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August 2014
News Archive


PAFP PLEASED WITH COVERAGE EXPANSION DEAL (Aug. 29, 2014)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians is pleased that the Corbett administration and the federal government have agreed on a plan to expand health care coverage to about 600,000 Pennsylvanians. The PAFP is eager to provide these patients with a medical home. Click here to read the PAFP's full statement.
 
PREPARE FOR AN AUTUMN FULL OF EDUCATION (Aug. 28, 2014)

Autumn is quickly approaching, and it's bringing with it a bevy of educational opportunities for family physicians! From the AAFP Family Medicine Board Review Express Live Course to the PAFP Pittsburgh CME Conference, register today for one or all of these valuable, practical, affordable CME offerings.
 
HHS ANNOUNCES $35.7M FOR PCMH PROJECTS (Aug. 27, 2014)

The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that $35.7 million in Affordable Care Act funds is headed to 44 states (including Pennsylvania), D.C. and Puerto Rico for patient-centered medical home projects. The funds will be used for construction and renovation projects within health clinics. 
 
OBAMA PLANS MORE IMPROVEMENTS FOR CARE OF VETS (Aug. 26, 2014)

Three months after a scandal involving long waiting times for appointments, President Obama is planning to use his executive power to further improve military veterans' access to health care and housing, reports the New York Times. The new measures will mostly focus on mental health care and housing payments. 
 
SCHOOL SHOULD START LATER, SAYS PEDIATRIC GROUP (Aug. 25, 2014)

Kids need to sleep in, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is recommending later start times for middle school and high school classes. According to USA Today, the AAP says teens need 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep per night - but just one in five adolescents gets nine hours of sleep on school nights. 
 
REPORT: FEWER U.S. KIDS USING SUNSCREEN (Aug. 22, 2014)

Not only are fewer U.S. kids using sunscreen, according to NBC News, but more are using unsafe tanning beds. A newly released survey shows a huge drop in sunscreen use in kids, from two-thirds in 2001 to 56 percent in 2011. Furthermore, in 2011, more than 29 percent of white girls surveyed still used tanning beds.
 
SAVE THE DATE FOR SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE (Aug. 21, 2014)

Save the date for the PAFP's 2014 South Central Chapter Fall Conference! The meeting, Nov. 1 in Harrisburg, will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (MARC-ACSM) Annual Meeting. Click here for details and information, and be sure to register soon! 
 
HEALTH EXPERTS CALL FOR ACTION ON FRACKING (Aug. 20, 2014)

More than 400 health experts are calling for reform at the Pa. Dept. of Health after reports that its staff was told not to respond to health complaints related to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Activists are calling for actions including an investigation and the creation of a public health registry. Read the press release here.
 
UPMC VS. HIGHMARK: GOOD FOR PATIENTS? (Aug. 19, 2014)

The battle between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and insurer and provider Highmark is all but final. Experts say the Affordable Care Act is partially responsible, since insurers now need to get creative with the services they provide. But, NPR asks, could all this competition be good for the patient?
 
HACKERS STEAL 4.5 MILLION PATIENTS' RECORDS (Aug. 18, 2014)

It's the largest data breach of a health care system in U.S. history: the Community Health Services hospital chain reports that 4.5 million patients' data, including names and social security numbers, have been stolen by Chinese hackers. According to Reuters, patient medical information was unaffected by the hack.
 
RETAIL GIANT WALMART STEPS INTO PRIMARY CARE (Aug. 15, 2014)

"Check-up in aisle three!" Walmart is the latest retailer to step into the primary care sphere. According to the Washington Post, the company has opened six clinic locations across South Carolina and Texas which provide primary care health services. Customers pay $40 for a visit, with no insurance accepted.
 
EHR USE LINKED TO REDUCED, PREDICTED MORTALITY (Aug. 14, 2014)

Hospitals with more sophisticated electronic health records (EHR) systems are able to predict - and reduce - mortality, according to a new study. FierceEMR reports that the HIMSS Analytics study found decreased rates of mortality for conditions including heart attack, respiratory failure, and small intestine surgery. 
 
FINDING HELP FOR THE DEPRESSED PATIENT (Aug. 13, 2014)

Depression is more than just "feeling the blues" - it's a public health crisis that's often overlooked until tragedy strikes. Here and Now has taken a look at various forms of depression and where patients can go for help. Family physicians should check out our free CME webcast on improving depression screening rates.
 
FDA APPROVES DNA TEST FOR CRC (Aug. 12, 2014)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a DNA test for colorectal cancer (CRC), reports the Wall Street Journal. The test detects genetic mutations in patient's stool associated with cancerous growths in the colon. For more information on CRC, visit the PAFP's Colorectal Cancer Screening Collaborative.
 
RED STATES PRESSURED TO EXPAND MEDICAID (Aug. 11, 2014)

After the release of a study last week which suggested the efficacy of the Affordable Care Act in states with expanded Medicaid programs, Republican-led states are being pressured to follow suit, according to Forbes. Pennsylvania is still waiting for federal approval of its Healthy Pennsylvania expansion alternative.
 
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR PITTSBURGH CME LIVE STREAMING (Aug. 8, 2014)

Registration is now open for live streaming of the Pittsburgh CME Conference! If you can't join us in Pittsburgh, select sessions will be available to view on your Internet-enabled device as they happen. Click here to register for one or all of the sessions, and be sure to check out our live streaming video tutorial!
 
VETERANS GETTING NEW PRIMARY CARE OPTIONS (Aug. 7, 2014)

Passing with bipartisan support, legislation that makes it easier for military veterans to receive care has been signed by President Obama. According to AAFP News, veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility have new options for seeing physicians.
 
OPEN PAYMENTS SYSTEM SHUT DOWN TEMPORARILY (Aug. 6, 2014)

Just as The Hill reports more than 100 medical professional groups have asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to halt the unveiling of the Open Payment System, ProPublica reports CMS has suspended the system amid a glitch that incorrectly attributed one doctor's payment. Read more here.
 
2ND AMERICAN EBOLA PATIENT LANDS FOR TREATMENT IN U.S. (Aug. 5, 2014)

The second American to contract the Ebola virus in West Africa has arrived in the United States for treatment. The 59-year-old female medical missionary is in serious condition, according to USA Today. Meanwhile, an op-ed in Time says that Americans need not be afraid of Ebola, because fear is the real pandemic.
 
2 PAFP STUDENTS WIN PISACANO SCHOLARSHIPS (Aug. 4, 2014)

Two PAFP students have been selected to receive 2014 Pisacano Scholarships for demonstrating a strong commitment to family medicine. Nicholas Kenji Taylor, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Seneca Harberger, of Temple University, stood out among more than 2,300 applicants. Read the press release here.
 
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