FHIcommunications logo
Inform | Connect | Engage
Nov. 1, 2018
Volume IX  |  Issue 44   
Psychedelic Advocate Nears Goal of Legal Ecstasy
Matthew Perrone
AP via Health News Florida

A psychedelic advocacy group has brought MDMA - the illegal party drug also known as ecstasy - to the brink of medical legitimacy after 32 years of trying. The Food and Drug Administration has labeled the drug a potential "breakthrough" for post-traumatic stress disorder and cleared late-stage studies of up to 300 patients that will begin screening this month. If successful, MDMA would become the first illegal psychedelic drug, now in the same restrictive category as heroin and cocaine, to win approval as a prescription medicine.

2018 could shape up to be the 'year of telemedicine'
Eli Richman
Fierce Healthcare
New telehealth gadgets and applications are popping up every day, but physicians are usually still left with the same old questions about them: Do they work? Will I get sued? And can I get paid? The answers to those questions may be coming as soon as Thursday in the form of a new physician payment schedule, according to a panel by the Internet Innovation Alliance. And if it answers the outlying questions satisfactorily, panelists said 2018 could become the year when telemedicine moves into the mainstream.
"This has been an incredible year for digital medicine," said Sylvia Trujillo, Senior Washington Counsel at the American Medical Association, during the panel. "It will likely go down in the books as the turning point for digital transformations, in my opinion."
EMTALA: What On-call Physicians Need to Know
Karen Civali | Mutual Matters
In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay. Section 1867 of the Social Security Act imposes specific obligations on Medicare-participating hospitals that offer emergency services to provide a medical screening examination (MSE) when a request is made for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor, regardless of an individual's ability to pay. Hospitals are required to provide stabilizing treatment for patients with EMCs. If a hospital is unable to stabilize a patient within its capability, or if the patient requests, an appropriate transfer should be implemented.
Within the EMTALA statute, there are provisions that apply directly to physicians, such as physicians who are "on-call" for a hospital. These include physicians who refer patients to the hospital and should therefore be familiar with and understand their responsibilities when contacted regarding an emergency department (ED) patient, referral or for outpatient care follow up.
_______ ______

 Pricey Precision Medicine Often Financially Toxic for Cancer Patients
Medical treatments targeting the DNA in tumor cells are celebrated, but insurers often won't cover the skyrocketing cost.
Liz Szabo

The high cost of cutting-edge tests and treatments is threatening to keep precision medicine - one of the most celebrated areas in cancer research - out of reach for many patients. Patients who pay for these new treatments on their own "could be in debt for decades," said Dr. Scott Ramsey, director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Seattle. Already cancer care is hugely expensive. A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found that 42 percent of patients depleted 100 percent of their assets - an average loss of $92,000 - within two years of diagnosis. Precision medicine involves running expensive tests called genomic sequencing, which scan the DNA of tumors to find mutations that might be susceptible to available drugs. Although the field is relatively new, hundreds of thousands of cancer patients have had their tumors sequenced to identify cancer-related mutations, according to testing companies.

Inform  Connect  Engage