Monday, January 30, 2017

40,000 annual breast cancer deaths in the U.S. alone

By: Damon Stiff, VP Engineering at Capital X-Ray, Inc.

You’ve probably known for a while that breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, with 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths in the U.S. alone. But did you also know that almost 50 percent of women in the U.S. are diagnosed with dense breast tissue and that this higher density has a direct relation to their risk of breast cancer?

For a woman with dense breasts, there may be cases where they receive a negative mammogram, only to later be diagnosed with breast cancer. Dense breast tissue and cancer both appear white on mammograms, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish between the two. This can lead to false negatives or delayed diagnoses.

Tailored to dense breast tissue, Capital X-Ray offers LumaGEM Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), which is a groundbreaking method that significantly improves early diagnosis of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. The compression required for MBI is also lighter and far more comfortable than a mammogram.

Recent studies have confirmed that MBI highlights metabolic activity in breast tumors not visible on mammograms due to tissue density, leading to earlier diagnosis. Clinical research also shows use of LumaGEM reduces biopsies – often painful and costly – by 50 percent. A breakthrough retrospective study, involving over 1,700 women with dense breast tissue over a three-year period, was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology’s August issue confirming LumaGEM’s high incremental cancer detection rate of 7.7 cancers per thousand (7.7/1,000). This compares with published data for primary mammography screening alone of 3/1,000. The study also concluded that when MBI was used as a secondary screening modality, the total number of cancers found was approximately 12/1,000. Approximately 85 percent of these cancers were also confirmed as “node negative,” indicating they were detected at an early stage and therefore presented a better prognosis.

To educate women this year about the importance of MBI and breast density, Gamma Medica launched the “Be Certain” campaign, which aims to give physicians and women access to the most accurate clinical information on breast density and breast cancer detection. In addition to education, Gamma Medica and Capital X-Ray are committed to increasing the number of accurate early breast cancer screenings through installations at major facilities. Every woman deserves to “Be Certain” about her breast health and access to the latest diagnostic tools to help reduce late diagnosis and improve patient clinical outcomes.

LumaGEM is a registered trademark and Digital Direct Conversion Gamma Imaging and DDCGI are trademarks of Gamma Medica, Inc. To learn more about MBI, contact your local Capital X-Ray sales representative at 1-800-239-9729.

About Capital X-Ray, Inc.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in central Alabama with a branch office in Atlanta, GA, Capital X-Ray has evolved into the largest independent radiology equipment, supply, and service company in the Southeastern United States. With a service and sales force that spans across Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle, Capital X-Ray has consistently developed its market area while striving to provide customers with a “start-to-finish” solution.

From “ground-up” radiology suite planning, room design/lead shielding plans, feasibility studies & return-on-investment calculations, as well as installation & applications training; Capital X-Ray is able to walk customers through the entire setup and development of their imaging environment. Utilizing Capital’s extensive product line – DR, CR, PACS, MRI, MBI, and analog equipment – customers can rest assured that they are receiving top-notch equipment as well as unbeatable service.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Taste of Teal Gala honors UAB GYN Oncology Nurse Practitioner

The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation (LCBF) will honor Nurse Practitioner, Ann George, as the 2017 Legacy of Laura Healthcare Hero Honoree at the Taste of Teal Gala.

The Legacy of Laura awards celebrate those who have volunteered their time and service to our community. These people have made the lives of GYN cancers patients better with their hearts and talents.

“The HealthCare Hero Honoree is someone that consistently demonstrates excellence through serving as a model practitioner in their field, exhibits a consistently compassionate and caring demeanor while communicating with empathy and making a significant impact on patients,” shares the Foundation’s Special Events Coordinator, Lindsay Giadrosich.

This year’s LOL Healthcare Hero Honoree, Ann George, is a Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ann George has been practicing Gynecologic Oncology as a Nurse Practitioner for almost 44 years and was one of the very first NPs in the State of Alabama.

She was nominated by Warner Huh and he states, “This is the best recipient of this award because she has set the nursing care standard in Gynecologic Oncology in our state. She has taken care of literally thousands of women diagnosed with GYN cancers. Moreover, she has trained countless nurses, other NPs, medical students, residents, fellows and faculty. Ann has set a very high bar of dedication and work ethic.”

Huh explains that she has been centrally involved in the care of thousands of gynecologic oncology patients and she is arguably the most experienced provider in this specialty in the entire Southeast region.

Ann George will be honored at the 2017 Taste of Teal Gala on March 11th at 6pm at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham The Wynfrey Hotel. In addition to the awards celebration the Taste of Teal Gala includes dinner, drinks, casino games, music, and silent and live auctions. Other honorees include VIVA Health, Corporate Honoree, Shea Bourland, Caregiver and Cheryl Bourn, Survivor. For more information or to purchase your tickets visit

The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation was founded in 2009 to honor the life and memory of Laura Crandall Brown, who died at the age of 25 from ovarian cancer. Laura constantly expressed her desire to be able to help others who might face her same battle, and her loving and courageous spirit inspired her friends and family to create the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation to honor her life, memory, and vision of helping others. Our mission is offering hope through research for early detection of ovarian cancer, empowering communities through gynecologic cancer awareness, and enriching lives through patient support.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Update to Substance Abuse Treatment Records Regulations

By: Adjunct Professor in the Master of Science in Health Law and Policy Program at Cumberland School of Law

On January 13, 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued its Final Rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations (42 CFR Part 2), often referred to as “Part 2”.

It has been nearly 30 years since Part 2 was last updated. In that time, the provision of healthcare has drastically changed and the substance abuse treatment records regulations were past due for an overhaul. Under the existing Part 2, substance use disorder programs generally may only release patient identifying information related to substance use disorder diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment with an individual’s express consent. Even disclosures related to payment, treatment, or health care operations, which are permissible under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) without patient authorization, require express consent.

According to SAMHSA, the Final Rule will further enhance health services research, integrated treatment, quality assurance and health information exchange activities while at the same time safeguarding the essential privacy rights of people seeking treatment for substance use disorders.

Following issuance of the Final Rule, Part 2 continues to apply to any substance use disorder program that receives federal financial assistance, including reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs, and holds itself out as providing, and provides, substance use disorder diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment (Part 2 Program). Patient records subject to Part 2, however, now include substance use disorder records maintained by Part 2 Programs, as well as those records in the possession of “other lawful holders of patient identifying information” (e.g., individual or entities who receive such records pursuant to a Part 2-compliant patient consent).

Major provisions of the Final Rule effective February 17, 2017, include the following:

• Permits a patient, in certain circumstances, to include a general designation in the “To Whom” section of the consent form (e.g., “my treating providers”), in conjunction with requirements that the consent form include an explicit description of the amount and kind of substance use disorder treatment information that may be disclosed.

• Permits electronic signatures to the extent that they are not prohibited by any applicable law.

• Adds a requirement that, upon request, patients who have included a general designation in the “To Whom” section of their consent form must be provided a list of entities (referred to as a List of Disclosures) to which their information has been disclosed pursuant to the general designation.

• Requires both Part 2 Programs and other lawful holders of patient identifying information to have in place formal policies and procedures addressing security, including sanitization of associated media, for both paper and electronic records.

• Regulations related to the disposition of records by discontinued Part 2 Programs now address both paper and electronic records, and adds requirements for sanitizing associated media.

• Clarifies that the required written summary of federal law and regulations to be provided to patients may now be in either paper or electronic format.

• Clarifies that the prohibition on re-disclosure only applies to information that would identify, directly or indirectly, an individual as having been diagnosed, treated, or referred for treatment for a substance use disorder, such as indicated through standard medical codes, descriptive language, or both, and allows other health-related information shared by the Part 2 Program to be re-disclosed, if permissible under other applicable laws.

• Permits data protected by Part 2 to be disclosed to qualified personnel for the purpose of conducting scientific research by a Part 2 Program or any other individual or entity that is in lawful possession of Part 2 data if the researcher provides documentation of meeting certain requirements related to other existing protections for human research.

• Modernizes the audit and evaluation requirements to include provisions governing both paper and electronic patient records.

• Permits an audit or evaluation necessary to meet the requirements of a CMS-regulated accountable care organization or similar CMS-regulated organizations, under certain conditions.

Here are links to the Final Rule and the SAMHSA news release.

Many health care organizations have expressed concerns that the SAMHSA Final Rule does not go far enough. The Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2, a coalition of over 20 health care organizations including the American Hospital Association and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, was formed in an effort to align Part 2 with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to allow appropriate access to patient information that is essential for providing whole-person care. In a press release issued January 13, 2017, the Chair for the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 states:

While the final rule is a step in the right direction, it fails to adequately ensure that persons with substance use disorder receive the effective coordinated care they deserve. Particularly in light of our country’s opioid crisis, it is imperative that Part 2 requirements are aligned fully with the HIPAA requirements that allow the use and disclosure of patient information for treatment, payment, and health care operations. Failure to integrate care that addresses all of a patient’s health needs can lead to unintended risks and dangers to individuals.

In addition to the Final Rule, SAMHSA also issued a supplemental proposed rule seeking public input on the role of contractors, subcontractors and legal representatives in the health care system with respect to payment and health care operations. Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by February 17, 2017.

SAMHSA will monitor implementation of the Final Rule and work to develop additional sub-regulatory guidance and materials on many of the finalized provisions. It is unclear how the incoming Trump administration will feel about these “midnight regulations”.

Friday, January 20, 2017

CVA Welcomes New Cardiovascular Physician to Team

BIRMINGHAM, AL. – Cardiovascular Associates of the Southeast is excited to announce that Himanshu Gupta, MD, FACC a cardiovascular physician, specializing in cardiovascular imaging and general cardiology has joined the group as of (December 19, 2016).

Before joining CVA, Dr. Gupta was a tenured faculty member at UAB Medicine and Radiology and served as a scientist for the UAB Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center, Heart Failure Research Center and Diabetes Research and Training Center. He also served as the Co-Director of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance at UAB and held hospital appointments at UAB Hospital, Kirklin Clinic, UAB Highlands, and The VA Medical Center.

Dr. Gupta completed his medical degree at the University of Delhi, New Delhi, India followed by internal medicine residency at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Afterwards, he did his four year combined fellowship in cardiovascular medicine and imaging at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL where he served as a chief fellow.

He is board certified by the ABIM in Cardiovascular Medicine and is a Diplomate of the Certification Board of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CBCCT) and the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC). He is also a Testamur of the National Board of Echocardiography and has highest-level training in cardiovascular MRI.

He has conducted original research in preventive cardiology, valvular heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and diastolic heart failure with numerous original publications in high impact journals and has been consistently funded in his research and program development by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Dr. Gupta joins CVA with vast expertise in multi-modality cardiovascular imaging for clinical and research applications. He is married with two young children and participates in various community activities including serving as immediate past president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin- Birmingham/ Central Alabama Chapter.

Dr. Gupta will be offering the following at CVA and Brookwood Baptist Medical Center:

• Cardiovascular Consultations

• Acute Cardiovascular Care

• Expert Cardiovascular Imaging and Reading

• Cardiovascular Clinic Office Visits

• Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Procedures

For more information on Dr. Gupta and the services available at Cardiovascular Associates contact us at (205-510-5000) or visit

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From the Treatment Room to the Classroom with Wick Many, M.D.

By: Lori M. Quiller, APR
Director, Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama

Physicians Giving Back

From the Treatment Room to the Classroom with Wick Many, M.D.

MONTGOMERY – He jokes about it now, but Wick Many, M.D., said he was a sickly child who spent a lot of time in his pediatrician’s office. For those times when he was too sick, his doctor would make house calls…an experience he did not look forward to.

“Back then, in the 1950s, pediatricians would come out to your house at the end of the day. They would spend all day in their clinics seeing children, but then for those who were really sick, they would make house calls. I was scared to death!”

Dr. Many laughed. “The doctor would come in with his big brown doctor’s bag, and that usually meant I was going to get a shot of something. That was my first recollection of medicine.” Dr. Many grew up around medicine. A native of New Orleans, his mother was the paging operator at what was then the Southern Baptist Hospital of New Orleans. Because she worked night or evening shifts and couldn’t come home for dinner, family dinners were often taken on the ER ramp.

“No one in my family had a medical background, but at some point in high school, I decided this was what I wanted to do. I didn’t have an A-HA moment or an epiphany, it’s just what I knew I wanted to do,” Dr. Many said.

Although he went to LSU for his undergraduate degree, he intended to stay close to home for medical school until a friend who was accepted to UAB talked him into joining him in Birmingham. Once convinced of UAB’s credibility as a medical school, he had to convince his colleagues back home in Louisiana.

“This was the late 1960s, and my colleagues who were at LSU just didn’t understand,” Dr. Many explained. “Alabama? Birmingham? What? They just didn’t get it. I stayed at UAB for the rest of my time except for a year when I went to Dallas. I’ve been affiliated with UAB in some way, shape or form since 1980.”

Although trained in infectious disease, there came a time when Dr. Many’s marketing skills were put to the test when he was approached with an opportunity to step into the spotlight and bring some publicity to the UAB School of Medicine Montgomery Regional Medical Campus.

WSFA-12 had run a syndicated medical segment for years with Houston’s Dr. James “Red” Duke, Jr. When that syndication ended, Dr. Many stepped in, not only to provide helpful medical information to viewers but also for the sake of the Montgomery UAB campus.

“Even to this day – TO THIS DAY – there are a lot of people who do not know there is a residency program and a branch campus here in Montgomery,” Dr. Many said. “I can still go to the bank or the post office and folks will ask me if I drive down from Birmingham every day, and I have to tell them no, no, no. UAB has been in Montgomery since 1978, but the majority of the people here in the region still don’t know that. We haven’t done a lot of advertising or marketing because we haven’t had the funding for it.”

As dean of medicine for the UAB School of Medicine Montgomery Regional Medical Campus, Dr. Many is responsible for about 40 medical students, roughly 20 third year and 20 fourth year students. There’s still much room to grow, but Dr. Many said the Montgomery campus is unique considering the resources he and his staff utilize to give the students a well-rounded medical education. For example, in the eight weeks students spend working in the family medicine “block,” four of those weeks are spent in Montgomery with another four in Selma. Part of the time spent in Selma is then spent in Marion with the idea that each step further removes the students from what they have become accustomed to in medical school.

“The purpose of that is to give them an appreciation of not only the opportunities of practicing in a rural setting but also the challenges so that in the future if they decide not to do that they have a better appreciation for what family physicians in that position actually do. I call it ‘intellectual isolation.’ Everyone likes to share stories. If you’re a solo practitioner in a very small town, and you have a patient that comes to you with something weird that you haven’t seen since medical school, who do you talk to? Physicians in more metropolitan areas are fortunate because we have grand rounds, lectures, and of course the Internet has made a difference, but in the most rural of our communities, we don’t have these things,” Dr. Many said.

The Montgomery campus also utilizes resources unique to Montgomery for special teaching opportunities. Representatives from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the state forensics lab, military physicians and representatives from the Montgomery Police Department all have a special take on medicine that can’t be taught in the classroom but aspects of medicine that new physicians need to understand.

Considering all his contributions to the medical landscape in the River Region and to UAB, it’s difficult to picture medicine without Dr. Many. But in his junior year in college, he also took a different path.

“I came very close to changing my major to history my junior year in college,” Dr. Many said. “If I wasn’t a physician, I’d be a college history professor. I love to read, but I don’t read fiction. I read biographies of our presidents and historical figures. My favorite book is the biography of Alexander Hamilton. He has to this day had an impact on our country. He created the financial system of the United States yet he had so many flaws. Fascinating!”