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December 31, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Medicare cuts are imminent
    Physicians are preparing themselves for an almost 27% cut in Medicare reimbursement that will take effect if lawmakers fail to enact a fix to the sustainable growth rate formula. The CMS said that if Congress acts before mid-January, payments may not be affected. CNBC (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • Diabetes raises risk of sudden cardiac death in men
    Data on 2,641 middle-aged men found those with prediabetes were 1.51 times as likely as those with normal glucose levels to suffer sudden cardiac death, while patients with type 2 diabetes had more than a twofold increased risk of sudden cardiac death. The results appear in Diabetes Care. (12/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Respiratory viruses linked to acute otitis media in children
    Researchers conducted 96,418 respiratory viral tests in children with a history of acute otitis media and found that 48% of them were positive, mostly for respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus and influenza. The findings appear in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Healio (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Weak heart may raise depression risk in men, study finds
    Having poor cardiovascular health at age 18 increases by nearly twofold a man's risk of being admitted for major depression later in life, according to a study of more than 1 million men in Sweden. Data showed that the poorer the cardiovascular fitness, the greater the risk of depression. The findings appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry. (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Medicare should adopt private-sector incentive strategies, GAO says
    The CMS should reward doctors for improving performance and meeting quality goals and should adjust payment more quickly in an effort to move Medicare from a fee-for-service system to one based on outcomes, a Government Accountability Office report suggests. The GAO recommends rewarding performance improvement based on nationally recognized standards rather than penalizing low quality. MedPage Today (free registration) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Baby boomers to benefit greatly from health care overhaul
    Baby boomers nearing retirement stand to benefit the most from the health care law, according to this article. The Affordable Care Act will prevent coverage denial for those with pre-existing conditions, remove lifetime and annual dollar limits, and limit the ability of insurers to charge people more based on their age. Although there is no guarantee of lower costs, exchanges will provide a competitive one-stop marketplace for health insurance. USA Today (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • PI CME model focuses on quality improvement
    As the nation moves to a pay-for-performance health care system, experts say demand will grow for Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education, which allows doctors to compare patient outcomes with national benchmarks and make measurable improvements to care. “For a patient whose physician is engaging in PI CME, it ensures more systematic, evidence-based care,” said Mindi McKenna, director of the AAFP’s CME division. American Medical News (free content) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Join Forces to help returning veterans
    Often, just asking the question, "Have you or a loved one ever served in the military?" can open a dialogue with your returning veteran patients who are facing health challenges. The AAFP is uniting with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in the Joining Forces campaign, which aims to support veterans and their families. To that end, the AAFP has compiled resources to help family physicians care for patients who have served in the military and to raise awareness of health issues that may affect returning service members. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Learn more about AAFP ->Home Page  |  AAFP News Now  |  AAFP CareerLink  |  AAFP CME Center  |  Connect to the AAFP

  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of New Year's Day, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty."
--John Selden,
English jurist and scholar

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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 AAFP 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

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