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January 11, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Sequestration cuts threaten physician pay, program funding
    U.S. lawmakers and the Obama administration disagree on how to offset $24 billion in sequestration cuts scheduled for late March that include a 2% reduction in Medicare physician pay and a more than 7% decrease in funding for programs important to family medicine. The AAFP is working to help ensure budget cuts do not adversely affect primary care physicians and training programs. Board Chair Glen Stream, M.D., said Congress should "avoid the blunt instrument approach to budget-cutting." AAFP News Now (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • Weight-loss counseling rates decline in the U.S.
    The likelihood of receiving weight-loss counseling during primary care visits decreased by 41% among Americans in 2007-2008, compared with 1995-1996, despite rising obesity rates, a study in Medical Care indicated. Researchers also found the odds of weight-loss counseling dropped 46% for patients with hypertension and 59% for those with diabetes. HealthDay News (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Review ties erectile dysfunction to increased heart, mortality risks
    The odds of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality were 44% and 25% higher, respectively, among individuals with erectile dysfunction compared with those without the condition, an analysis by researchers in Greece found. Men with the condition were more likely to suffer from myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular problems, according to the review of 14 studies. The analysis was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Medscape (free registration)/ (Montreal) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High BPA levels may put children at risk for heart, kidney problems
    Youths with the highest concentrations of bisphenol A in their urine had a greater albumin-to-creatinine ratio than those with lower levels, indicating a risk of kidney damage and future heart problems, a study showed. The findings, based on more than 700 6- to 19-year-olds included in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, appear in the journal Kidney International. HealthDay News (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • WBC counts can predict pertussis severity in babies
    Health records of 31 babies with pertussis in pediatric intensive care units in California between 2009 and 2011 revealed greater white blood cell counts and at least a 50% increase in white blood cells among nearly all of those with more severe pertussis. Aside from having elevated maximum heart and breathing rates, babies with more serious pertussis were more at risk for seizures, shock and kidney failure, researchers found. The findings appear in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. HealthDay News (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Team-based care may hold promise for physician shortages
    A team-based approach that assigns patients to two or three doctors and shifting one-fifth of patient demand to nonphysician personnel may help relieve physician shortages, according to new research. Increased electronic communication may also play a role. The findings were published in Health Affairs. (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Hospital primary care clinic leads to better follow-up
    More than half of patients with nonemergency medical issues who were treated at a hospital primary care clinic instead of the emergency department had a primary care follow-up in the following year, compared with just one-third of those seen in the ED, New York researchers reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Patients treated at the primary care clinic also were more likely to say their care was "very good," compared with patients seen in the ED. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Online deals do not lead to repeat patients, experts say
    Health care groups or practitioners offering patients special online deals and coupons see good results but patients who take advantage of the deals often do not return, health care marketing experts said. James Doulgeris of HCP Associates said coupons are a good option for healthy people who do not need follow-up care, including people with private health insurance. Kaiser Health News (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • New ACOs joining Medicare Shared Savings initiative
    CMS confirmed the participation of 106 newly formed accountable care organizations in the agency's Medicare Shared Savings program. The formation of the groups has expanded the number of ACOs to more than 250. Fifteen of the 106 groups are part of the Advanced Payment Model program and will receive funds from Medicare to boost their information platforms and staff. Health Data Management (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Want to make a difference? Sign up to attend 2013 NCSC
    Registration is now open for the 2013 National Conference of Special Constituencies, the AAFP's premier policy event to address issues specific to women; minorities; new physicians; international medical graduates; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender physicians. Register by March 20 for the April 25 to 27 conference (pre-conference workshop on April 24) in Kansas City, Mo., to save $50. Don't miss this chance to join hundreds of current and aspiring family medicine leaders for three days of high-energy leadership development and advocacy on issues that matter to your colleagues, your practice and your patients. Register now. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
--Thomas Jefferson,
3rd U.S. president

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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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