Data from the free student-run podiatric medical clinic at Clínica Tepati at the University of California, Davis, were used to analyze medical and economic impacts on health-care delivery and to extrapolate the economic impact to the national level. Clínica Tepati also provides an excellent teaching environment and services to the uninsured Hispanic population in the Greater Sacramento area.
In this analysis, we retrospectively reviewed patient medical records for podiatric medical encounters during 15 clinic days between November 2010 and February 2012. The economic impact was evaluated by matching diagnoses and treatments with Medicare reimbursement rates using International Classification of Diseases codes, Current Procedural Terminology codes, and the prevailing Medicare reimbursement rates.
Sixty-three podiatric medical patients made 101 visits during this period. Twenty patients returned to the clinic for at least one follow-up visit or for a new medical concern. Thirty-nine different diagnoses were identified, and treatments were provided for all 101 patient encounters/visits. Treatments were limited to those within the clinic's resources. This analysis estimates that $17,332.13 worth of services were rendered during this period.
These results suggest that the free student-run podiatric medical clinic at Clínica Tepati had a significant medical and economic impact on the delivery of health care at the regional level, and when extrapolated, nationally as well. These student-run clinics also play an important role in medical education settings.
Osteomyelitis is one of the most feared sequelae of diabetic foot ulceration, which often leads to lower-extremity amputation and disability. Early diagnosis of osteomyelitis increases the likelihood of successful treatment and may limit the amount of bone resected, preserving ambulatory function. Although a variety of techniques exist for imaging the diabetic foot, standard radiography is still the only in-office imaging modality used today. However, radiographs lack sensitivity and specificity, making it difficult to diagnose bone infection at its early stages. In this report, we describe our initial experience with a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)–based device, which may serve as an accurate and readily available tool for early diagnosis of osteomyelitis in a patient with diabetes. Two patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers were evaluated for osteomyelitis using radiography and CBCT. Positive imaging findings were confirmed by bone biopsy. In both patients, CBCT captured early osteolytic changes that were not apparent on radiographs, leading to early surgical intervention and successful treatment. The CBCT was helpful in facilitating detection and early clinical intervention for osteomyelitis in two diabetic patients with foot ulcers. These results are encouraging and warrant future evaluation.
Background: Given that excess opioid prescriptions contribute to the United States opioid epidemic and there are few national opioid prescribing guidelines for the management of acute pain, it is pertinent to determine if prescribers can sufficiently assess their own prescribing practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate podiatric surgeons’ ability to evaluate if their own opioid prescribing practice is less than, near, or above that of an “average” prescriber.
Methods: We administered a scenario-based, voluntary, anonymous, online questionnaire via Qualtrics which consisted of five surgery-based scenarios commonly performed by podiatric surgeons. Respondents were asked the quantity of opioids they would prescribe at the time of surgery. Respondents were also asked to rate their prescribing practice compared to the average (median) podiatric surgeons. We compared self-reported behavior to self-reported perception (“I prescribe less than average,” “I prescribed about average,” and “I prescribe more than average”). ANOVA was used for univariate analysis between the three groups. We used linear regression to adjust for confounders. Data restriction was used to account for restrictive state laws.
Results: One hundred fifteen podiatric surgeons completed the survey from in April 2020. Less than half of the time, respondents accurately identified their own category. Consequently, there were no statistically significant differences between podiatric surgeons who reported that they “prescribe less,” “prescribe about average,” and “prescribe more.” Paradoxically, there was a flip in scenario #5, whereas respondents who reported they “prescribe more” actually prescribed the least and respondents who believed that they “prescribe less” actually prescribed the most.
Conclusions: Cognitive bias, in the form of a novel effect, occurs in postoperative opioid prescribing practice; in the absence of procedure-specific guidelines or an objective standard, podiatric surgeons, more often than not, were unaware of how their own opioid prescribing practice measured up to other podiatric surgeons.