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December 2011
News Archive

PAFP OFFICE CLOSED UNTIL JAN. 3, 2012 (Dec. 22, 2011) 

The PAFP office will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 23, 2011 until Jan. 3, 2012. Thanks to all PAFP members for an incredible 2011 - here's to a joyous and safe holiday season! While news won't be updated over this break, be on the lookout for the next issue of Keystone Physician, expected to go live within the week.
 
CONGRESSIONAL GRIDLOCK MEANS STEEP CUTS (Dec. 21, 2011)

The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected a Senate-approved bill that would have blocked a 27 percent cut in Medicare payments, a move AAFP President Dr. Glen Stream calls "unconscionable." The reduction would affect thousands of doctors and millions of senior citizens. The PAFP will provide updates as the story develops.
 
PENALTY FOR NOT E-PRESCRIBING TO KICK IN (Dec. 20, 2011)

Family physicians who participate in Medicare but didn't implement electronic prescribing in 2011 or haven't received an exemption will notice lower payments next year. The 1 percent penalty on Medicare Part B payments goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. For more information, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians website.
 
NEW CME OFFERED FOR END-OF-YEAR NEEDS (Dec. 19, 2011)

Do you need patient safety CME hours to meet your yearly requirements? The PAFP offers free CME webcasts, articles and monographs you can complete from the comfort of your home and office - including 17 new webcasts starting Dec. 20! You can also collect reward points for online CME for discounts on future events and apparel.
 
GIVE A GIFT, SUPPORT FOUNDATION (Dec. 16, 2011)

This holiday season, consider giving a tax-deductible gift to the PAFP Foundation in honor of a family member, friend, mentor, colleague or other loved one. High-quality and affordable CME, assistance to medical students, and quality initiatives programs are made possible by your gifts. Click here to give! 
 
CMS DELAYS HIPAA TRANSITION ENFORCEMENT (Dec. 15, 2011)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it has moved the Jan. 1, 2012 compliance deadline for the transition to Version 5010 electronic transaction standards for all HIPAA-covered entities to March 31, 2012. For more information, visit the CMS website.  
 
LATEST ISSUE OF PROGRESS NOTES RELEASED (Dec. 14, 2011)

A brand new installment of the PAFP's biweekly newsletter, Progress Notes, is now available. Check it out for the latest legislative updates (including PAFP testimony at the Fair Health Care Provider Contracting Act hearing), upcoming CME opportunities, and how your practice can win a medical makeover!
 
ABSTRACTS WANTED FOR RESEARCH DAY (Dec. 13, 2011)

Research Day is coming up, and the PAFP is urging all residents, students, faculty and physicians to submit original research abstracts for presentation at the event. Compete with your peers for fame and fortune ... well, cash prizes and bragging rights, at least. Register here.
 
EHR INCENTIVE PROGRAM PAYMENT DATA ONLINE (Dec. 12, 2011)

Did you know Pennsylvania is one of only 10 states which has received more than $25 million in incentive dollars from the CMS Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? Payment and registration data can be found online, including an up-to-date state breakdown of payments.
 
EPA: FRACKING MAY CAUSE POLLUTION (Dec. 9, 2011)

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the process of hydrofracturing (fracking) may be responsible for pollution, based on findings in a central Wyoming community. The PAFP has pledged its support to the Pa. Dept. of Health regarding its public health recommendations on fracking.
 
SECURITY AUDITS OFFERED AT NO COST (Dec. 8, 2011)

If your practice is attesting to Meaningful Use, it must conduct or review a security risk analysis. PAFP's Team REACH has partnered with Quality Insights of Pennsylvania (QIP) to conduct privacy and security audits at no cost for practices which plan to attest in January. Contact PA REACH East to learn more.
 
DRUG MONITORING AMENDMENT VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE (Dec. 7, 2011)

A PAFP-supported amendment to House Bill 1651 has been voted out of committee. The amendment establishes the Pharmaceutical Accountability Monitoring System, which will track scheduled prescription drugs to combat doctor shopping and illicit diversion of controlled substances.
 
IT'S NATIONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION WEEK (Dec. 6, 2011)

Did you know this week is National Influenza Vaccination week? The PAFP urges you to protect yourself and your family and friends by getting the flu vaccine. This year, you can choose between a shot or nasal spray - so don't hesitate! Find a vaccination location near you.
 
TIME RUNNING OUT FOR PA REACH ASSISTANCE (Dec. 5, 2011)

Does your practice need help attesting to Meaningful Use? There are only 327 spots left to fill in PA REACH East. If you need assistance with registration for the CMS EHR Incentive Program, please contact one of our PA REACH East team members, Debra Hammaker and Tracy Koval.
 
ACADEMY PRESIDENT MAKES MEDIA ROUNDS (Dec. 2, 2011)

letter written by PAFP President Dr. Dennis Gingrich has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And tonight, abc27 News in Harrisburg will feature an interview with Dr. Gingrich in a piece running in the 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts - if you live in the midstate area, check your local listings for the channel.
 
CMS ADDING COVERAGE FOR OBESITY PREVENTION (Dec. 1, 2011)

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare is adding coverage for services to prevent and reduce obesity. Screening and counseling services by primary care providers, in settings such as physicians' offices, will be covered for eligible patients. Check out the PAFP's free CME on treating obesity.
 
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