|ACPM Headlines 11/21/14|
In this Issue
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. ACPM PROMOTES PREVENTION-FOCUSED POLICY AT AMA INTERIM MEETING
ACPM introduced and testified in support of a resolution at the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates Interim meeting urging AMA support of legislation that would expand the 10-year scoring window used by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) when assessing the cost or savings of prevention-focused policy. ACPM alternate delegate Jason Spangler, MD, MPH offered testimony noting that when prevention-focused policy is limited to a 10-year scoring window, savings that accrue beyond the 10-year window are not realized when congressional bills are scored. The result is that policymakers receive an incomplete picture of the benefits that can result from support of prevention activities.
The resolution was jointly introduced with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and was ultimately placed on the reaffirmation calendar, which reaffirmed existing AMA policy, albeit more limiting, in support of expanded CBO scoring. Also, ACPM cosponsored a resolution introduced by the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) to include preventive medicine in the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program. The resolution was not considered at this meeting and will be reintroduced at the AMA annual meeting next June.
If you missed ACPM’s post-election webinar with Paul Bonta, ACPM’s associate executive director for policy, advocacy and external affairs you can catch the archive here. The webinar reviewed the mid-term election results with predictions about the impact the results will have on preventive medicine and the broader health policy agenda.
A new study by researchers at McGill University in Canada found that fad diets routinely promise sustainable weight loss but rarely deliver such results. The researchers conducted clinical trials on four popular diets—Weight Watchers, the Zone, the South Beach Diet and Atkins—and discovered that dieters on these programs lost weight in the short term but regained pounds within 24 months. Published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, the study also found that the available data are conflicting and insufficient to identify one popular diet as being more beneficial than the others.
"Despite their popularity and their substantial contribution to the billion-dollar weight loss industry, the efficacy of these diets in promoting sustained weight loss and improving cardiovascular risk factors remains unclear,” the researchers wrote. "Our results suggest that all 4 diets are modestly efficacious for short-term weight loss, but that these benefits are not sustained long-term.” In an accompanying editorial, ACPM Fellow David Katz, MD, MPH, says "Claims that any one specific diet is best are not supported by data. The clamoring by each camp for its particular favorite is just so much diatribe.”
4. ACPM SENIOR STAFF PARTICIPATE IN AMA PRE-DIABETES SCREENING MEETING
ACPM participated in a recent American Medical Association meeting to discuss ways to collaborate on stemming the diabetes epidemic. During the meeting several medical societies, along with the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deliberated ways to join forces on raising awareness of pre-diabetes and evidence-based interventions as well as methods to guide the physician to increase screening for pre-diabetes and to use evidence-based lifestyle change programs to lower diabetes risk.
ACPM briefed the participants on the development of its 30-hour CME Lifestyle Medicine curriculum (available Spring of 2015) and new weight management certification program as important tools in the battle to combat and prevent diabetes.
ACPM and the Partnership for Prevention, in conjunction with the Council on Aspirin for Health and Prevention, are co-hosting an evidence-based webinar for health care professionals thatwill review current and future indications for appropriate use of aspirin as a preventive measure for cardiovascular disease, stroke and certain cancers.
The aspirin webinar, "Aspirin and Disease Prevention: A Clinical Perspective,” will take place on Wednesday, December 3, at 7pm Eastern /4pm Pacific. CME and MOC credit is available. For more information about the Aspirin Project and to register for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/AspirinWebinar.
ACPM joined its partner organizations in medicine and health on a sign-on letter to congressional appropriators urging full funding in FY 2015 for the Title VII health professions programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). These programs include the line-item that allows HRSA to provide support to preventive medicine residency training programs.
The letter notes, "As demand for health professionals grows in the face of impending shortages, a robust investment in educating and training the workforce is key to ensuring access to high quality care for all. However, spending proposals that fail to support the full range of health professions programs under Titles VII…will disrupt efforts to address some of the country’s most pressing health care challenges, forcing health professions schools to eliminate recruitment and training opportunities that are essential to filling workforce gaps.”
7. CONGRESSIONAL REPORT AND OTHER PRODUCTS FROM THE USPSTF…
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released three publications including its annual report to Congress.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a decision to cover low dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer for those beneficiaries who meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria includes those, in part, who are between the ages of 55 and 74, have had a pack-a-day habit of smoking for at least 30 years, and are current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years.
The criteria for who should be screened were based on the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). In April 2014, the Medicare Advisory Panel advised against low dose CT scans for lung cancer screening because of concerns regarding high false positive rates and the generalizability of the NLST. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) gave lung cancer screening a grade "B” recommendation in December 2013. The decision released this November by the CMS proposes that there is sufficient evidence to include low dose CT screening once a year as a preventive service benefit.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) has released its latest findings recommending comprehensive tobacco control programs—which include state and local programs, cessation assistance services, mass-reach health communications interventions, surveillance and evaluation, and administration and management—to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, based on strong evidence of effectiveness.
Based on an examination of evidence from 61 studies, the Task Force found that these programs reduce prevalence of tobacco use among adults and young people, reduce tobacco product consumption, increase quitting, and contribute to reductions in tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Comprehensive programs are also effective across diverse racial, ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic groups. In addition, the Task Force found economic evidence indicating that these programs are cost-effective, and healthcare savings are greater than the intervention costs.
10. IOM RELEASES NEW REPORT ON PATIENT ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE CANCER DRUGS
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a workshop summary on "Ensuring Patient Access to Affordable Cancer Drugs.” The goals of the June 2014 National Cancer Policy Forum workshop were to encourage dialogue among stakeholders, raise awareness of the issue, and generate ideas for solutions to existing challenges. Workshop participants specifically discussed the structural factors influencing drug prices, policy factors such as drug reimbursement and cost-sharing, cancer drug distribution channels and access programs, and changing economics of oncological practice. This publication summarizes these presentations.
Vaccinating pregnant women with tetanus and reduced diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap) was not associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes such as small-for-gestational-age births, preterm births, and pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors of "Evaluation of the Association of Maternal Pertussis Vaccination with Obstetric Events and Birth Outcomes” used the California Vaccine Safety Datalink websites to execute a retrospective, observational cohort study design.
In 2013, 23% of high school students and 6.5% of middle school students reported using a tobacco product in the last 30 days, according to recently published survey data on youth tobacco smoking rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Youth Tobacco Survey. Furthermore, nearly 50% of all high school students and 18% of middle school students reported using a tobacco product at least once in their life, and about 13% of high school students reported that they were currently using two or more tobacco products. Among all high school students, 4.5 percent reported using e-cigarettes within the last 30 days; and 1.1 percent of middle school students reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.
13. NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and the YMCA is kicking off a campaign called "One Million More.” Over 86 million adults have pre-diabetes but only 9 million know it. The YMCA wants to help one million more adults learn their risk for diabetes as well as how to avoid or reverse pre-diabetes. The YMCA has created a quiz to help assess risk for pre-diabetes and also sponsors an evidence-based pre-diabetes prevention program at many of its facilities across the country.
14. OFFICE RENTAL SPACE AVAILABLE AT ACPM HEADQUARTERS
Want to help support and/or get to know your ACPM staff? Then move in with us! Ok, seriously, ACPM is seeking one or more subtenants for three adjacent offices at ACPM’s office headquarters, located at 455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20001, starting at the beginning of next year.
The space includes state-of-the-art amenities, including 24-hour security guard on premises; a fitness center; a conference center; and a rooftop deck with a view of the Capitol building and Washington Monument. Located in a booming area of town, within walking distance to Metro, Verizon Center, and Union Station. Parking also available in the building.
ACPM has made available 3 adjacent offices: 11x12; 10x13 and 10x16 – with access to in-suite conference space (subject to ACPM schedule), workroom, and kitchen, as well as easy access to rear entrance of the suite.
ACPM’s preference is to sublet all three offices to one tenant, although it would be amenable to subletting any one or two of the offices. If interested of if you know of an organization that needs space in DC, please contact Wanda Manson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-466-2044, x111.
ACPM Fellow Kevin Sherin, MD, MPH, MBA, has been appointed by Governor Brown as the deputy director of the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In this role he will manage more than 800 professional and support staff in the areas of chronic disease and injury control, and environmental and occupational disease control.
Dr. Sherin, currently chair of ACPM’s Prevention Practice Committee, previously served as director and health officer at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County from 2004-2014. Prior to that, he was a family medicine residency director at the Advocate Christ Medical Center and the University of Illinois from (1994 to 2004) and executive director at the DuPage County Health department in Illinois from 2003-2004. Dr. Sherin was recently nominated by the FL medical association to the AMA for a Nathan Davis award category for his work in state or local public health.
Congratulations Dr. Sherin!
ACPM Member Clarence Lam, MD, MPH was elected as a state delegate (District 12) to the Maryland General Assembly on November 4. Dr. Lam is a board-certified physician in Preventive Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; he serves as the assistant program director of the preventive medicine residency program where he teaches public health physicians-in-training.
Congratulations Dr. Lam!