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ACPM Headlines 8/11/14
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In this Issue

Top Stories

1. Senate Appropriations bill reflects ACPM advocacy priorities

2. ACPM receives funding for injury prevention IT initiatives

3. AJPM impact continues to grow 

ACPM News

4. August is a great time to support the "Your Gift Matters” campaign

5. ACPM signs letter to CMS expressing concerns with rollout of Sunshine Act

6. ACPM components in action: North Carolina Academy of Preventive Medicine

7. ACPM signs on to FDA comment letter on food labeling revisions

Policy and Practice

8. ACPM submits comments to FDA regarding oversight of tobacco products

9. Appellate court upholds "physician gag law” on gun ownership in Florida

10. Acting Surgeon General releases call to action to prevent skin cancer

Research and Reports

11. IOM report on GME financing reform recognizes lack of support for PM training

12. USPSTF releases research plans on screening for skin cancer and celiac disease

13. Children’s Hospital Association releases report on hospital obesity treatments

Announcements

14. SOPHE/CDC announces injury prevention and control research fellowship

15. Members in the news: Rhodes, Frank, Tilson


Top Stories

1. ACPM ACHIEVES KEY ADVOCACY WIN IN PASSAGE OF SENATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has released its FY 2015 appropriations bill, which includes an increase of $2.2 million for preventive medicine residency (PMR) training programs and a $5 million increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Expanding funding for these two programs has been ACPM’s top legislative priority for the past several years. The strong support from Senate appropriators for these programs is especially noteworthy in an austere budget environment, where most federal programs are being cut or level-funded.

Funding to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for PMR programs is slated to increase from $3.8 million to $6 million and funding for NVDRS expansion will grow to $16.3 million from $11.3 million. The FY 2015 appropriations end-game is difficult to predict, with reports noting the all-but-certain passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded past the elections into a lame-duck session of Congress when the appropriations process is expected to be finalized.

2. ACPM RECEIVES FUNDING FOR INJURY PREVENTION IT INITIATIVES

ACPM has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control to complete two projects involving mobile technology. The first opportunity, related to elderly falls prevention, will convert the paper-based CDC STEADI Toolkit into a clinical decision module that can be used in patient electronic health records. The second opportunity will allow ACPM to continue developing a child injury risk assessment tool for home visitation programs. This project will convert the paper- and pdf-based assessment tool into a mobile application.

For more information on these projects, please contact Andrea Lowe, ACPM Policy and Practice Manager, at alowe@acpm.org.

3. AJPM IMPACT CONTINUES TO GROW

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), the official journal of ACPM and Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, has achieved its highest Impact Factor, according to the 2013 Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Report released last week. The AJPM Impact Factor for 2013 is 4.281, an increase over the 2012 Impact Factor of 3.945.

A journal’s Impact Factor is a key measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in the journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field. AJPM ranks 13th of 160 journals in the Public, Environmental & Occupational Health subject category and 18th of 150 journals in the Medicine, General and Internal subject category. AJPM’s 2013 Five-Year Impact Factor—a measure of the relative importance and staying power of journal content, also is very strong at 5.042. 

Congratulations to the entire AJPM team for this tremendous accomplishment!

 

ACPM News

4. AUGUST IS A GREAT TIME TO SUPPORT THE "YOUR GIFT MATTERS” CAMPAIGN!

As summer days stay hot, so do the fundraising efforts at ACPM. Now is your time to get involved by making your gift to the Your Gift Matters campaign today. Your donation will help the College in a variety of ways by providing grants to medical students to attend ACPM’s annual meeting, Preventive Medicine 2015,in Atlanta, as well as help support other ACPM special initiatives that help advance the field of preventive medicine and fund leadership development. When you invest in ACPM, you invest in yourself, your future and the future of the specialty of preventive medicine.

Donating is fast and easy. Visit ACPM's website to learn more about the strategic initiatives your dollars will support and make a contribution online.

 

5. ACPM SIGNS LETTER TO CMS EXPRESSING CONCERNS WITH ROLLOUT OF SUNSHINE ACT

ACPM has joined 25 professional medical societies and trade groups on a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner expressing concerns about implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act). The concerns center on the rollout of the Open Payments System and how it is affecting, and will affect, physicians. 

The letter highlighted the need for CMS to provide necessary context to explain the data, which did not occur with the release of the Medicare Part B data earlier this year; the need for CMS to increase its outreach to and education of physicians about the reporting requirements; and the need for CMS to simplify what is an overly complex registration system for physicians. Within the expansion of education recommendation, the letter warned CMS of the unintended consequences of proposed changes to the law that may require industry stakeholders to disclose payments made to physicians speaking at Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs. 

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, adopted under the Affordable Care Act, requires public reporting of interactions between physicians and biopharmaceutical and medical technology (medtech) professionals through a new public database. Biopharmaceutical and medtech companies began collecting data on these interactions starting in August of 2013. Physicians have been able to access the database starting in mid-July of 2014, and the database will be available to the public on September 30, 2014. More information can be found at Partners for Healthy Dialogues, of which ACPM is a member, or CMS frequently asked questions about the Open Payments System.

 

6. ACPM COMPONENTS IN ACTION: NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

The North Carolina Academy of Preventive Medicine, a component society of ACPM, drafted a letter in opposition to pending legislation in North Carolina that would move the regulating responsibility for drinking water and private well water from the state’s public health rule-making body, staffed by the Division of Public Health, to a group appointed by the Governor, State Senate, and State House.

The letter highlights how the pending legislation has the potential to shift the regulatory focus from the health of North Carolinians to the needs of various industries. Additionally, previously passed legislation, which moved on-site water inspections to the Department of Natural Resources from the Division of Public Health and opened the state for fracking, has made the need to stay vigilant in protecting the water supply even more critical.

Media stories about this proposal as well as historical North Carolina public health law can be found here:

 

7. ACPM SIGNS ON TO FDA COMMENT LETTER ON FOOD LABELING REVISIONS

ACPM has joined 34 public health and nutrition advocacy organizations supporting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s proposal to revise the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. Among other changes outlined in the proposal, FDA plans to update serving size requirements, require information about the "added sugars” in the product, and refresh the labeling design.

In addition to supporting these changes, ACPM and other organizations have requested FDA reduce the Daily Value for sodium to 1,500 milligrams to be consistent with prevailing guidelines and conduct a comprehensive consumer education campaign when the new labels are released.

Highlights from the proposal can be found at the FDA website. A copy of the support letter is available here.

 

Policy and Practice

 8. ACPM SUBMITS COMMENTS TO FDA REGARDING OVERSIGHT OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

 ACPM submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its proposed rule deeming various tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act or TCA). The rule would expand regulatory authority over e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookahs. The FDA introduced the rule in April, accepting comments until August 8th.

ACPM comments express support for efforts that protect youth from purchasing these "deemed” products, ask that rigorous modified risk claims be created in order to protect the public against false health claims made by the tobacco industry, and encourage the FDA to include premium cigars among the "deemed” products.

9. APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS "PHYSICIAN GAG LAW” ON GUN OWNERSHIP IN FLORIDA

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to uphold a law in Florida restricting a physician’s ability to counsel patients on gun safety, reversing a 2012 decision by a lower court. In 2012, ACPM in conjunction with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) adopted a position against state "physician gag laws” and joined 8 other medical specialty societies to file an amicus brief supporting the Southern District of Florida court ruling to enjoin the law.

ACPM supports CMSS’ view that this "deals a considerable blow to the patient/physician relationship, and deprives patients from the full range of preventive medical care they deserve.”

Please see the press release for more information.


10
ACTING SURGEON GENERAL RELEASES CALL TO ACTION TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak released a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, which "calls on partners in prevention from various sectors across the nation to address skin cancer as a major public health problem."Skin cancer causes a heavy social and economic burden as the most-commonly-diagnosed cancer in the US. Although genetic factors contribute to a person’s risks, UV radiation has strongly been associated with skin cancer, making prevention feasible to the general population. The plan provides a comprehensive approach to prevention involving employers, schools, families, and communities.

 

Research and Reports

11. IOM COMMITTEE ON GME FINANCING REFORM RECOGNIZES LACK OF SUPPORT FOR PM TRAINING

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a report, "Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs,” noting that graduate medical education’s (GME) "direct linkage of payments with Medicare patient volume also systematically disadvantages children’s hospitals, safety net hospitals, and other training sites that care for non-elderly patients. Non-clinical, population-based specialties, such as public health and preventive medicine, are similarly affected.”

The report was commissioned in response to a request from Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), a champion in the U.S. Senate for increased funding for preventive medicine residency training programs. ACPM member Raul Mirza, MD, MPH offered testimony to the IOM committee during its first public meeting in Washington, DC. The IOM report provides an additional advocacy tool that ACPM will employ to build awareness of the need to expand federal support for preventive medicine residency training programs.


12
USPSTF RELEASES SEVERAL RESEARCH PLANS

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released the following final and draft research plans:

  • Final research plan on screening for skin cancer, which involves screening asymptomatic adolescents and adults using a visual eye exam of the skin while evaluating the harms of overall screening/diagnosis and determining if the process will lead to decreased skin cancer mortality, morbidity, or all-cause mortality.
  • Final research plan on screening for preeclampsia, which examines, among other questions, how effectively does screening for preeclampsia reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, and does effectiveness differ by screening protocol (e.g., tests used, timing of tests, rescreen intervals) or preeclampsia risk status.
  • Draft research plan for celiac disease, which includes a systematic review of key questions examining the population that should undergo screening, the intervention with serologic screening or gluten-free diet, and whether the treatment produces improved morbidity, mortality, and quality of life.
  • Draft research plan screening for obstructive sleep apnea, which examines, among other questions, what is the direct evidence that screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults improves health outcomes.

Draft research plans are open for public comment. Final research plans will be used to guide systematic reviews of the evidence by researchers at an Evidence-based Practice Center, which form the basis of the USPSTF Recommendation Statement on this topic.


13. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION RELEASES REPORT ON HOSPITAL OBESITY TREATMENTS

The Children’s Hospital Association has released 2013 Survey Findings of Children’s Hospital Obesity Services, detailing the responses of 118 children’s hospitals examining their childhood obesity treatment programs. Survey results reveal that the majority of patients seen in these programs are severely obese and their caseloads are constantly increasing. In addition, the report discusses the need for policies on identifying obesity as well as how these programs are not financially self-sustaining, with 84% of respondents operating at a loss in 2012.

 

Announcements

14. SOPHE/CDC ANNOUNCES INJURY PREVENTION AND CONTROL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are accepting applications for one-year student fellowships in injury prevention and control. This $2,000 stipend will support projects addressing traumatic brain injury (TBI), prescription drug overdose, motor vehicle injuries, and elder adult falls. Proposals will be accepted through an online application form until September 12th.


15
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MEMBERS IN THE NEWS: RHODES, FRANK, TILSON

ACPM Young Physician Regent, Katrina Rhodes, MD, MPH, FACPM has been selected to present Obesity and Reducing Health Disparities in America: Introduction of Weight Management Certification Program to African-American Community at the National Medical Association (NMA) Annual Convention in Hawaii this month. Her presentation will discuss the prevalence of obesity in African-American women and introduce NMA members to the ACPM Weight Management Certification Program.

ACPM Fellow, Erica Frank, MD, MPH, FACPM has been selected to present at the 2014 TEDMED conference. TEDMED curates a unique and provocative program featuring brilliant short talks and stunning artistic performances that reframe the way we think and inspire critical new possibilities for the future of health and medicine. Dr. Frank will be discussing NextGenU during the first session of the conference titled Turn It Upside Down. ACPM members have free access to the conference by using the code "TMLicACPM14” when registering.

 

ACPM Past President, Hugh T. Tilson, MD, MPH, DrPH, FACPM, has been selected to become an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. The American College of Epidemiology was incorporated in 1979 to develop criteria for professional recognition of epidemiologists and to address their professional concerns. The College has benefited from the leadership of the leading epidemiologists in the world. Congratulations to Dr. Tilson!


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