New AAFP president understands family medicine challenges | Study: Healthy lifestyle reduces heart failure risk | Prenatal exposure to smoking lowers cortisol levels in newborns
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October 23, 2014
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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New AAFP president understands family medicine challenges
Newly installed AAFP President Robert Wergin, M.D., said practicing in a rural area of Nebraska has given him a keen understanding of the challenges faced by family physicians. He said his year as president will focus on repealing the sustainable growth rate formula and other payment changes, clarifying the role of family medicine, and prioritizing medical education. AAFP News (10/22)
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Clinical News
Study: Healthy lifestyle reduces heart failure risk
A sustained healthy lifestyle that included diet, exercise, weight management and not smoking was linked to lower risks of heart failure in postmenopausal women, according to data from the Women's Health Initiative published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Harvard researchers said benefits were seen regardless of a history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Medscape (free registration) (10/21)
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Prenatal exposure to smoking lowers cortisol levels in newborns
Infants whose mothers smoked while pregnant had reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in response to seven neurobehavioral tests over the first month of life, according to a study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Prenatal smoking was also linked to changes in the DNA for a gene that regulates the passage of cortisol from mother to fetus. Science World Report (10/20)
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Rifaximin may reduce symptoms of IBS with diarrhea, study says
Giving patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome the drug rifaximin reduced some symptoms in 72% of study participants, with 42% considered to be responders, researchers reported at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting. Researchers said the treatment also could be repeated in the event of a relapse. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/22)
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U.S. lags behind other rich nations in terms of health care access
A 2013 survey by the Commonwealth Fund revealed the U.S. ranked last in terms of health care access compared with 10 other industrialized nations. The U.S. also showed the poorest performance in addressing patient needs outside regular business hours, the poll found. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. HealthDay News (10/22)
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U.S. trans-fat intake dips, but improvements still needed
Trans-fat intake has fallen by about one-third over the past three decades but still accounts for 1.9% of daily calories in men and about 1.7% in women, a study on the website of the Journal of the American Heart Association says. Saturated-fat intake also dropped, but omega-3 fat consumption held steady and is still below recommended levels, researchers said. HealthDay News (10/22)
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Practice Management
CMS call to address EHR flexibility rule
The CMS is planning a call to discuss the 2014 Certified EHR Technology Flexibility Rule and how medical professionals can use it to satisfy 2014 meaningful use requirements. The call is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Oct. 30. (10/21)
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Health Policy & Legislation
AAFP delegates support preserving Academy's history
Physicians attending the AAFP's 2014 Congress of Delegates supported preserving the Academy's history, and the Reference Committee on Organization and Finance recommended approval of a resolution to salvage artifacts from the Academy's first headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Delegates also discussed the International System of Units, studying member representation in the Congress and wording changes in the AAFP's Degree of Fellow oath. AAFP News (10/22)
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Post-election Congress faces decisions on CHIP, SGR
When Congress reconvenes after the November elections, it will be faced with decisions about reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program and repealing the sustainable growth rate formula. Costs are an issue, but the latest SGR fix expires at the end of the year and CHIP needs to be addressed because of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, experts said. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/22)
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Professional Issues & Trends
Small medical groups allot less money for patient data protection
A CSID poll found that while 85% of small health care groups believe their IT systems adequately protect against data breach, one-third of respondents reported allocating no more than 10% of their IT budget to protecting patient information. Data also showed 28.6% of small groups had a crisis plan prepared in the event of a breach. (10/22)
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Inside the AAFP
Want change? Get involved in your Academy
Fresh Perspectives
Family physicians make a difference for patients every day in their practices. Kyle Jones, M.D., writes from the 2014 AAFP Congress of Delegates that FPs can make a broad impact beyond the exam room by participating in AAFP leadership opportunities. Find out more in the latest Fresh Perspectives blog post.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
PhysicianColumbia Medical PracticeColumbia, Maryland
Open Rank - GeriatricianUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque, New Mexico
Associate Medical DirectorCapital BlueCrossHarrisburg, Pennsylvania
Family Physician with critical access hospital, no OB,Patrick County Family PracticeStuart, Virginia
Family Medicine PhysicianImmediate Opening for a Family Medicine PhysicianColumbus, Georgia
Full-time Family Practice PhysicianPrime Care Clinic 1Irvington, New Jersey
Staff PhysicianGeorgetown University Student Health CenterWashington, Dist. Columbia
Staff PhysicianGrand RoundsMultiple Locations
Family Medicine Physician Needed in Brandon, FLHCABrandon, Florida
Family PhysicianLifetime Family MedicineGainesville, Virginia
Primary Care Outpatient onlyHCABradenton, Florida
Urgent Care Physician needed in Spring Hill, FLHCASpring Hill, Florida
Integrative Medicine PhysicianCasey Health InstituteGaithersburg, Maryland
Physician/associate positionHouston Headache InstituteHouston, Texas
Family Practice Opportunity in Sanford FLHCASanford, Florida
Click here to view more job listings.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
-- Steve Jobs,
American entrepreneur
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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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