AAFP News Now
Updated: 11 min 40 sec ago
The AAFP takes every opportunity to remind CMS of the value of primary care for all Americans and the Academy's commitment to its own "Health Care for All" policy. Case in point, the AAFP recently was made aware of draft letter published online by CMS for the benefit of "issuers" or those entities looking to offer qualified health insurance plans in a federally facilitated marketplace in 2015.
In February, the AAFP joined a coalition of health industry stakeholders in issuing a consensus statement that outlines collaborative steps the groups will take to ensure the delivery of responsible and effective patient care when it comes to prescribing and dispensing controlled substances.
This roundup includes the following news briefs: CMS Decision to Add Second Week of ICD-10 Testing Follows AAFP Request, 'Road to 10' Resource From CMS Can Help With ICD-10 Transition, CDC Recommends Physicians Use New Checklist to Improve Antibiotic Prescribing Practices, and CMS Launches eHealth University.
Despite significant progress made in preventing group B Streptococcus (GBS) disease since the 1990s, including the release of updated prevention guidelines in 2010, GBS remains the leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis in the United States, according to the CDC. In response, the CDC has teamed up with the AAFP and a number of health care professional organizations to create a new tool to combat the disease.
G. Gayle Stephens, M.D., FAAFP, of Birmingham, Ala., died Feb. 20 at age 85. Considered one of the preeminent champions of the specialty and a fierce advocate of family medicine's role in reforming and reshaping the face of medicine, Stephens had been a member of the AAFP since 1959.
If you asked one Michigan family physician how she spent her summer vacation last year, she would tell you she worked diligently toward expanding Medicaid for state residents. Tina Tanner, M.D., president-elect of the Michigan AFP (MAFP), cut her vacation short to give testimony on the issue before the Michigan Senate. She was enjoying time off with family when she took time out to travel to Lansing to testify. For more than a year, the MAFP and other state medical associations had been pushing for expansion of Medicaid in Michigan.
After many months of discussion and negotiation, leaders of the U.S. allopathic and osteopathic medical communities announced this week that they will transition to a single graduate medical education accreditation system.
The AAFP has said it concurs with a Feb. 24 recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against using beta-carotene or vitamin E supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. AAFP also agrees with the USPSTF that evidence currently is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of using multivitamins or single- or paired-nutrient supplements (with the exception of beta-carotene and vitamin E) for the prevention of these conditions.
This roundup includes the following news briefs: AAFP Supports Proposed Rule on Administrative Simplification, ONC Issues Proposed Rule on 2015 Edition EHR Technology, National Vaccine Advisory Committee Updates Standards for Adult Immunization Practice, and CMS Looking for More Participants for Bundled Payment Initiatives.
Physicians who decide to appeal a Medicare overpayment ruling face a long waiting period before they are granted a hearing. A single case can take two years or longer to complete the entire appeals process, an extended period that many medical organizations think is far too long.
More osteopathic physicians matched to family medicine than any other medical specialty in the recently completed American Osteopathic Association Intern/Resident Registration Program, which matches graduating osteopathic physicians with residency programs nationwide. When the results were tabulated, family medicine filled 519 of 880 open positions in the 2014 osteopathic Match.
Dozens of physician, hospital, health information technology and other stakeholder organizations that are invested in their members' successful completion of CMS' Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs took a united stand recently in asking HHS to modify program requirements and timelines.
Congress currently is looking at legislation that would end the frustrating cycle of temporary fixes to the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician payment and allow physicians to take a major step toward improving the quality of patient care. In response, the AAFP is reaching out to members to ask them to urge Congress to act before the latest patch to the SGR expires on March 31.
Arguably, vaccines represent one of the most significant advances ever made in medicine -- certainly in preventive medicine. If you're an avid immunizer, a public health aficionado, an emerging health policy expert, or any combination of these, the AAFP has an opportunity that just may be tailor-made for you.
Among the changes affecting the newly released 2014 recommended immunizations schedules, perhaps one of the biggest is what family physicians won't see this year. For the first time, the familiar figures, footnotes and tables have not been published in full in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Instead, electronic versions of the schedules have been posted to the Vaccines and Immunizations section of the CDC website so they can be swiftly revised if errors or omissions are discovered.
The AAFP has announced it is supporting pending legislation in Congress that would repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate payment formula and create a payment system that encourages quality improvements instead of the current emphasis on volume. In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders this week, AAFP Board Chair Jeff Cain, M.D., outlined the Academy's support for the bill.
Just about one year ago, the AAFP and TransforMED offered family physicians an introductory webinar to expose them to basic elements of meaningful use stage two requirements. Now it's time to really get down to business preparing for requirements poised to take effect in 2014.
My curiosity was piqued a few years ago when I read a call for applications for the AAFP Vaccine Science Fellowship. Although immunizations were not my area of expertise, I had been searching for an outlet for my particular combination of interests -- public health, health information technology and quality improvement. The fellowship fit perfectly.