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August 2012
News Archive

CAN CHOCOLATE REDUCE STROKE RISK IN MEN? (Aug. 31, 2012)

Good news for men with a sweet tooth: Consuming chocolate could reduce the risk of stroke in males. Of course, as U.S. News & World Report points out, chocolate should still be consumed in moderation - and the PAFP's Residency Program Collaborative is working hard on calorie-free ways to lower stroke risk in Pennsylvanians!
 
SPEAK NOW BEFORE CONGRESS ACTS ON TELEHEALTH (Aug. 30, 2012)

How important to you is your opinion on the future of health care? Speak out now before the Pa. legislature votes on telehealth regulations that may impact you and your job. Take this survey from Kutztown University and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania to help the Pa. Senate and House make decisions on important health care issues.
 
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE PAFP! (Aug. 29, 2012)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians employs around two dozen staff members at its offices in Harrisburg, Pa. Today, the PAFP has made it easier than ever to visit its little corner of the Family Medicine Revolution! Check out our virtual tour of the PAFP offices and learn a little more about who we are and what we do!
 
BREAKING DOWN HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGES (Aug. 28, 2012)

Health insurance exchanges are a looming great unknown in U.S. health care. Whether Pa. sets up its own or not, big changes are coming - and big questions, such as how involved physicians will be and want to be, must soon be answered. American Medical News has summarized some of the challenges, which you can read by clicking here.
 
PA. LAGS IN FEDERAL MMR VACCINE GOALS (Aug. 27, 2012)

While the vast majority of U.S. kindergarteners received the necessary vaccinations in advance of the school year, federal immunization goals haven't been met, according to WebMD Health News. In fact, Pa. is second on the list of states that need the most improvement for mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccinations.
 
CMS RELEASES STAGE 2 MEANINGFUL USE FINAL RULE (Aug. 24, 2012)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a final rule for Stage 2 of its Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. The rule outlines the requirements that providers must meet to attain Stage 2 Meaningful Use and qualify for incentive money. Click here for a fact sheet from CMS.
 
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FALL CME CONFERENCE (Aug. 23, 2012)

Registration is now open for the PAFP's fourth annual South Central Component Assembly Fall CME Conference! Family physicians from 10 Pa. counties will meet in Hershey on Oct. 13 for lectures on hypertension, acupuncture, addiction and more. The conference is free, and breakfast and lunch are included. Register today!

4 IN 10 U.S. ADULTS GETTING PRIMARY CARE FROM SPECIALISTS (Aug. 22, 2012)

Just 59 percent of U.S. adults receive their primary care from family physicians, according to a piece in The Chicago Tribune. Research proves "in healthcare (sic) systems where primary care doctors are the first point of contact, patients see better outcomes," which is why the PAFP is committed to a family physician for all Pennsylvanians.
 
NEW WEAPONS AID IN MEDICARE FRAUD CRACKDOWN (Aug. 21, 2012)

An estimated $65 billion a year is lost to Medicare and Medicaid fraud - more than 11 percent of the annual funds the health care programs pay out. But, Kaiser Health News reports, big changes are coming. New weapons and tactics, aided by technology, are outsmarting fraudsters better than ever before. Read more here.
 
OBESITY LINKED TO COGNITIVE DECLINE (Aug. 20, 2012)

Obese, middle-aged people see a speedier decline in cognitive function than those with normal weight, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that the study in the journal Neurology may support research linking obesity to dementia. Find education about obesity prevention on the PAFP's searchable CME database.
 
OPINION: BREAKING DOWN THE 'DOCTOR SHORTAGE' (Aug. 17, 2012)

A recent headline in The New York Times alluded to a preexisting primary care shortage likely to be exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act. But what exactly constitutes a "doctor shortage"? Uwe E. Reinhardt, an economics professor at Princeton University, breaks it down here in The New York Times' Economix blog.
 
VACCINATION RATES TOO LOW AMONG HEALTH CARE WORKERS (Aug. 16, 2012)

Flu vaccination rates among health care workers sit at about 60 percent or lower in most health care facilities - a shocking number when considering that the infl
uenza accounts for up to 5 percent of outpatient hospital stays. Enough is enough! Learn more about health care worker vaccinations in this special Keystone Physician preview.

 
IN ELECTION SEASON, MEDICARE, MEDICAID TALK RETURNS (Aug. 15, 2012)

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has chosen Wis. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate - and the national discourse has returned to health care. CNN reviews the differences between the president's and Ryan's Medicare plans, while NPR tackles Medicaid and The Washingon Post examines both in a link free-for-all
 
VISIT OUR AAFP ASSEMBLY SCHEDULE PAGE! (Aug. 14, 2012)

Pennsylvania is your host for the 2012 American Academy of Family Physicians' (AAFP) Scientific Assembly! Visit our brand-new Welcome to Philadelphia page to register for the conference; see a schedule of PAFP events, including CME, a member reception, and PAFP exhibit booth times; check out visitor information and more!
 
STRICT SNACK LAWS TIED TO HEALTHIER WEIGHT IN KIDS (Aug. 13, 2012)

Research in Pediatrics has found a link between healthy weight in children and strict legislation of snacks and sugary drinks in public schools. According to the New York Times, children in states with tough snack laws gained less weight in a three-year period than those living in states without such legislation.
 
GOP GOVERNORS UNIMPRESSED BY CMS FLEXIBILITY? (Aug. 10, 2012)

If you've been keeping up with the PAFP's News Archive, you know that it's uncertain whether Pa. and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett will opt for Medicaid expansionKaiser Health News and CQ HealthBeat report that some GOP governors are unimpressed with new concessions by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
 
STUDY: 1/3 OF DOCTORS WON'T ACCEPT NEW MEDICAID PATIENTS (Aug. 9, 2012)

A third of primary care physicians won't take new Medicaid patients, even as the health care law will add 17 million more to the patient pool, according to a new Health Affairs study - one more piece of evidence in the compelling case for payment reform. As Forbes points out: "[When] you pay doctors less, you get less access to health care."
 
MEDICARE DRUG PLAN PREMIUMS TO BE SIMILAR IN 2013 (Aug. 8, 2012)

The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that Medicare drug plan premiums will be roughly the same next year as they have been the past two years. The average monthly premium in 2013 is expected to be $30. HHS also says people with Medicare are saving an average of $600 a year as a result of the health care law.
 
PUMPING IRON TO LOWER DIABETES RISK? (Aug. 7, 2012)

According to a report by the BBC, new research suggests that weight trainers have a lower risk of diabetes. It's no surprise that exercise is crucial in the prevention of diabetes, obesity, and many other chronic conditions. To learn how the PAFP is helping to solve the diabetes epidemic, check out the Residency Program Collaborative
 
CASES OF VARIANT SWINE FLU VIRUS JUMP (Aug. 6, 2012)

Health officials are on alert as cases of a variant form of the H3N2 virus, also known as "swine flu," have increased significantly over the last few weeks. Especially of note to Pennsylvania residents is the rash of cases in neighboring Ohio. For more information about the virus, read the CDC's H3N2v information and prevention page
 
GOVERNMENT BRACES FOR HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGES (Aug. 4, 2012)

The federal government is bracing itself to begin the massive task of setting up health insurance exchanges for the nearly 50 percent of states unwilling or unable to do so, according to the New York Times. As we've said before, it's unknown if Pennsylvania will resist setting up its own. Stick with PAFP.com for all the latest updates.
 
STUDY: 'DR. GOOGLE' NO SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL THING (Aug. 2, 2012)

The Internet makes it easy for patients to find health information. But how does "Dr. Google" stack up to a personal physician? Not well, says a new study. More than half of Google search results about infant sleep safety contained inaccurate information, according to ABC News - yet another reason why family physicians are irreplaceable.
 
SUMMER MEDIA COVERAGE ROUND-UP (Aug. 1, 2012)

It's been an active summer for the PAFP, and nowhere is that more evident than in the black-and-white print and broadcast scripts of Pennsylvania news media. See how your PAFP colleagues and staff are representing family medicine in the state by clicking here, and don't forget to check our Media Coverage Archive for daily updates.
 
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