Early Combined Treatment with Biologic and Conventional DMARDs Could be Effective for Polyarticular Juvenile Arthritis

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that patients started on early, aggressive treatment with a combination of biologic and conventional disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) achieved clinically inactive disease in children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) more frequently compared to other treatment plans 24 months after starting treatment.

Race, Age, Sex and Language Affected Telemedicine Use by Rheumatology Clinic Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows a significant lack of fairness among telemedicine and electronic patient portals used by rheumatology clinic patients based on their race, age, sex and English language proficiency.

NYU Langone Presentations at American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2021 to Address Vaccine Efficacy and High-risk Pregnancy

NYU Langone rheumatologists are presenting their discoveries at the annual American College of Rheumatology conference, November 1 to November 9. The conference will be held virtually.

Patients with rare scleroderma have deadlier organ damage, despite getting standard treatment

Patients with a rare form of scleroderma that causes more skin thickening have a greater chance of dying from related heart, lung and kidney problems, a new study found. This occurs despite the patient population taking drugs used to treat most people with scleroderma. Researchers say it is an opportunity for more targeted drug development.

Discovery of a potential new therapy for inflammatory arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a painful and inflammatory form of axial spondyloarthritis (SpA) which affects 1-2% of Canadians and causes inflammation in the spine, joints, eyes, gut and skin. In a new paper recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute at UHN have made a discovery that could lead to new treatments for SpA.

Town Hall on Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination in Immunosuppressed Patients Hosted by the American College of Rheumatology

How effective COVID-19 vaccines’ have been in immunosuppressed and rheumatic disease patients remains an incompletely answered question. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has organized an expert panel to share what we are learning from real-world data and answer questions.

Award-Winning Journalist and CDC Principal Investigator to Serve as ACR Convergence 2021 Keynote Speaker

Convergence 2021, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), returns to a virtual meeting platform Nov. 1 – 10. This year’s meeting will include presentations from over 320 clinicians, researchers and health experts, including this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Seema Yasmin.

ACR Releases Position Statement on Patient Safety and Site of Service for Biologics

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released an updated position statement on patient safety and site of service for biologics outlining several reasons why the ACR strongly believes infusions should be administered in a monitored health care setting with onsite supervision by a provider with appropriate training in biologic infusions.

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

-Physician and Musician: Johns Hopkins Doctor Brings Passion for Music to Medicine During Pandemic
-Rapid, At-Home Blood Test Could Confirm COVID-19 Vaccination in Minutes
-What to Expect and Prepare for As You Return to Regular Health Care Appointments
-Study Suggests Sudden Hearing Loss Not Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination
-Vaccination May Not Rid COVID-19 Risk for Those with Rheumatic, Musculoskeletal Diseases

First time in Thailand – Chula Successfully Uses Stem-cell Transplantation to Treat Systemic Sclerosis Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis

April 8, 2021 – The Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine (CU Medi), Chulalongkorn University and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society (Chulalongkorn Hospital), in collaboration with the Departments of Hematology, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Infectious diseases, held a press conference on “Thailand’s first successful treatment of systemic sclerosis patients with pulmonary fibrosis by stem cell transplantation“.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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