Home E-Weekly March 13, 2018

News & Notes

Published: March 13, 2018

  • Website predicts spine surgery success A new online tool developed by surgeons in Washington State calculates the likelihood that spinal fusion surgery will alleviate a patient's back pain. Providers plug in the patient's characteristics, diagnosis, current pain level and current function for the estimated odds of post-op success. The calculations are based on the records of 1,965 adults seen in 15 Washington hospitals who were candidates for lumbar spine surgery.
  • Surgery center owner arrested for role in $8 million fraud scheme Babar Iqbal, MD, head of the Riverside (Calif.) Regional Surgery Center, came under investigation when 22 employees from a single shell organization had surgeries performed at his facility within 5 weeks of getting a health insurance policy. Dr. Iqbal, along with 3 other accomplices, were arrested last Thursday on 33 counts including conspiracy, health care fraud, grand theft, money laundering, tax evasion and identity theft.
  • Air travel increases risk of VTE after knee or hip arthroplasty A correlation between flying following hip or knee arthroplasty and an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) has been suggested by new research. The study tracked patients at a Scottish hospital, comparing 243 who flew around 6 days after arthroplasty with 5,498 who did not. The findings: 1.64% of the patients in the flight group compared to 0.58% in the control group suffered from a VTE. This study is the first to suggest a link; earlier studies failed to find any increased risk.
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