News in Brief: Week of Feb. 6-10

February 08, 2012 06:05 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

CPCI Webinar Now Available in Archived Version

Physicians who missed a free Feb. 1 webinar on the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI) presented by the AAFP and TransforMED now can watch an archived version of the event.

Download slides
presented during the live webinar, and access an article published in the January/February Family Practice Management titled "The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative: What You Need to Know." (This content is available only to members/paid subscribers.)

CPCI is a CMS-led multipayer initiative that will pay participating comprehensive primary care practices based on a blended payment model. The initiative will launch later this year in several yet-to-be-determined markets around the country.

Physicians who have further questions about the CPCI after watching the webinar are encouraged to pose those queries via the "Ask the Experts" area of Delta-Exchange.

This TransforMED networking resource now is available free to all AAFP members.

GE Healthcare Discontinues 'Centricity Advance' EHR System

GE Healthcare recently announced it was discontinuing its web-based Centricity Advance electronic health record (EHR) system. In a statement( posted on its website, the company said the move was the result of a consolidation of the EHR products it offers to small and medium-sized practices.

According to the statement, GE Healthcare is offering customers the opportunity to transition to another product. Physicians who are affected by the announcement can direct questions to the company by phone at (888) 436-8491 or by e-mail.

Packaging Problems Continue to Plague Novartis Facility

Packaging problems at Novartis Consumer Health's Lincoln, Neb., manufacturing site continue to mount. Pedinol Pharmacal Inc. recently notified( health care professionals and patients about a potential problem with a ringworm medication manufactured and packaged at the Novartis plant.

The company said its griseofulvin ultramicrosize 125 mg and 250 mg tablets may have gotten mixed up with other products during packaging and labeling, which could result in a stray pill of one medicine ending up in the bottle of another product.

The FDA is advising health care professionals, pharmacists and patients to examine the tablets in their possession to ensure that all tablets are the same. Pedinol is providing steps to identify affected products at its website(

Contaminated Prep Pads Spur Recall Follow-up

North American Rescue LLC is recalling its NAR Surgical Crichothyroidotomy Kit because of potential Elizabethkingia meningoseptica contamination of the povidone iodine prep pads contained within the kit.

The recall is a follow-up to one initiated on May 5, 2011. The company said in a press release( that it has successfully contacted 97 percent of its customers and "requests all recipients who have further distributed these devices to forward this communication to their customers to facilitate the removal of all affected product."

North American Rescue also reported that the affected component may be found inside its larger NAR Medic Trauma Pack Kits, which have been discontinued. Affected lot numbers are available on the company's website(

Study Sheds Light on Physician Communication With Patients

More than 55 percent of the nation's physicians say they tend to describe a patient's prognosis in more positive ways than may be warranted by the actual medical evidence because of concerns that a patient may become upset or discouraged. That was one of the key findings of a study( (abstract) in the February Health Affairs conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School.

According to the study, which is based on surveys from 1,891 physicians nationwide, physicians say they do this because of concerns that patients may become too upset or lose hope, despite studies that show patients want the truth, even if the prognosis is dire.

The threat of malpractice also plays a role in physician communication with patients, the study found. Nearly 20 percent of physicians said they failed to fully disclose an error to a patient during the previous year because of fears that a full admission would prompt a malpractice suit.

CMS Says Delayed Demo Projects Scheduled for June Startup

CMS recently announced that two demonstration projects initially scheduled to start on Jan. 1 now are expected to start on or after June 1.

The two CMS projects -- the Prior Authorization of Power Mobility Devices Demonstration and the Recovery Audit Prepayment Review Demonstration -- are aimed at eliminating fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicare program.

In a notice( posted on its website, CMS indicated that it had significantly revised rules on the prior authorization of power mobility devices project after weighing concerns put forth by health care professionals and medical suppliers.