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November 2015
News Archive

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR PITTSBURGH CME CONFERENCE (Nov. 30, 2015)

Registration is now open for the combined PAFP Pittsburgh CME Conference and UPMC 43rd Refresher Course in Family Medicine, March 10-13, 2016 at the Marriott City Center in Pittsburgh. You can sign up for the entire conference, or just one day - hotel rates start at just $129 per night! Click here to register!
 
PRACTICE FOOD SAFETY ON THANKSGIVING (Nov. 25, 2015)

You'll likely be gathering around a delicious Thanksgiving meal this holiday, complete with turkey and all the trimmings. But how much do you know about food safety, from turkey drippings to leaving out leftovers? Lifehacker has assembled a list of Thanksgiving food safety questions and answers for your convenience!
 
DOCS TAKE PAY CUT AS MEDICARE BONUS EXPIRES (Nov. 24, 2015)

A part of the Affordable Care Act designed to give primary care providers a pay boost is set to expire on Dec. 31. Kaiser Health News reports the 10 percent bonus for treating Medicare patients was designed to address disparities in reimbursements between primary care physicians and higher-paid specialists.
 
PROPOSED BILLS TARGET DRUG OVERDOSE CRISIS (Nov. 23, 2015)

More than 2,500 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses last year - not including the data from 13 counties that didn't report their totals. WITF reports State House lawmakers are trying to address the crisis with a group of bills that focus on everything from medical education to prescribing practices in the Commonwealth.
 
LAWMAKERS CHALLENGE FEDS ON FLU VACCINE (Nov. 20, 2015)

Last year's flu season was the worst in years, with the influenza vaccine a poor match for the dominant strain of the virus. Yesterday, Stat reports, members of Congress challenged the nation's public health agenciesover why more progress hasn't been made in advancing and improving flu treatments.
 
FREE, ONLINE CME AVAILABLE FOR YEAR-END NEEDS (Nov. 19, 2015)

While the PAFP's live CME events are over for 2015, it still offers plenty of valuable and high-quality education online! Take care of your year-end credit needs on the PAFP's online CME database. Clinically relevant topics include obesity, vaccines, and hypertension - and the vast majority of the material is free!
 
PREMIUMS ESCALATING AMONG HEALTHCARE.GOV PLANS (Nov. 18, 2015)

Those with popular HealthCare.gov insurance plans should expect a rate hike averaging 15 percent unless they switch plans, according to the Washington Post. The increase applies to the least expensive versions of "silver" tier plans. The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) encourages shopping around.
 
DOCTORS, PLEASE GET THE FLU VACCINE (Nov. 17, 2015)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation that everyone over age 6 receive the flu vaccine especially extends to doctors and health care professionals. But Medscape reports there's a lot of room for improvement in this area - 23 percent of health care workers remain unvaccinated.
 
DIRECT-PAY MODEL INCREASING IN POPULARITY (Nov. 16, 2015)

More physicians are choosing a direct-pay care model in their practices, reports USA Today. Implementation of these primary care models vary, but they generally eschew traditional insurance and reimbursements by charging patients member fees for more visits and in-depth, personalized health care.
 
PENNSYLVANIA RANKS #7 IN ACCESS TO PHYSICIANS (Nov. 13, 2015)

Pennsylvania is in the top 10 states in the U.S. when it comes to patient access to physicians, according to Becker's Hospital Review. The Keystone State ranks seventh out of all 50 states. Variables used to determine the rankings include physicians per capita and acceptance rates of Medicare and Medicaid.
 
U.S. HEALTH CARE LAGGING IN DATA SECURITY (Nov. 12, 2015)

The health care industry is doing a poor job of keeping its information secure - including protecting patient data, reports CNBC. Some experts say the industry focuses too much on HIPAA compliance and too little on overall security. Visit Primary Healthcare Consultants, a PAFP affiliate, for more on data security. 
 
PA. HAS 15th LOWEST UNINSURED RATE POST-ACA (Nov. 10, 2015)

Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania's rate of uninsured residents has dropped to 8.46 percent, down from 10.16 percent in 2010, reports WalletHub. That means more than 206,000 residents are newly insured. Pennsylvania has the 15th-lowest uninsured rate in the U.S.
 
PATIENT-CENTERED CARE GAINS GROUND (Nov. 9, 2015)

Patient-centered primary care is one of the PAFP's core values, and according to to the Associated Press, the care model is increasing in prominence. In Pennsylvania, family physicians have a seat at the table of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Advisory Council for the development of a statewide PCMH model.
 
ALLENTOWN CME CONFERENCE BEGINS (Nov. 6, 2015)

The PAFP's final CME conference of the year - the Allentown CME Conference - has begun! The weekend will be filled with educational activities, with sessions on topics including herbal supplements, opioids, and obesity. Follow the PAFP on Twitter at @PAFPandF and the hashtag #PAFPCME for live details!
 
'DEFENSIVE MEDICINE' PAYS OFF IN FEWER MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS (Nov. 5, 2015)

One of the major goals of health care reform is to curb excess spending. But as the Washington Post reports, there may be an unintended consequence - a surge in medical malpractice lawsuits. A new study shows "defensive medicine" (ordering more unnecessary tests and procedures) actually reduces liability.
 
MEDICARE PAY RAISE TURNS INTO PAY CUT (Nov. 4, 2015)

When the Sustainable Growth Rate was repealed, the law that replaced it promised physicians a .05 percent Medicare pay raise. But that bump turned into a .03 percent pay cut in the fine print of the 2016 Medicare fee schedule released last week, reports Medscape, contrary to what was promised in the law.
 
MAKE A GIFT TO SUPPORT FAMILY MEDICINE IN PA. (Nov. 3, 2015)

As the holiday season approaches and with Thanksgiving just weeks away, consider making a donation to the PAFP Foundation to support family medicine in Pennsylvania. Options include making a general gift to areas of greatest need and funding a scholarship for a student education trip. Learn more here! 
 
OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS ON HEALTHCARE.GOV (Nov. 2, 2015)

Open enrollment is under way for coverage through the Affordable Care Act at www.HealthCare.gov. Users can now long on to apply for a new plan or to keep or change plans for 2016. Remember, if you can afford to purchase insurance but don't, you will pay a fee - visit the website to learn how much you would pay.
 
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