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February 5, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Study: PCMHs could do more to involve patients in improving quality
    While 90% of patient-centered medical home practices used one or more strategies to gather patient feedback, only 29% engaged patients and families as advisers and 32% involved patients in team efforts to boost care quality, according to a survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians Collaborative Care Research Network. The results appear in Health Affairs. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Clinical News 
  • Report maps psychiatric drug use in the U.S.
    Use of antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants is 40% greater in parts of the southern U.S. than in other regions, researchers wrote in the journal Health & Place, while patients living in the western U.S. are least likely to take psychiatric medications. "Our work suggests that access to clinical care and pharmaceutical marketing may be critical for understanding who gets treated and how they get treated," said Marissa King of Yale University. HealthDay News (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Review links men's kidney-stone risk, vitamin C supplements
    Researchers looked at data from 23,355 men in Sweden and found that those who took high-dose vitamin C supplements were almost twice as likely to develop kidney stones as those who didn't take any nutritional supplements. The risk of kidney stones was highest among men who took vitamin C supplements at least once a day, according to the study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/4) , Reuters (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Study uncovers challenges in shared decision-making
    Inadequate clinical information systems, insufficient provider training and heavy workload are among the biggest hurdles primary care practices face when implementing shared decision-making, a study published in Health Affairs found. "To meet this challenge, we recommend that such [accountable care] organizations carefully plan their implementation of shared decision making and make substantial long-term investments in information systems, provider training and process reengineering," researchers wrote. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study IDs barriers to specialty care for publicly insured children
    Many pediatric specialists said that economic concerns or institutional pressure forced them to limit or reduce the number of children they see with coverage under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. University of Pennsylvania researchers interviewed 26 specialists and 14 primary care doctors and found that emergency department referrals helped boost access to specialty care among publicly insured children. News (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Health IT boosts management of childhood obesity
    U.S. researchers reviewed 13 studies on the effect of health information technology on childhood obesity screening or treatment and found that EHR use was linked to greater BMI screening rates in five of eight studies. Telemedicine counseling was tied to similar changes in BMI percentile as those of in-person counseling in two studies, while one study showed text messaging or telephone support helped in weight loss maintenance. The review was published in Pediatrics. News (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • HHS issues final rule on new HIPAA patient privacy provisions
    HHS issued a final rule to implement patient privacy and security changes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and physicians must comply by Sept. 23. Among the provisions in the rule that affect family physicians is a requirement that improper use or disclosure of a patient's health information should be considered a breach triggering notification requirements unless a risk assessment determines otherwise. AAFP News Now (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS: Cutting outdated Medicare rules could save $676M yearly
    HHS proposed eliminating some outdated Medicare regulations to save health care providers and hospitals about $3.4 billion in five years, or $676 million a year. "By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and health care professionals can focus on treating patients," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. Reuters (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Chapter meetings shine light on constituent issues
    Attending AAFP constituent chapter meetings helps Academy leaders stay informed about member concerns in a more personalized fashion. These meetings also offer a chance for chapters to point out successes that might be replicated by colleagues elsewhere. Bright spots and solutions to common problems should be shared, says AAFP President-elect Reid Blackwelder, M.D. Read more of his thoughts on talking face-to-face with members during chapter meetings in the latest AAFP Leader Voices blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Failure changes for the better, success for the worse."
--Seneca the Younger,
Roman philosopher, statesman and playwright

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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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