AAFP News Now
Updated: 33 min 33 sec ago
Group visits can be an effective practice tool for busy physicians caring for patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, that call for close management. In fact, the AAFP supports group visits, also called shared medical appointments, as a proven method of improving care quality and helping patients take control of their health care.
The CDC has issued a health advisory in response to reports of eight cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease in students at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., as well as three additional cases in students at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Although both outbreaks are caused by serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis, additional molecular typing shows that they are being caused by two different strains, indicating that the outbreaks are not related.
The United States currently faces a critical shortage of primary care physicians, and many experts predict the shortage will grow worse in coming years. In particular, health care experts say the nation needs more minority physicians because although African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans currently make up nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population, just 7 percent of U.S. physicians come from one of these ethnic groups.
When a patient dies unexpectedly in a hospital setting, communication among next of kin, medical examiners, hospital staff members and other clinicians often is challenging. The information needs of these diverse interests vary, with the medical examiner seeking to determine the cause and manner of death in the interest of advancing criminal or civil justice and for public health purposes; the hospital and its medical professionals wanting to better understand the death of the patient for quality assurance purposes and to advance the science of medicine; and the patient's next of kin desiring answers as to how and why their loved one died.
Can a small, mostly rural, family medicine-based accountable care organization provide high-quality, coordinated care for its Medicare patients while also saving Medicare money? Nine independent family medicine practices in Nebraska are betting that the answer is yes.
This roundup includes the following news briefs: AAFP, USPSTF Issue Final Recommendations on Oral Cancer Screening; New Report Reiterates Need to Prescribe Antibiotics Appropriately; 2014 Medicare Fee Schedule Topic of Next CMS Open Door Forum; and CMS to Host Dec. 5 Webinar on 2014 eHealth Program Milestones.
The AAFP has long pointed out that there are geographic problems with funding for graduate medical education, and now an article in the November Health Affairs underscores the geographic imbalances in Medicare's GME system and makes a number of recommendations to revise the formula.
Final rules issued this month by the Obama administration expand efforts to ensure that mental health and substance use disorders receive insurance coverage that is on par with that for medical and surgical benefits.
"Attention: Your doctor(s) will not be in your plan's network starting Jan. 1, 2014." So reads the opening statement of a Sept. 24 notice received by a Florida woman who for many years had her health care needs attended to by Jack Matheny, M.D., a solo family physician in Palatka, Fla.
FDA officials announced this week that restrictions the agency had placed on the diabetes medication rosiglitazone (Avandia) in September 2010 are being lifted based on recent research findings that failed to confirm a link between use of the drug and an increased risk for cardiovascular events.
On Capitol Hill last week, AAFP leaders more than made up for a round of congressional visits scheduled for last month that had to be cancelled because of the federal government shutdown. In a span of less than two days, Academy officers and staff tallied up more than a dozen visits with key legislators, congressional staff members and regulatory heads to discuss issues ranging from repeal and replacement of the sustainable growth rate to the current timetable for implementation of meaningful use stage two requirements.
The AAFP joined the AMA and a host of other national physician organizations -- as well as 43 state medical societies and associations -- in asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to hit the pause button before finalizing the draft version of a handbook that establishes guidelines for nursing care within the Veterans Health Administration system.
This roundup includes the following news briefs: New Report Tallies Incidence, Fallout of Sports-related Concussions in Youth, Free AHRQ Tool Kit Aims to Improve Office Laboratory Testing, CMS Report Reveals Initial Marketplace Enrollment Numbers, and Patients' Complex Health Needs Better Met With Health IT Resources.
Family physicians with hospital admitting privileges likely are aware of CMS' new benchmark for inpatient hospital admissions that went into effect on Oct. 1. If not, they most likely will hear about it soon from the hospitals to which they admit patients.
Although it's long been thought that family medicine residency program graduates settle close to their residency training sites, new research from the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care confirms that claim.
The CDC has identified a cluster of late vitamin K deficiency bleeding cases involving four Tennessee infants whose parents declined vitamin K prophylaxis. The CDC is investigating the cases in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Health.
Residents who train in safety-net settings are more likely to return to practice in a similar setting, according to new research conducted by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care and published in an early release of the December issue of Academic Medicine.
Although total U.S. medical school enrollment increased nearly 23 percent between 2000 and 2010, many of those newly minted physicians won't choose primary care specialties nor will they settle in states with the most severe primary care shortages. Those issues are discussed in a new study in the December issue of Academic Medicine.