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July 2013
News Archive

WHICH INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL JOIN MARKETPLACE? (July 31, 2013)

The insurance companies participating in Pennsylvania's marketplace (as well as the plans offered) won't be revealed until Oct. 1. But, as the Morning Call reports, several of Pennsylvania's largest insurers - including Highmark, Inc. and Capital BlueCross - want to sell products on the exchange. Click here to read more.
 
HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES SGR REPLACEMENT BILL (July 30, 2013)

A bill to replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) has been approved by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. According to HIMSS, a full committee vote is expected this week. The bipartisan bill would replace the SGR with a 0.5 percent physician payment increase through 2018.
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONLINE MARKETPLACES (July 29, 2013)

In just weeks, millions of eligible patients will be shopping for health insurance on online marketplaces. But there's an awful lot patients should learn about coverage options before they log on! The Wall Street Journal breaks it down here. Be sure to visit our Practice Advocacy and Government Affairs pages for more on the health care law.
 
PAPER: PENNSYLVANIA LEADS THE PACK IN PCMH (July 26, 2013)

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) care model is yielding excellent results in Pennsylvania, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer - raising care quality while lowering costs. Of course, the PCMH is a major part of the PAFP's mission. Visit our Patient-Centered Medical Home webpage for more information!
 
MEMBERS: RULE CLARIFICATION ON CIVIL MARRIAGE REFERENDUM (July 25, 2013)

Due to technical errors with the voting system, the first day to vote on the PAFP resolution regarding civil marriage for same gender couples has been moved to Monday, July 29. You will still have 21 days to vote. For more information, click here. Please also note we must have your complete member information for you to be eligible to vote. 
 
REPORT: MOST AMERICANS SKEPTICAL OF ACA (July 24, 2013)

Americans are largely skeptical that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will benefit them, according to a poll published by the National Journal. Only 35 percent of those polled said they believe the law will benefit "people like you and your family," while 46 percent believed the law would make things worse. Read more here.
 
INSURANCE EXCHANGES A 'PRIVACY NIGHTMARE'? (July 23, 2013)

The health insurance exchanges, or "marketplaces," through which shoppers will search for coverage, are under new scrutiny by those with privacy concerns. CNN Money reports the federal "data hub" simply acts as a middleman, collecting data from seven different agencies. Nevertheless, fears persist about privacy and data breaches.
 
START THINKING ABOUT SCHOOL VACCINATIONS (July 22, 2013)

Believe it or not, the school year is right around the corner, and it's time for parents to start thinking about the necessary vaccine requirements for their children's school district. The Public Opinion and The Morning Call have a message for parents: Call your doctorClick here or visit the PAFP's Public Health page for more information.
 
IT'S HOT OUT THERE! HERE'S HOW TO STAY SAFE (July 19, 2013)

Warm weather lovers, rejoice! Pennsylvania is in the midst of an intense heat wave. Remember that extreme temperatures can post significant health risks, especially for older adults and young children. Click here for some great heat safety information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
CAST YOUR VOTE ON CIVIL MARRIAGE (July 18, 2013)

At the last PAFP Board of Directors meeting, a resolution was submitted titled "The AAFP Adopt a Neutral Position on the Issue of Civil Marriage for Same-Gender Couples." The resolution will be open to a member vote. Go to www.pafp.com/vote to read the full details, as well as for- and against- positions, and cast your vote starting July 25.
 
HOUSE VOTES TO DELAY PORTIONS OF ACA (July 18, 2013)

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to delay portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - specifically, the so-called employer and individual mandates, reports Bloomberg. The measures are not expected to pass through the Senate. The PAFP Communications and Government Affairs teams will continue to follow this developing story.
 
MOST HEALTH CARE RECORDS NOW ELECTRONIC (July 17, 2013)

Making health care records electronic is a key component of the patient-centered medical home model of care, particularly as it pertains to care coordination. USA Today reports that more than half of U.S. providers have adopted electronic health records (EHR) systems, with more than 190 million prescriptions filled electronically since 2011.
 
REPORT: EHR SYSTEMS' EFFECT ON HEALTH COSTS MIXED (July 16, 2013)

We hope that electronic health records (EHR) systems have have a positive impact on the containment of health costs. But, as MedPage Today reports, results have been mixed so far, according to a new study. Researchers say larger savings are possible through enhanced provider incentives. Visit PA REACH East for more on EHRs.
 
PATIENTS: BE CAUTIOUS OF HEALTH CARE SCAMS (July 15, 2013)

The Washington Post reports that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is opening the door for new types of health care scams. Patients, be on the lookout - fraudsters are looking for your personal information, including credit card information and Social Security numbers. Click here to find out how some of these scams work.
 
FUNDING OFFERED FOR HEALTH CARE LAW EDUCATION (July 12, 2013)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," is a complex law with many components. The Obama administration plans to alleviate some confusion with grants worth $150 million to more than 1,100 community health centers across all 50 states for the purposes of patient education. Click here for details from CNN
 
ON MANY HEALTH MEASURES, U.S. LAGS BEHIND (July 11, 2013)

According to U.S. News & World Report, the U.S. is lagging on many health measures, including heart disease and diabetes, concludes an extensive new study which also critiques American eating habits. The study underscores the value of a personal family physician who monitors patient health trends before they become a problem.
 
STUDY: AMERICA NO LONGER 'WORLD'S FATTEST' (July 10, 2013)

Mexico, not America, is now the "World's Fattest Developed Nation," according to the United Nations. (The U.S. is still the second-most obese.) ABC News reports 32.8 percent of Mexican adults are obese; America is slightly slimmer with an obese adult population of 31.8. Click here to read more about obesity in Keystone Physician! 
 
CMS RELEASES PROPOSED 2014 PHYSICIAN FEE SCHEDULE (July 9, 2013)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2014 Medicare proposed physician fee schedule rule. The rule sets payment rates for physician services in 2014 and makes changes to quality reporting initiatives, electronic health record (EHR) incentives, and more. Click here to read the complete proposed rule. 
 
SOME ONLINE MARKETPLACE REQUIREMENTS ROLLED BACK (July 8, 2013)

The Obama administration has decided to roll back some requirements for obtaining health coverage through online insurance marketplaces: namely, the verification of enrollees' income and coverage statuses, reports Reuters. Coverage through the marketplaces will begin Oct. 1. Stick with the PAFP Government Affairs team for updates.
 
REPORT: MORE INSURERS TO TACKLE OBESITY UNDER ACA (July 5, 2013)

According to a report in USA Today, those struggling with obesity may get some help from their insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it's up to individual health plans to determine how they'll help their patients lose weight, USA Today details what most insurers are responsible for under the ACA's preventive services guidelines.
 
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! (July 4, 2013)

The office of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians will be closed today to celebrate Independence Day. Take some time today to read the Declaration of Independence, and be sure to stay safe by checking out these tips for fireworks, cookout, and swimming pool safety. We'll be back with you tomorrow!
 
DME REQUIREMENTS FOR FACE-TO-FACE ENCOUNTERS DELAYED (July 3, 2013)

The July 1, 2013 requirement in Section 6407 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), establishing that a face-to-face encounter must occur within the six months before the order is written for durable medical equipment (DME), has been delayed to Oct. 1, 2013. For more information, see the Medicare Learning Network's MLN Matters newsletter.
 
PAFP DISSOLVES HOUSE OF DELEGATES (July 2, 2013)

At the most recent House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, the delegates voted to dissolve the HOD in favor of an annual meeting. Details can be found in Chapter IV of the amended bylaws, which you can access by clicking here. If you have any questions, please contact PAFP EVP and CEO John Jordan, CAE, at 1 (800) 648-5623.
 
WHO: TREAT PEOPLE WITH HIV EARLIER (July 1, 2013)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending earlier treatment for people with HIV. Fox News and others report children younger than 5, pregnant or nursing mothers, those with uninfected partners, and those with hepatitis B or tuberculosis should be started on medicines as soon as they are diagnosed. Click here for more.
 
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