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ACPM Headlines 1/13/12
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In This Issue:


Top Stories

1. Careverge consumer web site launched; ACPM members engage

2. 2012 ACPM Board of Regents elections underway next week

3. Over 38 million US adults binge drink, on average 4 times a month

ACPM News

4. ACPM calls for revamp of Federal Toxic Substances Control Act

5. ACPM signs on to comments on premarket review of tobacco products

6. Thank you for renewing your ACPM membership!

7. ACPM web site: your home for online CME/MOC

Policy and Practice

8. EPA releases historic new mercury emission standards

9. Geisinger will no longer hire job applicants who use tobacco products

10. Federal officials release Medicaid quality of care measures

11. Senators want in-depth look at graduate medical education

 

Research and Reports

12. Insurers see increased revenues as a result of reform law policies

13. National drug shortages reach new highs

Announcements

14. HRSA issues call for applications for Healthy Weight Collaborative

15. APTR announces Paul Ambrose Scholarships

16. Call for abstracts: obesity interventions with underserved U.S. populations


Top Stories

1. CAREVERGE SITE LAUNCHES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ACPM


Audax Health™ has officially launched Careverge™, an online, consumer-oriented health and wellness destination providing users with personalized tools and resources to manage their health. ACPM, as a key partner in the venture, has invited its members to serve as medical experts for the Careverge™ online community of health consumers. Within 24 hours of the launch, following national coverage in prominent media outlets such as the Washington Post, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and the Fox Business Channel, more than 15,000 consumers registered on the site.

As previously announced, ACPM has partnered with Audax Health™ to provide a national audience of health consumers with evidence-based information on disease prevention, health promotion, and healthy lifestyles via Careverge™. Careverge™ allows health consumers to create a user profile and connect with other consumers, share health experiences, play online games, and engage with healthcare stakeholders and experts such as ACPM members.

Through the partnership, ACPM members can directly engage with consumers in the Careverge™ Community section as ACPM-affiliated medical professionals. In addition to providing valuable evidence-based guidance and information, your participation will build awareness and add value to the field of preventive medicine as an ambassador of ACPM.

Sign in with your unique sign-up link, sent to you via email on 1/11/12. Contact David Dauphinais if you have questions regarding your link or did not receive it.

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2. ACPM 2012 BOARD OF REGENTS ELECTIONS UNDERWAY NEXT WEEK

The ACPM Board of Regents elections will be underway beginning January 17, 2012. All ACPM Fellows, Members, Associates and Affiliates whose dues are paid for the 2012 membership year will receive an electronic-mail message with access to the online ballot. The ballot will remain open until COB February 7, 2012.

To view a list of candidates for election, please visit: http://www.acpm.org/?2012Elections. The election winners will be announced at Preventive Medicine 2012.

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3. BINGE DRINKING MORE SERIOUS THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT

New data from the CDC shows that binge drinking—defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a short period of time—is a much bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million US adults binge drink, about 4 times a month, and the average largest number of drinks consumed per binge is eight. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes 80,000 deaths in the US each year and in 2006 cost the economy $223.5 billion.

The most surprising aspects of the new estimates, culled from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, are the prevalence among older age groups and the amount and number of times binge drinkers drink. While the age group with the most binge drinkers is, not surprisingly, 18-34 years of age, the age group that binge drinks most often is 65 and over. About 13 percent of people between the ages of 45 to 64 say they binge-drink about five times a month.

"It’s not just the usual suspects who are binge drinking,” said Dr. Robert Brewer, an ACPM Fellow who leads the CDC’s alcohol program. "This is not just a problem of high school kids and college students. It’s a problem across the lifespan.” A summary of the estimates can be found in the latest issue of CDC’s Vital Signs at ow.ly/8pE9w.

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ACPM News

4. ACPM CALLS FOR REVAMP OF FEDERAL TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT

ACPM has written a policy statement supporting the revamping of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. ACPM supports modernization and the need to overhaul TSCA to provide adequate information to federal regulatory agencies and medical practitioners, as well as protection for patients and communities. The statement was developed by the ACPM Environmental Health Committee and approved by the Executive Committee.

The statement will be included in this month's Environmental Health Policy Institute, a blog attracting between 1,000 and 2,000 readers per month, along with statements of other prominent health professional voices in support of TSCA reform. The full statement can be found on ACPM’s website under Policy Issues at: http://www.acpm.org/?page=Policy_Issues.

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5. ACPM COMMENTS ON FDA PREMARKET REVIEW OF NEW TOBACCO PRODUCTS

ACPM joined with other leading public health organizations in submitting comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to draft guidance it released regarding applications for premarket review of new tobacco products. Signatories of the letter noted: "The fundamental point is that product design has an important effect on the number of people who smoke, the degree to which they become addicted, the quantity of toxic substances to which they are exposed, and the number of people who die from smoking. To permit changes in product design without regulation is to leave consumers completely at the mercy of the tobacco companies.”

The draft guidance was released to comply with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that granted FDA oversight authority of tobacco products.

 

To view a copy of the letter please visit http://bit.ly/xgwp6d.

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6. A BIG THANK YOU TO RENEWING ACPM MEMBERS!

ACPM thanks all of its members who have paid their membership dues for the 2012 membership year! Your continued support allows ACPM to advance the preventive medicine and public health agenda that all of you feel so passionate about as well as to support your continued practice needs.

Final notifications were sent this week to the remaining unpaid members via email and hard copy mail. You may pay your dues online by logging into the ACPM web site (www.acpm.org). If you are unsure if you have paid your dues, or have any problems logging in to the system, please contact Jennifer Edwards at jedwards@acpm.org.

Pay your dues today and continue receiving all your ACPM benefits, including access to AJPM, online CME and MOC, and discounts to attend the annual meeting and the ACPM Board Review Course.

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7. ACPM OFFERS MULTIPLE WAYS TO EARN CME AND MOC

Have you earned enough CME and MOC credits to satisfy your state medical boards and the American Board of Preventive Medicine’s MOC requirements? Visit ACPM’s Education Center each month and take advantage of the multiple ways to enhance your preventive medicine knowledge and competencies and boost your credits, including through the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) and various ACPM Time Tools (both are eligible for MOC).

This month the AJPM is featuring the following articles for 1 hour of CME/MOC credit, each:

  • Fax Referrals, Academic Detailing, and Tobacco Quitline Use: A Randomized Trial

  • Telephone-Delivered Interventions for Physical Activity and Dietary Behavior Change: An Updated Systematic Review


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Policy and Practice

8. EPA RELEASES HISTORIC MERCURY EMISSION STANDARDS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the first national standards to protect Americans from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. According to the EPA, the standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls already in use at more than half of the nation's coal-fired power plants.

Find out more at http://1.usa.gov/vG4LXK.

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9. GEISINGER WILL NO LONGER HIRE TOBACCO USERS

Starting Feb. 1, 2012, Geisinger will no longer hire job applicants who use any form of tobacco products. During the hiring process, all applicants—including those seeking full- and part-time positions, flex, volunteers, and students enrolled in Geisinger-based schools—will be tested for nicotine as part of the routine drug screening. According to Geisinger, the test will include screening for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and cigars. Geisinger currently has a no-tobacco-use policy that extends across all of its properties.

For more information about the Geisinger policy, visit http://bit.ly/rY0hRD.


10. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RELEASES MEDICAID QUALITY OF CARE MEASURES

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released a set of 26 quality of care measures for Medicaid to serve as markers for continual improvement. The measures aim to pinpoint the issues of the quality of health care adults receive in Medicaid and how effective the care will be as the program expands in 2014 to enroll millions of uninsured adults.

These measures complement a similar program already in effect to assess the quality of care given to children in Medicaid and in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Issued under the health overhaul law, the adult measures are part of a new "Medicaid Quality Measurement Program,” which is also responsible for developing and testing additional measures.

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11. SENATORS SEEK IN-DEPTH REVIEW OF GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION

Senators from both parties are asking the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a thorough review of the nation's system of graduate medical education that funds medical residencies. The request is an indication of the growing interest in Congress in shaping the future of the physician corps as the Affordable Care Act is implemented with its emphasis on coordinated care and primary care.

The senators have requested an independent review of the governance and financing of the GME system, including inequities in funding across states based on their needs and capacity. They also want an analysis of areas including accreditation, reimbursement policy and the care of the underserved. These recommendations are expected from the IOM by the third quarter of 2012.

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Research and Reports

12. INSURERS SEE INCREASED REVENUES AS A RESULT OF PUBLIC PROGRAM EXPANSION

Major U.S. health insurance companies have profited financially because of their increased participation in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This revenue growth is due to both larger beneficiary enrollment and more cost-effective management of patients by insurers. Consequently, 42 percent of large insurers’ revenues came as a direct result of their Medicare and Medicaid business, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Government.

The report suggests insurers will see further increases in profits upon full implementation of the health reform law in 2014 — when Medicaid expands to cover 16 million additional Americans and the federal government begins subsidizing private-insurance policies for an estimated 19 million more.

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13. NATIONAL DRUG SHORTAGES REACH NEW HIGHS

The number of new prescription drug shortages hit a new high of 267 in 2011, which is the 5th straight yearly increase, and more than four times the number of shortages reported in 2004, according to the University of Utah Drug Information Service, which tracks national drug shortages. Most of the drugs in short supply are inexpensive injectable drugs available as generics, and, according to the FDA, the main reason for the shortages are manufacturing problems leading to production shutdowns. These shortages are having an increasing effect on patient care, with at least 15 deaths being attributed to drug shortages since 2010.

The FDA also noted more than 100 new shortages were prevented in 2011, partially due to an executive order President Obama issued on October 31. The executive order required manufacturers to report potential shortages in advance to the FDA, provided for expedited regulatory review of certain medications, and sought to prevent price gouging during shortages.

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Announcements

14. CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: HEALTHY WEIGHT COLLABORATIVE

The Health Resources and Services Administration has announced the release of the Call for Applications for community teams to participate in Phase Two of the Healthy Weight Collaborative, a national quality improvement effort to test and spread evidence-based and promising interventions to prevent and treat obesity.This phase will bring together 40 multi-sector teams (including primary care, public health, and the community) from across the country to engage in a virtual learning community from late February 2012–February 2013.

The Call for Applications may be found at: http://www.collaborateforhealthyweight.org/Take-Action/Join-the-Collaborative.aspx. The application deadline is January 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm EST.

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15. APTR ANNOUNCES PAUL AMBROSE SCHOLARSHIPS

The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) is accepting applications for the 2012 Paul Ambrose Scholars Program (PASP). The Paul Ambrose Scholars Program introduces public health students to public health professionals and prepares them to be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level.

 

This scholarship allows 40 to 50 students to attend a leadership symposium in Washington, DC and conduct a community-based health education project at their institution. This year’s symposium will be held June 21–June 24.

To learn more about the PASP and to access the online application, visit www.aptrweb.org/pasp. The deadline for applications is 2/6/12.

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16. CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: OBESITY INTERVENTIONS WITH UNDERSERVED US POPULATIONS

Johns Hopkins University Press is collecting abstracts for papers in the area of obesity/overweight prevention/reduction in underserved communities. These papers are to be part of the publication, "Obesity Interventions with Underserved U.S. Populations: Evidence and Directions,” to be published in early 2013. Abstracts are due January 23, 2012 and should be no longer than 250 words (excluding references). Please send the abstract and author contact information to Journaladmininstratio@mmc.edu. Direct any questions to Ms. Naa Amponsha at (800) 669-1269.


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