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April 2017
News Archive

U.S. spends far more per capita on health care April 21, 2017
The United States' spending on health care per person far exceeds that of other nations. According to NPR, a new report the U.S. spends $9,237 on each American - Somalia is at the opposite end of the spectrum, spending just $33 per person. Most health spending in high-income nations comes from the government. 
 
NP independence bill moves forward April 20, 2017
Senate Bill (SB) 25, which would give nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania full practice authority without a collaborative agreement, has passed a Senate committee 13-2, setting the stage for further action. The PAFP opposes on patient safety grounds. Members are encouraged to Speak Out against the legislation. 
 
Medical Economics releases annual Physician Report April 19, 2017
Medical Economics has released its 88th annual Physicians Report, which details the state of primary care today. The report highlights aspects of medical practice from salaries to premiums, productivity, number of patient visits, hours worked, and much more. Click here for this important snapshot of primary care in 2017. 
 
Tax day is also an important health insurance deadline April 18, 2017
Americans' tax returns are due today - and Kaiser Health News reports it's also zero hour for millions to prove they have health insurance or pay a fine. The majority of Obamacare still stands, including the "individual mandate" requiring Americans to have insurance. All most filers must do is check a box on Form 1040. 
 
Some Pa. doctors wary of medical marijuana April 17, 2017
As Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program moves from planning to implementation, Pennsylvania physicians are wary about the drug. PAFP Foundation Vice President Jay Joseph, MD told WITF that many doctors need to be educated on medical marijuana, and more research is needed into its effects. 
 
AAFP offers resources on QPP April 13, 2017
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has released new information and resources on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA. QPP is the umbrella term for MACRA's two payment tracks. Please click here to access the resources. 
 
Trump to select Pa. congressman as drug czar? April 12, 2017
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation's drug czar. Stat reports Marino is a former prosecutor who served on a House committee to determine how to combat the opioid epidemic. Marino's 10th Congressional District has been hit hard by opioid abuse. 
 
Members, be on the lookout for conference wrap-up April 11, 2017
The PAFP has emailed members the Harrisburg CME Conference Wrap-up, a look at the PAFP's March Harrisburg CME Event and Annual Meeting as well as a look ahead at more exciting CME events coming your way! Don't forget to mark your calendars for the next few events, including ones in Philly and Reading! 
 
Despite setbacks, GOP still controls health policy April 10, 2017
While the Republican party didn't pass its Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan, Kaiser Health News reports the party can still effect policy that impacts patients. A House suit challenges some subsidies, and the Trump administration wants to give more of a say to states on how they spend their Medicaid dollars. 
 
Op-ed: Now is time for prior authorization reform in Pa. April 7, 2017
Prior authorization reform is one of the PAFP's top legislative priorities for the 2017-18. These requirements have become overly burdensome for physicians and patients alike. PAFP President Edward Zurad, MD has penned an op-ed to media outlets statewide on the issue, which you can read in full by clicking here. 
 
Republicans go 'nuclear' on SCOTUS nominee April 6, 2017
After a Democratic filibuster of their Supreme Court nominee, Senate Republicans have approved a rule change called the "nuclear option" to approve judge Neil Gorsuch, reports Reuters. As we've seen in the past, the Supreme Court can affect health care policy for years. The PAFP continues to follow this story. 
 
State seeks input on medical marijuana program April 5, 2017
Since legalizing some forms of medical marijuana via Act 16 of 2016 last year, Pennsylvania has been working on the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Program. It's seeking input from physicians who plan to register to participate in the program. Click here to view and complete a brief survey on the topic. 
 
Assembly meetings coming up for residents, students April 4, 2017
PAFP resident and student members, Annual Student and Resident Assembly Meetings are coming up April 10 and 18 respectively! Discuss issues of concern, select leaders, and influence the direction, policy, and strategy of the PAFP! Contact Molly Talley for details. Your participation is vital to this organization's future! 
 
Trump still confident of Obamacare repeal April 3, 2017
Despite Congress' inability to pass Republicans' answer to the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump says repeal-and-replace will eventually become a reality. USA Today reports Trump tweeted over the weekend that discussions over a health care plan are ongoing, while touting the GOP's "love and strength."
 
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