AAFP News Now
Updated: 50 min 3 sec ago
Nearly 40 family physicians from 16 states recently converged on a hotel south of Phoenix for the AAFP's first one-day workshop on direct primary care (DPC). Some physicians came on a fact-finding mission; others were transitioning to a DPC practice or were already engaged in the model.
The BUILD Health Challenge initiative plans to offer as much as $7.5 million in grants and loans to foster and expand meaningful partnerships among organizations that affect community health. Five one-year planning awards of $75,000 each (plus a possible additional $100,000 for each awardee) and nine two-year implementation awards of $250,000 each will be distributed.
The AAFP recently released a set of breastfeeding resources, including an updated version of its position paper on the topic, to help physicians support expectant and new mothers. The position paper includes new scientific research that has been distilled into a condensed core paper with supporting appendices.
COLA, a U.S. laboratory accreditation organization, recently released a white paper urging physicians with office labs to establish tighter protocols to help reduce testing errors and redundancy. COLA has developed a program called Patient-Centered Laboratory Excellence that aligns laboratory practices with patient-centered medical home standards.
After multiple discussions about whether and how to continue the 10 percent Medicare bonus payment for primary care services, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is expected to formally recommend continuation of the incentive sometime next year.
Results of a new survey indicate that some consumers with private health insurance plans still worry about paying for unexpected health events and, consequently, may forgo needed care.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued an interim final rule implementing a new law that gives veterans greater flexibility in seeking care from non-VA physicians and facilities.
This roundup includes the following news briefs: USPSTF Says Benefits of Thyroid Screening Unclear; "Drink More Water," Kidney Stone Guideline Recommends; Million Hearts Website Introduces Healthy Lifestyle Center; and National Health IT Certification Body Suspends Operations.
With federal funding for three programs that enhance access to care in underserved areas while bolstering primary care set to expire in September 2015, the AAFP and more than 100 other organizations wrote to Senate and House leaders asking them to continue funding for teaching health centers, community health centers and the National Health Service Corps.
Participants at the Oct. 29-30 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed data suggesting the live attenuated influenza vaccine was not effective against the influenza A (H1N1) virus in children during the 2013-14 flu season.
The AAFP recently signed on to a letter urging the Senate Committee on Armed Services to reject language in the National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent banning tobacco sales in military installations.
A new interactive online mapping tool provides detail about physician shortage areas throughout the United States, including information regarding where physicians and nonphysician health care professionals are located. The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care and HealthLandscape helped developed the tool.
On Oct. 31, CMS released the final version of its 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule. To aid members, the AAFP has created a summary that highlights portions important to primary care, such as implementation of the new chronic care management fee, handling of misvalued CPT codes, and addressing CMS' Open Payment program regulations.
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, introduced legislation that would provide a clear exemption from reporting requirements for educational materials such as peer-reviewed textbooks and journal article reprints that physicians obtain when they attend educational seminars or similar professional events. The Academy has thrown its support behind the bill.
The Academy has endorsed an acute otitis externa guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation that provides evidence-based treatment recommendations and places particular emphasis on patient education and counseling.
In a recent meeting with AAFP and chapter leaders, CMS Deputy Administrator Cindy Mann, J.D., said some states that initially resisted expansion of Medicaid now are in discussions with federal officials to do so. Mann also said she is hopeful that the increased primary care payment for Medicaid will continue beyond 2014.
CMS has launched a $114 million initiative that will help physicians and in rural and other medically underserved areas combine health information technology resources and accountable care organization participation to enhance the care they provide.
One way to improve practice efficiency is to identify patients at highest risk for hospitalization, ER visits and high-cost care, and then pour dedicated practice resources into the care of those patients. The AAFP has a tool that can help practices get started.
Each September, first-year students at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City are invited to a welcome luncheon organized by the school's Family and Community Medicine Interest Group. The welcome lunch and subsequent monthly luncheons help dispel common myths about family medicine and enable students to explore what it's like to be a family doctor.
AAFP member Kent Brantly, M.D., sat down with AAFP News shortly before his speech to a packed ballroom during the AAFP Assembly on Oct. 24 to discuss his experience with Ebola infection.