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June 2016
News Archive

Pitt, state team up to address opioid epidemic June 30, 2016 
The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with Pennsylvania in an effort to battle the opioid epidemic county-by-county. According to WESA, the Pennsylvania Heroin Overdose Prevention Technical Assistance Center (TAC) will support and train county officials to identify evidence-based strategies within each county. 
 
Nurse practitioner legislation positioned for final vote June 29, 2016 
The Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee has voted 24-2 in favor of legislation allowing nurse practitioners to practice without a collaborative agreement with a physician. Capitolwire reports the legislation is in position for a possible final vote before heading to the House. The PAFP opposes the legislation. 
 
Doctors are getting burned out by EHR busywork June 28, 2016 
U.S. doctors suffer some of the highest rates of burnout of all professionals, and a new study has found a major cause: electronic health records and other digital tools. TIME reports physician burnout has been linked to a lack of professionalism, a drop in patient satisfaction, and a greater likelihood of making errors.  
 
AAFP responds to proposed MACRA rule June 27, 2016 
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has made available several resources explaining in detail their response to the proposed MACRA rule. The controversial sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula has been replaced by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA.
 
Special session called to address Pa. opioid epidemic June 24, 2016 
A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania House members joined Gov. Tom Wolf on June 23 to announce a special session to address the heroin and opioid crisis. According to PennLive, the last time a special session was called was in 2009-10. This session will be the 25th special session in Pennsylvania history. 
 
AAFP president appears on Diane Rehm Show June 23, 2016 
Former president of the PAFP and current AAFP President Wanda Filer, MD appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, a nationwide radio talkshow, on June 23. Filer discussed the growing popularity of retail health clinics and whether these outlets are beneficial to patients. Please click here to listen to the full program. 
 
What can doctors expect from medical cannabis in Pa.? June 22, 2016 
Now that medical marijuana has been legalized in Pennsylvania, what can family physicians expect? The PAFP explores that question in the just-released Summer 2016 issue of Keystone Physician with a doctor who lives in Pennsylvania and practices in Delaware, where similar legislation has already taken effect.  
 
Registration now open for Kalahari CME Conference June 21, 2016 
The PAFP's fall CME conference will be like nothing you've ever seen! Join your colleagues and the PAFP for its Kalahari CME Conference, Nov. 18-20, 2016. The new Kalahari Resort is tucked into Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains and has something for everyone. Register today for this CME experience! 
 
Meaningful use deadline fast approaching June 20, 2016 
The deadline to apply for a hardship exemption for the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program is fast approaching. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has set a July 1, 2016 deadline for eligible professionals to avoid a payment adjustment. Please click here for details on applying. 
 
Zika tied to birth defects in 6 U.S. babies, fetuses June 17, 2016 
Three babies in the United States have been born with birth defects such as microcephaly and brain damage linked to the Zika virus, according to NBC News. Three more have been aborted or lost to miscarriages because of the birth defects. All of the women were infected with the virus while traveling. 
 
Pa. mulls lawsuit against opioid manufacturers June 16, 2016 
Pennsylvania is considering a lawsuit against the makers of opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin. According to WITF, legislators say the companies misrepresented the dangers of the drugs. The state of Kentucky has settled with one drugmaker for $24 million, but similar cases in other states like California have stalled. 
 
Gun violence 'a public health crisis': doctors group June 15, 2016 
After Sunday's mass shooting at gay club in Orlando, Florida that left 49 people dead, the American Medical Association is calling gun violence "a public health crisis." NPR reports the largest physicians group in the U.S. will actively lobby Congress to overturn a 20-year-old ban preventing research on gun violence. 
 
AAFP delivers opioid toolkit and education June 14, 2016 
In the midst of the nationwide opioid epidemic, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has developed new resources to help family physicians combat the crisis. These offerings include a chronic pain management toolkit and a free CME webcast focused on chronic opioid therapy. Please click here for more. 
 
New diabetes webcasts, monographs available from PAFP June 13, 2016 
The PAFP's Residency Program and Community Health Center Collaborative (RPC/CHCC) recently completed a project to optimize and modify diabetes management. As a result, the RPC/CHCC developed a series of educational monographs and webcasts for PAFP members. We hope you find these tools useful! 
 
FDA recall policy puts lives at risk, says OIG June 10, 2016 
According to the Dept. of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't move quickly enough on food recalls, putting lives at risk. Frontline reports OIG has issued a rare "early alert" about its investigation into the FDA's recall policy. 
 
Health department developing medical marijuana proposals June 9, 2016 
As Pennsylvania plans for the rollout of its medical marijuana program, the state health department has six months to develop regulations to implement the law and govern the program. The Central Penn Business Journal reports the department has formed a Bureau of Medical Marijuana and seeks to hire a director. 
 
Opioid education bill set for a vote this month? June 8, 2016 
The Pennsylvania Senate could vote in June on a bill requiring opioid-prescribing doctors to receive additional education. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee approved the bill unanimously. Gov. Tom Wolf says he would sign the bill into law. 
 
Patients prefer their doctors in white coats: study June 7, 2016 
Styles change with the times, but it seems the white coat will never be out of fashion. According to Medscape, a new study suggests patients prefer their doctors in the classic "professional attire," particularly when it comes to the ubiquitous white coat - and it's possible that physician attire may effect patient outcomes. 
 
Pa. slow on doctor opioid requirements: report June 6, 2016 
Pennsylvania has been slow on physician requirements to stem the opioid epidemic common in other states such as refresher courses on prescribing and checking patient histories in a drug database, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The state plans to unveil its prescription drug monitoring database this summer. 
 
Clinical guideline producers rarely disclose industry ties June 3, 2016 
Though they have rules to prevent conflicts of interest, Medscape reports that the vast majority of groups that produce clinical guidelines don't disclose their own ties to biomedical companies. While 63 percent of the medical organizations have received industry funding, just 1 percent disclosed the relationships. 
 
Physician groups angered over VA proposal June 2, 2016 
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice independently within the system, and physicians groups aren't happy. MedPage Today reports doctors are concerned that the proposal would lower the standard of care and jeopardize veterans' lives. 
 
First U.S. baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly June 1, 2016 
A New Jersey mother has given birth to the first baby in the mainland United States with microcephaly from the Zika virus. The mother contracted the mosquito-borne virus internationally, according to CBS News. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 591 travel-associated Zika cases in the U.S.
 
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