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April 2013
News Archive

KAISER HEALTH NEWS: WHO IS COORDINATING CARE? (April 30, 2013)

"Coordinated care" is an oft-repeated solution for patient satisfaction and lower health costs. But, according to Kaiser Health News, health care's "dirty little secret" is that there is often no one coordinating care. Visit our Patient-Centered Medical Home page to learn why it's vital for family physicians to be coordinators.
 
STUDY: AUSTERITY MEASURES HURTING HEALTH (April 29, 2013)

Austerity measures are having a dramatic negative effect on the health of Americans and Europeans, according to researchers from Oxford and Stanford. Reuters reports a decade-long study has found more than five million Americans have lost access to care during the recent recession. Read more here.
 
NEW BIRD FLU VIRUS, H7N9, DIFFICULT TO DETECT (April 26, 2013)

A new avian flu virus, H7N9, has infected more than 100 people across China and Taiwan. According to The Los Angeles Times, researchers say this strain is more difficult to detect, partially because infected birds show no sign of the illness. Click here for details from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
HELP THE PAFP BETTER SERVE YOUR NEEDS (April 25, 2013)

You may already know some of the member benefits offered by the PAFP, including rental car discounts from Enterprise and insurance coverage through Geico. We want to increase the services and benefits we offer, but we need our members' help! Click here to share your interests with us via a short survey.
 
PAFP CEO JORDAN WINS AAFP AWARD OF MERIT (April 24, 2013)

PAFP executive vice president and CEO, John S. Jordan, CAE, has been selected to receive the AAFP Award of Merit for his distinguished contributions to the advancement of family medicine. He will accept his award on April 26 during the AAFP Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) meeting. Congratulations, John!
 
SCAMMERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEALTH LAW (April 23, 2013)

The health care law can be confusing to both physicians and patients, and some fraudsters are taking advantage of the public's bewilderment. One scam involves the perpetrator posing as a health care or government worker and asking for personal information over the phone. NPR has more here. 
 
HEALTH CARE SLOWDOWN HITS COMPANIES (April 22, 2013)

The majority of changes to the health care system under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have yet to go into effect. Nevertheless, Reuters reports many companies are experiencing a medical care slowdown - partially because employers are shifting insurance benefits to high-deductible plans to offset new costs.
 
STUDY: SHOW DOCTORS TEST PRICES TO LOWER COSTS (April 19, 2013)

A new study from Johns Hopkins suggests if health systems were more up-front about the costs of the lab tests they order, physicians would order fewer or seek cheaper alternatives. MSN Money reports the study discovered sharing the costs of tests has saved Johns Hopkins hundreds of thousands. Read more here.
 
LEARN MORE ABOUT SUICIDE SCREENING, PREVENTION (April 18, 2013)

Universal suicide screening of adolescents is critical to suicide prevention, but family physicians need the right resources to help them properly screen and treat mental and behavioral health problems. Please see these tips from the Medical Home Initiative, courtesy of the PAFP Public Health department.
 
WHEN IS A PATIENT'S COLONOSCOPY COVERED? (April 17, 2013)

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), patients are supposed to save money on preventive health services. But, as Kaiser Health News reports, whether or not a colonoscopy is covered as "preventive" can be confusing. For more about screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), visit the PAFP's CRC Screening Collaborative
 
PAFP BOARD CHAIR TALKS DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP ON WITF (April 16, 2013)

PAFP Board Chair Dennis Gingrich, MD, who has years of experience in patient care, says the traditional and somewhat paternalistic physician-patient relationship is changing with the times. Click here to see him discuss the importance of a partnership between a doctor and patient on WITF's Health Smart.
 
FEWER IN PA. GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE THROUGH WORK (April 15, 2013)

A new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation suggests fewer Pennsylvanians are getting health insurance through their employers. According to TribLive, just two-thirds of Pa. residents received coverage through work in 2010 and 2011, down from 78 percent in 1999 and 2000. Read more here.
 
HELP EASE THE TRANSITION TO ADULT CARE (April 12, 2013)

Yesterday, the PAFP's Medical Home Transition team leaders met to discuss transitioning youth with special needs to adult care. They suggest asking the patient's pediatrician for a short transition note and immunization records, as well as watching the Peal Center's helpful videosClick here for more information.
 
CAN MORE SLEEP HELP TEENS LOSE WEIGHT? (April 11, 2013)

It's vital for adolescents to get enough sleep, and new research suggests spending more time with Mr. Sandman can help stave off obesity. A study in Pediatrics found a link between additional sleep and decreases in body mass index. Read about it in The New York Times, and visit our Public Health page for more on obesity.
 
OBAMA BUDGET PROPOSAL: $370B IN MEDICARE SAVINGS (April 10, 2013)

President Obama's proposed budget cuts payments to drug companies but requires top-earning seniors to pay more, resulting in a savings of $370 billion, according to Politico. The budget includes drug rebates to low-income seniors and cuts bad debt and other payments to hospitals and post-acute care providers.  
 
PA. MOVES TO BAN MINORS FROM TANNING BEDS (April 9, 2013)

Pennsylvania may become the next state to ban minors from tanning beds. House Bill 977, introduced by Rep. Rosemarie Swanger of Lebanon, would prevent anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning device, require tanning facilities to be licensed, and impose fines and penalties for facilities that allow minors to tan. 
 
HEART DISEASE MAY HAVE GUT BACTERIA LINK (April 8, 2013)

A new report suggests "gut bacteria" - specifically a nutrient in red meat - may be linked to heart disease. But don't cut steak out of your diet yet! Forbes has three things to know about the study that may alleviate your dietary concerns. Visit the Residency Program Collaborative to learn how the PAFP is fighting heart disease.
 
REPORT: LARGE CUTS TO MEDICARE LOOMING (April 5, 2013)

According to The Washington Post, President Obama plans to release a budget next week that includes major entitlement cuts, including "significant cuts to Medicare." The paper reports $400 billion will be slashed from Medicare and other health programs, partially by asking wealthy seniors to pay more for health care.
 
SUPPORT THE PAFP FOUNDATION DURING ITS ONLINE AUCTION (April 4, 2013)

The PAFP Foundation is hosting an online auction May 7 through 19 to benefit programs and initiatives like student scholarships, quality improvement initiatives, and more. We need your help getting it up and running! If you'd like to donate an item, be a sponsor, or sign up to bid, go to our PAFP Foundation Online Auction page.
 
WHO OWNS PATIENTS' HEALTH DATA? (April 3, 2013)

As electronic health records (EHR) systems quickly become the norm, more patient data is being stored electronically and permanently. Who owns that information? Both patients and family physicians should understand the implications of electronically warehoused data. Fox News has an easy-to-follow summary here.
 
EASE THE TRANSITION ON WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY (April 2, 2013)

Today is the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise funds and awareness for people with autism. These individuals often have difficulties transitioning from pediatric to adult care - a problem the PAFP is working hard to solve. Find out how you can help.
 
WILL UNINSURED HEAD TO HEALTH LAW MARKETPLACES? (April 1, 2013)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare or simply "the health law," establishes online care marketplaces as the main way to expand coverage to the currently uninsured. But, according to Kaiser Health News, just because the option exists doesn't mean patients will flock to it. Click here for more.
 
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