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October 2013
News Archive

SEBELIUS: 'I APOLOGIZE. I'M ACCOUNTABLE' (Oct. 31, 2013)

Testifying to Congress about the botched healthcare.gov launch, Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took responsibility and apologized to those still waiting for coverage. CNN reports Sebelius said she made a mistake when she told President Obama the site was ready for Oct. 1.
 
PRACTICE TRICK-OR-TREAT SAFETY FOR HALLOWEEN (Oct. 31, 2013)

It's Halloween, and this evening, things that go bump in the night will be going from door to door throughout U.S. neighborhoods for tricks or treats. Goblins and ghouls are nothing to be scared of, but it's very important to stay safe during the trick-or-treat sojourn! Follow these Halloween safety tips from ABC News.
 
HHS SECRETARY SEBELIUS TESTIFIES ON ACA (Oct. 30, 2013)

Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will field questions today from a House committee trying to get down to the bottom of the troubled Marketplace website launch, according to USA Today. This morning, a former White House official said the website is expected to be fixed by Nov. 30.
 
BUSTING THE MOST COMMON FLU VACCINE MYTHS (Oct. 30, 2013)

Does the influenza vaccine make a patient sick? Should pregnant women get the flu shot? Is the influenza virus "bad enough" to warrant getting vaccinated? It's time to debunk the many myths out there about the flu vaccine! Read about the most common myths on io9, and visit our Public Health page for more on the flu.
 
REPORT: MORE THAN 2 MILLION GETTING BOOTED FROM INSURANCE PLANS (Oct. 29, 2013)

While the Affordable Care Act seeks to insure those who have previously lacked coverage, CBS News reports that nearly 2 million people have been told that they're unable to renew their existing plans. CBS notes that that's more than triple the number of people said to be purchasing plans under the ACA.
 
CONGRATS TO FMEC AWARD WINNERS! (Oct. 29, 2013)

The Family Medicine Education Consortium's (FMEC) 2013 Northeast Region Meeting takes place Nov. 1 through 3 in Philadelphia. But the FMEC has announced its conference award winners already, and the PAFP would like to congratulate its six FMEC award-winning members! Click here to find out who they are.
 
LAWMAKERS DEMAND MARKETPLACE ANSWERS, FIX (Oct. 28, 2013)

Both Republicans and Democrats are demanding swift answers and quick action on the ill-functioning Marketplace website. According to PBSsome lawmakers are threatening to subpoena Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius if she doesn't provide details on the troubled launch by 5 p.m. today.
 
FINAL WEEK TO PRE-REGISTER FOR ERIE CME CONFERENCE (Oct. 28, 2013)

The Erie CME Conference is less than two weeks away: Don't let yourself miss the education, networking and fun! This is the final week to pre-register for the conference, which you can do by clicking here. From valuable CME to a brewery tour, from cooking classes to comedy, Erie is the place to be next month!
 
LEGAL TROUBLE FOR AFFORDABLE CARE ACT? (Oct. 25, 2013)

The Los Angeles Times reports the Affordable Care Act law contains a potential legal issue that could unravel the law in many states. A tax credit helps cover the cost for low-income Americans if they buy through an exchange established by the state - but 36 states have opted against opening their own exchanges.
 
DATA DIAMOND TO COLLECT PATIENT-SPECIFIC DATA (Oct. 25, 2013)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians is developing the capability to collect patient-specific data and information in its Data Diamond data collection system by introducing a patient registry module. This will enhance Data Diamond's value as an integral part of managing patient populations. Read more here.
 
PA. RESIDENTS DENIED ACA COVERAGE OVER MEDICAID ISSUE (Oct. 24, 2013)

Some Pennsylvania residents are being denied coverage to health plans under the Affordable Care Act because the state has not expanded its Medicaid program, according to abc27 NewsThe state says it's working on a plan to insure the 500,000 to 600,000 Pennsylvanians within that "health care hole." 
 
GOV. CORBETT SIGNS DOCTOR APOLOGY BILL (Oct. 24, 2013)

Gov. Tom Corbett has signed into law a bill that will allow physicians to apologize to patients without fear of a lawsuit. Doctors would also be allowed to express grief to patients and families after bad outcomes without having to worry their words will be used in court, reports abc27 News. The PAFP supported this legislation.
 
OBAMA: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WORKING IN MANY AREAS (Oct. 23, 2013)

In spite of problems with the troubled healthcare.gov website, President Obama says many parts of the Affordable Care Act are working as planned to the benefit of the American people. NPR reports the president mentioned prescription savings for seniors and insurance call centers as some of Obamacare's successes.
 
STUDY: FLU VACCINE CUTS HEART ATTACK RISK (Oct. 23, 2013)

Need another reason to protect yourself against the flu this year? A new study in JAMA shows that getting the flu vaccine cut the risk of heart attack or stroke by 50 percent in those who've had heart attacks before, according to USA Today. Visit our Public Health page for more information on the flu vaccine. 
 
REPORT: AMERICANS LOSING FAITH IN HEALTH LAW (Oct. 22, 2013)

In the wake of a problematic insurance exchange launch, Americans' faith in the Affordable Care Act is eroding, according to Time. Nearly 41 percent of Americans approve of the health care law, but 46 percent of people polled between Oct. 9 and 13 said that the Marketplace website was not working well - or at all.
 
PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING BILL HEADS TO SENATE (Oct. 22, 2013)

A PAFP-supported bill that would create a database to monitor prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping" is on its way to the state Senate, according to the Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania House Bill 1694 passed the House overwhelmingly. You can read more about the bill on OpenStates.org.
 
WHAT ARE PATIENTS' TOP COMPLAINTS ABOUT HEALTH LAW? (Oct. 21, 2013)

Since the launch of the health care Marketplace on Oct. 1, patients have had some hands-on time with the Affordable Care Act. Of course, the transition hasn't been particularly easy for patients and providers alike. What are patients' biggest complaints about the law? CNN Money has taken a look. Find out for yourself here.
 
CHECK MEDIA COVERAGE ARCHIVE FOR PAFP IN THE NEWS (Oct. 21, 2013)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians has been all over the news lately, from your local newspaper to public radio and everything in between! Check out the PAFP Media Coverage Archive, where PAFP representatives sound off to the news media about the health care law, the flu, legislation and more!
 
INSURERS CLAIM MARKETPLACE GENERATING FLAWED DATA (Oct. 18, 2013)

In yet another setback for the embattled health insurance Marketplace website, insurers say the federal health care exchange is generating flawed data, such as duplicate enrollments and missing data fields, straining their ability to handle even the current small number of those who have enrolled. Marketwatch has more here.
 
CME CRUISE NOW OFFERING 20 CREDITS (Oct. 18, 2013)

As if next year's PAFP CME Cruise couldn't get more enticing, the PAFP has now added even more valuable CME credits! Gain up to 20 hours of CME on board Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, sailing to the beautiful Bahamas June 20 through 27, 2014. Click here for full details. Registration closes Nov. 12!
 
LESS THAN 1 PERCENT OF MARKETPLACE VISITORS ENROLLED (Oct. 17, 2013)

This morning, Mediaite and various sources are reporting that only .4 percent of visitors to the health care Marketplace website enrolled in a plan in the first week - just 36,000 out of nearly 9.5 million unique visitors. That's according to an independent study by Millward Brown Digital, which you can view by clicking here.
 
SAY 'BOO' TO THE FLU WITH VACCINE (Oct. 17, 2013)

Flu season is here, and whether you're a long time proponent of the influenza vaccine or have never gotten the shot, there's no better time than the present to protect yourself! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flu information here; visit our Public Health page for provider resources on the flu virus.
 
PENNSYLVANIANS SHARE PERSONAL MARKETPLACE EXPERIENCES (Oct. 16, 2013)

We've heard plenty of stories - many from the national media - about the health care Marketplace's shortcomings. Now, Transforming Health has compiled exclusive feedback from Pennsylvanians about their experiences with the online insurance exchange. Click here to read a wide range of revealing local opinions.
 
FMEC MEETING RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER (Oct. 16, 2013)

The Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC) Northeast Region Meeting is right around the corner! Network and learn about family medicine at the conference in downtown Philadelphia Nov. 1 through 3. Online registration is closed; on-site registration will be available. Click here to apply for a student scholarship.
 
MARKETPLACE ENROLLEES BECOME 'URBAN LEGEND' (Oct. 15, 2013)

Who has been able to sign up for health care under the federal Marketplace? According to Kaiser Health News, enrollees are something of an urban legend: while a few have reported varying degrees of success, only a handful of true successes exist. The Obama administration says it will release enrollment numbers monthly.
 
REGISTER FOR TOMORROW'S REGIONAL LECTURE BY NOON (Oct. 15, 2013)

This year's Regional Lecture Series continues tomorrow, Oct. 16, at noon with "'Free' EHR System Presentation" from the PAFP's northwest region. Don't forget to register by noon for this free educational opportunity, worth one CME credit. Click here for registration - there are four great lectures left in the series!
 
REPORT: PA.'S POOREST FALL INTO COVERAGE GAP (Oct. 11, 2013)

Under the health care law, Pennsylvania's poorest uninsured fall into a coverage gap. While those making between 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for aid, WITF reports an estimated 400,000 residents make too little to qualify for Marketplace subsidies, yet make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
 
CDC LABS, PROGRAMS IDLE AS FLU SEASON BEGINS (Oct. 11, 2013)

Fall flu season is here, but the nation is enduring it largely without the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MedPage Today reports the government shutdown means that most of the technology that monitors the flu has been shut down and up to 85 percent of the usual staff is on enforced leave.
 
HOSPITALS CUTTING STAFF TO MAKE UP LOST REVENUE (Oct. 10, 2013)

As Medicare continues squeezing prices under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are making up for lost revenue by slashing staff, reports Modern Healthcare. For each $100,000 drop in Medicare revenue, a new study has found hospitals eliminate 1.7 full-time jobs. The study did not examine the quality of care impact
 
LEARN MORE ABOUT EXAMS FOR CMV DRIVERS IN NEW BOOKLET (Oct. 10, 2013)

If you wish to perform physical examinations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, you must be trained and certified in physical qualification standards set forth by the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. To learn more, please click here for the PAFP's new DOT Medical Examiner Informational Booklet.
 
REPORT: TIME RUNNING OUT FOR MARKETPLACE UPDATES (Oct. 9, 2013)

We told you yesterday that the health insurance Marketplace website was being updated. But, according to a former health official, time is running out. The former Dept. of Health and Human Services employee told Time that the longer the fixes take, the more the health care law is imperiled.Find out why here.
 
REGIONAL LECTURE SERIES ROLLS ON (Oct. 9, 2013)

The PAFP Regional Lecture Series has been reinvented this year as one-hour, live online presentations. With two already in the doctor's bag, there are just four more opportunities to experience interesting, informative education sessions while earning valuable CME credits. Don't wait ... Register today!
 
HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE FIX ON THE WAY? (Oct. 8, 2013)

Last week's launch of the health insurance Marketplace website was plagued with problems. Today, Reuters reports those issues are being fixed. The White House says it is repairing software and capacity problems within the website, which received nearly 9 million unique visitors after launching on Oct. 1. 
 
'MARKETPLACE 101' SEMINAR CANCELED (Oct. 8, 2013)

The Health Insurance Marketplace 101 for Providers seminar scheduled for 6:30 tonight at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has been canceled. The speaker is unable to conduct business because of the government shutdown. Keep an eye out for more learning opportunities on our Practice Advocacy webpage
 
IN AGE OF ACA, AMISH GO THEIR OWN WAY (Oct. 7, 2013)

The Affordable Care Act, specifically the brand new Marketplace, is affecting hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. But one group found in Pa. is exempt from the law: the Amish community has successfully opted out of Obamacare. Click here to learn how the Amish health system works via NBC News.  
 
LAST DAY TO RECEIVE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT FOR ERIE CME (Oct. 7, 2013)

The Erie CME Conference is just a month away! From Nov. 8-10, join your colleagues for relevant clinical sessions on topics ranging from vaccines to prescription drugs, take a SAM Study Group, and enjoy special events including a cooking expo and brewery tour. Register today - the final day for the early bird discount!
 
MED STUDENTS PARTNER WITH HEALTH CENTER FOR FAIR (Oct. 4, 2013)

Medical students from The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) are partnering with Scranton Primary Health Care Center for a free health fair. The Steamtown Health Fair will take place on Oct. 12 at TCMC and will include health information, children's activities, raffles, food and much more. Click here for details!
 
BE IN-THE-KNOW ABOUT HEALTH CARE FRAUD (Oct. 4, 2013)

You may have heard that scammers are using confusion over the Affordable Care Act to dupe patients. But Pennsylvania's attorney general recommends five simple rules that patients can follow to avoid fraud. You can read the tips by clicking here, courtesy of Patch, and don't forget to share the information with your patients!
 
DOCTOR SHORTAGE, PATIENT FLOOD COULD CRASH HEALTH SYSTEM (Oct. 3, 2013)

The influx of newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act could overburden physicians and crash America's health system, warns CNN. As nearly half of U.S. physicians are over 50 - at or near retirement age - The Annals of Family Medicine estimates 52,000 more primary care physicians will be needed by 2025.
 
EXERCISE AS GOOD AS MEDICINE FOR HEART DISEASE? (Oct. 3, 2013)

A new study suggests that exercise may be just as good as medication in treating heart disease, according to Reuters. Researchers found no statistical difference between medicine and exercise in patients with prediabetes or coronary heart disease. Watch this free webcast for more tips on fighting heart disease!  
 
MARKETPLACES LAUNCHES TO ROCKY START IN PA. (Oct. 2, 2013)

Yesterday, Pennsylvania's health insurance exchange, or "Marketplace," opened to consumers. Unfortunately, technological glitches prevented many from signing up, as abc27 News reports in this piece featuring the PAFP's Brent Ennis. Visit the PAFP's brand new ACA News Archive for the latest on the health law!
 
REGIONAL LECTURE SERIES BEGINS TODAY ONLINE (Oct. 2, 2013)

The 2014 Regional Lecture Series begins at noon today, coming to your home or office computer from the PAFP's Northeast region. Lectures will take place every Wednesday through Nov. 6 from noon to 1 on the PAFP Community. You can join one or all of the lectures for free - click here for more information and to register.
 
SIGN UP FOR HEALTH INSURANCE AT HEALTHCARE.GOV (Oct. 1, 2013)

Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians are eligible to sign up for affordable health insurance through the Marketplace at healthcare.gov beginning today. You'll be asked to enter some basic information in order to see the plans. Please note: Because of high web traffic, you may experience delays when using the website.
 
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