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December 10, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • AAFP leads effort to oppose House Medicare bill
    The AAFP issued a Speak Out to members and joined other physician groups in signing a letter to Congress opposing a House bill that would eliminate a provision in the health care reform act that raises Medicaid rates to Medicare levels for two years. The bill would use the savings to pay for a one-year extension of Medicare sustainable growth rate formula, which would block a 26.5% pay cut for physicians scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. AAFP News Now (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • Severe acute kidney injuries on the rise in U.S.
    The annual rate of dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury increased by about 10% on average from 2000 to 2009, with older people, men and black people being the most likely patients, a study showed. Annual mortality for such conditions rose from 18,000 to almost 39,000 during the study period, researchers said. They wrote in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that the incidence of these injuries surpassed that of kidney failure that requires transplant or dialysis. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hypoglycemia raises CVD, death risk in patients with type 2 diabetes
    Type 2 diabetes patients who had mild or severe hypoglycemia showed higher rates of complications including hypertension, kidney disease and cancer than those without hypoglycemia, a study indicated. Hypoglycemia was also associated with a higher risk of heart disease, hospitalization and death in patients, researchers said. The results appear in Diabetes Care. (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Combining talking therapies, drugs may work better for depression
    U.K. researchers tracked 469 patients who failed to respond to antidepressant treatments and found that 46% of those who continued their medication and received cognitive behavioral therapy experienced at least a 50% reduction in depressive symptoms compared with 22% of those who took antidepressants alone. CBT-treated patients were also more likely to experience remission and have fewer anxiety symptoms. The findings were published in The Lancet. Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Patients who had knee replacement gain weight in study
    Thirty percent of knee-replacement patients experienced weight gain of at least 5% of their weight at the time of the surgery in the five years after the procedure, suggesting that the operation may increase the risk of weight gain, a study in the journal Arthritis Care & Research revealed. "Future research should develop weight loss/maintenance interventions particularly for younger patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight prior to surgery, as they are most at risk for substantial post surgical weight gain," said study leader Daniel Riddle. Yahoo/Reuters (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Studies: Computer use leads to pain for doctors
    Data from two Cornell University studies showed physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are spending more time at the computer and paying a price in repetitive strain injuries linked to poorly designed work spaces. One study found that most female physicians and more than 40% of the males had repetitive strain-related pain in the neck, shoulder and back at least once a week. HealthDay News (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Proposed essential health benefits regulations issued by HHS
    HHS has proposed regulations on the essential health benefits needed for state health insurance exchanges. The regulations include the 10 specific benefits categories that must be offered in the exchanges, a plan requirement to cover at least one prescription drug in each specified category or class, annual cost-sharing limits, and the minimum value calculations for employer-provided health coverage. The regulations appendix also features a proposed benchmark plan for each state. Employee Benefit News (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Ohio needs PCMHs to meet demands of health reform, official says
    Ohio will need a better primary care structure, through patient-centered medical homes, to meet the health care demands of the Affordable Care Act, says Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health. The state is ahead of the curve, however, says Mary Wakefield of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, because it is a partner with the federal government in programs that offer incentives to medical students who enter family medicine and work in underserved areas. News Journal (Mansfield, Ohio) (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • Ready, Set, FIT!
    Ready, Set, FIT! is a school-based childhood obesity prevention program that enlists teachers and family physicians to teach third and fourth graders about the importance of fitness. Sign up to present and help students to be active, eat right and feel good in the upcoming year. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,
American physician, writer and poet

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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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