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January 18, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • U.S. cancer death rates down 20% since 1991
    The American Cancer Society reported that the overall death rate for cancer was 20% lower in 2009 than at its highest point, in 1991. The improvement represents the prevention of 1.2 million cancer deaths since 1991. Decreases in mortality for lung, breast and prostate cancer were big factors in the decline. The findings appear in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. WebMD (1/17) , MedPage Today (free registration) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Clinical News 
  • Long-term diabetes, insulin use increase cancer risk
    Type 2 diabetes patients who had the disease for 15 years or more showed a higher risk of certain cancers than those with diabetes for less than 15 years, according to a study in Diabetes Care. The estimated cancer prevalence was also 1.3 times higher in insulin-treated patients compared with nonusers, researchers noted. Medscape (free registration) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Polypill linked to lower risk of heart disease
    A polypill that includes aspirin, a statin and three blood pressure lowering drugs could lower the lifetime risk of heart disease by 21% in men and 15% in women, a study in Latin America found. The polypill "would be cost-effective and could also be cost-saving," study leader Leonelo Bautista said. The study was published in the journal Health Affairs. The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Study: Many heart patients not prescribed aspirin for prevention
    HHS researchers said only 47% of cardiovascular patients were prescribed aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs for secondary prevention during outpatient physician visits in 2007-2008. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine found primary care physicians prescribed antiplatelets only 35% of the time, and researchers suggested using electronic health records to create reminders as a way to improve prescribing rates. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Physicians see flu patients using online, telephone service
    Primary care physicians associated with Beth Israel Medical Group in New York City use the online and telephone service Teladoc to see flu patients who otherwise might end up in the emergency department. Elizabeth Enschede, a physician with the medical group, said seeing patients at home helps contain the flu outbreak. WCBS-TV (New York) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • HHS boosts patient protections with HIPAA updates
    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of HIPAA changes to ensure that the privacy and medical data of patients are protected. The HIPAA update allows patients to request an electronic copy of their EHRs and gives them control over the data that can be shared by their doctors. Healthcare Informatics online (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS dives into exchange marketing with website overhaul
    HHS has relaunched its website in an effort to engage millions of uninsured Americans the agency hopes will buy health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. HHS' Jason Young said the new site was the start of a "full-throttle" effort to spread the word about exchanges. USA Today (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Medical center may use partnerships to entice hospitalists
    Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pittsburgh is considering offering partnership deals instead of just employment contracts if it adds hospitalists to its ranks. It has been adding primary care physicians to meet demand, and chief medical officer Richard Collins said it likely will be up to individual doctors whether to use a hospitalist or see their own patients in the hospital. American City Business Journals/Pittsburgh (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Free webinar sorts out 2013 Medicare fee schedule details
    Let two AAFP experts guide you through the maze of minutiae that make up the 2013 Medicare physician fee schedule during a free hourlong webinar offered Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. CST by TransforMED's Delta-Exchange network. Keep your business profitable and sidestep regulatory pitfalls by learning about new rules and provisions related to, among other things, transitional care management, annual wellness visits and federal bonus/penalty programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System. You'll have time for questions, and the entire webinar will be archived for physicians unable to participate in the live event. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones."
--Don Herold,
American humorist, writer and cartoonist

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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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