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Suicide Rates Spike Across United States, Says CDC
Suicide Rates Spike Across United States, Says CDC
In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older took their own lives -- a figure that reflects the unfortunate fact that suicide rates in the country have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999.
AAFP Joins House Members to Spark Burnout Awareness
AAFP Joins House Members to Spark Burnout Awareness
Amid growing concerns about physician burnout and the toll it's taking on the nation's physician workforce, one physician House member recently brought his medical colleagues together to raise awareness about the issue.
Study Finds 22 Percent Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions
Study Finds 22 Percent Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions
Opioid prescriptions in the United States decreased 22 percent between 2013 and 2017.
AAFP Urges Improvements to Fledgling Patient Data Initiative
AAFP Urges Improvements to Fledgling Patient Data Initiative
The AAFP is working to propel a new CMS initiative meant to give patients better access to -- and control of -- their health care data into action that improves patient care and reduces physicians' administrative burden.
Could Better Coping Skills Curb Rampant Drug Use?
Could Better Coping Skills Curb Rampant Drug Use?
The CDC recently published its�Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-related Risks and Outcomes,(www.cdc.gov)�and the statistics are as jarring as this music:
Broad Physician Coalition Pushes Senate for Better Health Legislation
Broad Physician Coalition Pushes Senate for Better Health Legislation
Before senators cast a significant vote affecting the nation's health care policy, leaders from the AAFP and a coalition of other national physician organizations met in Senate offices to emphasize the importance of expanded access to health insurance ...
CMS Launches User-friendly QPP Data Submission System
CMS Launches User-friendly QPP Data Submission System
CMS recently made a long-awaited announcement that it is ready to begin receiving 2017 data from family physicians and other eligible clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP). �
Health Groups Sue FDA Over Deeming Rule Implementation Delay
Health Groups Sue FDA Over Deeming Rule Implementation Delay
Short of not smoking in the first place, there's little the average person can do to combat the sheer financial strength and influence of the tobacco industry. Unfortunately, the one government agency that can do something about the industry and its pr...
USPSTF Recommends Screening Pregnant Women for Syphilis
USPSTF Recommends Screening Pregnant Women for Syphilis
It's an unfortunate reality that the number of infants born with congenital syphilis in the United States nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016. Congenital syphilis can lead to intrauterine fetal demise or death within the first month after birth, premature...
Two Approaches to Making Your Point With Patients
Two Approaches to Making Your Point With Patients
Pursuing a master's degree in public health during my first year as an attending is difficult, but oh so educational. I think family doctors are the physicians best suited to enacting public health changes in our communities, so I have decided to disti...
Don't Screen Average-risk Women for Ovarian Cancer
Don't Screen Average-risk Women for Ovarian Cancer
On July 18, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review assessing the benefits and harms of screening ovarian cancer.
CDC Examines California Rotavirus Outbreaks in Post-vaccine Era
CDC Examines California Rotavirus Outbreaks in Post-vaccine Era
Rotavirus disease, which causes severe diarrhea in young children, has substantially declined since the rotavirus vaccine was introduced in the United States in 2006.
CDC: 2017-18 Flu Season in U.S. Dominated by H3N2 Viruses
CDC: 2017-18 Flu Season in U.S. Dominated by H3N2 Viruses
New data from the CDC indicate that so far this flu season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been predominant in the United States -- a fact that is troubling because in previous flu seasons, H3N2-predominant seasons have been more severe, especially am...
Physician Authors Offer Prescription for Self-reflection
Physician Authors Offer Prescription for Self-reflection
There are a lot of areas in medicine that we have to explore and develop skills for on our own. We are trained in palliative care and hospice, taught ethics and instructed how to deliver bad news, but none of the coursework or even the clinical rotatio...
Resident Confronts Burnout by Launching Wellness Program
Resident Confronts Burnout by Launching Wellness Program
As the AAFP takes on the challenge of combating professional burnout and cultivating physician wellness, Kristina Dakis, M.D., a second-year resident in the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Family Medicine Residency Program, recently gave AAFP N...
Patients Trust Social Media, so Be Their Trusted Source
Patients Trust Social Media, so Be Their Trusted Source
Some people still don't grasp the utility of social media in the medical landscape. However, more than 2.5 billion people are using social platforms worldwide(www.statista.com), and the percentage of Americans using social media has increased from 24 p...
What Do Patients Think About U.S. Health Care System?
What Do Patients Think About U.S. Health Care System?
Recently released results from The Physicians Foundation 2017 Patient Survey(www.physiciansFoundation.org) provide insight into what consumers across the United States think about the nation's health care system and the physicians who care for them. �
Get Paid for Giving Feedback on CMS' QPP Website
Get Paid for Giving Feedback on CMS' QPP Website
CMS wants to improve its Quality Payment Program (QPP) website(qpp.cms.gov) and make it more useful by creating a streamlined system for CMS staff to manage information for physicians and their practices.
Hospital Shooting Raises Questions About Safety, Mental Health
Hospital Shooting Raises Questions About Safety, Mental Health
I can still feel the sense of shock and horror I experienced recently when I heard that a disgruntled physician had killed another doctor and wounded six others(www.nytimes.com) at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York.
Counsel Young Fair-skinned Patients to Avoid UV Radiation
Counsel Young Fair-skinned Patients to Avoid UV Radiation
On March 20, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted a final recommendation statement(www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org) and final evidence summary(www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org) on providing behavioral counseling to prevent...
How a Rotation Far From Home Helped Me Appreciate Community
How a Rotation Far From Home Helped Me Appreciate Community
During my third year of medical school, my classmate Michael heard about a rotation at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, N.M. I could not pass up the opportunity to expand my medical knowledge while experiencing a new culture.
Done Right, Annual Wellness Visit Helps Patient and Practice
Done Right, Annual Wellness Visit Helps Patient and Practice
As family physicians, we need to revisit the concept of wellness encounters and how we implement them in real-life practice. I realize this is a topic that has had its time in the health care debate and that now most of us simply follow along and do a ...
Putting Patients at the Center of My 'Clinic of the Future'
Putting Patients at the Center of My 'Clinic of the Future'
About one year ago, I realized that my practice had reached its limits within the space we then occupied. Although my clinic had suited our needs for more than five years, I had built my practice panel to more than 600 patients, and that location would...
Fix Physician Payment to Stem Opioid Epidemic, Says AAFP
Fix Physician Payment to Stem Opioid Epidemic, Says AAFP
An important starting point for addressing the nation's opioid misuse epidemic is the creation of payment models that allow physicians to spend more time with patients and ensure they are appropriately compensated for services tied to substance abuse, ...
Moms Need Support, Not Legislated Medicine
Moms Need Support, Not Legislated Medicine
A little more than four years ago, I sat on a couch in my friend's Queens apartment, watching the cold winter snow falling outside. As I held her newborn son, I listened to her worries about being a new mom, her struggles to get him to latch, her conce...
FDA Approves Novel Blood Test to Detect Concussion
FDA Approves Novel Blood Test to Detect Concussion
On Feb. 14, the FDA approved the first blood test developed to evaluate mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, in adults.
National Survey Reveals Positive Attitudes Toward Primary Care
National Survey Reveals Positive Attitudes Toward Primary Care
The Health is Primary(healthisprimary.org) campaign from Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAHealth)(fmahealth.org) has released data from an extensive survey(data.healthisprimary.org) it conducted on public attitudes toward and opinions of primar...
AAFP Advises CMS on Prior Authorizations, Opioid Epidemic
AAFP Advises CMS on Prior Authorizations, Opioid Epidemic
In a recent letter to CMS, the AAFP discussed two topics of great importance to family physicians and their patients who will be enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans in 2019.
AAFP Calls on Members to Promote Influenza Vaccine This Season
AAFP Calls on Members to Promote Influenza Vaccine This Season
On Sept. 20, the AAFP signed on to a CDC letter(223 KB PDF) to be distributed nationwide to health care professionals, including family physicians, asking for help in promoting the influenza vaccine for the 2017-18 flu season.
Bipartisan Teaching Health Center Bill Is Vital to Workforce
Bipartisan Teaching Health Center Bill Is Vital to Workforce
At a time when members of Congress can't seem to agree on much related to health care, a bill introduced this week in the House has -- and deserves -- strong bipartisan support.
FP Finds Resilience in Reflection on Setbacks
FP Finds Resilience in Reflection on Setbacks
Not every setback is cause for distress; in fact, one family physician was inspired by setbacks to rededicate himself to his practice. �
Despite Known Dangers, Women Still Smoke During Pregnancy
Despite Known Dangers, Women Still Smoke During Pregnancy
�Maternal tobacco use during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of negative infant and child outcomes, including low birthweight, preterm birth and various birth defects, according to the CDC.
FDA Proposes New Approach to Regulating Homeopathic Drugs
FDA Proposes New Approach to Regulating Homeopathic Drugs
The homeopathic drug market has grown exponentially in the past 10 years, becoming the nearly $3 billion industry that it is today.�
Reversing Cycle of Burnout Starts With Knowing Yourself
Reversing Cycle of Burnout Starts With Knowing Yourself
AAFP News recently spoke with Lauren Williams, M.D., a third-year family medicine resident at the North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Minneapolis, about the stresses that face family medicine residents and the tools and strategies she's...
New HHS/ONC Tool Helps Consumers Access Health Records
New HHS/ONC Tool Helps Consumers Access Health Records
Some patients may come to their next medical appointment ready to talk about a new consumer resource titled "The Guide to Getting and Using Your Health Records" that HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT launched recently.
Primary Care Needs -- and Deserves -- More Research Dollars
Primary Care Needs -- and Deserves -- More Research Dollars
My patient wanted to discuss two things: 1) an article he read online about a miracle back surgery that could cure chronic pain and 2) golfer Tiger Woods. This conversation took place in the aftermath of Woods' fourth back surgery in three years and a ...
Panel Describes Population Health Collaboration That Works
Panel Describes Population Health Collaboration That Works
Physicians can counsel patients to make healthier decisions, but some things that affect their health are entirely outside an individual patient's control.
CDC Warns of Recent Jump in Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks
CDC Warns of Recent Jump in Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks
Each year, Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer, with swimming pools, water parks and other aquatic attractions opening all across country. To ensure fun in the sun doesn't turn into a trip to the doctor's office -- or worse -- the CDC i...
AAFP Urges Swift Passage of Primary Care Patient Protection Act
AAFP Urges Swift Passage of Primary Care Patient Protection Act
The AAFP this week called on Congress to pass the recently introduced Primary Care Patient Protection Act, which would make it easier for patients with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to see their primary care physicians.
Stay Kind, Stay Connected, Stay Well: Advice for New Residents
Stay Kind, Stay Connected, Stay Well: Advice for New Residents
I helped deliver a baby my intern year. It was an easy delivery with a loving, relaxed couple. The dad later asked me to stage a photo with me holding his son high in the air, mimicking a scene from The Lion King, while the nurses pretended to be anima...
FP Experts Offer Perspective on Incarceration and Health
FP Experts Offer Perspective on Incarceration and Health
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.(www.prisonpolicy.org) The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that more than 6.7 million people(www.bjs.gov) were being supervised by the nation's adult correctional systems as ...
Healing or Harassment: Is It OK to Hug a Patient?
Healing or Harassment: Is It OK to Hug a Patient?
I often don't have to write a prescription for stress, anxiety or abdominal pain because I have already figured out and provided the desired "treatment" to the patient during the visit. Sometimes all people want is to be heard, to be seen or to be touc...
Students Focus on Health Equity for All Americans
Students Focus on Health Equity for All Americans
During the National Congress of Student Members held here as part of the 2017 AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students July 27-29, delegates adopted a handful of resolutions that addressed health equity for all Americans.
CDC Gives Advice on Treating Patients Affected by Hurricanes
CDC Gives Advice on Treating Patients Affected by Hurricanes
On Oct. 24, the CDC issued a�Health Alert Network advisory(emergency.cdc.gov)�offering recommendations for assessing patients currently living or working in or recently returned from hurricane-affected areas such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Isla...
Broader Look Shows How PCMH Touches Practices, Patients
Broader Look Shows How PCMH Touches Practices, Patients
Dozens of articles each year evaluate progress of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), but a new report takes a broader view to examine how elements of the model in both medical home and nonmedical home practices affect cost, quality and utilization.
States Build on Primary Care Models to Expand Access
States Build on Primary Care Models to Expand Access
As federal lawmakers consider the best way to extend health care to the uninsured, they might find lessons in states that make primary care the foundation for increasing access to care. �
CDC Offers Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Resources
CDC Offers Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Resources
As part of its support for the Collaborative for Alcohol-Free Pregnancy: Partnering for Practice Change(www.cdc.gov) initiative, the CDC has launched a website featuring free fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) training and resources(nccd.cdc.gov) ...
G-TRUST Instrument Identifies Useful Clinical Guidelines
G-TRUST Instrument Identifies Useful Clinical Guidelines
Family physicians have thousands of practice guidelines from which to choose, and often, these recommendations conflict with one another. �
Congress of Delegates Convenes Sept. 11-13 in San Antonio
Congress of Delegates Convenes Sept. 11-13 in San Antonio
Make the trek to Alamo City for this year's AAFP Congress of Delegates (COD), which will meet Sept. 11-13 in the Texas Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. The COD will convene in conjunction with the AAFP Family Medicine Experience, which is sched...
How Do I Deal With a Racist Patient?
How Do I Deal With a Racist Patient?
Emergency room physician and Oregon Health & Science University faculty member Esther Choo, M.D., M.P.H., recently made headlines and created a significant social media buzz when she tweeted a moving thread about patients who refuse her services becaus...
AMA Opioid Task Force Issues Updated Naloxone Guidance
AMA Opioid Task Force Issues Updated Naloxone Guidance
Physicians are increasingly prescribing naloxone in the fight against the opioid abuse crisis. During the first eight weeks of this year, the number of naloxone prescriptions written by physicians increased 340 percent compared with the same period in ...
Review Updated Flu Prevention Guidance for 2017-2018
Review Updated Flu Prevention Guidance for 2017-2018
As temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, it's time to start thinking about the coming fall and winter and all that those seasons bring. And that, of course, means gearing up for the annual influenza season.
A Year's Reprieve in New Zealand Gives FP Fresh Perspective
A Year's Reprieve in New Zealand Gives FP Fresh Perspective
In 2004, family physician Wayne Strouse, M.D., temporarily shuttered his practice in Penn Yan, N.Y., packed up his family and moved to New Zealand. It would have been his ninth year as a rural doctor, but Strouse sought refuge from burnout in his famil...
AAFP, Other Groups Collaborate to Enhance Women's Health
AAFP, Other Groups Collaborate to Enhance Women's Health
Providing health care for women at all stages of life is a key part of family medicine, so it should come as no surprise that the AAFP is partnering with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American College of Physicians...
Health Care Debates Don't Have to Be Heated
Health Care Debates Don't Have to Be Heated
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to debate the merits of the direct primary care (DPC) model at the AAFP's National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo. My counterpart in the workshop was Ed Weisbart, M...
More Research Needed To Prevent Child Maltreatment
More Research Needed To Prevent Child Maltreatment
In 2016, about 676,000 children experienced maltreatment (abuse, neglect or both), which can lead to injuries and death or long-term issues such as disability, substance abuse and depression.
Value-based Payment Modifier Initiative Winds Down
Value-based Payment Modifier Initiative Winds Down
CMS recently released outcomes data on the value-based payment modifier(www.cms.gov) for 2018 -- the final year for the initiative -- and noted some high points.
Engage With Your Senators on Health Care Legislation
Engage With Your Senators on Health Care Legislation
The AAFP has for months warned that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) recently passed by the U.S. House to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would, if enacted, result in millions of newly insured Americans losing their cove...
AAFP Mapping Tool Aims to Enhance Immunization Advocacy
AAFP Mapping Tool Aims to Enhance Immunization Advocacy
When it comes to protecting your 2-year-old patients from whooping cough, where you live and practice can make a big difference. �
A Conversation About Violence as a Public Health Crisis
A Conversation About Violence as a Public Health Crisis
It's been nearly 10 years since my patient Mary lost her teenage son to an act of violence. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and became another statistic that we unfortunately hear about all too often.
AAFP Warns Against Expanding Association Health Plans
AAFP Warns Against Expanding Association Health Plans
As the Department of Labor considers allowing self-employed individuals and small businesses to band together to purchase association health plans (AHPs), the AAFP is cautioning that the move could lead to an expansion of health plans that provide fewe...
CMS Selects Four New Regions to Expand CPC+ Initiative
CMS Selects Four New Regions to Expand CPC+ Initiative
CMS Selects Four New Regions to Expand CPC+ Initiative
Study: High-deductible Plans May Impede Preventive Care
Study: High-deductible Plans May Impede Preventive Care
In a first-of-its-kind national study, researchers have found that Americans with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) but no health savings accounts (HSAs) are less likely to see primary care physicians, receive preventive care or seek subspecialty se...
CMS Resources Help Practice, Patients Transition to New Cards
CMS Resources Help Practice, Patients Transition to New Cards
Are your patients aware that their Medicare cards will be replaced with a new version beginning in April 2018? �
FDA Proposes Reducing Nicotine in Combustible Cigarettes
FDA Proposes Reducing Nicotine in Combustible Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking kills about 480,000 Americans every year, according to 2014 estimates from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General.
Evidence Insufficient on Specific CVD-related Screening
Evidence Insufficient on Specific CVD-related Screening
On Jan. 16, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released two draft recommendation statements and draft evidence reviews related to screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Now Open: Virtual Group Election for MIPS Participation
Now Open: Virtual Group Election for MIPS Participation
CMS recently announced that solo and small group practices have until Dec. 1 to tell the agency they are electing to participate in a virtual group -- a reporting option available to practices as outlined in the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) propo...
Cyclosporiasis Cases on Upswing, Warns CDC Health Advisory
Cyclosporiasis Cases on Upswing, Warns CDC Health Advisory
The CDC released a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory(emergency.cdc.gov) on Aug. 7 saying there's been a notable increase in reported cases of cyclosporiasis. The agency said it's investigating this surge in cases along with the FDA and state and loca...
Acknowledging -- and Overcoming -- My Own Racial Bias
Acknowledging -- and Overcoming -- My Own Racial Bias
"What do white people know that we don't?"
Childhood Vaccination Rates Remain High, Say Speakers
Childhood Vaccination Rates Remain High, Say Speakers
A combination of public health awareness campaigns, scientific advances and documentation is helping to keep the rate of childhood vaccination high despite objections from parents concerned about vaccines.
New CMS Strategy Aims to Benefit Small-town America
New CMS Strategy Aims to Benefit Small-town America
According to CMS estimates, nearly one in five people in the United States call a rural community home. And so it should come as no surprise that the agency recently announced a new rural health strategy aimed at ensuring that those 60 million individu...
Physicians to Administration: Stay Out of Doctor-Patient Relationship
Physicians to Administration: Stay Out of Doctor-Patient Relationship
The administration has proposed a significant change(www.hhs.gov) to the rule that determines which individuals and organizations are eligible for Title X family planning funds, and it's a move that threatens to get between family physicians and our pa...
FPs Continue Move to New Payment Models, AAFP Survey Finds
FPs Continue Move to New Payment Models, AAFP Survey Finds
A growing number of family physicians are making the transition to value-based payment models despite some skepticism and obstacles, according to a recent survey(humananews.com) conducted by the AAFP.
STDs Hit All-time High, Says CDC
STDs Hit All-time High, Says CDC
More than 2 million cases of chlamydial infection, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016 -- the highest number ever -- according to the CDC's annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report(www.cdc.gov) released Sept...
Outbreak Brings Patients Running for Vaccinations
Outbreak Brings Patients Running for Vaccinations
I have a reputation for being a risk-taker when it comes to food safety. I once ate a pineapple upside-down cake that a woman at church had dropped on her foot.
Make Fertility Awareness Part of Family Planning Toolbox
Make Fertility Awareness Part of Family Planning Toolbox
The past few months have seen a whirlwind of discourse regarding our health care system, including issues related to reproductive health. In the midst of these discussions, there have been items in the news(www.newsweek.com) about fertility awareness-b...
AAFP Crafts QPP Executive Summary to Inform Family Physicians
AAFP Crafts QPP Executive Summary to Inform Family Physicians
The AAFP has posted for family physicians' review a two-page executive summary(2 page PDF) that highlights some key provisions of CMS' recently proposed updates to the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP).
CDC Data Show Obesity Among U.S. Adults Remains High
CDC Data Show Obesity Among U.S. Adults Remains High
In a media advisory issued on Aug. 31(www.cdc.gov), the CDC announced the release of its latest adult obesity prevalence maps(www.cdc.gov), which show that obesity levels in the United States remain high.