The AAFP will host "The Business of Telemedicine" free webinar on March 30 to give physicians more information on using technology to deliver health care to patients. Presenter Janine Gracy of the Heartland Telehealth Resource Center will cover the pros and cons of using telehealth, business and organizational aspects of telehealth, current technologies and capabilities, and how HIPAA applies to telehealth.
The US Preventive Services Task Force published updated guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommending clinicians offer behavioral counseling for adolescents and young adults up to 24 years of age who have a fair complexion, as well as parents of fair-skinned children as young as 6 months old, to curb skin cancer risk. The guidance, based on a review of 21 studies, also advised that counseling for those ages 25 and older should be based on skin cancer risk but there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against skin self-examination in adults.
Researchers reviewed data gathered by the World Health Organization for 312,281 pregnancies from 29 countries and found that pregnant women with severe anemia had twice the risk of maternal mortality. The findings were published in The Lancet Global Health.
A study in the Journal of Hepatology revealed that adults with high consumption of total meat and red and/or processed meat were at an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, compared with those with low meat consumption. Israeli researchers conducted a cross-sectional study and found that an increased risk of insulin resistance was independently associated with high intake of meat that was fried or grilled and contained heterocyclic amines.
A study in Pediatrics showed that children living in areas with the highest poverty quintile and those in the quintile with the highest rate of homes without vehicle access were 60% and 77% more likely to have unfilled prescriptions, respectively, compared with those in the low poverty quintile and those in the quintile with the lowest rate of households without vehicle access. Researchers also found that poverty and vehicle access had significant, graded associations with primary medication nonadherence rates, with the gradients seen across all medication classes.
A Department of Veterans Affairs' proposed rule affecting the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA seeks to reduce patient wait times by expanding access to care from medical professionals outside of the military health care system. An AAFP letter to the agency said for the proposal to succeed, physicians must be paid at or above Medicare levels.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar says health care professionals should talk with patients in advance of treatment about the cost of services and drugs as part of a strategy to reduce health care costs and improve value. Experts say price transparency is of little value because patients have limited ability to comparison-shop for care.
The AAFP and seven other health care groups sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to include a legislative package that would fund a reinsurance program and cost-sharing reduction payments in a must-pass omnibus spending bill due Friday. The groups said the restoration of CSR payments and a reinsurance program could cut premiums by 21% next year and boost enrollment in Affordable Care Act markets by more than 1.5 million.
The FDA on Tuesday opened a 90-day comment period on the harmful effects of menthol and other tobacco flavorings as it considers prohibiting the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products as part of its efforts to curb smoking by children. Robin Koval, president and CEO of Truth Initiative, an advocacy group targeting youth smoking, expressed support for the FDA initiative, but the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids questioned the need for more input and called for immediate action on regulating flavored tobacco products.
Physician offices and hospitals sometimes recycle paperwork containing sensitive patient information instead of destroying it, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers said potential privacy breaches can be expected when "patient information is printed and there is an option for nonconfidential paper disposal."
The AAFP has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Physicians to support the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' Kick Butts Day, an annual awareness campaign that encourages kids and their communities to take action and speak out against tobacco use. As you talk with your patients about the health effects of tobacco use and options for prevention and cessation, please take advantage of AAFP resources for physicians and patients.
Get the most current information on prevalent disease processes and topics that occur in women in a three-and-a-half-day live course. Register for the AAFP's Women's Health live course in San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.), July 11-14, and earn up to 25.5 AAFP Prescribed credits.
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