AAFP among groups calling for shorter 2015 EHR reporting period | U.S. sees decline in new diabetes cases, CDC finds | Care coordination cuts hospital admissions, ED visits
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September 24, 2014
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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AAFP among groups calling for shorter 2015 EHR reporting period
The AAFP and other stakeholder organizations sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell that said the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive programs could see higher drop-out rates unless physicians and hospitals are given more flexibility. The groups called for a shorter, 90-day EHR reporting period for 2015 so health care professionals can "continue their transition without having to drop out of the program." AAFP News (9/23)
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Clinical NewsAdvertisement
U.S. sees decline in new diabetes cases, CDC finds
CDC officials found the number of new diabetes cases in the U.S. declined to 7.1 per 1,000 people in 2012, following an increase from 3.2 per 1,000 people in 1990 to 8.8 per 1,000 people in 2008. However, researchers noted a persistent increase among Hispanics, blacks and those with lower education levels. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Reuters (9/23)
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Care coordination cuts hospital admissions, ED visits
Canadian researchers found patients who were recipients of a care coordination quality improvement strategy had a 20% decline in hospitalizations compared with those in the standard care cohort. Data also showed care coordination initiatives resulted in 31% fewer emergency department visits among older patients. The findings appear in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Healio (free registration)/O&P Business News (9/23)
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Higher BMI tied to stress-induced inflammation
Researchers cite a correlation between higher BMI and increased levels of the inflammation marker interleukin-6. The findings indicate that obese and overweight individuals may be at a higher risk of stress-related inflammatory disorders such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The findings were published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. Business Standard (India)/Asian News International (9/23)
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How Physicians Can Use Technology To Bring A Mega Group To Life
In an increasingly complex business environment, U.S. Physicians are banding together into mega groups that gain leverage with payers without sacrificing independence. Innovative technology platforms are playing a major role in making it happen. One leading mega-group shares its story in this whitepaper.
Practice Management
Champions project leads to better adolescent immunization rates
The AAFP's Child and Adolescent Immunization Office Champions Project, which included 20 practices, resulted in slight increases for childhood vaccinations and raised adolescent immunizations by 12.35% for tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis and by 100% for HPV vaccinations. The project emphasized strategies such as strongly recommending adolescent immunization, boosting parental awareness of recommended vaccines and using evidence-based practices to change systems. AAFP News (9/23)
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FDA tells physicians to watch for counterfeit drug wholesalers
The FDA this week warned physicians about wholesale distributors that sell unapproved or fake prescription drugs. The agency has created a physician education program, "Know Your Source," that covers recommended drug purchasing procedures to help protect patients from counterfeit drugs. HealthDay News (9/23)
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CMS: Groups needed for limited ICD-10 testing
The CMS is looking for health care professionals, billing agencies and clearinghouses that are interested in joining the limited ICD-10 end-to-end testing that will be conducted from Jan. 26 to 30. The testing aims to show that participants are ready to transmit claims and receive remittance advice regarding the adjudication of their claims. Interested parties can submit their applications until Oct. 3 and selected volunteers will be notified by Oct. 24. Health Data Management (9/23)
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Health Policy & Legislation
Disclosure of physician payments needs more context, groups say
The CMS needs to provide more clarity on what information about payments to physicians will be posted and how it will be shown on the Open Payments website, according to a letter from pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industry groups. With less than two weeks before the CMS public website is to go live, the groups said they have not been able to review how CMS plans to present the information or consult with the agency on content. The Hill (9/22), Bloomberg BNA (free content)/Health Care Blog (9/22)
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Professional Issues & Trends
Family physicians play important roles in end-of-life care
Focus groups held with family physicians highlighted the key roles they play in guiding hospitalization of patients at the end of life, researchers from Belgium reported in the Annals of Family Medicine. Family physicians can assist in care planning and decision-making, become decision-makers, provide end-of-life care, and offer support, the researchers said. PhysiciansBriefing.com (9/19)
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Analysis suggests hepatitis C infections could be rare by 2036
University of Pittsburgh researchers said a computer analysis that considered current screening and treatment trends suggests hepatitis C could become a rare disease by 2036 or sooner. Researcher Mina Kabiri said significant reductions in HCV will require better access to care and more emphasis on HCV in primary care settings. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (9/22)
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Inside the AAFP
"What? Me worry?" Family medicine residency trained me well
Future of family medicine
In the days leading up to her first day at her first job out of residency, family physician Kimberly Becher, M.D., was anxious and worried she wasn't ready. Then her training took over. Read more in the latest Leader Voices Blog post.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Family Medicine Assistant/Associate ProfessorMarian University College of Osteopathic MedicineIndianapolis, Indiana
Family Medicine FacultyUniversity of Tennessee-KnoxvilleKnoxville, Tennessee
Family Physician BC/BEArlington Family PracticeMultiple Locations
Established Primary Care Practice Seeks BE/BC Provider to JoinHCABountiful, Utah
FM Residency Program DirectorSpartanburg Regional Healthcare SystemSpartanburg, South Carolina
Family Medicine - Near top Kansas College TownJackson and CokerKansas
Family Medicine with OB - MidwestJackson and CokerNebraska
Family PhysicianLawrenceville Family PracticeAtlanta, Georgia
Outpatient Family Medicine - New OrleansJackson & CokerNew Orleans, Louisiana
Click here to view more job listings.
True happiness is ... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future."
-- Seneca,
Roman philosopher and playwright
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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 http://aafp.org.
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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