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Cover Story

Overcoming pain management obstacles

Clinical obstacles and fear of legal and regulatory sanction may still prevent physicians from prescribing medically appropriate pain treatment, while federal guidance for appropriate prescribing of pain medication has taken a false start.

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Pennsylvania’s neurosurgeon supply

Changes in practice patterns are being fueled by malpractice costs and are impacting patient care throughout Pa. , reducing neurosurgeon supply, making recruitment difficult and increasing patient travel times and office appointment wait times.

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Certificate of Need reinstatement

Legislators, under pressure to provide economic relief for employers and to ensure quality health care, are for the first time in eight years giving serious consideration to reinstating the now-defunct Certificate of Need statute.

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Community hospitals reappraise destiny

Particular market variables are dictating whether a community hospital will merge with an academic medical center, for-profit hospital chain, other community hospitals, or go it alone, with each bringing advantages and disadvantages, both for the institution and the physicians who practice there.

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Medication safety efforts advance

Various agencies are endorsing IT-based medication error reduction systems, which is likely to spur movement by Pa. hospitals to invest in computerized prescriber order-entry (CPOE) or point-of-care prescription bar-coding systems.

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