House lawmakers hear about effects of high medical school debt | CDC examines trends in meeting physical activity guidelines | Adiposity may raise risk of childhood hypertension
June 14, 2019
Family Medicine SmartBrief
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House lawmakers hear about effects of high medical school debt
Physicians this week told the House Small Business Committee about the impact high medical school debt has on their professional lives and decision-making. Committee chair Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said high student debt has kept physicians from starting their own practices and working in underserved communities, and has led them to choose more lucrative specialties than primary care.
FierceHealthcare (6/13) 
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Clinical News
CDC examines trends in meeting physical activity guidelines
Researchers evaluated 2008 to 2017 data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that the prevalence of meeting physical activity guidelines rose from 19.4% to 25.3% among adults in urban areas and from 13.3% to 19.6% among those in rural areas. The findings, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed a higher prevalence among urban residents in all demographic regions and subgroups from 2016 to 2017, compared with 2008 to 2009.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (6/13) 
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Adiposity may raise risk of childhood hypertension
Four-year-olds with persistent and new excess weight were 2.54 times and 2.49 times more likely to develop hypertension by age 6, respectively, compared with those with healthy weight, Spanish researchers reported in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The findings also showed a 3.42 times and 2.81 times increased likelihood of high blood pressure among those with persistent and new abdominal obesity, respectively.
Business Standard (India) (tiered subscription model)/Press Trust of India (6/13) 
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Antidepressants may heighten dementia risk in older adults
Older adults who take antidepressants had a threefold increased likelihood of developing dementia, compared with those who don't take them, according to a study in The American Journal of Psychiatry. The findings were based on data involving 71,515 Israeli adults ages 60 and older followed between 2013 and 2017.
The Times of Israel (6/14) 
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Rotavirus vaccination tied to lower pediatric diabetes risk
Youths who received complete rotavirus vaccination were 33% less likely to develop type 1 diabetes than those who weren't vaccinated, and there was an even lower risk among those who were given all three doses of the pentavalent vaccine, compared with those who received only two monovalent vaccine doses, according to a study in Scientific Reports. Researchers also found 94% and 31% lower rates of rotavirus infection-related and any hospitalizations, respectively, among vaccinated children during the first two months post-vaccination, compared with those who weren't vaccinated.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (6/13) 
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Practice Management
New quality reporting tool from CMS will replace Hospice Item Set
The CMS is developing a quality reporting tool to be known as Hospice Evaluation and Assessment Reporting Tool, or HEART, to replace the Hospice Item Set measures. According to the CMS, the tool is intended to be used as part of the hospice care planning process as well as for the evaluation of care quality.
Hospice News (6/7) 
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Study suggests ways to reduce EHR-related patient safety risk
A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine based on EHR data from 170,332 encounters and interviews with 40 physicians found that variations in clinical documentation in EHRs could result in patient harm and clinical inefficiencies. Researchers suggest conducting user training during the implementation of EHR systems and setting up practice meetings for standardized documentation.
Becker's Health IT & CIO Report (6/13) 
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Health Policy & Legislation
House amends spending bill, possibly paving way for national patient ID
The House has amended a health care spending bill to remove a ban on using federal funding to create a national patient identifier. The ban traces back to security issues in the 1990s, but industry groups have supported the concept as a better way to match data to the right patient.
Healthcare IT News (6/13) 
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Proposal would require insurers to cover OTC birth control
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., introduced legislation that would require health insurance providers to pay for FDA-approved over-the-counter birth control with no cost-sharing.
National Review (6/13) 
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Professional Issues & Trends
Improving efficiency among top concerns of health care leaders
Streamlining health care operation costs and boosting efficiency rank as some of the biggest concerns for today's health care executives, according to a study by market research firm Rabin. The need for efficiency was one of the top three challenges going into 2020 for a third of respondents, and executives also said they are focused on encouraging technology vendors to promote interoperability and enhancing employees' technology training to ease the transition to value-based care.
Healthcare IT News (6/11) 
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Inside the AAFP
Free online CME: Recognize and prescribe treatments for lupus
Free online CME: Recognize and prescribe treatments for lupus
In this webcast, study the most common form of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus. Learn how to differentiate SLE symptoms from those of other autoimmune disorders, appropriately treat, include patients as stakeholders, and co-manage with specialists. Learn more.
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[We] thought that once we'd climbed the mountain, it was unlikely anyone would ever make another attempt.
Sir Edmund Hillary,
mountaineer who, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, was the first climber to reach Mount Everest's summit
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About AAFP
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 Family Medicine 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 http://aafp.org.
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

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