ACR COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance Recommends Vaccination, Addresses Immunosuppressant Drugs & Patient Concerns

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released its COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Summary that provides an official recommendation to vaccinate rheumatology patients with musculoskeletal, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Important considerations and caveats on how to approach vaccination are included for patients with high disease activity and/or those taking immunosuppressant treatments.

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Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Tuesday.

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IDSA, AAN, AND ACR RELEASE GUIDELINES FOR PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE

New evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease have been developed by a multidisciplinary panel led by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American College of Rheumatology. Representatives from an additional 12 medical specialties and patients also served on the panel.

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61 Healthcare Groups Urge Congress to Support Implementation of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Today, more than 60 healthcare stakeholders, representing Medicare providers, signed a letter urging congressional leaders to support bipartisan legislation that would implement the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Calendar Year 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule as written.

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Eleven Provider and Patient Organizations Join the American College of Rheumatology to Oppose UnitedHealthcare Copay Accumulator Initiative

Eleven provider and patient organizations have joined the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to petition UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to cancel plans to implement a proposed copay accumulator initiative that would require physicians to share details about their patients’ usage of copay assistance programs. The initiative would prevent funds from assistance programs from being applied towards patients’ annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximums. The groups warn that this would jeopardize patient access to medically necessary therapies by increasing the financial burden of care and lead to an increase in treatment abandonment.

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Rheumatology Leaders and Patient Advocates Urge Congress to Address Care Challenges Exacerbated by COVID-19 During Advocates for Arthritis

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) will hold its first virtual Advocates for Arthritis event on Tuesday, Sept. 15, where more than 120 rheumatologists, rheumatology health professionals, and patient advocates will meet with lawmakers via video to discuss the healthcare challenges they are facing in the midst of COVID-19.

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ACR Releases Position Statement on Telemedicine

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released an official position statement supporting the role of telemedicine as a tool with the potential to increase access and improve care for patients with rheumatic diseases. It also highlights the significant barriers and opportunities presented to patients and rheumatology professionals.

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Prominent Rheumatologist to Create Scleroderma Program at Kao Institute

Nationally recognized rheumatology expert Francesco Boin, MD, has been appointed director of the division of Rheumatology and director of the new Scleroderma Program at Cedars-Sinai. Boin is an accomplished and widely published investigator of autoimmune diseases, with a reputation for clinical excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

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Princess U. Ogbogu, MD, Appointed Chief, Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s

Princess U. Ogbogu, MD, has been appointed Chief of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. She comes to UH Rainbow from The Ohio State University, where she served as Director, Division of Allergy and Immunology, and Associate Professor of Medicine since 2016.

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During Virtual Hill Visits, Rheumatology Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Provide Targeted COVID-19 Relief for Healthcare Practices

In virtual meetings with lawmakers and on Twitter tomorrow, physician and health professional leaders from the American College of Rheumatology are sounding the alarm about the economic impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology practices and the urgent need for targeted relief to help specialty practices remain solvent and continue to serve patients.

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Arthritis Drug Presents Promise as Treatment for COVID-19 Pneumonia

UC San Diego Health has launched a Phase III clinical trial to assess whether a medication used to treat rheumatoid might also have therapeutic value for patient with COVID-19 who have developed or are at high risk of developing serious lung damage from SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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ACR Releases Position Statement on Prior Authorization

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released an official position statement concerning prior authorization for the approval of prescription medications, highlighting the significant burdens it creates for patients and rheumatology professionals. This process can result in a significant delay of care or treatments, treatment abandonment and potential harm to patients.

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ACR Releases First Guideline to Address Reproductive Health for Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

This is the first, evidence-based guideline related to the management of reproductive health issues for all patients with rheumatic diseases. With 131 recommendations, the guideline offers general precepts that provide a foundation for its recommendations and good practice statements.

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Seven Medical Societies Join the ACR to Oppose Insurer Policy Limiting Access to In-Office Treatments

Providers are concerned the mandate adds an additional layer of red tape that will delay patient care, reduce the ability of providers to ensure therapies have been properly handled and safely stored, inflate patient out-of-pocket costs, and result in an increase of drug waste.

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Methotrexate Significantly Reduces Joint Damage Progression Over Placebo in Erosive Hand OA, and May Facilitate Bone Remodeling

According to new research findings presented at the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting, methotrexate did not demonstrate superior efficacy over placebo for pain relief and function evolution at three and 12 months in patients with erosive hand osteoarthritis, but did significantly reduce the progression of joint damage over placebo and seems to facilitate bone remodeling in these patients

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