From the Editor

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 15:35
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
It was almost exactly 20 years ago — during the summer of 1998 — that I took over as president of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). As I write this, I’m at the UHMS annual scientific meeting in Orlando, FL. Being here reminds me of two of the worst years of my professional life: Within a few weeks, the “work component” of the hyperbaric treatment supervision code was reduced... Read More
Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:04
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
Chicago, IL — Ernest A. Codman, MD, FACS, became a surgeon at the turn of the 20th century and spent his life on a crusade to reform surgical practice and medical care. A graduate of Harvard Medical School (class of 1895), he would go on to formulate what he referred to as the end-result system, which called for following up on patients and systematically measuring their medical and surgical... Read More
Tue, 05/08/2018 - 15:51
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
My new hobby is taking pictures of used dressings. Based on my observations, it seems like it is more difficult to control wound bioburden today. Is it just my imagination, or is the drainage from chronic wounds more and more resembling substances that come out of a preschooler’s nose? Nearly a decade ago, a consortium of dressing manufacturers wanted to better understand the drivers for the use... Read More
Wed, 04/04/2018 - 16:48
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
Have you ever heard of a surgeon offering a warranty on a procedure? I can hardly get a warranty on a home appliance repair. A warranty is not the legal term for what Geisinger offers patients after a hip replacement, but that is effectively what it is. If patients ever have a problem with a hip replacement (meaning, for the rest of their lives), Geisinger will take care of the problem at no... Read More
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:25
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
On July 20, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) convened a Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC) meeting to discuss recommendations regarding treatment strategies for patients living with lower extremity chronic venous disease. I represented the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders and its member organizations. The purpose of my brief... Read More
Fri, 01/05/2018 - 11:41
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
As we ring in 2018, I’ve just reviewed my quality measure performance and I’m making my final choices regarding which measures I will report. The vast majority of medical practitioners became subject to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) on Jan. 1, 2017. Most practitioners are just trying to avoid a 4% penalty by submitting one quality measure or improvement activity. I’m trying to... Read More
Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:48
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
Each patient I am currently treating with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), plan to treat, or have recently treated is under some type of payment review, either by my Medicare Administrative Contractor (eg, prepayment review) or by a private insurance carrier (eg, prior authorization). I’ve been tracking the reasons for Medicare denial of HBOT with my colleague Helen B. Gelly, MD, FACCWS, UHM/... Read More
Tue, 11/07/2017 - 15:16
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
Lately, I have been thinking about some of the observations that Alexis de Tocqueville made in the mid-1800s regarding the still very young experiment in democracy known as the United States of America. A French diplomat, political scientist, and historian who traveled widely in the U.S. and Europe, Tocqueville’s keen observations of people and governments were published in several books, but he’... Read More
Thu, 10/05/2017 - 14:52
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
The marching orders that I had received from my fellow editorial board member Kathleen D. Schaum, MS, prior to our post-conference seminar some years ago were, well, completely indicative of her meticulous approach to education. “What I’d like for you to do is to come up with step-by-step instructions, with all the supplemental materials, and we will put all the information together in a handbook... Read More
Wed, 09/06/2017 - 11:25
Caroline E. Fife, MD, FAAFP, CWS, FUHM
Come October, our industry should have early access to a study that I hope will change the national conversation about wound care. Published by Value in Health, the journal of the ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research), and carried out by the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders, the open-source article “An Economic Evaluation of the Impact, Cost and Medicare... Read More

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