Are opioids effective in treating chronic pain? Feb. 28, 2019
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know whether opioids are effective in relieving chronic pain. The Washington Post reports some studies already indicate that opioid medications lose their efficacy after about 12 weeks; a finding that the treatment is ineffective may lead to the FDA changing labeling and restricting prescribing, dispensing, and use.
CDC: More severe strain of flu on the rise Feb. 27, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning that a more severe form of the influenza virus is on the rise. According to The Weather Channel, the dominant strain of influenza A H1N1 characterized the beginning of the season, but in recent weeks, more than half of new cases reported are for the A H3N2 variant, a virus that originates from pigs.
UPMC: Attorney general overstepping his authority Feb. 26, 2019
Health care giant UPMC has fired back at state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, saying he is overstepping his authority by trying to force it to work with rival health system Highmark. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, UPMC has asked the Commonwealth Court to reject Shapiro's petition to rewrite a 2014 consent decree between the Pittsburgh-based systems.
Keystone Physician: Spring 2019 has been released Feb. 25, 2019
The latest issue of the PAFP's Keystone Physician magazine, its Spring 2019 installment, has now been released! Within the pages of this issue, you'll find an update on the overdose epidemic, important government affairs updates, member news, and much more. All past issues of Keystone Physician are also available to view; click here to visit the full archive!
Act now! Registration closing for Gettysburg CME Conference Feb. 22, 2019
Act now and register online here to join PAFP at the Wyndham in Gettysburg on Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10 for the PAFP and WellSpan Health CME Conference. Earn over 20 CME credits, meet your patient safety and opioid education requirements during your full conference participation. Registration closes at midnight tonight - don't hesitate!
47 deaths so far in Pa. flu season Feb. 21, 2019
Influenza has claimed 47 lives so far in Pennsylvania over the course of the flu season. According to Lehigh Valley Live, while flu season stretches from October to May, illnesses typically peak over the winter months. The state's flu activity is above the threshold for an epidemic; the statewide flu rate has climbed from 194 to 295 cases per 100,000 people over three weeks.
AAFP joins call to protect patients from surprise bills Feb. 20, 2019
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is joining other stakeholders in calling on Congress to protect Americans from unexpected medical costs. The organization has co-signed a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee to provide insurer accountability, limits on patient responsibility, transparency, and benchmark payments in medical billing.
More primary care physicians, longer life spans Feb. 19, 2019
Just how important are primary care physicians in prolonging our lifespans? New research from Stanford and Harvard has found every additional 10 primary care physicians per 100,000 people in the U.S. was associated with a 51.5-day increase in life expectancy; Science Daily reports 10 additional specialists corresponded to just a 19.2-day increase in life expectancy.
PAFP releases 2018 Annual Report Feb. 15, 2019
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians has released its 2018 Annual Report. Within its pages, you'll find important updates from every corner of the PAFP, including education, government affairs and practice advocacy, resident and student initiatives, and membership, plus updates from the PAFP EVP and CEO and its president. Click here to view the report.
PAFP pleased to announce award winners Feb. 14, 2019
The PAFP is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 awards! William Taddonio, MD of Douglassville has been selected as the PAFP’s Family Physician of the Year; Elizabeth George, MD of Mercersburg has been named the PAFP’s inaugural Public Health Award winner. Gordon Liu, MD of Pittsburgh and Allison Myers, MD of Philadelphia have been named the PAFP’s Exemplary Teachers of the Year.
PAFP 2019-20 nominating slate available Feb. 13, 2019
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians' 2019-20 leadership nominating slate is now available. PAFP members will have a chance to choose a president-elect, director-at-large, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) delegate and AAFP alternate delegate, and the president of the PAFP Foundation at the PAFP's Annual Business Meeting in March.
Hospital mergers lead to poorer health: report Feb. 11, 2019
It's well-known that one of the effects of hospital mergers is higher prices, but there's another cost to patients: poorer health care. According to the New York Times, despite arguments that health care mergers lead to better patient care, hospitals don't compete on quality when markets are highly consolidated; competition has been found to reduce rates of mortality.
Pa. attorney general files action against UPMC Feb. 8, 2019
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has filed legal action against UPMC, saying the health behemoth is violating the state's charity laws. Shapiro says UPMC's actions are "harming patients by creating barriers to treatment and jeopardizing the public interest;" the legal action seeks to modify the consent decrees between UPMC and Highmark Health.
Prosecutors block supervised injection site Feb. 7, 2019
U.S. prosecutors in Philadelphia have sued to prevent a nonprofit from opening the nation's first site where people with opioid use disorder (OUD) can use drugs under medical supervision. According to NPR, the civil lawsuit is the first time the government has intervened in the controversial arena of supervised injection. The PAFP will provide updates as available.
PAFP president statement on SR 20 Feb. 6, 2019
The PAFP commends Senator Lisa Baker for Senate Resolution 20 and extends its sincere thanks to the Pennsylvania Senate for standing for Pennsylvania physicians today, February 5. The resolution directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct an analysis of the impact of the current venue rule. Please click here to read the full statement.
Majority of health news on Facebook fake, misleading: report Feb. 5, 2019
The vast majority of health news shared on social media giant Facebook is either false or misleading, according to a new study. Fast Company reports scientists found three-quarters of the most popular health articles of 2018 were either misleading or contained some incorrect information; the top three topics were disease and treatment, food and nutrition, and vaccinations.
Anxiety to be treated with medical marijuana in Pa.? Feb. 4, 2019
Anxiety may soon be on the list of conditions qualifying patients to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary. According to the Morning Call, the state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board voted to permit patients with Tourette syndrome and anxiety to use the treatment. The board also voted to recommend that legislators add edibles as a permitted form of medical marijuana.
Campaign season has begun: invest in PAFP-PAC Feb. 1, 2019
Yes, it's only early 2019, but campaign season has begun with a number of politicians already having announced their intentions to run for the U.S. presidency. Through individual donations, the PAFP's Political Action Committee (PAFP-PAC) supports candidates running for public office in Harrisburg. Ensure family medicine has a voice in government - make an investment today!