|ACPM Headlines 9/2/10|
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. ACPM URGES MEMBERS TO RESPOND TO SENATE AMENDMENT THAT THREATENS PUBLIC HEALTH FUND
ACPM is urging all ACPM members to contact their Senators in opposition to an amendment introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns that would siphon funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for an IRS tax reporting fix for small businesses. The Fund, established as part of the health care reform law, was created to ensure a robust and mandatory funding stream to bolster support for prevention and public health programs authorized under the Public Health Service Act.
ACPM has sent a legislative action alert to its members noting that, "The amendment jeopardizes the future of prevention and public health programs and would wipe out one of the most significant public health victories achieved with passage of this year's Affordable Care Act.” To view and respond to the ACPM action alert please visit the ACPM Legislative Action Center at http://capwiz.com/acpm/home/.
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has posted an on-line commentary by Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius and Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh on how the health care reform law is promoting prevention. The authors note that "Americans receive only about half of the preventive services that are recommended [and] the 2010 Affordable Care Act responds to this need with a vibrant emphasis on disease prevention. Many of the 10 major titles in the law, especially Title IV, Prevention of Chronic Diseases and Improving Public Health, advance a prevention theme through a wide array of new initiatives and funding. As a result, we believe that the Act will reinvigorate public health on behalf of individuals, worksites, communities, and the nation at large and will usher in a revitalized era for prevention at every level of society.”
The important investments in wellness and chronic disease prevention programs contained in the "Affordable Care Act” were also highlighted in the AMA's August issue of Health System Reform Insight.
3. NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR AWARDS AND BOARD OF REGENTS VACANCIES
ACPM is accepting nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on its Board of Regents. Elections will be held in early 2011 for the Aerospace and Occupational Medicine Regents and the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest Regional Regents. All candidates must be Fellows of ACPM. Nominations are due November 12, 2010. For more information about the Board of Regents nomination process and how to submit a nomination, please visit: http://www.acpm.org/callfornominations.htm
ACPM also is seeking nominations for ACPM awards. Each ACPM award honors an individual for contributions, dedication and service to the College and preventive medicine. The Awards Committee is currently accepting nominations for the following awards: Ron Davis Distinguished Service, Special Recognition, William Kane Rising Star, and Donald Gemson Resident Award. Nominations are due November 12, 2010. For more information about the awards and nomination process, please visit: http://www.acpm.org/callforawards.htm.
4. ACPM PERSPECTIVES IN PREVENTION COLUMN AVAILABLE FOR CME
An ACPM Perspectives in Prevention column published this summer on Medscape/WebMD is now available for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit from ACPM. "Vaccination as a Tool for Cancer Prevention," written by Eric Raabe, MD, PhD, ACPM member Julia Kim, MD, MPH, and ACPM President-Elect Miriam Alexander, MD, MPH, FACPM, provides recommendations for physicians and other clinicians to prevent cancers caused by infectious disease, focusing specifically on Hepatitis B, H pylori, HIV, HPV and Hepatitis C. To participate in this activity and earn free CME credit, please visit http://www.acpm.org/perspectives.htm.
5. ACPM PREPARES FOR UPCOMING BOARD AND OTHER BUSINESS MEETINGS
ACPM will be holding its semi-annual meeting of the Board of Regents, along with several other business meetings, on September 27-28 at ACPM's headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. The meeting will be the first for the Board at ACPM's new offices.
In addition to the Board meeting on September 27, ACPM will be conducting a Board orientation session as well as hosting an evening, roof-top reception for the Board, staff, and members of ACPM's Corporate Roundtable. The Corporate Roundtable will be holding its semi-annual meeting on September 28. Other events to be held that day include ACPM's strategic planning task force and Capitol Hill visits for Board members.
ACPM members are welcome to attend the Board meeting on September 27 (1:00-6:00 pm), although we ask that you first RSVP, as space is limited. Stay tuned in future editions of Headlines for reports on the Board and Corporate Roundtable proceedings. For more information on these activities, contact Mike Barry (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Wanda Manson (email@example.com).
6. ACPM SENIOR STAFF FEATURED IN AUGUST EDITION OF MANAGED CARE
ACPM's Associate Executive Director for Policy and Government Affairs, Paul Bonta, was featured in the August 2010 edition of Managed Care, a monthly journal publishing original papers and feature articles dealing with diverse elements of the health care system. The Legislative and Regulatory segment of the August issue focused on the new clinical preventive service benefits going into effect this month for some health plans under the Affordable Care Act.
Under interim rules published by the Department of Health and Human Services in July, insurers will have to provide key preventive services (those receiving ratings of "A” or "B” from the USPSTF) without cost sharing. In the article Mr. Bonta calls the provision "…a huge step forward in shifting from disease treatment to disease prevention.” To view the article, visit http://bit.ly/c5P3qM.
Policy and Practice
7. COURT REJECTS CONNECTION BETWEEN CHILDHOOD VACCINES AND AUTISM
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court decision that rejects a causal connection between childhood vaccines and autism. The ruling came in Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, which was the first of a series of test cases heard by special masters for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2007. The claims court picked several such cases to test different theories of causation advanced in the roughly 5,000 cases alleging a link to autism filed under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
To view a copy of the court's decision please visit http://bit.ly/diSPuK.
8. AMERICANS' CONFIDENCE IN HEALTH CARE IS FALLING
A Thomson Reuters poll of consumer confidence released on August 23 shows Americans' confidence in their ability to pay for and access healthcare has fallen by 5 percent since December 2009.
The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index, based on a monthly survey of 3,000 consumers, asks if they have had trouble paying for or had to postpone care in the three months prior. And it asks if they expect to in the coming three months. On every survey question, responses were more pessimistic in July than they were in December.
A spokesperson for Thomson Reuters said in a statement that the average person has been exposed to a lot of negative publicity around health reform and is confused by what has been implemented since and as a result of health reform passage. Other policy wonks have speculated that dissatisfaction with the current health system likely reflects a letdown after the reform debate subsided.
Research and Reports
9. TEEN VACCINATION RATES INCREASING ACROSS THE U.S.
Adolescent vaccination rates have continued to increase by as much as 15%, according to 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) estimates recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey of more than 20,000 teens aged 13-17 found in 2009 there were increases in the percentage of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds.
The CDC encourages parents to take advantage of visits for immunization to talk to their teen's health provider about other important preventive services that teens need.
For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nis/about_nis.htm#nis_teen
10. NEW STUDY SHOWS COST-SAVINGS OF WORKPLACE WELLNESS PLANS
A new longitudinal study of workplace wellness programs by Dr. Dee Edington at the University of Michigan found significant cost-savings with employer-based wellness programs. The study, which analyzed expenses and savings of a utility company in the Midwest over nine years, estimated savings of $12.1 million associated with employee participation in its worksite wellness program. The utility company spent $7.3 million on the program.
The study concludes workplace wellness plans are an important tool that can reduce health care costs among employed populations.
Dr. Edington was the Katharine Boucot Sturgis Guest Lecturer at ACPM's Preventive Medicine 2009 conference. To view a synopsis of the study please visit: http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=7928.
11. IOM REPORT: THE VALUE OF GENETIC AND GENOMIC TECHNOLOGIES
How should any or all of the advances in genetic testing or profiling be used in the health care setting? The IOM has released a summary from the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health workshop held in March, 2010 addressing some of these issues. The meeting aimed to bring together diverse perspectives on the value of genetic testing and to discuss its use in clinical practice. Three case examples were used to facilitate discussion: correlation between Lynch Syndrome and colon cancer; pharmacogenomic testing for warfarin dosing; and genomic profiling.
A copy of the summary is available here: http://bit.ly/9sJt6K.
To access ACPM's CME program, "Genetic Risk, Screening, and Intervention,” visit http://bit.ly/bXtgbj.
12. FDA'S NEW TOBACCO RESOURCES WEBSITE
New rules went into effect on June 22 limiting the sale and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to children. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new website with resources to educate retailers and key stakeholders about these new tobacco regulations. For more information and to view the site, please visit http://www.fda.gov/BreakTheChain.
13. HRSA GRANT REVIEWERS NEEDED
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking grant reviewers across a diverse range of opportunities and programs. Reviewers are needed for face-to-face grant reviews (usually held in the Washington, DC, area and lasting for 3 to 5 days); teleconference reviews; or "field” reviews, where reviewers independently review applications from their location, generally without a group discussion.
If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the HRSA web site at: http://www.hrsa.gov/grants/reviewers/index.html.
14. HEALTH REFORM GPS – NEW TOOL FOR IMPLENTING HEALTH REFORM
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a brief for Employer Wellness Programs (http://bit.ly/bia2IQ) examining the Affordable Care Act's provisions regarding the policy begun under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to provide incentives for individuals and their families participating in wellness programs. It is the latest brief posted to the Health Reform GPS(http://www.healthreformgps.org/).
Launched in April 2010 by RWJF and the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Health Reform GPS is a comprehensive Web portal offering users the information and insights needed to cover, analyze and implement the new health reform law. Among the portal's offerings are regularly posted "Implementation Briefs” explaining the changes made by the law, describing the federal implementation process and timetable, and identifying the questions and challenges policy makers will be grappling with in the months ahead.