Deadline nears for decision on QPP virtual group participation | Agencies consider updates to HCV screening recommendations | American Family Physician has compiled a collection of articles on hepatitis and other liver diseases.
The deadline is Dec. 1 for solo and small group practices to notify the CMS that want to participate in a virtual group, which is a reporting option in the 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule. The AAFP supports virtual groups because they give small practices a better chance for a positive Merit-based Incentive Payment System experience, said Amy Mullins, M.D., the AAFP's medical director of quality improvement.
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The CDC and the US Preventive Services Task Force may update recommendations for hepatitis C screening in response to a significant increase in HCV incidence, especially among indigenous American and non-Hispanic whites. Higher HCV incidence is seen among younger adults and is driven by the opioid crisis, the CDC's John Ward, M.D., told the International Conference on Viral Hepatitis 2017.
A study presented at the Cardiometabolic Health Conference found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing were at greater risk for atrial fibrillation, a factor in increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
A study presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology found patients with Clostridium difficile who received opioids during their hospital stay had higher rates of complicated infection and in-hospital mortality and longer length of average hospital stay, compared with patients in the control group. The findings were based on medical records of 302 patients hospitalized for at least three days.
Researchers found that youths who currently used antidepressants were 1.92 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with former users. The findings in JAMA Pediatrics also showed an even higher diabetes risk among those with prolonged use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
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The Physicians Foundation 2017 Patient Survey found 95% of patients were somewhat or very satisfied with the relationship they have with their primary physicians, but just 11% said they had enough time during office visits. The survey found 89% of patients were concerned about future health care costs and 56% said prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals were the biggest factor in high health care costs.
Health care organizations are using new models of holistic pediatric primary care to address unhealthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease in adulthood, physicians write in Harvard Business Review. These programs must include comprehensive, team-based care and address socioeconomic concerns such as housing, custody issues and substance abuse.
State health care initiatives have increased access to health care for the uninsured by focusing on primary care, experts told the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Fall Conference. California's state insurance exchange Covered California requires plans to prioritize primary care, address health disparities, promote coordinated care and move away from strict fee-for-service reimbursements.
Murray and Alexander (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a deal to stabilize the individual insurance market by funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019, giving states more flexibility to skirt certain Affordable Care Act requirements, allowing consumers over age 30 to purchase copper plans, and providing $106 million to support ACA enrollment. However, the proposal garnered mixed messages from President Donald Trump, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not said whether he will allow a vote, and some Republicans said they oppose it.
Forty-one percent of reported health data breaches in the first nine months of 2017 were attributed to unintended data disclosure, such as accidentally leaving a server open to the public or sending an email containing personal health information to the wrong recipient, which was also the leading cause of such incidents in 2016 and 2015, according to the Beazley Breach Insights report. Hacking or malware incidents were the second most common cybersecurity issue at 19%, followed by insider incidents at 15% and physical loss at 8%, the report stated.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the latest Fresh Perspectives blog post, Natasha Bhuyan, M.D., questions whether disease-of-the-month campaigns may contribute to overscreening and overdiagnosis.
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood. ... Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.
Daniel Burnham, architect and urban designer
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