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April 2016
News Archive

State DHS to negotiate contracts with 8 MCOs April 28, 2016 
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services (DHS) has announced it will negotiate contracts with eight Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to deliver services through HealthChoices. DHS says $6 billion in funds will be invested in outcome- or value-based options such as patient-centered medical homes. 
No indication of decline in childhood obesity: report April 27, 2016 
While some evidence of progress in the childhood obesity epidemic has trickled out over the last few years, a new study in the journal Obesity concludes there's no evidence of a decline. NPR reports a consistent increase in obesity between 1999 and 2014 among children of all ages; 17 percent of children are obese.  
Get out and vote in today's Pa. primary election April 26, 2016 
Today, Pennsylvania voters head to the polls to vote in the primary election. Republicans and Democrats will vote for their party's presidential nominee as well as nominees for Congress, state attorney general, and state legislature. Be an informed voter: PennLive has assembled a useful voter's guide for today's primary. 
Major spike in drug OD deaths in eastern, western Pa. April 25, 2016 
Accidental drug overdose deaths increased 6.7 percent per year on average between 1979 and 2014, according to a new study in the journal Preventive Medicine. LiveScience reports counties in western and eastern Pennsylvania are among those with the most dramatic increases across the United States.  
Register today for the RPC/CHCC Learning Session April 22, 2016 
The PAFP's Residency Program and Community Health Center Collaborative (RPC/CHCC) is hosting a learning session on Friday, May 6 at The Best Western Premiere Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster. Registration is open; more information, including room reservation instructions and a map, is available here.
Mark your calendars for Kalahari; get free CME online April 21, 2016 
You'll want to mark your calendars for the Kalahari CME Conference, Nov. 18-20 - the Kalahari Convention Center in the Poconos Mountains is like nothing you've ever experienced! But while you wait, why not enjoy some of the high-quality, free online CME the PAFP has to offer? It's quick and convenient - just click here! 
Life expectancy for white Americans drops; linked to ODs April 20, 2016 
Life expectancy for white Americans has declined slightly, and The New York Times reports that the drop is linked to drug overdoses. According to new federal data, distress among younger and middle-aged whites who are increasingly dying from overdoses was enough to lower the average lifespan of the population. 
PAFP: Honor patient safety and physician education April 19, 2016 
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and partner medical associations believe in honoring the education and training of physicians and upholding patient safety; we oppose Senate Bill 717 and House Bill 765, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently. Please click here to learn more. 
Gov. Wolf signs medical marijuana bill into law April 18, 2016 
On April 17, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed medical marijuana legalization legislation. This makes the Keystone State the 24th to legalize cannabis in some form. The Associated Press has detailed major elements of the 80-page legislation, including the use, growing, sale, and tax implications of marijuana. 
Doctors unsure how to approach end-of-life care: report April 15, 2016 
End-of-life care is an important one for physicians to have with their patients, but Kaiser Health News reports they're having a hard time broaching the subject. A new poll has found while three-quarters of doctors say it's their job to initiate such discussions, just a third reported any formal training on the matter. 
Medical marijuana bill passes House; governor to sign April 14, 2016 
A bill to legalize some forms of medical marijuana has passed in the house 149-46. PennLive reports Gov. Tom Wolf will sign the bill into law in a ceremony on Sunday. Pennsylvania will become the 24th state to legalize marijuana in some capacity; smoking medical marijuana will not be allowed in the state. 
Revisit Pittsburgh CME Conference with wrap-up April 13, 2016 
Whether you missed the Combined PAFP CME Conference & UPMC Refresher Course in March or just want to brush up on what you learned, the PAFP has assembled a wrap-up newsletter which hit members' inboxes today. We've also conveniently placed it on our website - just click here for some bullet points! 
Finish line in sight for medical marijuana bill? April 12, 2016 
A bill that would legalize some forms of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania may soon cross the governor's desk. The Associated Press reports a Senate committee made changes to the bill on Monday, paving the way for it to pass in both chambers. Gov. Tom Wolf supports the legislation and said he would sign the bill. 
Drug monitoring databases a 'huge tool' in opioid epidemic April 11, 2016 
Prescription drug monitoring databases are helpful and effective tools in the fight against opioid abuse, reports Bloomberg. Pennsylvania is one of the last states to get a database; the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) is expected to launch this summer after a nearly yearlong delay. 
Doctors talking to their patients about money more often April 8, 2016 
As health care costs take up more of a patient's paycheck, doctors are finding themselves discussing money more often during visits. According to Marketplace, the subject comes up between 25 and 40 percent of the time; some experts worry that patients are making decisions based on cost and not health. 
World Health Day 2016 focuses on diabetes April 7, 2016 
Today, April 7, is World Health Day; the theme for 2016 is diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the goals for today are to increase awareness about the disease and take effective, affordable actions. At Forbes, readers can view an infographic detailing the global spread of the disease.  
New PAFP publications issues now available April 6, 2016 
This week, the PAFP has released new issues of two of its publications - the biweekly newsletter Progress Notes, and the quarterly Keystone Physician magazine. If you prefer accessing content on your mobile device, download the new PAFP Connect app for iOS (Apple) and Android and read both issues there! 
Diagnostic websites no substitute for personal physician April 5, 2016 
Websites like WebMD which allow patients to find conditions that match their symptoms are no match for a family doctor. Vox reports that website in particular has ties to drugmakers, but even more reliable sites often miss the diagnostic mark. The message is clear: a personal physician truly has no replacement. 
U.S. will soon face physician shortage: report April 4, 2016 
Warnings of a looming physician shortage have increased over the past couple years, and according to MarketWatch, a million-doctor shortage is right around the corner. A new study suggests that America could lose 1 million doctors by 2025; 65 million people are estimated to live in a "primary care desert." 
PAFP applauds state PCMH recommendations April 1, 2016 
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians applauds the Pa. Dept. of Human Services' (DHS) recommendations to integrate patient-centered care into the health care system. The PAFP supports patient-centered medical home (PCMH) principles; two members sit on the state PCMH Advisory Council.
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