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June 2014
News Archive

PAFP OFFERS NEW SUMMER CME WEBCASTS (June 27, 2014)

Whether you're on your lunch break at work or on your laptop at the beach, the PAFP's new summer CME webcasts are quality, quick, and free! The clinically relevant webcasts are presented by experts in family medicine, and most qualify for patient safety credit. Save time, save money, and click here to get started!
 
HIGH-TECH APPS AND DEVICES ENTER HEALTH CARE SPHERE (June 26, 2014)

From Fitbit to Apple Health, smartphone applications and devices are changing the way patients manage their health care. Today on the Diane Rehm Show, a panel of guests will discuss their benefits and risks. We'll look more at the intersection of health and technology in the next issue of Keystone Physician, so stay tuned!
 
HEALTH CARE COSTS EXPECTED TO RISE IN 2015 (June 25, 2014)

Patients nationwide should prepare to pay more for health care in 2015. The New York Times reports medical costs are expected to grow 6.8 percent overall next year, and that "medical cost trend" helps insurers to determine premium plans. Employers often adjust benefits to help abate the increase.
 
MEASLES CASES CONTINUE TO RISE ... BUT WHY? (June 24, 2014)

Despite high vaccination rates, measles - which was declared eliminated in 2000 - is on the rise. According to the Washington Post, 514 cases have been reported so far in 2014, with more expected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the outbreak is largely due to those who refuse the vaccine.
 
INSURERS SIGN UP FOR 'HEALTHY PA.' PLAN (June 23, 2014)

Modern Healthcare and the Associated Press report that nine insurers have signed up for Gov. Tom Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan, which will use Medicaid expansion funds to give hundreds of thousands of working poor private health insurance. The federal government must first approve the plan.
 
INAUGURAL PAFP CRUISE SETS SAIL (June 20, 2014)

Ahoy! The PAFP's first-ever CME cruise sets sail this afternoon! The seven-night cruise to Bermuda features 20 hours of CME, exciting entertainment, and plenty of fun and sun. If you aren't signed up for the cruise, don't fret - the PAFP has plenty more CME planned, including the Pittsburgh CME Conference in November. 
 
AHA ASKS ONC TO FINALIZE PROPOSED RULE (June 19, 2014)

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is asking the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to finalize a proposed rule for its EHR Incentive Programs. According to EHR Intelligence, the AHA is concerned a late release of the proposed rule would "limit its benefit to hospitals."
 
LEARN AND EARN WITH PAFP REWARD POINTS PROGRAM (June 18, 2014)

When you take PAFP CME, you earn more than just AAFP Prescribed credit. The PAFP gives back to you through its Reward Points Program! Every 10 points you earn can be redeemed for a $25 credit toward a future CME conference registration or an item of PAFP apparel. Learn more on the PAFP's Education page.
 
AMONG RICH COUNTRIES, U.S. LAST IN HEALTH CARE (June 17, 2014)

A new report places the United States health care system in last place among 11 rich nations across the globe. Forbes reports the Commonwealth Fund's study shows American health care, while most expensive in the world, lags in quality and outcomes. The United Kingdom topped the list, followed by Switzerland.
 
SCOTUS STILL TO DECIDE HEALTH-RELATED CASES (June 16, 2014)

The United States Supreme Court is still deciding 17 cases this term, including some important cases related to health care this term. Notably, according to the Washington Post and the Associated Press, the court will issue a judgment on the case of Hobby Lobby and its objection to a portion of the Affordable Care Act.
 
STUDY: TEENS CHOOSING HEALTH OVER SMOKING (June 13, 2014)

USA Today reports that smoking among high schoolers has hit a dramatic low. In a survey conducted yearly since 1991, just 15.7 percent of high school students said they smoke cigarettes, down from 36.4 in the peak year of 1997. Visit the PAFP's Smoking Cessation CME page for more on anti-tobacco interventions.
 
EPIC, IBM SUBMIT JOINT BID FOR GOVERNMENT IT PROJECT (June 12, 2014)

Epic and IBM have submitted a joint bid on a project to 
replace the Military Health System's electronic health records (EHR) system. According to Modern Healthcare, the project, which is expected to cost $11 billion, involves updating all clinical systems, including 56 military hospitals and around 360 clinics.
 
STARTING AT MIDNIGHT: SUMMER REWARDS POINTS SALE! (June 11, 2014)

Sale! Register for the Pittsburgh CME Conference between the stroke of midnight tonight, June 11, and midnight on Friday, June 13, and receive three extra member reward points! By earning these points and attending the conference, Nov. 7-9, you'll get a $25 credit toward your next PAFP Foundation activity.
 
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN LEGISLATION INTRODUCED (June 10, 2014)

U.S. Sen. Robert Casey (D., Pa.) has introduced legislation to boost primary care physicians across the nation. Philly.com reports the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, would provide for 15,000 new residency slots by 2019 - a 58 percent increase over the 26,000 slots currently funded through Medicare.
 
PRACTICE SUMMER SAFETY OVER WARM WEATHER MONTHS (June 9, 2014)

Warm temperatures have arrived, the kids are home, and the back yard is open for barbecues and pool parties! Summer is a fun-filled season, but swimming pools, sun exposure, and outdoor sports also present safety risks. Read these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on summer safety.
 
RPC, CHCC MEET IN LANCASTER FOR LEARNING SESSION (June 6, 2014)

The PAFP's Residency Program Collaborative and Community Health Center Collaborative (RPC and CHCC) are meeting in Lancaster today to enhance coordination and patient-centered care throughout Pennsylvania! For more information about the collaboratives and their learning sessions, please click here.
 
DATA DISCREPANCIES MAR 2 MILLION ACA APPLICATIONS (June 5, 2014)

More than 2 million Americans who applied for health coverage on HealthCare.gov - about a quarter of total enrollees - have application discrepancies. According to NPR and the Associated Press, the problems must be resolved: if not, what patients pay could be affected, as well as their very legal right to coverage.
 
GOVERNOR INTERVENES IN UPMC-HIGHMARK DISPUTE (June 4, 2014)

Gov. Tom Corbett has created a leadership team to address the contract dispute Gov. Tom Corbett has created a leadership team to address the contract dispute between Highmark and UPMC. According the the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the "Patients First" team will meet with managers from both sides this week. Corbett has also invited Attorney General Kathleen Kane to join in the discussion.
 
MEDICARE SPENDING BILLIONS MORE THAN NECESSARY? (June 3, 2014)

Kaiser Health News reports that, according to a new study, Medicare is spending billions of dollars more than it needs to because of random drug plan assignments. The report suggests huge cost savings if some Part D enrollees were assigned to plans based on the drugs they actually took. Click here for more.
 
APPLE MAKES FORAY INTO HEALTH CARE TECH (June 2, 2014)

Apple is expected to unveil health care and fitness monitoring functionality for its devices this morning at the company's annual developers' conference. According to Time, the application, called Healthbook, will track nutrition, fitness, and weight. The app is expected to be compatible with a rumored wristwatch device.
 
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Events: Inaugural PAFP CME Cruise Sets Sail June 20, 2014
Ahoy! The PAFP's first-ever CME cruise sets sail this afternoon! The seven-night cruise to Bermuda features 20 hours of CME, exciting entertainment, and plenty of fun and sun. If you aren't signed up for the cruise, don't fret - the PAFP has plenty more CME planned, including the Pittsburgh CME Conference in November. 
Events: Inaugural PAFP CME Cruise Sets Sail June 20, 2014
Ahoy! The PAFP's first-ever CME cruise sets sail this afternoon! The seven-night cruise to Bermuda features 20 hours of CME, exciting entertainment, and plenty of fun and sun. If you aren't signed up for the cruise, don't fret - the PAFP has plenty more CME planned, including the Pittsburgh CME Conference in November. 



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