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March 2014
News Archive

TODAY: FINAL DAY TO ENROLL ON HEALTHCARE.GOV (March 31, 2014)

Today is the final day to enroll for insurance on HealthCare.gov, and Businessweek reports the total number of enrollees may approach 7 million, matching expectations by the Obama administration. Final numbers won't be available immediately; anyone who began enrolling before the deadline will be accepted.
 
THANK YOU! MARCH 30 IS NATIONAL DOCTORS' DAY (March 28, 2014)

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law a measure making March 30 "National Doctors' Day." The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians is proud of its more-than 5,500 members, and thanks each and every one for dedicating their lives to the very best care for their patients. We are forever grateful!
 
REPORT: HOSPITAL INFECTIONS DOWN, STILL DANGEROUS (March 27, 2014)

While many hospital infections are on the decline, one in 25 patients seeking treatment in a hospital still acquired an infection there in 2011, according to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Medical experts, reports CNN, say quality of care varies greatly - even between neighboring hospitals. 
 
YEAR-LONG 'DOC FIX' VOTE EXPECTED THURSDAY (March 26, 2014)

The House is expected to vote Thursday on a "doc fix" bill - but not the permanent one which would have been funded by a delay in the individual mandate. According to The Hill, the House will instead pass a year-long extension through March 2015 that would avoid a steep 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements.
 
NEW TYPES OF TESTS COMBATING CRC (March 25, 2014)

Colonoscopies save lives, but they can be uncomfortable and expensive. While the stigma of a colonoscopy seems to be fading, the New York Times reports other screening methods are gaining ground. Don't forget, it's still Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: visit the PAFP's CRC Screening Collaborative for more information.
 
SCOTUS TO HEAR HOBBY LOBBY CASE THIS WEEK (March 24, 2014)

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday on two cases involving craft chain store Hobby Lobby and its religious objection to providing employees with emergency contraception under the Affordable Care Act. The Washington Post has assembled a FAQ regarding the case and its implications.
 
MATCH DAY 2014 ARRIVES (March 21, 2014)

Match Day 2014 has finally arrived! Today, medical students near and far will be "matched" to residency programs and begin their careers. The PAFP will be in Hershey with the Penn State College of Medicine this morning and afternoon, tweeting updates from an exciting scene. Click here to follow all the action!
 
NEARLY 50% TRUST MEDICAL CONSPIRACY THEORIES (March 20, 2014)

A new survey from the University of Chicago found a disturbing trend: nearly half of Americans believe at least one medical conspiracy theory, such as the oft-cited arguments for vaccine avoidance. NPR reports the survey also suggested these conspiracy beliefs directly affect how patients manage their own health.
 
DESPITE ISSUES, EHRs HERE FOR GOOD (March 19, 2014)

The electronic health record market is a rapidly expanding one, reports Forbes, and physicians should get used to using EHR systems in their offices. However, some physicians say the systems are user-unfriendly, expensive, and account for lost productivity, leading health experts to develop innovative solutions.
 
SATURATED FAT LINK TO HEART DISEASE QUESTIONED (March 18, 2014)

Saturated fat has long been looked at as a culprit for heart disease, but new research questions whether eating saturated fat elevates the risk of cardiovascular events at all. The New York Times reports the study, from the Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find more heart disease in those with diets high in saturated fat.
 
CRC RATES ON THE DECLINE (March 17, 2014)

Colorectal cancer rates are on the decline, largely because of screening, reports CNN. Colorectal cancer was once the leading cancer killer in the U.S.; since 1985, rates have dropped from 66.3 cases per 100,000 Americans to 40.6. Visit the PAFP's CRC Screening Collaborative for more about preventive measures!
 
NEW TEST COULD OFFER QUICK, ACCURATE TBI DIAGNOSIS (March 14, 2014)

A new blood test could provide quick, accurate diagnoses for sports-related brain injuries. According to Fox News, Swedish researchers say their test for traumatic brain injury (TBI) could show the severity of such an injury in just a single hour. Learn more about TBI in Keystone Physician or on the PAFP's Public Health page.
 
EXPECT ACA PREMIUMS TO RISE IN 2015 (March 13, 2014)

Prices for insurance are expected to increase next year, although Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she expects a smaller rise than in previous years. The Wall Street Journal reports it's still unclear how many Americans who have selected plans under the Affordable Care Act have paid.
 
STUDY: CANCER TO BECOME NO. 1 U.S. KILLER BY 2030 (March 12, 2014)

Cancer is expected to supplant heart disease as the number-one killer in the United States by 2030. According to CNN, the American Society of Clinical Oncology says the number of new cases is expected to increase 45 percent, potentially adding additional strain on an already overburdened health care system.
 
MEET THE RESEARCH DAY WINNERS (March 11, 2014)

Research Day 2014 was an incredible success, and the PAFP congratulates all of the hard work that went into the posters and presentations! Click here to meet the winners. The PAFP would like to invite students to its next event, Student Assembly, on April 8. Become engaged participants in the PAFP! Click here for more.
 
GOP GOVERNORS URGED TO EXPAND MEDICAID (March 10, 2014)

Just 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Forbes reports increased political pressure on states with Republican governors, including Pennsylvania, is causing some states to look at options to expand. Pennsylvania recently submitted its expansion plan.
 
BIG WEEKEND PLANNED: CME, SAM, BUSINESS MEETING, AWARDS (March 7, 2014)

This weekend is absolutely packed with PAFP events, and Hershey is the place to be! From the Hershey CME Conference and a SAM study group to the Annual Business Meeting, awards presentations, and installation of 2014-15 PAFP President Douglas Spotts, MD, you can follow it all on Facebook and Twitter.
 
TIME RUNNING OUT TO REGISTER FOR LIVE STREAMING CME (March 6, 2014)

The PAFP's Hershey CME Conference and Annual Business Meeting begins today. While registration is closed for in-person CME, physicians who want to enjoy the conference from a home or office computer can still register for live streaming CME. Registration for this opportunity closes at the end of the day today, March 6. 
 
PAFP RELEASES 2013 ANNUAL REPORT (March 5, 2014)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and Foundation is pleased to announce its first-ever Annual Report. Within the 2013 Annual Report, you will find information about the PAFP's activities on all fronts, from legislative undertakings and practice advocacy efforts to educational offerings and financial details.
 
EXTENSION POSSIBLE FOR CANCELED HEALTH PLANS (March 5, 2014)

In response to public scrutiny over spending, drugmakers' payments to doctors have recently dropped dramatically, reports NPR. Another factor in the decrease is the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which goes into effect this year and requires pharmaceutical companies to report their payments to physicians.
 
EXTENSION POSSIBLE FOR CANCELED HEALTH PLANS (March 4, 2014)

Those with health plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act's standards may receive another reprieve, according to Fox News, which says the Obama administration is getting ready to extend the temporary fix. It's unclear how long the extension will last. The delay is expected to be announced next week.
 
DO PRO-VACCINE MESSAGES WORK ON ANTI-VACCINE PARENTS? (March 4, 2014)

A new study in Pediatrics suggests that parents who are against vaccinations actually respond negatively to information debunking claims of links between vaccines and conditions like autism. According to Forbes, experts recommend testing pro-vaccine public health campaigns with skeptical audiences first. 
 
YOUNGER AMERICANS SEEKING INSURANCE OUTSIDE EXCHANGE (March 3, 2014)

Young, healthy Americans are an important demographic in the funding of the Affordable Care Act. But CNN reports that this group is largely seeking coverage outside of the ACA marketplace, by a ratio of almost two to one. These policies outside of the ACA are attracting many who aren't eligible for subsidies.
 
MARCH IS COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (March 3, 2014)

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, taking 50,000 lives annually. The PAFP is committed to fighting colorectal cancer through its CRC Screening Collaborative. For information and resources, please click here.
 
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