AAFP to hold Zika virus webinar for family physicians, CDC offers guidance | Study finds slowing decline in birth defects after folic acid fortification | American Family Physician has compiled a collection of articles on prenatal care.
The AAFP will hold a members-only webinar about the Zika virus on May 24 hosted by 2015-2016 AAFP Vaccine Science Fellow Nina Ahmad, M.D. In other Zika virus news, an early release of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provides guidance on urine tests to detect Zika virus and examines Zika virus testing results from Florida.
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A study found that neural tube defects dropped at a rate of nearly 9 cases per 100,000 annual births before a 1998 law mandating folic acid fortification of grains to 2 per 100,000 births after fortification. The rate of gastroschisis, which had been increasing by a rate of nearly 4 cases per 100,000 births annually before fortification, saw an annual increase of 1 per 100,000 births after fortification. The findings, based on 1989 to 2010 data involving all live births and stillbirths in central California, were published in Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology.
A meta-analysis of nine studies with more than 112,000 participants found that adults who regularly napped during the day had a 13% increased risk of developing hypertension and studies that specifically assessed daytime napping showed a 19% increased risk of hypertension. However, the risk was reduced 21% in night-shift workers who took nighttime naps. The findings were presented at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting.
A study in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that postmenopausal women with new-onset type 2 diabetes had a significant increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, regardless of whether they took statins. The findings were based on data for more than 120,000 participants in the Women's Health Initiative.
Researchers looked at 4,373 adults who were followed for 20 years and found those with higher cardiorespiratory fitness had a lower risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Diabetologia. A second study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes was reduced by 0.1% among people with an 8% to 11% improved fitness level.
The CMS released the "Flexibilities and Support for Small Practices" fact sheet to help physicians in small practices prepare for implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. A regulatory impact analysis suggested MACRA will have a negative impact on small practices, which could significantly affect AAFP members because more than 80% of the Academy's family physicians are in practices with 15 or fewer doctors.
The House has passed a $622 million spending bill for preventing the spread of the Zika virus in the US. President Barack Obama, who requested $1.9 billion in funding, threatened to veto the legislation, while CDC Director Tom Frieden said that the House measure would be insufficient to address the growing threat from Zika.
Several pieces of legislation to promote data standards and big data analytics for health information exchange and interoperability were unveiled by National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and ONC Chief Operating Officer Lisa Lewis. The legislative proposals focus on the elimination of health information blocking, interoperability of health care data between different technologies, increased health care technology transparency, and sharing of best practices to help improve patient experience, hospital safety and hospital quality.
The rate of Americans without health insurance dropped from 14.4% in 2013 before the expansion of Medicaid coverage to a record low of 9.1% in 2015, according to a CDC survey. States that expanded Medicaid also saw a drop of 8.6 percentage points in uninsured rate, compared with 5.2 percentage points in states that did not expand the program, the data showed.
More nonprofit hospitals are entering partnerships with health insurance carriers, starting their own insurance companies or purchasing existing insurers, according to a Moody's Investors Service report. Nonprofit hospitals are also co-branding pharmacies and urgent-care clinics, offering direct-to-employer contracts and accountable care organizations, and entering new markets, such as ambulatory care, cancer care, skilled nursing and long-term care.
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