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The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is an international non-profit organization serving members from more than 50 countries. The UHMS is the primary source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.

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ABPM Increases Flexibility for Diplomates by Combining Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Requirement into a Single Continuing Medical Education Requirement

Chicago, IL, August 30, 2019 – The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) announced today that, as a first-step toward a comprehensive overhaul of its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, the ABPM Board of Directors has approved a revision to its current MOC Part II requirement by combining MOC Part IIA, Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA) and MOC Part IIB, Continuing Medical Education (CME) into a single, comprehensive MOC Part II requirement.

Specifically, diplomates will no longer be required to complete a minimum number of ABPM-approved LLSA credits in order to complete MOC Part II. Instead, beginning on February 1, 2020 and during each ten-year Certification Cycle, a Diplomate’s total of 250 MOC Part II credits can include any combination of LLSA and AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits (or their equivalent). 

In announcing this new policy, the ABPM’s Board Chair Hernando “Joe” Ortega, Jr., MD, MPH, said “The ABPM is pleased to offer our Diplomates a simplified and less burdensome MOC Part II requirement.”  Dr. Ortega went on to say that “Since there will be no required minimums for either type of credit, Diplomates will have the flexibility to choose between and amongst the various LLSA and AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits that best fits their practice.  Our doctors can select the CME offerings that will be most effective and impactful in achieving their individual learning goals.  This is a small, but important step on the ABPM’s journey toward a Continuing Certification program that incorporates the recommendations of the ABMS Vision Commission and, more importantly, is responsive to feedback from our Diplomates.”

The process by which Diplomates will be able to obtain MOC Part II credit from the ABPM will remain unchanged.  Diplomates must forward certificates/transcripts for completed LLSA and/or CME credits to the ABPM office at moc@theabpm.org

Any questions about this updated policy can be directed to the ABPM Staff at abpm@theabpm.org

The ABPM is a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Founded in 1948, ABPM works with the ABMS in the development of standards for the ongoing assessment and certification of over 12,000 physicians certified by the ABPM in the Specialties of Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, and in the Subspecialties of Addiction Medicine, Clinical Informatics, Medical Toxicology and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

UHMS member alerts the Society on problems with CMS coverage of radiation proctitis

The Case of the Disappearing Indication

Thomas M. Bozzuto, DO, FACEP, FFACHM, UHM

            On May 15, 2018, Palmetto GBA conducted an “Ask the Contractor Teleconference” (ACT) with Dr. Leland Garrett, Medical Director of Palmetto GBA of Columbia, South Carolina. On a side note, several times it appeared that Dr. Garrett did not know the difference between transcutaneous oxygen measurements and topical oxygen therapy – commenting several times that TCOM was not covered under the national coverage determination (NCD). A clarification update had to be issued on July 6, 2018, stating that Dr. Garrett “misunderstood the question” and that TCOM is covered.

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UHM Journal publishes second special edition on traumatic brain injury

UHM Journal publishes second special edition on traumatic brain injury

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has published a supplemental issue of its member publication, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal, to summarize results in studies on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The issue, consisting of 11 papers plus an executive summary, reports new data from two interventional studies sponsored by the United States Army, as well as from a companion study of normal volunteers, and includes a pooled data analysis of all military-sponsored investigations of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms to date.

This special issue of the UHM Journal is available to the public at www.uhms.org. Cost for the electronic copy is $25. UHMS members have free access to the PDF files. As with all papers that appear in the UHM Journal, these TBI-related texts received peer review.

Drawing on the robust data set from the completed studies, in particular BIMA (Brain injury and mechanisms of action of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury) and the normative study, the authors of the papers in this second special issue present new analyses that complement the primary publications and add to the general knowledge about tools for diagnosing and measuring deficits after mild TBI, the safety of hyperbaric oxygen in this population, and the possible role of hyperbaric oxygen in ameliorating post-concussive symptoms and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Over the last several years, the scientific community has learned that the long-term consequences of mild TBI occur much more often than previously thought. We’re learning more about how mild TBI disrupts the brain. But we haven’t made huge strides in learning how to help patients who have those long-term consequences become healthy again,” notes Dr. Lindell K. Weaver, study director and lead principal investigator of the BIMA and healthy volunteer studies. “One limiting factor in conducting studies in mild TBI is that we haven’t really known what tools to use to measure improvement. With BIMA and the companion normal study, we hoped to gather good data about outcome measures that are sensitive to change in mild TBI and differentiate from ‘normal’ brain function.”

The studies reported in this special issue are of particular importance to the hyperbaric medicine community. Hyperbaric oxygen has been proposed as a treatment for brain injury, and the studies sponsored by the United States military help to establish a safety profile for hyperbaric oxygen in the mild TBI population. In addition, the information in these papers can guide future research in this area. “While we found significant improvement in post-concussive symptoms with 40 hyperbaric oxygen sessions in BIMA, the effect was not durable to one year and beyond. This might mean that more than 40 sessions are required for long-term improvement, but other research studies will have to answer that question,” says Dr. Weaver.

The special issue also highlights other exciting directions for research. “The improvements we saw after chamber sessions in eye tracking and the possible relationship between oxygen dosing and improved PTSD symptoms are particularly intriguing,” adds Dr. Weaver.

Here’s a listing of papers and authors in this issue:

  • Executive summary: Secondary analyses of DoD-sponsored studies examining hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury
    BB Hart, LK Weaver, SH Wilson, AS Lindblad, S Churchill, K Deru
  • Reference ranges and stability of auditory and vestibular measures in a comprehensive assessment battery for traumatic brain injury
    A Meehan, A Lewandowski, K Deru , D Hebert, LK Weaver
  • Quantitative analysis tool for clinical functional MRI in mild traumatic brain injury
    PE Cartwright, TG Perkins, P Santhanam, LK Weaver, K Deru, WW Orrison
  • Hidden hearing deficits in military service members with persistent post concussive symptoms
    A Meehan, D Hebert, K Deru, LK Weaver
  • Central auditory processing disorders after mild traumatic brain injury
    P Santhanam, A Meehan, WW Orrison, SH Wilson, TR Oakes, LK Weaver
  • Prospective study of anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression on postural control, gait, otolith and visuospatial function in military service members with persistent post-concussive symptoms
    A Meehan, A Lewandowski, LK Weaver, D Hebert, K Deru
  • Analysis of magnetic resonance spectroscopy relative metabolite ratios in mild traumatic brain injury and normative controls
    PE Cartwright, TG Perkins, SH Wilson, LK Weaver, WW Orrison
  • Eye tracker outcomes in a randomized trial of 40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen or sham in participants with persistent post concussive symptoms
    PA Wetzel, AS Lindblad, C Mulatya, MA Kannan, Z Villamar, GT Gitchel, LK Weaver
  • Extended follow-up in a randomized trial of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms
    BB Hart, SH Wilson, S Churchill, K Deru, LK Weaver, M Minnakanti, AS Lindblad
  • Adverse events and blinding in two randomized trials of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms
    S Churchill, K Deru, LK Weaver, SH Wilson, D Hebert, RS Miller, AS Lindblad
  • A composite outcome for mild traumatic brain injury in trials of hyperbaric oxygen
    LK Weaver, S Churchill, SH Wilson, D Hebert, K Deru, AS Lindblad
  • Hyperbaric oxygen for mTBI-associated PCS and PTSD: Pooled analysis of results from Department of Defense and other published studies
    BB Hart, LK Weaver, A Gupta, SH Wilson, A Vijayarangan, K Deru, D Hebert

For more information, email uhms@uhms.org.

~ Kayla Deru, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah