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November 21, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Family physicians should advocate for prevention-based health care
    The country needs to change its health care system to one that is based on wellness and prevention, and family physicians are in an ideal position to lead the transformation, said keynote speaker Vivek Murthy, M.D., at the AAFP State Legislative Conference in Memphis. He urged doctors to speak to legislators and write opinion pieces for newspapers. The conference also highlighted the importance of primary care physicians in fighting the abuse of opioids. AAFP News Now (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • CDC warns about secondhand smoke exposure at airports
    Levels of secondhand smoke at five U.S. airports that allow indoor smoking were five times higher near designated smoking areas than in smoke-free airports, CDC researchers reported on Tuesday. The agency said that even the slightest exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to a heart attack. "Airport smoking areas and the areas around them are not healthy -- for workers or travelers, particularly children," CDC's Brian King said. Reuters (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Aspirin resistance may raise risk of severe stroke
    Aspirin-resistant patients were at an increased risk of having a score on the NIH Stroke Scale of 16 or higher upon admission compared with those who respond to aspirin, according to a study in the Archives of Neurology. Researchers also found patients who were resistant to aspirin were more likely to have an Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score lower than seven, which signals a significant area of infarction. MedPage Today(free registration) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA OKs first seasonal flu vaccine made using animal cell cultures
    The FDA has approved the use of Novartis' seasonal influenza vaccine for people ages 18 and older. The vaccine, which will be marketed under the brand name Flucelvax, is the first seasonal flu vaccine produced using animal cell cultures instead of the traditional chicken egg method, which allows for a faster production process. Reuters (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • AMA approves resolution on team-based care
    Delegates at the AMA House of Delegates meeting in Honolulu approved a definition of team-based care closely resembling that of AAFP and discussed how both independent and salaried physicians could employ the model. Delegates also adopted principles for physician employment in six areas and voted to maintain the traditional Medicare program while also allowing beneficiaries to use defined Medicare funds to purchase coverage from competing health plans. AAFP News Now (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study links EHR portal access to higher health care use
    Patients who used Web-based portals for EHR systems visited physician's offices more often and made more phone calls to providers than nonusers, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Increased after-hours clinic visits, emergency department utilization and hospitalizations were also associated with EHR portal use among patients, researchers said. They speculated that the portals might help uncover health issues or patients more likely to utilize health care were more inclined to sign up for the portal. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • HHS faces new challenges in running health insurance exchanges
    More states than expected are declining to set up health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS with a larger role than the Obama administration envisioned. HHS must ensure information technology systems work with aging state Medicaid systems, confirm health plans sold on exchanges meet all eligibility requirements, and set up appeals processes and call centers. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Medical College of Wisconsin plans expansion
    The Medical College of Wisconsin plans to establish new campuses in Green Bay and central Wisconsin in order to help meet the state's future needs for family physicians, particularly in rural and poor urban areas. The college also wants to increase the number of residencies in an effort to keep doctors in the area. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel(tiered subscription model) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Integrating risk-stratified care management into your practice
    In the not-so-distant future, CMS and private health insurers across the country likely will expect family medicine practices to have systems in place to help identify which patients have serious health care conditions that require more monitoring, special services and an overall care plan. In fact, demonstration projects already are in place and testing practices' ability to do all of the above.
    Family physicians who want to learn more about risk-stratified care management can tune into a free webinar on that topic offered by TransforMED's Delta-Exchange network on Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. CST. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Primary care physician mapper makes workforce data easily available
    States struggling to build their primary care physician workforce now have a free tool to help them pinpoint the distribution of primary care physicians by county, state or metropolitan census tract, thanks to a new tool provided by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care. The "Primary Care Physician Mapper" tool can be used by health policy analysts, researchers, academic centers and state officials to identify areas in a state that may have inadequate numbers of primary care physicians. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
--Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher

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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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