March 2014

Illustration by David Cutler

Debate ignites over safety of e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes can open doors into the subject of quitting tobacco use. Although the devices lack any hard data to support their use, they can offer doctors a chance to explore with patients other options for smoking cessation.

Lung cancer screening guideline debated

New screening recommendations for low-dose CT for smokers will prove to be trickier to follow than most preventive care guidelines, experts say. Learn what issues to consider, where to refer patients, and how to deal with the results.

Consider GERD in patients with pulmonary diseases

Because not all presentations of lung diseases include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)'s more commonly recognized symptoms, such as heartburn and regurgitation, it is easy to miss GERD as a contributing factor. Internists should be on the lookout for “red flags” such as dysphagia or weight loss.

Make the most of time spent at Internal Medicine 2014

Learning is a progressive, contextual, social and active process. Time spent at ACP's Internal Medicine 2014 meeting is well spent.

Transparency needed for successful health care reform

Access to health care can collide with controlling costs. Balance, transparency and real choice will help not only the success of the Affordable Care Act, but Medicare Advantage and employer-based health plans.

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond on a variety of issues, and Richard J. Baron, MD, MACP, takes up the challenge on the need for Maintenance of Certification.

E-cigarettes are popular, but health effects are questionable

This issue includes stories centered on various aspects of pulmonology, as well as a glimpse at the upcoming Internal Medicine 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Answering questions about coding for ACA-mandated services

ACP's practice management staff answers questions about coverage of and coding for preventive services mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Practice Tips: Ancillary procedures are win-win-win

There are several ways to increase practice revenue, including patient volume, better collections, or better contract rates.

New drugs approved for type 2 diabetes and COPD

This regulatory update covers dapaglifozin (Farxiga) a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, to treat diabetes, and umeclidinium and vilanterol inhalation (Anoro Ellipta) for maintenance of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Lab oversight important even for waived testing

Waived tests for in-office procedures such as pregnancy or strep tests may be exempt from government oversight, but that doesn't mean they should be exempt from quality control.

Officers and Regents election results announced

The election of Officers and Regents has been completed. Terms become effective at the conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting at Internal Medicine 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Internal Medicine 2014: Orlando sun and Doctor's Dilemma® fun

The College's annual meeting returns to Florida, birthplace of the extremely popular Doctor's Dilemma##reg; competition.

MKSAP Quiz: 6-month history of dysphagia

A 50-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-month history of dysphagia. He describes a sensation of both solids and liquids sticking in the midesophageal area. This sensation has slowly worsened over time. He also describes intermittent midsternal discomfort that is nonexertional and is usually precipitated by swallowing food. He has lost 4.5 kg (10.0 lb). He has had no history of heartburn or acid regurgitation. Following a physical exam and barium swallow, what is the most appropriate management?.

Crossed Words: Finding alternatives

ACP Internist's puzzle feature challenges readers to find clues placed horizontally in rows to reveal an answer written vertically.