News in Brief: Week of Jan. 19-23

January 23, 2015 09:18 am News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

[News in Brief]

Review Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome Educational Resources

In response to a request by American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) members for intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) educational resources to provide to physicians who are prescribing alpha blockers, the ASCRS has created an IFIS Teaching Resources Web page.(

In addition to relevant resources for patients and prescribing physicians, visitors to the site will also find published peer-reviewed papers and videos that can be used for presentations.

Smokers, Obese Patients Have Higher Health Care Costs

People who smoke and those who are obese amass higher annual health care bills than nonsmoking, non-obese individuals, according to study( recently published in the journal Public Health.

"Health care costs associated with obesity and smoking are substantial, about $1,360 and $1,046 per person per year, respectively," said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An, who conducted the analysis, in a news release.(

The group analyzed individual data from 125,955 participants in 1996-2010 National Health Interview Surveys who also participated in the 1998-2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys.

Notably, health care expenses associated with obesity and smoking were considerably higher among women, non-Hispanic whites and older adults compared with their male, racial/ethnic minority and younger counterparts.

New Resource Helps Physicians Discuss Weight With Patients

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians has released an updated version of its Obesity Algorithm( to help health care providers navigate discussions about weight with obese patients.

The free resource has undergone significant revisions for 2015 to include more evidence-based information about medical obesity treatment, including explanations of different medical approaches to treating obese patients, such as motivational interviewing.

"For physicians who have patients affected by obesity but don't necessarily know what to recommend, the algorithm is a great resource covering all phases of treatment, from the initial conversation to lifelong maintenance," said Jennifer Seger, M.D., an obesity medicine physician at the Bariatric Medical Institute of Texas, in a news release.(

AAMC Issues Call for Abstracts on Integrating Quality

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has issued a call for abstracts( for its seventh annual "Integrating Quality" meeting scheduled for June 11-12 in Chicago.

The AAMC meeting targets leaders in clinical education, academic medical center faculty and students, as well as health care organizations, teaching hospitals and other entities working to implement programs that improve health care quality, value and patient safety.

Proposals( for presentations, interactive workshops and posters should focus on one of five topic areas:

  • improving value through clinical transformation and implementation science;
  • innovations in medical education and health professions training on quality, value and patient safety;
  • research and scholarship in quality, value and patient safety;
  • team-based and interprofessional approaches to quality, value and patient safety; and
  • national health care quality metrics and data.

Interested parties should submit their proposals( by midnight EST on Jan. 30. First-time users of the submission system will need to create an account.