|ACPM Headlines 7/22/11|
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. TIME IS RUNNING OUT: REGISTER TODAY FOR ACPM DISPARITIES WEBINAR
There are more than 50 million uninsured or underinsured Americans who do not have access to needed prescription medications. Find out how you can help uninsured and underinsured patients access the medicines they need by attending ACPM's free webinar, "Transforming Communities: Health Disparities and Patient Assistance Programs," on July 26, 2011, at 2:00 pm EDT.
Register here: http://bit.ly/rc13tt
2. IOM REPORT RECOMMENDS MORE FREE CLINICAL PREVENTIVE SERVICES FOR WOMEN
A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends eight preventive health services for women be added to the list of preventive services health plans must cover with no cost sharing, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report was drafted at the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, though non-binding, is expected to be given strong consideration by HHS as it refines its list of covered clinical preventive services to include those services specific to the female population.
Additionally, the report notes that due to reproductive and gender-specific conditions women use more preventive care services than men on average and face higher out-of-pocket costs.
To view the report with the full list of recommended services, please visit http://bit.ly/pqtDnJ.
3. ACPM ENTERS INTO PARTNERSHIP TO ENGAGE HEALTH CONSUMERS ON WEB
ACPM has signed a partnership agreement with Audax Health Solutions, a web and software development company, to provide health consumers with evidence-based, accurate, timely information on disease prevention, health promotion, healthy lifestyles, and population medicine. Under the agreement, ACPM and its member experts will connect with consumers through a proprietary web platform, called CarevergeTM, allowing 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.
Among the key aspects of the partnership agreement, Audax will develop and maintain a branded "Partner Page” for ACPM on the Careverge platform, featuring ACPM news and content relevant to the general Careverge audience. In addition, ACPM members will serve as ACPM-affiliated "medical experts” and engage directly with health consumers in discussion forums across the site. In addition to helping consumers sort through fact and fiction about preventive medicine and personal health, ACPM will be positioned on the Careverge site as the preeminent industry thought leader in the field of preventive medicine, and will promote its brand recognition, mission awareness, influence, and perceived value in the eyes of health consumers.
More information about the partnership and how to become engaged in Careverge will be released in upcoming weeks. To learn more or express interest, please contact ACPM executive director Mike Barry at email@example.com.
4. ACPM’S NEW WEBSITE MEANS NEW LOG-IN INFORMATION FOR YOU!
With the upcoming launch of the new ACPM website, you will receive new log-in details to use the new site and manage your member profile. The ACPM membership id numbers you have used in the past will no longer work with the new system; ACPM’s Membership Director, Jennifer Edwards, will be emailing every ACPM member his/her new membership log-in information in the coming weeks. You will only need to use the new number on your initial log in. You will then be prompted to enter a new password of your choosing to access the site going forward. If you forget your password, the new system will retrieve it for you!
The new site will allow you to connect with social networking sites; instantly message other ACPM members; post blogs—or comment on someone else’s; post your resume; search jobs; and connect with your fellow ACPM members in ways not possible before!
5. ACGME POSTS FAQS FOR NEW PREVENTIVE MEDICINE RESIDENCY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on its website about the new Preventive Medicine residency training requirements. The FAQs are meant to provide clarity for implementation of the new requirements that went into effect July 1, 2011. The new requirements can be found at http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/RRC_380/380_prIndex.asp. To view the FAQs, please visit: http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/downloads/RRC_FAQ/380_preventive_medicine_FAQs.pdf
Policy and Practice
6. ACPM JOINS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF CLEAN AIR ACT
ACPM joined forces with the American Lung Association, Trust for America’s Health and others on a sign-on letter to Congress urging that they not include policy riders or funding restrictions in any FY 2012 appropriations bills that would restrict the EPA’s authority to regulate and set standards under the Clean Air Act. The letter was crafted in response to reports that Republican House members may look to the FY 2012 appropriations process to thwart the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act. ACPM has been a staunch advocate for strong clean air protections and will continue to work with its colleagues in the public health community to guard against policies that could weaken pollution standards.
7. FAA AND AIR-TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS AGREE ON STEPS TO ADDRESS FATIGUE
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) have agreed on an important set of recommendations to address fatigue among air-traffic controllers. The agreement reinforces existing FAA policy prohibiting air traffic controllers from sleeping while they are performing assigned duties, and strengthens policy regarding watch schedules. The FAA will continue to provide air traffic controllers breaks on the midnight shift based on staffing and workload.
The FAA also has agreed to develop policies encouraging air traffic controllers to seek medical help for sleep apnea and regain their medical qualification once it is treated, rather than permanently losing their medical qualification upon sleep apnea diagnosis, as called for under current policy. The FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine will also develop educational material to raise awareness of the symptoms and the physical effects of sleep apnea.
Another key component of this agreement, the FAA
will develop a Fatigue Risk Management System for air traffic operations by
January of next year. This management system will be designed to collect
and analyze data associated with work schedules, including work intensity, to
ensure schedules are not increasing the possibility of fatigue.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently sent a letter to states regarding new Medicaid tobacco cessation services required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). State Medicaid programs are now required to provide for Medicaid coverage of comprehensive tobacco cessation services for pregnant women, including both counseling and pharmacotherapy, without cost sharing.
The letter, intended to inform clinicians’ decisions regarding tobacco cessation treatment, identifies effective approaches and treatments for the population as a whole, and contains specific recommendations for some subpopulations, such as pregnant women. The letter also clarifies that states may provide tobacco telephone quitline activities to Medicaid beneficiaries as an allowable Medicaid administrative cost.
To view a
copy of the letter please visit http://go.cms.gov/iKrBGW.
Research and Reports
9. LIFESTYLE CHANGES CAN DECREASE RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S
About half of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are potentially changeable, and reducing them could substantially decrease the number of new cases of disease worldwide, according to a study being presented July 26 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference and released that day on the website of the journal Lancet Neurology.
According to the authors from the University of California, San Francisco, physical inactivity is the biggest changeable risk factor in the U.S., accounting for 21% of the risk for Alzheimer's, followed by depression and smoking. Added together, the three factors account for about 50% of the risk and, if decreased by just 10%, about 184,000 Alzheimer's cases in the U.S. and 1.1 million cases worldwide could be prevented, according to the research. A reduction of 25% on all seven risk factors—also including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and low educational levels—could prevent nearly half a million cases in the U.S. and more than three million worldwide, the analyses showed.
The study is the first known analysis intended to quantify and compare how risk factors are associated with Alzheimer's. It is based on mathematical modeling and the assumption these risk factors cause Alzheimer’s, which has not been scientifically proven. The next step in this work is to conduct prevention trials to try to modify these risks to see if they can actually stave off Alzheimer's, says the study’s lead author.
10. DOCTORS MISSING OPPORTUNITIES TO TALK TO TEENS ABOUT NUTRITION
New research out of University of California, San Francisco, suggests that doctors may be missing opportunities to have conversations with obese teens about diet and physical activity, and to help them work through ways to improve their health. Recent recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Academy of Pediatrics say this type of preventive screening can have a real benefit for young people’s weight and health.
In a comment to Reuters Health, ACPM member Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, said "There's increased recognition that obesity is a problem and physicians are starting to do more with the population that is defined as obese. But they still are neglecting this population that is on a trajectory toward developing obesity."
The study, "The
Association of BMI Status With Adolescent Preventive Screening” appears in the
July 18th issue of Pediatrics.
11. DRUGS USED TO TREAT AIDS CAN BE USED TO PREVENT HIV INFECTION
Two new studies, from the University of Washington and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have shown for the first time AIDS drugs taken daily can cut by more than half a person’s chance of becoming infected with HIV through heterosexual intercourse.
The studies found the antiretroviral medications, which can be given as once-daily pills, cut the infection risk by as much as 73% compared to a placebo. The two studies were conducted in three African countries among heterosexual couples, and they provide the first evidence the strategy, which is called pre-exposure prophylaxis, may help both men and women.
For more information on the University of Washington Study, please visit: http://depts.washington.edu/hivaids/
12. FATAL OVERDOSES OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS INCREASE IN FLORIDA
According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the death rate from overdoses of prescription drugs in Florida increased 84% from 2003 to 2009, whereas the death rate from heroin overdose declined 62%. Among prescription drugs, the death rates for oxycodone and alprazolam increased 265% and 234%, respectively.
In the United States in 2007, unintentional poisonings were the second leading cause of injury death. Approximately 93% of all unintentional poisoning deaths were caused by drug overdose. From 1990 to 2001 in Florida, the non-suicidal poisoning death rate increased 325%.
ACPM recently released a Time Tool on Use, Abuse, Misuse, and Disposal of Prescription Pain Medication to help clinicians and patients address this growing public health issue.
The ACPM Time Tool may be viewed at http://bit.ly/oSN07i.
To view the MMWR article please visit http://1.usa.gov/oJncBE.
13. CDC REPORT NOTES CONTINUED DROP IN ONSCREEN TOBACCO USE
A recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted the amount of tobacco use depicted in top-grossing, youth-rated movies continued the previously reported downward trend for a fifth straight year. Since adolescents in the top quartile of exposure to onscreen smoking are about twice as likely to try smoking as those in the bottom quartile, this decline in onscreen smoking has important public health implications.
Three of the major movie studios with published, written smoking-reduction policies showed an average 95.8% decline in tobacco use depictions from 2005 to 2010. Studios without such a policy had an average 41.7% decline in the same time period.
To view the MMWR article please visit http://1.usa.gov/pJILdP.
14. NCEH/ATSDR SOLICITING NOMINEES FOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) is soliciting nominations for consideration of membership to the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC). The BSC provides advice and guidance to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Director of NCEH/ATSDR.
Nominees will be selected from experts having experience in preventing human diseases and disabilities caused by environmental conditions. A detailed list of qualifications and requirements for submission is available in the Federal Register Notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-07/html/2011-16988.htm. The deadline for submission of nominees is October 31, 2011.
15. EIS APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is accepting applications to start the 2-year program in July 2012. The EIS program provides competency-based training in both the classroom and through on-the-job learning activities. Additionally, EIS officers provide service to the CDC and their public health partners. The application deadline is September 1, 2011.
To learn more and to apply to the program please visit http://1.usa.gov/ii4FEz.
16. MEMBERS IN THE NEWS: BOB ORFORD NAMED PRESIDENT OF ARIZONA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Congratulations to ACPM Fellow and former Occupational Medicine Regent, Robert Orford, MD, MPH, FACPM, on his election as president of the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA). In his capacity as president, Dr. Orford will be responsible for leadership of the ArMA Board of Directors and members, organizational support and representation, and communication with the membership of the organization through the weekly e-newsletter Medicine This Week and the quarterly AZ Medicine magazine.