Specialty Focus   
Volume VI | Issue 46                                                                           
Nov. 14, 2017  
        Practice specific news, analysis and commentary 
      for Florida's Medical Specialists
                            From the publisher of FHIweekly & FloridaHealthIndustry.com

Aaron Hernandez suffered from worst CTE seen in someone his age
Nadia Kounang, CNN

For the first time since announcing former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's CTE diagnosis in September, Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee shared the findings from Hernandez's brain autopsy on Thursday. McKee and her team have examined more than 100 former NFL players' brains for the neurodegenerative disease, formally named chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and found Hernandez's case to be significant. "This is the first case that we've seen that kind of damage in such a young individual," she said, adding that the type of brain damage observed is usually seen in someone 20 years older.
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Improving cancer immunotherapy by harnessing new technology
Arlene Weintraub  FierceBiotech
Checkpoint-inhibiting drugs like Genentech's Tecentriq and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy have transformed the treatment of some cancers by removing barriers that in the past would prevent patients' immune systems from attacking and killing tumor cells. But these drugs don't work for some patients, and for others they cause dangerous autoimmune responses. That's why researchers around the world have been searching for ways to improve checkpoint inhibition. Two ideas for doing just that were proposed this week.


Why Curbside Consults are Dangerous
MD Whistleblower

One of the skills and stresses about being a doctor is giving advice to or about patients we have never seen. If readers Whistle think these are rare events, it happens nearly every day.  Often during weekend or evening hours when I am on call, my partners' patients will call with questions on their condition or about their medications. Radiology departments contact me during off hours with abnormal CAT scan results of patients I do not know. Or, a doctor may call me during the day for some informal advice about one of his patients. These physician-to-physician inquiries are called 'curbside consults', which are appropriate for simple questions that do not require a formal face-to-face consultations.

Physicians must be cautious when providing a curbside opinion on a patient he has not seen as even informal advice could result in legal exposure if the patient later files a medical malpractice claim. Consider this hypothetical example...
HHS Offers New HIPAA Guidance in Light of Opioid Crisis
Vitale Health Law

Shortly after President Donald Trump declared a nationwide public health emergency to combat the opioid HIPAA crisis, the HHS Office for Civil Rights released new guidance on when and how healthcare providers can share a patient's health information when that patient may be in crisis and incapacitated, such as during an opioid overdose. HIPAA regulations already allow health professionals to share health information with a patient's loved ones in emergency or dangerous situations. However, sometimes there is confusion among healthcare professionals as to when such information can be shared, which HHS noted might hamper proper care.