportunity.”


Many hospitals have started initiatives to better identify, treat and record trafficking victims using new diagnosis codes established by the American Hospital Association. These are crucial steps to helping a population that remains largely invisible to the public.