February 2009

The Teleosis Institutes Green Pharmacy Program logo shown helps pharmacies set up systems to collect patients unused medications and have the drugs incinerated as medical waste

Dumping drugs puts traces of meds in taps

How can you keep the contents of one patient's medicine cabinet from getting into everyone's drinking water? Eventually, physicians could even be asked to pay attention to environmental impact when deciding which drugs to prescribe.

A silent syndrome with serious side effects

Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause infertility, diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome, and distressing physical symptoms like hirsutism and alopecia. Fortunately, once internists recognize the symptoms the condition can be managed effectively.

Rheumatologists consider cancer, cardiovascular disease

Conference coverage addressing highlights: TNF-antagonists don't increase cancer risk, Patients with RA have about the same risk of developing cardiovascular disease as type 2 diabetics, and an association between arthritis and periodontal disease.

Heart failure, statins take center stage at AHA conference

Heart failure, headphones, statins and self-care were just some of the research topics presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference.

Mistrust, costs, side effects keep patients from taking pills

Medication non-adherence is a big problem—much bigger than most physicians realize. The first step in getting patients to adhere is understanding the reasons why they don't.

Texas internist finds time for Joint Commission, marathons

An interview with Isabel V. Hoverman, MACP, and what motivated her to qualify for her first marathon at age 62.

The story continues … online

How do you talk to patients? Do you use e-mail or avoid it like spam? Do you use medical terms or lay language to talk to patients? Find out more about what your peers do on ACP Internist's blog.

Predicting heart disease with markers is risky undertaking

Genome-wide association studies have identified at least 22 new genetic markers for CHD risk. The current debate around the value of CRP for CHD risk assessment could be considered a warm-up for things to come.

Strength in numbers: building influence through coalitions

The American College of Physicians joins with government, quality groups and other medical societies to increase the volume of internal medicine's voice.

Getting back to basics: reform care at the doctor-patient level

President Barack Obama and Congress is a return to basics, a recognition that the relationship between patients and their primary care doctor is the basis of all good medical care. But reform will also require funding.

If you can't make the wait shorter, make the waiting room nicer

Patients' perceptions of waiting are key to their satisfaction, and therefore return and referral business. Making waiting rooms more like living rooms is one way to increase patient satisfaction and reduce frustration with delays.

Research reveals reasons underlying patient no-shows

It's the $19 million-dollar question: How do you get your patients to show up for their appointments? Easy-to-follow tips can increase practice revenue.

Follow the changes to Medicare coding edits for early 2009

CMS will publish some previously unreleased medically unlikely edits, which had made it nearly impossible for physicians to know whether the billed number of services resulted in denied charges without a specific reason.

All together now: Office teamwork

A cohesive and efficient team can make all the difference between a practice limping along and one that is willing to try new ideas and work flows.

Warnings issued for antiepileptics, bowel prep, efalizumab

A summary of approvals, recalls, warnings and alerts.

National Trends

Tracking the use of complementary and alternative medicines by age and condition.

Chapter Awardees

In recognition of their outstanding service, these exceptional individuals received chapter awards in November and December 2008.

Internists as Artists program entries

Entries for the ACP's national “Internists as Artistsâ€ï¿½ program at Internal Medicine 2009 are now being accepted. All entry application forms must be submitted by March 9.

In the News

Cardiology criteria, ICD benefit in the elderly, and other recent news.

Test Yourself: MKSAP Quiz

A 32-year-old man comes to the office after being told at a health fair screening that he had blood in his urine.