|ACPM Headlines 6/5/15|
June 5, 2015
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON FOR NORTHEAST HEALTH SYSTEMS REGIONAL SUMMIT
Time is running out to register for the Northeastern Health Systems Transformation Regional Meeting on June 18th in Albany, NY. Co-sponsored by ACPM and the University of Albany, this half-day conference will feature state officials from New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts who will present their experiences, insights and lessons learned related to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) State Innovation Model Initiative.
Representatives from organizations such as the New York Academy of Medicine, The Commonwealth Fund, Xerox, the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and Maine Health Management Coalition will present on private sector collaborations and involvement in fostering health systems transformation. This promises to be a fascinating event for physicians, public health officials, students and residents, payers, and anyone with an interest in this important topic.
Registration for the Northeast Regional Meeting is open until Friday, June 12th. The $30 registration includes breakfast, coffee/tea, and snacks and attendees have an opportunity to earn up to 4 CME/MOC credits.
2. ACPM ANNOUNCES WEBINAR ON SMOKING CESSATION, JUNE 17TH: REGISTRATION OPEN
ACPM and Partnership for Prevention are sponsoring a webinar entitled the Role of Healthcare Providers in Tobacco Cessation, scheduled June 17th, 2:00–3:15pm Eastern Time. This webinar will address: (1) the current tobacco landscape in the U.S., (2) tobacco cessation, care providers, and health system change, and (3) implementing a comprehensive tobacco cessation program in a large health system.
Featured speakers include Brian King, PhD, Senior Scientific Advisor for Epidemiology, Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Michael Fiore, MD, Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention and,Kim Hamlett-Berry, PhD, National Public Health Director, US Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
CME/MOC credits will be offered. This program is free of charge and open to all. Registration is required.
3. CDC & AMA INITIATIVE OFFERS TOOLKIT TO HELP PHYSICIANS SCREEN AND REFER FOR DIABETES
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a toolkit to serve as a guide for physicians and other health care providers on the best methods to screen and refer high-risk patients to diabetes prevention programs in their communities. The toolkit is the first product a multi-year, joint initiative to Prevent Diabetes STAT. With more than 86 million Americans living with prediabetes and nearly 90 percent of them unaware of it, AMA and CDC have launched Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act - Today™ to take urgent action and are urging others to join in this critical effort.
4. ACPM OPPOSES LEGISLATION EXEMPTING CERTAIN TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM FDA OVERSIGHT
ACPM, in partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and 22 medical and public health organizations, cosigned a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives expressing opposition to H.R. 2058, which would exempt new tobacco products from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review.
Under current law (Tobacco Control Act), any new tobacco products introduced or modified after February 15, 2007 must be reviewed by FDA before it can be sold. H.R. 2058 would change this ‘grandfather’ date for products such as e-cigarettes and hookahs that are not yet deemed ‘tobacco products’ by the FDA for regulation. FDA is currently finalizing a deeming rule for these products, which is expected to be released this summer.
ACPM joined with its partner organizations in medicine on two separate letters to Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) expressing support for legislation he introduced that would clarify that certain applicable manufacturer transfers of value to support independent medical educational programs and materials are exempt from reporting under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act).
The letter drafted by the American Medical Association notes that, "Passage of this bill is urgently needed to remedy onerous and burdensome reporting obligations imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that have already chilled the dissemination of medical textbooks, peer-reviewed medical reprints and journals, and to avert a similar negative impact on access to independent certified and/or accredited continuing medical education (CME). H.R. 293 would ensure that efforts to promote transparency do not undermine efforts to provide the most up-to-date independent medical knowledge, which improves the quality of care patients receive through timely dissemination of medical knowledge.”
ACPM and its partners believe that existing CME rules and other codes of conduct followed by medical societies are sufficiently stringent to assure independent educational programming free of influence from industry sponsors and should not generate reporting of every physician who attends such programming on the CMS Open Payments web site. ACPM also lent its support to a similar letter sent by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS).
6. ACPM SIGNS LETTER SUPPORTING CHILD NICOTINE POISONING PREVENTION ACT
ACPM along with 26 medical and public health organizations has co-signed a letter organized by the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 1375). If enacted, H.R. 1375 would grant the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission authority to require child-resistant packaging on liquid nicotine containers. Spearheaded by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, this legislation is a result of significant increases in the number of calls to poison control centers due to child consumption or skin absorption of liquid nicotine, including the first infant death due to liquid nicotine exposure.
7. ACPM SEEKS HEALTH IT AND GERIATRICS EXPERTS
ACPM is seeking members with expertise in health information technology, geriatrics, electronic records, and/or medication management for a project with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a clinical decision module supporting efforts to reduce/mitigate the use of medications that contribute to elderly falls.
Selected members will serve on a Clinical Advisory Committee and meet twice per month (via conference call) for six months to develop requirements for the medication management tool. This tool will assist providers with identifying medication classes associated with increased fall risk, confirm clinical relevancy and dosage of the drug, and provide options for alternative medications or tapering the dosage of high-risk medications. Contingent upon funding, the first conference call will be scheduled for early July 2015.
If interested, please send a copy of your Resume/CV and statement of interest and qualifications to Andrea Lowe, ACPM Director of Policy & Practice, at email@example.com Friday, June 12th.
8. ACPM SEEKS VOLUNTEER TO SERVE ON NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION DROWSY DRIVING WORKING GROUP
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is convening a Drowsy Driving Consensus Working Group (DDCWG) and is requesting a representative from ACPM. Panel members will critically appraise available scientific literature as well as hear different perspectives from lawmakers, courts and police officials. Panelists will be expected to review the provided literature, participate in several conference calls and attend an in-person meeting held on November 5, 2015 in Washington, DC.
The DDCWG objective is limited to refining the drowsy driving threshold definition for public policy purposes. Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, will chair the panel.
Please send your CV and a statement of interest to Jessica Bradshaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, June 12, if you are interested in participating. If you have any questions about the group or your responsibilities, contact Kaitlyn Whiton at email@example.com or by phone at 571-302-3401.
Policy and Practice
9. HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE "CONTENTIOUS” RECOMMENDATION FOR DIETARY GUIDELINES
More than 700 other health professionals, including several ACPM Fellows, have sent a letter to the secretaries of the USDA and HHS urging them to endorse the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s "contentious” recommendation to reduce consumption of animal-based foods and shift toward a more plant-based diet, according to an article in The Hill.
They wrote in the letter, "Three of the four leading causes of preventable death—heart disease, cancer, and stroke—are diet related. Heavy meat consumption, especially red and processed meat, is associated with increased risks of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, while plant-based diets are associated with decreased risks of all three.”
The USDA and HHS will update the dietary guidelines for Americans later this year using the committee’s report and recommendations, along with public comments. The panel's decision, however, to incorporate environmental factors into the guidelines for the first time has created a public dispute between environmental groups and the meat industry, which contends the committee is neither required nor equipped to recommend people eat less meat because it’s better for the planet.
10. WALMART URGES SUPPLIERS TO LIMIT ANTIBIOTIC USE
As part of its new stance on animal welfare, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has asked its suppliers to restrict use of antibiotics to treatment of diseases in livestock, as well as discontinue use of gestation crates and utilize proper pain management for various procedures like de-horning. Such a move could have a significant impact on the fight against antibiotic resistance.
Though the requirements aren’t mandatory, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, describes them as "game-changing progress,” saying it "signals to agribusiness that the era of confining farm animals is ending.”
According to The Associated Press, recent research shows that two-thirds of surveyed shoppers would be more likely to shop with retailers who have implemented guidelines for better animal treatment. Three-fourths stated that these procedures would increase trust.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has announced awards of $112 million to regional cooperatives to work with about 5,000 primary care professionals in 12 states to improve the heart health of nearly 8 million patients. The grants represent one of the largest research investments to date by AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).
The initiative, EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, establishes seven regional cooperatives composed of multidisciplinary teams of experts that will provide quality improvement services for up to 300 small primary care practices. An eighth awardee will receive a grant to conduct an independent external evaluation of the initiative. The awards are aligned with the Department’s Million Hearts® national initiative to prevent heart attacks and stroke and will incorporate the most recent evidence on how best to deliver the ABC’S of cardiovascular prevention—aspirin use by high-risk individuals, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation—into their patients’ care. Services provided as part of the EvidenceNOW initiative include onsite coaching, consultation from experts in health care delivery improvement, sharing best practices, and electronic health record support.
12. SOME STATES COULD SAVE MORE THAN $1 BILLION EACH YEAR THROUGH REDUCED SODIUM CONSUMPTION
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has released a report finding that "Adjusting for inflation and population growth, …four states stand to save more than $1 billion a year" if sodium consumption were to be reduced to 2,300 mg daily. The report provides state-by-state estimates of cost savings by achieving this threshold.
According to the government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. The Guidelines also recommended that people at greater risk of cardiovascular disease—those with hypertension, adults 51 years and older, and African Americans—should limit sodium to 1,500 mg per day.
13. BREAKTHROUGH HIV STUDY COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF TREATMENT FOR MILLIONS
The results of a National Institutes of Health study involving 4,685 patients in 35 countries showed that HIV treatment appears most effective when it is started at the time of diagnosis. The researchers were surprised to find that the risk of developing serious illness or death was reduced by more than half—53 percent—in the early treatment group. The findings are likely to dramatically change the approach for treating HIV-positive individuals around the globe.
U.S. treatment guidelines already recommend that all HIV-infected patients take antiretrovirals whatever their CD4+ count may be. But those standards were in conflict withWorld Health Organization guidelinesthat recommend that individuals begin therapy when their CD4+ counts fall to 500 cells/mm3 or below. Many countries have adopted policies that are in line with the WHO recommendations.
Findings from the Commonwealth Fund–supported study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine by Mark Friedberg, MD, and colleagues at RAND and Harvard, suggest that the opportunity for practices to receive "shared savings” for superior performance might be one key component missing from earlier medical home demonstrations that found little or no impact on quality and cost.
15. EDITORIAL: ENVIRONMENT FOR INTEGRATION MORE FAVORABLE THAN EVER
An editorial by Dr. Gulzar Shah, associate dean for research at the Georgia Southern School of Public Health, proposes that the environment for integrating health care and public health, two traditionally siloed fields, is more favorable now than ever before. The editorial attempts to provide contextual background to the study by Drs. Erik Carlton and Paul Erwin in the March issue of Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research,on integration of health care and public health.
The editorial provides a critical assessment of strategies for integration identified by the study of Drs. Carlton and Erwin. The editorial concludes that only a large-scale policy creating the interdependence of health care and public health, requiring cooperation from both sides through well-defined incentives for compliance, and disincentives for lack of compliance, will serve as a glue to bring about the desired level of integration. Those policies must attempt to shift the health care focus from a profitability and industrial complex approach, conventionally the defining characteristics of health care, to prevention and population health, customarily the turf for public health.
16. CITY OF LOUISVILLE SEEKS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The City of Louisville, Kentucky, is seeking a Director of Public Health and Wellness to lead the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. In addition to serving as the director of one of the oldest local health departments in the country, the successful candidate will serve as a faculty member at the University of Louisville School of Public Health. Qualifications include holding MD and MPH degrees, licensure (or eligibility for licensure) to practice medicine in Kentucky, and a minimum 5 years of public health administration or services experience, including 2 years in program planning/evaluation and management.
Applications should include a letter of interest, CV, and five references to LouisvillePublicHealthWellness@academic-search.com.