Senators introduce bill to repeal ACA's individual mandate | Booster schedule may not be answer to pertussis resurgence | Read the AAFP's immunization recommendations.
January 23, 2015
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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Senators introduce bill to repeal ACA's individual mandate
A bill introduced by Senate Republicans would repeal the Affordable Care Act's requirement for nearly all Americans to have health insurance. The individual mandate is considered the ACA's linchpin, and its repeal would destabilize insurance markets and force higher premiums, analysts, insurers and others say. President Barack Obama would be expected to veto the bill. Reuters (1/22)
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Why Choosing the Right EHR Matters
Healthcare professionals understand how EHRs can increase patient engagement and the quality of care. What's not clear is how to choose the right EHR vendor or how to transition to a new EHR smoothly and within government guidelines. This guide provides an overview of Meaningful Use, highlights the requirements for 2015, and provides tips for selecting the right EHR to avoid penalties and position your practice for continued success in the future. Read Now.
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Booster schedule may not be answer to pertussis resurgence
A pertussis vaccine booster schedule must address the causes of the disease's resurgence in order to be effective, which means it may not work in the recent outbreak, according to University of Michigan researchers. The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said experts do not know the causes behind the whooping cough resurgence. It examines possibilities such as leaky immunity and waning vaccine protection. Medscape (free registration) (1/22)
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Study links eczema to higher risk of heart disease, stroke
Eczema may be associated with an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke, possibly because of patients' lifestyle or because of chronic inflammation, Northwestern University researchers reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Study data showed adults with eczema were more likely to smoke, drink and be obese, and less likely to exercise, compared with those who did not have the disease. HealthDay News (1/23)
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Many diabetes patients lack knowledge on hypoglycemia
A survey by the American Association of Diabetes Educators revealed 62% of patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes expressed concerns about suffering hypoglycemia, 81% considered it a serious health concern and 98% were aware of the importance of managing the condition. However, 42% of patients who did not experience hypoglycemia were not able to accurately define it, and 49% of patients did not know that glucose tablets can be used to address an event. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (1/20)
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Caffeinated coffee may reduce melanoma risk, study finds
Drinking one to three cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of melanoma by 10%, compared with not drinking coffee, while consuming four or more cups per day may decrease risks by 20%, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The protection was seen only among people drinking caffeinated coffee. HealthDay News (1/20)
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4 Essential Resources To Boost Revenue
CareCloud developed this guide to help physician practices across the US understand and improve financial performance. We believe that better health outcomes for Americans are more likely to be achieved when practices themselves are thriving and efficient. Download now.

Practice Management
CDC alerts physicians about opioid drug use in younger women
About 25% of privately insured women ages 15 to 44 and one-third of those on Medicaid filled a prescription for an opioid medication each year between 2008 and 2012, CDC researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., said clinicians should do a thorough health assessment prior to prescribing opioid drugs to women of reproductive age because the medications may cause birth defects and other serious medical problems for both infants and mothers. MedicalNewsToday (U.K.) (1/23)
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Is Pricing Low Your Strategy to Success? Think again.
Pricing is the heart of a business. It affects everything you do and is affected by everything you do. Economists talk of supply and demand as key factors behind pricing—successful entrepreneurs manipulate demand by making their products more desirable. These six steps will help you determine the right price for your product or service, read the article and learn how to get pricing right.

Health Policy & LegislationAdvertisement
States fail to make progress on tobacco control, report says
Only Alaska and North Dakota funded state tobacco-prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels in 2014, and 41 states and Washington, D.C., allocated less than half of the money called for by the agency, according to the American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control report. Association CEO Harold Wimmer said no state got an "A" grade for access to smoking-cessation treatments and no state passed comprehensive smoke-free legislation. Tobacco is responsible for almost 500,000 U.S. deaths per year, the report said. HealthDay News (1/21)
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Many states with SHIP funding want greater telehealth investment
An Accenture report showed 19 of 25 states that received funding for State Health Care Innovation Plans aim to boost telehealth investments this year as they launch new initiatives for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Fifteen states plan to invest in patient portals and digital tools to cut costs, while 14 states intend to invest in data aggregation and analytics to bolster population health. (1/22)
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How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Professional Issues & Trends
Almost a fifth of insured Americans skip physician visits due to cost
A Harris Poll survey revealed nearly 1 in 5 insured U.S. patients avoided seeing physicians in the past year due in part to a fear of costs. Data also showed 37% of patients said they get information about health care costs and services from their insurance provider, while 31% get such information from their physician. (1/22)
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Inside the AAFP
Interested in direct primary care? Get your questions answered.
Attend the Direct Primary Care Workshop in Atlanta on Feb. 28 to get the answers you need. Whether you've recently converted or are just beginning the transition stage, the AAFP can help answer your questions and steer you toward the right solutions. Receive dedicated face time from industry experts. Participate in small-group, peer-to-peer learning sessions. And, gain first-hand knowledge of the benefits and challenges involved with starting or converting your practice. Register today.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Primary Care PhysicianThe Doctors CenterJacksonville, Florida
Integrative Family Medicine PhysicianHealth & Wellness of CarmelCarmel, Indiana
Urgent Care PhysicianSouthern California Orthopedic InstitutePorter Ranch, California
Family Medicine PhysicianOhioHealthOhio
Faculty Position - Grant Medical CenterOhioHealthColumbus, Ohio
Family Medicine Opportunity with Leadership OptionConfidentialLincoln, Maine
Primary Care Clinic and Birthing Center DirectorFour Corners MinistriesGulu District, Other / Non-US
Family Medicine PhysicianVillage Primary CareHoosick Falls, New York
Click here to view more job listings.
Rough diamonds may sometimes be mistaken for worthless pebbles."
-- Thomas Browne,
English author
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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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