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November 2013
News Archive

POLL: ARE ACA'S FLAWS FIXABLE? (Nov. 27, 2013)

Most Americans believe the Affordable Care Act can still be redeemed, according to a CNN/ORC International poll. Even so, CNN reports, only four in 10 of those polled say they support the law. While 53 percent believe it's too soon to tell if the law is a failure, 54 percent believe its problems will be solved eventually.
 
CHECK OUT FIRST ISSUE OF 'PRACTICE PERSPECTIVES'! (Nov. 27, 2013)

The PAFP has launched a new monthly publication, Practice Perspectives. This newsletter is designed to keep practice managers and administrators aware of legislative updates, initiatives and best practices that affect them. Click here to join our Practice Advocacy Network and get the newsletter in your inbox each month!
 
SCOTUS MAY HEAR 'CONTRACEPTION MANDATE' CHALLENGE (Nov. 26, 2013)

ABC News reports the U.S. Supreme Court may hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act's so-called contraception mandate, a part of the law that compels certain businesses to offer birth control as part of their health insurance packages for employees. Some workplaces have cited religious objections to the measure.
 
STUDY: PERTUSSIS VACCINE DOESN'T STOP SPREAD OF DISEASE (Nov. 26, 2013)

A recent rise in pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," has led many to take the vaccination seriously. But according to Fox News, new research suggests the vaccination doesn't halt the spread of the disease. Nevertheless, it's still important to get vaccinated! Visit our Public Health page for more information.
 
HOW WILL WE KNOW WHEN THE HEALTH CARE WEBSITE IS FIXED? (Nov. 25, 2013)

The Obama administration has set a Nov. 30 goal for the healthcare.gov website to be "fixed" - but how will we be able to tell when it's fully functional? According to the National Journal, experts say the website has a long way to go - and while the system is getting stronger, insurers remain concerned about lingering issues.
 
AHOY, MATES! PAFP CRUISE TO SET SAIL SUMMER 2014 (Nov. 25, 2013)

Fall weather has arrived in Pennsylvania - but if the cold is getting you down, set your sights on June 20, when the PAFP's CME cruise sets sail for sunny, warm Bermuda! You'll enjoy incredible food, entertainment, and up to 20 hours of CME in paradise. Click here to register, then start packing for your journey!
 
HOW 'AFFORDABLE IS ACA FOR PATIENTS? (Nov. 22, 2013)

The operative word of "Affordable Care Act" is "affordable." But are patients truly getting more affordable health care through ACA plans? According to CNN, many Americans are discovering that the law isn't living up to its name, with expenses beyond just high premiums, copays and deductibles. Read the full story here.
 
WEEK WRAPS UP WITH FOCUS ON RURAL HEALTH IN TROY (Nov. 22, 2013)

It's the perfect week for the opening of the new, rural health-focused Guthrie Troy Practice in Bradford County. According to The Daily Review the practice contains 36 exam rooms and access to resources at the adjoining, newly opened Guthrie Troy Community Hospital. Thanks for joining us for Rural Health Week!
 
STATES, INSURERS JOIN FORCES TO BYPASS HEALTHCARE.GOV (Nov. 21, 2013)

States and insurers, concerned that the HealthCare.gov website may not work by December, are joining forces to see if they can bypass the site by enrolling customers directly. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that easing access may lead to other problems - yet many are skeptical of an end-of-November Obamacare fix.
 
NATIONAL RURAL HEALTH DAY ARRIVES! (Nov. 21, 2013)

Today, National Rural Health Day, is packed with events and activities celebrating and promoting rural health. At 10 a.m., join a press conference featuring all 50 state rural health offices. Free rural health webinars begin at noon and run every hour through late afternoon. For more info, visit the National Rural Health Day website!
 
SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE LAW DIPS TO NEW LOW (Nov. 20, 2013)

It's not particularly surprising, given the nearly two-month struggle for the health care law to find its footing after a troubled Marketplace launch, that Americans are losing their patience. Just 31 percent of Americans say they approve of the law, according to a new CBS News poll. Nearly twice as many, 61 percent, disapprove.
 
LOAN REPAYMENTS AVAILABLE FOR RURAL HEALTH PROVIDERS (Nov. 20, 2013)

The National Health Service Corps offers a loan repayment program for providers who commit to serving in communities with limited care access - including rural areas. Students and residents, rural health may be in your future! Learn more about the program here, and visit the Office of Rural Health Policy on the way!
 
HUGE COVERAGE GAP EXISTS IN PA. (Nov. 19, 2013)

For nearly 400,000 Pennsylvanians, the promise of universal health care doesn't apply. That's because they make too much to apply for Medicaid, but make too little to qualify for a plan under the Marketplace. Gov. Tom Corbett is seeking to fix the gap through his Healthy Pennsylvania plan, Kaiser Health News reports. 
 
GET INFO, RESOURCES AT PA OFFICE OF RURAL HEALTH (Nov. 19, 2013)

Because rural health is an integral part of a flourishing Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health is full of resources for physicians and patients alike. Click here to visit and reap the benefits - from public health updates and breaking news to funding opportunities, strategic plans, and continuing education.
 
CAN PATIENTS KEEP THEIR DOCTORS UNDER OBAMACARE? (Nov. 18, 2013)

Last week, we learned that not all patients are able to keep their plans under the Affordable Care Act, despite assurances to the contrary. But what about the other promise - "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"? According to Forbes, that isn't necessarily true either. Click here to find out why.
 
RURAL HEALTH WEEK BEGINS IN PA. (Nov. 18, 2013)

Gov. Tom Corbett has declared this week, Nov. 18 through 22, to be Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania. Nationally, Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest rural population, with 3.4 million rural residents. Increasing health care access in rural areas is one of the tenets of Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan.
 
PRESIDENT APOLOGIZES, ANNOUNCES HEALTH LAW FIX (Nov. 15, 2013)

President Obama has apologized for his frequent claims that those who like their insurance plans can keep them. Yesterday, he offered a solution, allowing people in the individual market to temporarily keep their plans. However, CNN reports not everyone is happy with the president's plan - including some Democrats.
 
REPORT: DIABETES KILLS 1 PERSON EVERY 6 SECONDS (Nov. 15, 2013)

Diabetes reached an epidemic level long ago, and according to new estimates, the disease kills one person every six seconds. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the number of people affected by diabetes is expected to climb 55 percent by 2035. Visit our Public Health page for more information about diabetes.
 
MARKETPLACE ENROLLMENT NUMBERS ANEMIC (Nov. 14, 2013)

Just 106,000 Americans enrolled in health insurance exchanges in October, and fewer than 27,000 of those signed up on the federal marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Pennsylvania, which participates in the federal exchange, accounted for about 2,200 sign-ups. Click here for details and a brief analysis from USA Today.
 
PRIMARY LIMITS FOR LIABILITY INSURANCE HOLD STEADY (Nov. 14, 2013)

Primary limits for professional liability insurance will remain at current levels ($500,000) for the next two years, according to Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine. Groups including the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) have praised the decision. Click here for more details from PAMED.
 
WHAT'S ON THE LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR FOR ACA THIS WEEK? (Nov. 13, 2013)

The Affordable Care Act is getting plenty of attention from Congress this week, according to the Washington Post. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing today on the HealthCare.gov launch, among other goings-on. Click here for a full rundown of the week's activities.
 
TWO PROPOSALS TARGET SGR REFORM (Nov. 13, 2013)

Two separate proposals are seeking a permanent solution to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that affects physician payments. Healthcare Finance News has taken a look at each proposal, which you can read by clicking here. Additionally, click here for more about the SGR in past issues of Keystone Physician.
 
OBAMACARE'S EARLY SUCCESS STORY (Nov. 12, 2013)

Medicaid is turning out to be Obamacare's big bright spot. CBS News reports that Medicaid signups are far outpacing those who have enrolled in private health insurance plans via the Marketplace website: while an estimated 50,000 have enrolled in federal insurance exchange plans, Medicaid has signed up 444,000 in 10 states.
 
JOIN THE FAST-GROWING PAFP COMMUNITY (Nov. 12, 2013)

Now that the Regional Lecture Series has ended, the dozens of PAFP members who have joined the PAFP Community over the last few weeks are exploring everything else the new member benefit has to offerClick here to join your colleagues in conversation and collaboration on this exciting, comprehensive digital toolbox!
 
OBAMA SORRY THAT SOME AMERICANS LOSING INSURANCE (Nov. 8, 2013)

President Obama is apologizing to Americans who are losing their insurance plans because of the Affordable Care Act despite his oft-repeated "If you like your insurance, you can keep it" claim. According to USA Today, the president made his remarks in an interview about the health care law with NBC News.
 
ERIE CME CONFERENCE BEGINS (Nov. 8, 2013)

Today is day one of the Erie CME Conference, the PAFP's final event of the year. The conference includes relevant clinical sessions, cooking, comedy, and much more! While online registration is now closed, you can still register on-site, and don't forget that the PAFP is offering live streaming CME from the event as well. 
 
HOW INSURANCE SUBSIDIES ARE PAID THROUGH ACA (Nov. 7, 2013)

We already know that many Americans will be receiving subsidies to pay for health care through the Affordable Care Act. But who is eligible, and where does the money come from? NPR has taken a look and says yes, some of it is offset by higher costs for wealthier Americans - but that's not exactly the whole story.
 
COULD BABY'S GAZE SIGNIFY AUTISM? (Nov. 7, 2013)

How often and how long a baby makes eye contact could determine whether a child will develop autism. According to the New York Times, researchers found 3-year-olds with autism looked less at people's eyes as babies. Learn more about autism and transitioning youth with special needs on our Public Health page.
 
CHAOTIC HEALTH CARE SITE TALKS REVEALED (Nov. 6, 2013)

It's hard to know from the outside looking in how the government is dealing with the problems that plague the health care website. But the New York Times reports more than 100 pages of notes reveal the chaos behind the Obama administration's recognition of the widespread technical issues. Click here for more.
 
GETTING HEALTH CARE RIGHT, EVEN AS WE CHANGE IT (Nov. 6, 2013)

Health care has changed significantly since family medicine was recognized as a specialty in 1969. But, as Dr. Reid Blackwelder, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) notes in the AAFP's Leader Voices Blog, the fundamentals of the doctor-patient relationship remain. Read the column here.
 
REPORT: YOUNG AVOIDING ACA PLANS (Nov. 5, 2013)

Young, healthy Americans are needed to buoy the Affordable Care Act and maintain its cost-effectiveness. But according to the Wall Street Journal, early buyers of Marketplace coverage are older than expected. The paper reports if the trend continues, prices could be driven up for everyone due to spreading of costs.
 
NPs, PAs TO EASE PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE? (Nov. 5, 2013)

Forbes reports models of care involving nurse practitioners and physician assistants could ease the burdenon family physicians and help solve the primary care shortage. However, in order to achieve this, states may have to expand the scope of practice. Click here to read more about scope of practice in Pennsylvania. 
 
STICKER SHOCK FROM ACA PLANS LEAVES SOME DISGRUNTLED (Nov. 4, 2013)

Some patients who liked their insurance plans got a rude awakening when their employers discontinued their coverage due to new Affordable Care Act laws. The Washington Post reports soaring premiums for certain patients with discontinued plans seeking comparable coverage on the Marketplace website.
 
LIVE STREAMING CME FROM YOUR HOME OR OFFICE (Nov. 4, 2013)

If you can't make it to the PAFP's Erie CME Conference, you can get the next best thing - live streaming CME to your home or office! You can choose to take all twelve sessions or choose a la carte from sessions on relevant clinical topics like vaccinations, pre-diabetes, and prescription drugs. Click here to register!
 
REPORT: JUST SIX ENROLLED IN MARKETPLACE PLANS ON DAY 1 (Nov. 1, 2013)

Internal memos provided to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveal just six people signed up for health insurance under the federal Marketplace on Oct. 1, reports CNN. The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) says it anticipates enrollments will pick up as the enrollment deadline nears.
 
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR 2014 TEN STATE MEETING (Nov. 1, 2013)

Registration is now open for the 2014 Ten State Meeting, to take place Feb. 21 through 24, 2014 in Hershey. The Ten State Meeting is an annual conference that assembles professionals at the forefront of family medicine for learning and strategic development. Learn more here, and click here to register!
 
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