|ACPM Headlines 8/3/12|
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. USPSTF RECOMMENDS AGAINST ROUTINE ECG SCREENING FOR CORONARY EVENTS
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a final recommendation against screening with resting or exercise electrocardiography (ECG) for the prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events in asymptomatic adults at low risk for CHD events (D Recommendation). The Task force found that for asymptomatic adults at low-risk for CHD performing ECG screenings did not help providers improve their ability to group these individuals into high, intermediate, or low-risk categories for targeted interventions. In fact, performing screenings among this population could lead to unnecessary invasive procedures or overtreatment. This recommendation is an update from the 2004 recommendation issued from the USPSTF.
The USPSTF also was unable to find adequate evidence to support or reject the use of ECG screenings among asymptomatic adults with intermediate- or high-risk for CHD events (I recommendation).
The task force continues to support findings that ECG is an effective tool for detection, finding adequate evidence that many resting and exercise ECG abnormalities are associated with an increased risk for a serious CHD event, after controlling for conventional risk factors.
For more information, please visit the recommendation on the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce website.
2. NEW RULES UNDER ACA ENABLE ACCESS TO PREVENTIVE SERVICES FOR 47 MILLION WOMEN
New rules under the Affordable Care Act requiring coverage of additional preventive services for women under all health care plans went into effect on August 1. Previously, some companies did not cover these services, and many that did required a co-pay or deductible. Women now will have access to a new array of preventive services and screenings that could detect conditions at an early stage, or help prevent them from developing.
According to a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 47 million women are enrolled in health care plans which must now cover these eight, new preventive services at no charge:
The health care law has already assisted women in private plans and Medicare by providing access to USPSTF-recommended services, including mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots without coinsurance or deductibles. This week’s announcement builds on these benefits. For additional information about health care services covered under the Affordable Care Act, please visit http://www.healthcare.gov/prevention.
3. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS, WHITE HOUSE AGREE ON SIX-MONTH CONTINUING RESOLUTION
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced an agreement with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH 8thDistrict) on a six-month continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through March, 2013. The bill will fund government programs at the FY 2013 discretionary funding cap levels agreed to under last year’s debt limit law. This CR will ensure that there is no showdown between the two parties about a government shutdown before the election.
The bipartisan funding bill initially was expected to be introduced this week, congressional aides said, but there has been pushback this week from some Senate democrats regarding the length of the continuing resolution. Both chambers would need to approve the deal by September 30.
4. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE 2013 COMMITTEE ISSUES CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The Planning Committee has issued a call for abstracts for the Preventive Medicine 2013 conference, February 20-23, in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. Submissions on research, practice, training and policy activities in any preventive medicine or public health topic will be accepted. However, the committee is specifically seeking content in four major areas:
Topics addressing the conference theme, Population Health is Good Medicine: Improving the Health of People from the Clinic to the Community, adolescent health, occupational medicine/employee health and productivity, environmental health, military health, and aerospace medicine are also encouraged.
Submission categories include oral and poster presentations. For oral presentations, authors of accepted abstracts will present their findings in concurrent sessions, which are 90 minutes in length, with approximately 15–20 minutes allotted to each presenter, depending on the number of presenters selected for that session. Accepted authors of poster presentations must be available to discuss their work and answer questions during the formal poster session and reception on Thursday, February 21, 2013, from 6:40 to 7:40pm. More details on oral and poster session times, logistics, and other requirements will be provided upon notification of acceptance.
For more information and to submit an abstract visit the Preventive Medicine 2013 website.
5. ACPM JOINS PREVENTION ‘CHAMPIONS’ CEOs GROUP ON CAPITOL HILL
ACPM executive director Michael Barry joined a group of CEOs from several prominent public health organizations on recent Capitol Hill visits with U.S. Senators to advocate for preservation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Barry joined CEOs from the American Public Health Association, Trust for America’s Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Business Coalition on Health, National Association of Counties, and Nemours Health and Prevention Services in private meetings with U.S. Senators Coons (D-Delaware) and Carper (D-Delaware).
The focus of the meetings was to build Senate support for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which has been under fire since its enactment under the Affordable Care Act. The Fund provides an historic infusion ($12.5 billion over ten years) of funding to support community and clinical preventive services and programs, but has been consistently targeted as an offset for federal budget cuts, the physician payment "fix,” student loan debt forgiveness, and other congressional priorities. The CEO "champions” group asked the senators to send their own or state-delegation letters to the White House and congressional leadership in support of the Fund and to increase visibility of the Fund through floor statements/colloquy, op-eds, and speaking with their colleagues.
In his individual statement, Barry provided background on preventive medicine physicians as boundary spanners between medicine and public health and their unique role in implementing prevention-focused health reform and public health programs. He also highlighted the value of prevention as a public "good” that returns years of healthy life on its investment, and he urged for continuation of the Fund as a key source of new revenues to support the continued pipeline of preventive medicine physicians.
6. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE 2013 PLANNING COMMITTEE OFFERS SNEAK PREVIEW
The Preventive Medicine 2013 Planning Committee held its face-to-face meeting on July 27th at ACPM headquarters to organize what promises to be a top-notch conference program.The committee brought to the table plans for numerous educational sessions and skill-building institutes on timely topics to be presented at ACPM’s annual meeting, scheduled for February 20-23, 2013 in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. As a sneak preview, three potential plenary sessions emerged from the planning meeting: Digital Epidemiology: Big Data and Public Health; After the ACA: What Now?; and From the AJPM: Top Ten Papers in Preventive Medicine.
In addition, an exciting list of concurrent sessions and skill-building institutes were carefully selected, based upon feedback received from ACPM members and Preventive Medicine 2012 attendees and deliberations of the committee and track subcommittees. Topics being considered include: mental health disparities, obesity, electronic immunization registries, medical apps, injuries in the workplace, global health in the uniformed services, and healthcare associated infections, among others. Also, the Preventive Medicine conference series will host its first scientific symposium to be co-sponsored by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). This half-day symposium will feature a variety of scientific papers being prepared for a supplement issue of AJPM, which will be released around the time of the annual meeting.
ACPM would like to thank the Preventive Medicine 2013 Planning Committee and subcommittee members who are working tirelessly to organize a terrific program! For an up-to-date listing of conference sessions, please visit our website.
7. CONNECT WITH ACPM PEERS THROUGH SECURE SOCIAL NETWORKING
ACPM members agree: one of the College’s greatest membership benefits is the opportunity for peer-to-peer networking in a collegial environment. As technology continues to evolve, so do networking opportunities. There’s no better time to take advantage of ACPM’s exclusive member benefit, Your Membership (YM), an association management system with social networking applications designed to help ACPM members connect and collaborate.
Registering to utilize this exclusive, new member benefit is as easy as 1-2-3.
Visit ACPM online at www.acpm.org to begin using YM, and for additional information about other valuable member benefits.
8. AJPM CME-ELIGIBLE ARTICLES FOR JULY AND AUGUST
ACPM Members can earn one hour each of CME and MOC credit by reading selected online articles in AJPM each month. The July and August issues of AJPM feature the following articles for CME credit:
These and a whole library of other CME/MOC eligible articles can be accessed online at http://www.ajpmonline.org/cme/home.
9. ACPM WELCOMES ANDREA LOWE TO ITS STAFF
ACPM is pleased to announce it has hired Andrea Lowe, MPH, CPH, to be its new policy and practice manager. Andrea will be responsible for supporting ACPM’s advocacy and practice program management activities consistent with ACPM’s strategic plan, such as: developing and maintaining relationships with relevant Capitol Hill staff while focusing on health policy of interest to the preventive medicine physician community; staffing ACPM’s Graduate Medical Education and Prevention Practice Committees as well as annual Residency Director’s Workshop; assisting in the preparation of federal and foundation grant proposals; and managing grant and cooperative agreement activities.
Prior to joining ACPM in July 2012, Andrea spent nearly 2 years working as the Public Health Program Administrator at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health where she had responsibility for the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs and managed various government and non-government funded grants. She began her career in public health in January 2009 as an intern in the Pinellas County Health Department where she worked for 5 months before joining the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health as a H1N1 District Response Specialist.She also recently received her certification in public health.
Please join us in welcoming Andrea to the College! She may be reached at 202-466-2044 ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. CBO LOWERS COST ESTIMATE OF ACA TO REFLECT SUPREME COURT DECISION
The Congressional Budget Office has released an analysis of the impact of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, finding that the Court’s decision would result in a net reduction of $84 billion over 10 years. These savings are reflective of the significant reductions in spending from lower Medicaid enrollment, which are expected to more than offset the increase in costs from greater participation in the newly established insurance exchanges.Read the CBO analysis at http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43472.
The FDA has approved a second new weight management drug, Qsymia, less than a month after approving another weight management drug, Belviq. Qsymia, formerly known as Qnexa, is an extended-release formulation of a combination of two FDA-approved drugs, phentermine and topiramate. Qsymia is indicated for obese people or for overweight people who also have at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, or diabetes.
Read the FDA press release at http://1.usa.gov/LWJVHH.
Three physician-researchers at University of California San Francisco dispute recent National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guidelines recommending cholesterol screening for children. In a commentary published online in Pediatrics, the group calls the new guidelines "overly aggressive” and suggests that the recommendations fail to appropriately weigh health benefits against potential harms and costs. The group further questions the credibility of the guidelines because they were based largely on expert opinion, and a majority of the expert panel members disclosed ties to companies making lipid-lowering drugs and lipid-testing instruments.
The new pediatric lipid screening recommendation report was released by the NHLBI late last year and was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report recommends universal screening of 9- to 11-year-old children with a non-fasting lipid panel and targeted screening of high risk 2- to 8-year-old and 12- to 16-year-old children with two fasting lipid profiles.
Research and Reports
13. NEW CDC VISION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new MMWR Supplement, "CDC's Vision for Public Health Surveillance in the 21st Century." The supplement includes findings drawn from a 2009 CDC/ATSDR meeting convened to assess domestic and global public health surveillance and to recommend a strategic framework to adapt public health surveillance to meet developing challenges.
The report acknowledges that current public health surveillance has transitioned from a focus on infectious diseases to noninfectious conditions, such as injuries, chronic disease, mental illness, and drug use. It also addresses technological advances in public health, and potential applications of new technologies to strengthen surveillance efforts through improved data integration among health-care providers and public health departments.
Read the full CDC report at http://1.usa.gov/z4V5Wo.
14. CDC REPORTS TEENS WITH REDUCED HIV RISKS
A recent CDC report shows that U.S. high school students have reduced HIV risks compared to their counterparts 20 years ago. During the period from 1991-2011, lower proportions of teens reported ever having sex, currently engaging in sexual activity, and having multiple partners, and higher proportions of teens reported using condoms. However, many of these improvements occurred by 2001 to 2003 and have stabilized in recent years. Also, sexual risk behaviors of black high school students have declined dramatically in the past 20 years, markedly reducing disparities in risk between black teens and teens in other racial and ethnic groups.
Read more at http://1.usa.gov/MGXzLl.
15. DOCTORS DEBATE WHETHER OBESITY IS A DISEASE
During a recent American Medical Association (AMA) meeting, the was debate about whether to classify obesity as a disease. The AMA decided to address the topic once more research is available. However, physicians at the meeting pointed out that often there are underlying health issues, sometimes in an individual’s genetic makeup, that contribute to obesity as a metabolic disorder.
On one side, physicians maintain that obesity is indeed a disease, onset by causes that supersede increased caloric intake and lack of exercise. And, like a disease, obesity produces negative consequences within the body. On the other side, physicians and public health experts argue that obesity increases the risk of disease but is not a disease itself. Also, because nearly 35 percent of Americans (roughly a third of the population) are obese, calling obesity a disease would stigmatize these individuals and classify them as sick, when many are healthy.
"Once people gain weight, the extra pounds can lead to metabolic and hormonal problems that increase the risk of disease…and just as diabetes results from a malfunction of the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, obesity results from a malfunction of the ability to regulate energy balance,” said ACPM member Scott Kahan, MD, MPH. Kahan told MyHealthNewsDaily, "obesity satisfies all the definitions and criteria of what a disease and medical condition is, the one difference is that people who have obesity have to wear their disease on the outside.”
16. MEMBERS IN THE NEWS: BOULTON, HARMON, RHODES