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.
October 18, 2017
Family Medicine SmartBrief
Top Story
Deadline nears for decision on QPP virtual group participation
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.
AAFP News (10/17) 
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Tradition Never Goes Out of Style
Gebauer's Ethyl Chloride® topical anesthetic skin refrigerant has been trusted by healthcare practitioners for over 100 years. Wondering how to use it in your practice? Learn more about the indications and benefits of Ethyl Chloride within this free eBook.
Clinical News
Agencies consider updates to HCV screening recommendations
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.
Medscape (free registration) (10/16) 
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Analysis: AFib risk higher with sleep disorders
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.
Healio (free registration)/Cardiology Today (10/16) 
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Study ties opioid use to worse outcomes in C. difficile
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.
Medscape (free registration) (10/17) 
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Higher diabetes risk found in children using antidepressants
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.
Medscape (free registration) (10/17) 
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LG Commercial Displays for Healthcare
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Practice Management
Survey: Most patients happy with primary care physicians
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.
AAFP News (10/17) 
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Health care groups adopt new pediatric primary care models
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.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (10/17) 
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Health Policy & Legislation
State initiatives improve access with focus on primary care
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.
AAFP News (10/17) 
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Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
Senators reach bipartisan agreement to stabilize ACA markets
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.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/17),  Politico (10/17),  Healthcare Finance News (10/17) 
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Professional Issues & Trends
Report examines leading causes of health care data breaches in 2017
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.
Health IT Security (10/17) 
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Inside the AAFP
Do disease-of-the-month campaigns lead to overscreening?
Do disease-of-the-month campaigns lead to overscreening?
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.
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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in Family Medicine SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

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