The information below was shared by Leigh Mayo, DO Engage contact for the American Osteopathic Association.


Opioids, physician pay, and health care cyber security, but first: a rundown of the biggest advocacy related events from AOA House of Delegates.

–Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt addressed the AOA House of Delegates, saying that CMS knows they’ve “lost the hearts and minds of physicians,” and arguing that MACRA’s simplified reporting and other changes will help win them back. While discussing the present and future state of the health care system, Slavitt noted that the osteopathic philosophy “while over a century old, feels very modern today.” Read the full text of Slavitt’s remarks.

–Michael Botticelli, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy, took part in an AOA Town Hall on the opioid epidemic noting that “DOs have an important role to play in ending this epidemic because they can offer alternative pain management options to their patients beyond opioid medications and prevent people from developing opioid use disorders.” The full video of Director Botticelli’s remarks and his responses to questions from DOs in the audience is available on the AOA Facebook page.

–AOA Advocacy Bank. At House of Delegates, your inquisitive DO Engage author conducted 4 hours and 28 minutes of interviews with DOs and OMS from around the country. The AOA is endeavoring to get DOs, OMS, and patients to deposit thousands of video testimonials telling personal stories about how public policy impacts physicians and patients – or any issue in health care you are passionate about. The personal stories deposited into the advocacy bank will be powerful messages that will be used to influence decision-makers when issues heat up. Start thinking about a story you want to share – in the coming weeks we will be opening up the Advocacy Bank for all members to make deposits.

This is the DO Engage for August 2, 2016. After a week off to attend and recover from the AOA House of Delegates in Chicago we’re back. Email me (lmayo@osteopathic.org) the harrowing stories of how you survived a week without the DO Engage, and don’t forget to follow the AOA on Facebook and Twitter @AOAforDOs.

–Opioid crisis is an election issue for candidates on both sides of the aisle. We’ve previously noted candidates running campaign ads related to the opioid epidemic. Addressing the opioid epidemic has become a bipartisan issue and was front and center at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. The Washington Post covered the issue at both conventions.

–Opioid crisis renews interest in OMT. While addressing DOs at the House of Delegates, Director Botticelli noted OMT as an effective non-opioid alternative to the treatment of chronic pain, and there is new interest in OMT in the wake of health officials asking doctors to write fewer opioid prescriptions. Modern Healthcare has the story.

–What science says to do if you your loved one has an opioid addiction disorder. Families are often given guidance that bears no resemblance to what the research evidence shows – and patients are commonly subjected to treatment that is known to do harm. To try to help sort fact from fiction, FiveThirtyEight put together an evidence-based guide about what the science of opioid addiction recommends for people trying to help a loved one suffering from addiction. Full article from FiveThirtyEight loaded with links to research about treating opioid use disorder.

–What physicians get paid. New compensation data shows that median annual compensation for specialty physicians continues to outpace that of family practice physicians and pediatricians, who earn $229,000 and $224,000, respectively. The specialties topping this year’s list are:

Orthopedic surgeons: $555,000
Invasive cardiologists: $541,000
Radiation oncologists: $500,000
Radiologists: $475,000

Analysis, more specialties, and six years’ worth of compensation data in the full story at Modern Healthcare.

–Health care organizations the target of 88% of all ransomware cyber-attacks. The reason? Health care has been a target for ransomware campaigns because the industry has often paid ransom to retrieve vital customer data quickly. Furthermore, health care organizations use an abundance of systems and devices that are crucial pivot points for an attacker. NTTSecurity offers a summary the reports key findings.

–Trivia Challenge. In the Harry Potter series of books, what potentially fatal contagious disease occurs in wizards and witches? The sixth correct emailer (lmayo@osteopathic.org) gets to submit the trivia question for the next DO Engage.

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