Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours Nov. 27, 2019
The PAFP wishes all its members and patients across the state a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Stay safe this holiday weekend! For helpful cooking tips to prevent illness, visit FoodSafety.gov; the National Fire Protection Association has safety information on deep-frying that turkey. And be careful on the road as you head home for the holiday with these tips courtesy of AAA!
Pennsylvania to investigate health impact of fracking Nov. 26, 2019
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration will spend $3 million to investigate the health impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. According to The Morning Call, Wolf said the research is meant to address “the concern that there is a relationship between hydraulic fracturing and childhood cancers.” The two studies being funded are expected to last three years.
Pennsylvania to raise tobacco age to 21? Nov. 22, 2019
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. According to TribLive, the bill passed both the House, 135-49, and Senate, 44-5. Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to sign the bill, which includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vape products. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the 19th state to raise the minimum age to 21.
Most Americans still skip annual flu shot Nov. 21, 2019
Despite being free under most insurers and available everywhere, most Americans are still declining to get the annual flu shot, the best defense against the seasonal influenza virus. According to Kaiser Health News, public health officials recommend that nearly all people get the flu shot. Nevertheless, immunization rates have stayed in the 40% to 45% range for the past decade.
Pennsylvania medical marijuana sales skyrocket Nov. 20, 2019
In year two of Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program, sales of the medication have skyrocketed 500%. Billy Penn reports nearly 150,000 Pennsylvanians are now certified to purchase medical marijuana. The program has netted more than half a billion dollars in total sales; Pennsylvania has 72 active dispensaries and more than 1,200 physicians licensed to certify patients.
Nominations now open for PAFP awards Nov. 19, 2019
Nominations are now open for the PAFP's 2020 Family Physician of the Year and Public Health Award contests! Help us find the state's finest family physician and public health champion today by nominating yourself or a colleague for these awards. Click here to nominate someone for Family Physician of the Year and here to nominate a physician for Public Health Award.
It’s Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania Nov. 18, 2019
Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest number of rural residents. In an effort to raise awareness to issues impacting rural health, Gov. Tom Wolf has designated this week (Nov. 18-22) Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania. In celebration, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) will present Pennsylvania Rural Health Awards in communities across rural Pennsylvania.
Physicians give EHR usability an 'F' Nov. 15, 2019
Physicians have a low opinion of EHR usability and say electronic health records systems are a cause of burnout. According to Becker's Hospital Review, in the American Medical Association (AMA) survey, participants rated their EHR usability with a grade of "F." The lower physicians rated usability, the higher the probability was that they also reported burnout symptoms.
Pa. ranks high in hospital safety Nov. 13, 2019
The Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit organization that collects and reports hospital performance data, has ranked Pennsylvania as the sixth safest state overall. According to the National Law Review, the Leapfrog grading system assesses hospitals on measures including problems with surgeries, incidents of falls, and quality of medical staff, among other safety issues.
Ascension Health/Google data partnership raises privacy concerns Nov. 12, 2019
The Wall Street Journal has reported Google was collecting personal health information on millions of Americans as part of a partnership with Ascension, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the U.S. Until recently, neither patients or physicians knew that Google employees had access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients.
Bedford CME Conference begins Nov. 7, 2019
The PAFP's Bedford CME Conference begins tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 8! This conference will continue the PAFP's wellness and board review initiatives. Attendees can participate in dedicated exercise and wellness breaks and walking areas during the conference. Click here to view the conference agenda, and don't forget to follow the action on Instagram and Twitter!
Pa. revokes Hahnemann Hospital's license Nov. 6, 2019
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Health has notified the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Hahnemann University Hospital that its license has been revoked. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine expressed concerns over the state and security of the hospital. The hospital discharged its last inpatient in late July after filing for bankruptcy protection.
Pa. penalizes insurer for delaying, denying claims Nov. 5, 2019
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has fined UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest insurer, nearly $2 million for delaying and denying claims. According to PennLive, the insurer violated mental health parity and prompt payment laws related to claims that were denied or delayed. The department also said the company caused customers to pay too much in out-of-pocket costs.
Mark your calendar for upcoming CME events Nov. 4, 2019
As 2019 marches to a close, mark your calendars for our excellent CME programming coming up in 2020! The Hershey CME Conference, Annual Meeting and Research Day comes to The Hotel Hershey March 5-8; the Adventures in Family Medicine CME Conference hits Camelback Mountain in Tannersville Sept. 10-12; and the Pittsburgh CME Conference is Nov. 13-15 at The Westin.
We're looking for members to step into the 'Spotlight' Nov. 1, 2019
Would you like to appear on www.pafp.com in our “Member Spotlight”? This feature includes a Q-and-A with a PAFP member about their experience practicing family medicine, the joys of the specialty, and how they decided it was the perfect career for them. If you’d like to appear on this feature, email PAFP Director of Content and Media Bryan Peach at email@example.com.