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January 9, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Doctors may see Medicaid parity pay delay
    Many state Medicaid programs are not yet capable of implementing the higher primary care pay rates that went into effect Jan. 1. States have until March 31 to submit plans to the CMS on how they will implement the provision, and CMS then has 90 days to respond. States are responsible for paying physicians retroactively to Jan. 1, however. The CMS has issued Q-and-A documents to help physicians understand the parity rule. AAFP News Now (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • CDC: Binge drinking is an under-recognized health issue for women
    Binge drinking remains an under-recognized women's health problem, despite being linked to serious health issues and the deaths of about 12,000 U.S. women and girls per year, the CDC said on Tuesday. Researchers assessed drinking behaviors of about 278,000 women ages 18 and older, and 7,500 high-school girls in 2011, and found that 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high-school girls reported binge drinking. Reuters (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Regular vitamin D may not help ease arthritis pain
    Vitamin D supplements failed to yield significant improvements on pain measures among adults with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The vitamin D group and the placebo group had the same changes in knee cartilage volume as well as knee function, researchers said. Reuters (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sweetened drinks may raise depression risk, study finds
    Older adults who consumed at least four servings of artificially sweetened soda, fruit punch or iced tea every day had a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression in the next decade, according to a study of more than 260,000 adults ages 50 to 71 in the U.S. Regular sugar-sweetened soda drinkers also had an increased depression risk, but the link was weaker than the one between artificially sweetened drinks and depression. The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. HealthDay News (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • High-intensity EHR help may boost physician quality measures
    Physicians in small-practice settings and underserved areas who received high-intensity technical assistance with EHR adoption attained better scores on selected quality measures than those who did not get the assistance, a study in Health Affairs found. The findings may aid federal regional extension centers that help providers adopt EHRs in choosing where and how to spend their resources, the study's lead author said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Reminders from health departments raise vaccination rates
    Timely reminders about the vaccinations of preschool children are more efficient in boosting immunization rates when provided by local and state health departments than primary care practices, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers said the findings indicate that practices and public health departments should work together to recall children who need vaccinations. Healthcare Informatics online (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • AMA pushes for broader ACA drug coverage
    The American Medical Association and other medical organizations are urging HHS to require insurers to cover more drugs in each therapeutic class under the Affordable Care Act's essential health benefits. The AMA says insurers' drug formularies should be similar to those in the Medicare Part D program. American Medical News (free content) (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CMS offers grants to boost Medicaid/CHIP enrollment
    The CMS on Tuesday issued a solicitation for applications for grants, funded under the Affordable Care Act, aimed at increasing the number of eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. The grants of up to $1 million each are expected to be distributed in June. AHA News Now (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Med schools teach team-building to counter "bystander effect"
    Yale physicians in a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece claim that consulting doctors who are not directly responsible for a patient's care may not speak up or question decisions or diagnoses, a phenomenon called the "bystander effect." Some medical schools are answering the problem by teaching students about team-building and how to better communicate with specialists or surgeons. Family physician Paul George, who leads a clerkship transition program at Brown University, says it is a start, but more training is needed. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/White Coat Notes (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Make a wish to make a difference in the new year and Coca-Cola Live Positively are partnering to help increase health care access for all Americans through My Health Wish. Make a health resolution to start off the new year by visiting My Health Wish on Tell us your health wish, and Coca-Cola Live Positively will then donate one dollar to Family Medicine Cares, the AAFP Foundation's humanitarian program that helps establish new free clinics to care for the uninsured in areas of need. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today."
--E. Joseph Cossman,
American entrepreneur and inventor

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