Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
CME: How to assess, treat pain in older adults
A newly updated continuing medical education (CME) program from the AMA can help physicians strike an appropriate balance between managing patients' chronic pain and preventing abuse and overdose of prescription painkillers.
This updated series is a comprehensive educational program comprised of 12 modules that address numerous clinically important aspects of pain management, from assessment to structuring therapy and managing risks.
The fifth module in the series discusses how physicians can assess and treat pain in seniors, the patients who are most at risk of inadequate pain treatment. This module will equip physicians to do the following:
- Recognize age-related physiologic changes in older adults, and how age-related changes affect pain management.
- Identify key points that are unique to assessment and pain management in older adults.
- Understand specific pharmacologic strategies (including opioids, non-opioids and adjuvant agents) and nonpharmacologic strategies (including exercise and cognitive-behavioral therapies) for managing pain in older patients.
Physicians can complete the entire 12-part program or select individual modules that address the specific needs of their practices and patients. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
The program update was made possible by support from the Prescribers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O), a collaborative project funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
The PCSS-O is led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and includes the AMA, the American Dental Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Society for Pain Management Nursing and the International Nurses Society on Addictions.
Medicare performance reports to be available Sept. 16
Physicians in larger medical groups will be able to view their confidential performance feedback reports from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) beginning Monday.
The Quality and Resource Use Reports, which will be available for physicians in groups of 25 or more doctors and other practitioners who are eligible to participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), have been prepared based on data from 2012 Medicare claims and the PQRS. Based on recommendations from an AMA-led work group of state and specialty medical societies, this year's reports will allow physicians to drill down to information about individual patients who have been attributed to the medical group.
Carefully reviewing the reports is crucial because they will serve as the basis for the value-based modifier that will adjust Medicare payments to physicians. Physicians in large groups could see changes to their payments beginning in 2015 based on 2013 claims data. The value-based modifier will be applied to all physicians beginning in 2017.
Physician groups should create an account for the PV/PQRS registration system, using the link toward the bottom of the CMS registration Web page, to view their reports. A CMS call at 3 p.m. Eastern time Sept. 24 will provide an overview of the reports and explain how to interpret and use the data. Sign up now to participate.
View the AMA's letter to CMS on the 2014 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule rule to read comments about the value-based modifier.