august 15, 2017
CAFP Introduces Quality Payment Program Physician Profiles
To give California family physicians in small, solo or rural practices the opportunity to learn how others are preparing for required measurement and reporting in Medicare, CAFP has composed short physician profiles summarizing their individual journeys. These profiles give a first-person perspective of some of the inevitable challenges faced and highlight potentially useful tools. CAFP is excited to introduce our first profile of a San Franciscan family physician in a small practice with three other family physicians and three midlevel providers. His story will tell of his concerns with his EMR, identify tools to bolster data collection and offer helpful technical assistance. If you would like to contribute your own story, please contact Sonia Kantak at email@example.com or (415) 345-8667 to set up an interview.
AAFP Fights for Patient Civil Rights Protection
The Equality Act (HR 2282 and S 1006) would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation, and would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs and jury service. CAFP applauds and supports AAFP in its recent letters to the House and Senate sponsors of the bills. AAFP and CAFP have long had policy opposing discrimination and segregation.
Congressional Members Are Home - TAKE ACTION
Congressional Representatives are in their home districts right now on August Recess. Now is the time to meet with them or their staffs in their district offices and ensure they know that members of their communities want them to do three things:
- Ensure that any further efforts at health care reform are bipartisan, solidify the individual market, ensure that consumer protections are maintained and do not cause loss of insurance coverage.
- Sign on as a co-sponsor of the bills to reauthorize the Teaching Health Center (THC) program (HR 3394 and HR 3451). Only five California Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Denham, LaMalfa, Ruiz, Swalwell and Valadao. The THC program is the only federal program primarily dedicated to training medical residents to practice primary care in medically underserved areas. Approximately 60 THCs (and six in California) train more than 740 medical residents who see more than 400,000 patients annually. Unless Congress acts, the program will expire on September 30.
- Pass a Fiscal Year 2018 Budget that protects health care funding, including funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) immunization program. A funding reduction would have serious consequences for communities across the country at a time when outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and pertussis, are on the rise. Funding should also be protected for Primary Care Training Enhancement Title VII Section 747, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CDC's Chronic Disease Prevention program, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Office of Rural Health and CDC’s Immunization and Respiratory Diseases program.
New Medi-Cal Payment Change
In May, Medi-Cal announced that starting July 1, 2017 claims for covered medical and incontinence supplies and enteral nutrition products would be reimbursed only if the prescription was written by a physician. Additionally, Medi-Cal will now require that a prescribing physician perform an annual review of the patient’s need for such medical supplies and document their findings. CAFP understands the additional burden this may place on some practices and encourages family physicians who may be affected to contact our Manager of Medical Practice Affairs, Sonia Kantak, so your experiences can help guide our advocacy efforts with Medi-Cal.
Drug Deaths Continue to Rise
Close to 100 Americans are killed by opioids every day, a figure that could rise to 250 – or more than 650,000 over the next decade – if potent synthetic compounds such as fentanyl and carfentanil continue to proliferate, according to this STAT News analysis. Experts predict that mortality will not stabilize until after 2020, because it will take several years to see if government interventions are effective.
CO*RE Partner Medscape Releases Updated REMS-Compliant Opioid Enduring Education
Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives summarizes the key steps to safe opioids use, meets the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) and addresses current CDC guidelines, immediate-release opioids and other pain relief tactics.
This activity provides 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ and includes three sections:
- Assessing Patients and Initiating Opioid Therapy
- Managing and Monitoring Therapy
- Take-Home Points and General Drug Information