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January 16, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • AAFP asks for delay in stage 3 MU requirements
    The AAFP asked the the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for a delay in implementing meaningful use stage 3 requirements until at least 2017 and for a delay or elimination of all penalty provisions. AAFP Board Chair Glen Stream, M.D., sent a letter to ONC National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D., saying that stage 2 requirements have been pushed back until next year and there is concern that "HHS is attempting to raise the bar for what constitutes meaningful use before the majority of physicians and hospitals are able to achieve the meaningful use stage 1 or 2 objectives." AAFP News Now (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Clinical News 
  • CDC urges people to get flu shots as outbreak continues
    Increasing numbers of flu cases around the country prompted the CDC to urge people who have not received a flu vaccine to get one. Widespread flu activity was reported in 47 states and is expected to continue for several weeks. CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., said vaccination is "by far the best tool we have to prevent influenza." AAFP News Now (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Screening may not boost heart outcomes in diabetes
    Middle-aged and older adults who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through office screening had a worse baseline risk profile than those whose type 2 diabetes was diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms, a study indicated. Researchers found that the risks of stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular death at more than seven years were not significantly different between the two groups. The findings were published in the Annals of Family Medicine. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pneumonia may raise cardiac arrhythmia risk, study finds
    People hospitalized for pneumonia had a greater risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia, especially if they were older, used a breathing device or had a history of congestive heart failure, according to a study of 32,689 patients in the U.S. The risk was lower if patients received a beta blocker drug. The findings appeared online in the American Journal of Medicine. (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • EHR adoption among family docs could reach 80% this year
    Sixty-eight percent of family physicians in the U.S. used EHRs in 2011, and that figure could reach 80% this year if the growth in EHR adoption continues, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers reported that EHR adoption rates varied across the U.S., with the highest in Utah at close to 95% and the lowest in North Dakota at 47%. HealthDay News (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Feds indicate flexibility on exchange deadlines
    The White House has given states more time to demonstrate readiness if they are setting up their own insurance exchanges or partnering with the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was initially scheduled to determine whether states were ready to establish exchanges at the start of the year, but said she would extend or waive the deadline for any states that indicated interest in establishing an exchange or regulating policies sold through a federally run marketplace. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Patients more likely to get antibiotics with e-visit, study says
    Patients with sinus or urinary tract infections were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics during an online e-visit than during an in-person office visit, according to a study that compared the two treatment models at four primary care practices. The report in JAMA Internal Medicine estimated that treating UTI patients costs an average of $74 for an e-visit, compared with $93 for an office visit. Reuters (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study assesses opinions on appropriate social media use for docs
    A survey of medical board executive directors showed 81% of respondents agreed that presenting misleading data about clinical outcomes online warranted investigation, while 79% said use of patient images without consent was worthy of investigation. There was less agreement about investigation of scenarios such as showing use of alcohol without intoxication (40%) and use of derogatory speech toward patients (46%). The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, highlight the need for more education about social media use, researchers wrote. Modern Physician (free registration) (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Focus on leadership while setting your chapter's course at 2013 ALF
    The Annual Leadership Forum is the AAFP's leadership development program for chapter leaders and staff. Chapter presidents, presidents-elect and chapter executives are encouraged to attend, and many chapters send professional staff to participate in a wide range of educational sessions. ALF also provides a great orientation for emerging leaders serving, or interested in serving, on chapter boards. Participants make connections, share ideas and engage in important dialogue about their chapters. ALF sessions qualify for CAE credit on an hour-for-hour basis, up to six hours per day. Make plans now to join your colleagues April 25 to 27 in Kansas City, Mo. (pre-conference workshop on April 24). Register by March 20 and save $50. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
American poet and educator

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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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