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October 2015
News Archive

'SPEAK OUT' FOR PATIENT SAFETY, OPPOSE NP INDEPENDENCE BILLS (Oct. 30, 2015)

Patient safety is vital, which is why PAFP President Nicole Davis, MD testified before the House Professional Licensure Committee last week opposing House Bill 765 which would allow nurse practitioners full independence. Use the AAFP's Speak Out tool to oppose that bill and its Senate counterpart!
 
LIFE-SAVING OVERDOSE ANTIDOTE AVAILABLE TO ALL IN PA. (Oct. 29, 2015)

Naloxone - a life-saving antidote that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose - is now available to all Pennsylvanians. WITF reports Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed a standing order to allow anyone to simply walk into a drug store and purchase naloxone even if they don't have a prescription.
 
PREVIEW IMPROVED HEALTHCARE.GOV (Oct. 28, 2015)

Open enrollment doesn't start until Nov. 1, but HealthCare.gov is now open for window shopping. According to Lancaster Online, the website - which is entering its third year - contains new features that increase its user friendliness, including a preview of estimated yearly costs based on income and expected usage.
 
THINK SUN AND SUMMER FUN: PAFP CME CRUISE (Oct. 27, 2015)

While the colder autumn weather likely has you bundled up and sipping a warm pumpkin drink, think sun and summer fun as you plan to join the PAFP on its 2016 CME Cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda! Enjoy 20 hours of CME credit on this tropical adventure, July 2-7, 2016. Click here for full details and registration!
 
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR FAMILY PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR (Oct. 26, 2015)

The search continues for the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians' 2016 Family Physician of the Year! Anyone can nominate friends, colleagues, or even themselves for the award, but the nominee must be a member of the PAFP. Click here for full contest rules, the nomination form, and to meet past winners!
 
STUDY: DOCTORS DON'T ALWAYS LEAD HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES (Oct. 23, 2015)

Do as I say, not as I do? A new study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that while doctors and other health professionals have lower rates of issues like obesity and diabetes than those in other fields, these diseases are still common; increases in these issues were similar between the groups, reports Reuters.
 
PAFP PRESIDENT TESTIFIES ON NP INDEPENDENCE (Oct. 22, 2015)

Today, PAFP President Nicole Davis, MD testified on behalf of family physicians before the House Professional Licensure Committee regarding House Bill 765, which would grant independent practice to nurse practitioners (NPs). The PAFP opposes and will keep members up to date on the legislation.
 
WANDA FILER, MD TALKS OPIOID EPIDEMIC ON 'DR. OZ' (Oct. 21, 2015)

PAFP member and American Academy of Family Physicians President Wanda Filer, MD appeared on the hit program "The Dr. Oz Show" to discuss the opioid epidemic and painkillers. Watch her discuss addiction and pain pills, and look for an interview with Dr. Filer in the next issue of Keystone Physician!
 
HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS LAG IN SECURITY MEASURES (Oct. 20, 2015)

Protecting patient health information is of the utmost importance, but InfoWorld reports that the health care sector lags far behind other industries in software security. High-profile breaches this year attest to cybersecurity issues. Visit Primary Healthcare Consultants for more on information  and software security.
 
KNOW RETURN-TO-PLAY RULES IN SCHOOL SPORTS (Oct. 19, 2015)

School sports are an exciting part of the autumn season. But, as with any physical activity, injuries can and do happen - and even mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) are very serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some excellent guidance on return-to-play rules after an mTBI.
 
WEAKENING ANTIBIOTICS COULD LEAD TO THOUSANDS OF DEATHS (Oct. 16, 2015)

Antibiotics are literal life savers that define modern medical practice. According to Healthline, however, their increasing ineffectiveness as bacteria become resistance could lead to 6,300 more infection-related deaths each year. Judiciousness in antibiotic prescriptions and use are key to maintaining their potency.
 
DOCTORS' PAY RAISE COULD BE ERASED IN 2016 (Oct. 15, 2015)

Physicians are counting on a 0.5 percent Medicare pay raise next year, but Medscape reports that the increase could vanish if the Obama administration doesn't hit its savings target - which it appears on track to miss. The pay raise was authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
 
INSURERS SAY ICD-10 GOING WELL  (Oct. 14, 2015)

Insurers say "so far, so good" when it comes to the transition to ICD-10. According to Health Data Management, officials from Humana and UnitedHealthcare report that they're pleased with the results so far, but recognize there's still a ways to go. Visit the PAFP's ICD-10 Resources page for help and information.
 
U.S. REPS LAUNCH PRIMARY CARE CAUCUS (Oct. 13, 2015)

Two U.S. representatives - Republican Rep. David Rouzer and Connecticut Democrat Joe Courtney - have launched the Congressional Primary Care Caucus to raise awareness of the value of primary care. The AAFP reports that it is supporting the caucus to increase the number of primary care physicians in the U.S.
 
WILL SMARTPHONES REPLACE DOCTORS? IT'S UNLIKELY (Oct. 9, 2015)

Smartphones are quickly becoming an indispensable part of the health care industry, for use by patients and physicians alike. But there's no need to worry that the technology will completely replace doctors, reports CNBC's Tech Transformers project, because the skills and knowledge of a good physician are vital.
 
TELEMEDICINE VITAL TO REFORM - BUT HOW DOES IT WORK? (Oct. 8, 2015)

As demand for health services grows, telemedicine represents an important tool in reforming health care delivery. But how does it work, exactly? Harvard Business Review discusses a few practical applications of telemedicine, including telephone check-ins, video follow-ups, and text message interventions.
 
CMS ISSUES FINAL STAGE 3 MEANINGFUL USE RULE (Oct. 7, 2015)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final rule on Stage 3 of the electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs, also known as "meaningful use." The government says the rule adds "simplicity and flexibility;" according to Modern Healthcare, changes to the rule are expected.
 
TELEMEDICINE EXPANDS, BUT FACES CHALLENGES (Oct. 6, 2015)

The practice of telemedicine is expanding throughout the United States, and some experts say it can be high quality and even cheaper than in-person care. However, reports Kaiser Health News, the burgeoning industry is facing growing pains, including skepticism and slow buy-in from insurers and Medicare.
 
2015 MARKS HEALTH IT WEEK'S 10th ANNIVERSARY (Oct. 5, 2015)

Oct. 5-9 marks the 10th anniversary of National Health IT Week, which celebrates the transformation of health care through information technology (IT). All week, we'll be sharing information about health IT. As always, visit our affiliate, Primary Healthcare Consultants, for health IT news and assistance!
 
PAFP URGES GOVERNMENT TO STAY OUT OF EXAM ROOM (Oct. 2, 2015)

The PAFP, partnering with the Pennsylvania Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), urges Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass Rep. Dan Frankel's Pennsylvania Patient Trust Act, which would keep politics out of the exam room. View the legislation (House Bill 1105) here.
 
AT LONG LAST, ICD-10 ARRIVES (Oct. 1, 2015)

ICD-10 has finally arrived. Insurers and providers have been preparing for the 70,000 new billing codes for years, but as Medscape reports, many providers are still fearful of coding and claims processing errors. According to Politico, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has prepared contingencies.
 
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