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ACPM Headlines 12/9/11
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In This Issue:


Top Stories

1. CMS announces decision on coverage of obesity counseling

2. ABPM launches Executive Director search

3. Free CME and MOC through American Journal of Preventive Medicine

 

ACPM News

4. Registration open for ACPM Global Climate Change & Health Conference

5. ACPM Perspectives in Prevention: call for topics deadline extended

6. AJPM Board meets in San Diego

7. ACPM leads coalition effort urging congressional support for NVDRS program

 

Policy and Practice

8. Administration nominates Marilyn Tavenner for CMS Administrator

9. ACPM signs letter opposing requiring congressional approval of all regulations

10. President Obama announces new efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS worldwide

 

Research and Reports

11. America’s Health Rankings show stagnation

12. U.S. spends more on health care but quality in question

13. States continue to slash spending for tobacco prevention efforts

 

Announcements

14. Glitch causes USPSTF to reopen comments period on draft recommendations

 


Top Stories

1. CMS ANNOUNCES NEW CLINICAL PREVENTIVE SERVICE FOR OBESE PATIENTS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced primary care physicians will now be able to bill Medicare for obesity behavioral counseling services provided to beneficiaries with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. CMS estimates more than 30 percent of the Medicare population will qualify for the new benefit beginning on January 1, 2012.

To qualify under the new benefit, counseling must be consistent with the "five A’s” listed in the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation—assess, advise, agree, assist, and arrange. The new benefit includes weekly behavioral counseling visits for one month, followed by visits every two weeks for an additional 5 months with the opportunity for additional counseling for beneficiaries who meet certain weight loss benchmarks.

To view the CMS decision memo regarding this new benefit, visit http://go.cms.gov/vCe109.

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2. ABPM ANNOUNCES SEARCH FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) is seeking an Executive Director. Primary consideration will be given to applications received in the Board office by January 1, 2012. A brief email notification of intent to apply sent by 12/15/11 is appreciated but not essential.

The ideal candidate is a board certified Preventive Medicine specialist with recognized standing in the field, proven leadership and managerial skills, and a broad understanding of, and experience with, current issues in board certification.

The full position profile and job description is available here: https://www.theabpm.org/abpm_ed.pdf

For more information concerning the application process, please contact Kristine Pasciak, ABPM Administrator at kdh@theabpm.org.

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3. EARN FREE CME AND MOC THROUGH AJPM

ACPM members can earn one hour each of CME and MOC credit by reading selected online articles in American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) each month. The December issue of AJPM features the following articles for CME credit:

  • "Healthy People 2010 Objectives for Unintentional Injury and Violence Among Adolescents” and
  • "Medical Costs Attributable to Child Maltreatment: A Systematic Review of Short- and Long-Term Effects.”

Both articles (as well as previous month’s articles) can be accessed online at http://www.ajpmonline.org/cme/home.


In other AJPM news, an article from AJPM [Industry Progress to Market a Healthful Diet to American Children and Adolescents] was nominated as one of the Most Influential Research articles on rwjf.org and is among the top 20 articles that comprise this year’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Year in Research poll.

The top 20 research article nominees for 2011 were selected based on their solid research performance and popularity as revealed by the number of visits each article collected since its debut on RWJF’s website. The Top Five will be determined by online voting. Go to http://rwjf.org/pr/poll.jspto cast your vote.

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ACPM News

4. REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR ACPM GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE & HEALTH CONFERENCE

ACPM has launched registration for a free CME/MOC conference, "Global Climate Change and Health: Best Practices for Mitigating the Effects and Impacting Policy.” The conference will feature expert speakers addressing how preventive medicine physicians and other healthcare providers can work with patients and community leaders to recognize, mitigate and adapt to the health effects of global climate change.

The conference will enable preventive medicine physicians and other healthcare providers to come together to hear about the issues facing local and national leaders and to make a commitment to mobilize and actively participate in advocacy efforts targeting global climate change in their communities. Featured speakers include George Luber, MA, PhD, from the National Center for Environmental Health at CDC, Cindy Parker MD, MPH, from the Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability, and Health Institute, and Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD, from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by the CDC. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. To learn more and register today, visit www.acpm.org/?ClimateChangeConf.

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5. ACPM PERSPECTIVES IN PREVENTION: CALL FOR TOPICS DEADLINE EXTENDED

ACPM is seeking authors to write Perspectives in Prevention columns for publication on Medscape/WebMD in 2012 under the heading, "Perspectives in Prevention from the American College of Preventive Medicine.” Articles are read by thousands of clinicians on the Medscape platform and offer CME. The columns (2,000-3,000 words each) provide physicians and other healthcare professionals with recommendations and resources to improve prevention in practice. Submissions may focus on any issues in preventive medicine with topics of interest including Public Health Informatics, Healthcare Quality Improvement, Health Disparities, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, and Adolescent Health. For examples of previously published columns, visit http://www.acpm.org/?page=PerspectivesPrevent.

Six columns for 2012 are tentatively scheduled for submission in February, March, May, July, September and November. Authors will be offered an honorarium. To be considered for a column, please submit a brief topic description, CV with qualifications and/or samples of other published columns, preferred timeframe for submitting an article, and your contact information to Michele Surricchio at msurricchio@acpm.org. The deadline for topics has been extended to December 19, 2011. The author of each submission will be notified by January 2012.

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6. AJPM BOARD OF GOVERNORS HOLDS FALL MEETING

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine Board of Governors held its semi-annual meeting in-person on December 2 in San Diego, CA. The chief items of business at the meeting were the review of the 2012 proposed budget; discussion of negotiations with Elsevier, the AJPM publisher, about a contract renewal; plans for launching a search for a new editor-in-chief for installation in 2014; election of 2012 Board officers; and review of a conflict-of-interest disclosure form for Board members and the journal editorial team.

The December 2 meeting was the final meeting for Board Chair and ACPM appointee Doug Kamerow, MD, MPH, FACPM, and for Board Secretary and ACPM/APTR appointee Linda Kinsinger, MD, MPH, FACPM, whose terms expire at the end of 2011. ACPM would like to recognize Drs. Kamerow and Kinsinger for their outstanding service to the College in this capacity. Congratulations to Stephen McCurdy, MD, who was elected Chair of the Board, and ACPM Fellows Lloyd Novick, MD, MPH, and Sharon Hull, MD, MPH (APTR appointees) who were elected Treasurer and Secretary, respectively. Stay tuned for announcements about ACPM’s new appointees for 2012.

For more information about the AJPM Board of Governors and its recent meeting, contact Mike Barry at mbarry@acpm.org.

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7
. ACPM LEADS COALITION EFFORT URGING CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR NVDRS PROGRAM


ACPM, as chair of the National Violence Prevention Network, a coalition of nearly 40 national organizations committed to expanding the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), organized a sign-on letter to congressional leaders urging support for the continued funding of the NVDRS in FY 2012. NVDRS is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and is a critical public health surveillance tool for improving the understanding of the circumstances leading to violent deaths. The data is used to inform and direct state violence prevention programs.

For more information, visit http://www.acpm.org/resource/resmgr/Policy-Files/2011_Ltr_FY12_NVDRS.pdf

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Policy and Practice

8. ADMINISTRATION NOMINATES MARILYN TAVENNER AS CMS ADMINISTRATOR

The Obama Administration recently nominated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deputy administrator Marilyn Tavenner to replace Donald Berwick, MD, as the CMS administrator at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mrs. Tavenner is a nurse by training who worked her way through the health care ranks to become a hospital administrator and then secretary of the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Dr. Berwick, an unconfirmed recess appointment by President Obama, left his post on December 2.

Upon his exit from CMS, Dr. Berwick shared with the New York Times that there continues to be an "extreme high level of waste” in Medicare stemming from the overtreatment of patients, the failure to coordinate care, the administrative complexity of the health care system, burdensome rules, and fraud.

To read the New York Times interview with Dr. Berwick, visit http://nyti.ms/ugtGLB.

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9. ACPM URGES CONGRESS TO REJECT PROPOSAL CALLING FOR REVIEW OF ALL FEDERAL REGULATIONS

ACPM recently joined with national and local public health organizations on a sign-on letter to the House of Representatives urging members oppose two bills requiring congressional approval of all new government regulations within 70 days of publication. The legislation, the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, would vastly limit the number of new government regulations and would hinder the continued enactment of the Affordable Care Act by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As noted in the sign-on letter, "These proposals would undermine our nation’s ability to protect public health, which is one of government’s most basic responsibilities.”

To view a copy of the sign-on letter please visit http://www.acpm.org/resource/resmgr/Policy-Files/2011_Ltr_REINS-RAA.pdf

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10. PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW EFFORTS TO REDUCE HIV/AIDS

In conjunction with World AIDS Day 2011, President Barack Obama announced accelerated efforts to increase the availability of treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.The president directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to invest approximately $50 million in new funding to support AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in states and increase access to HIV/AIDS care services. For more information, visit http://www.aids.gov/.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an HIV-themed Vital Signs report highlighting HIV testing, linking people with HIV to care and treatment, appropriate use of medications to reduce the amounts of virus in the body, viral suppression, and prevention counseling. To read the themed issue, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/. The CDC also launched a new national HIV awareness campaign, called Testing Makes Us StrongerTM, aimed at encouraging HIV prevention through testing, care, and treatment (http://www.hivtest.org/stronger/).

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Research and Reports

11. NATION’S HEALTH IS STAGNATING

The nation’s health is stagnating, according to the 22nd Edition of America’s Health Rankings®: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities released this week by the United Health Foundation. Published along with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, America’s Health Rankings provides the longest-running state-by-state analysis of our country’s health and the factors that affect it.

The report finds that increases in obesity, diabetes, and children in poverty are offsetting modest improvements in smoking cessation, preventable hospitalizations, and cardiovascular deaths. As a result, the overall health of the nation did not improve at all between 2010 and 2011. The rate had improved 0.5% annually on average between 2000 and 2010, following a 1.6% average annual rate of improvement seen in the 1990s. As an example of this stagnation, the Rankings found that, for every person who quit smoking in 2011, somebody became obese.

To view a copy of the latest rankings, visit http://www.americashealthrankings.org/.

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12
. U.S. SPENDS MORE ON HEALTH CARE BUT LAGS IN QUALITY

The United States spends more on health care than many other developed nations, but such spending does not necessarily translate into improved quality and health, according to a recent report on international health by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Hospital services and pharmaceuticals cost much more in the U.S. than in other countries, according to the report. However, the U.S. has comparatively high hospital admission rates for preventable conditions like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. On the positive side, the U.S. excels at treating cancer, with breast and colorectal cancer survival rates topping the international charts.

U.S. health care spending was $8,000 per capita in 2009, two-and-a-half times higher than the average for the 34 nations that belong to the group. The U.S. spends 17.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, compared to an average of 9.6 percent for other OECD nations. However, there are fewer practicing physicians per 1,000 population and fewer consultations per capita in the U.S. compared to the other countries. This means the U.S. is using expensive diagnostic technologies—like MRIs and CT scans—much more frequently than the other countries.

A copy of the report is available at http://ow.ly/7SZxx.

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13. STATES CONTINUE TO SLASH SPENDING FOR TOBACCO PREVENTION EFFORTS

In fiscal year 2012, states will collect a near-record $25.6 billion in revenue from the 1998 state tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 1.8 percent of it—$456.7 million—on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to the latest report on state spending for programs reducing tobacco use, "A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 13 Years Later.” Both the total amounts states are spending on tobacco prevention programs and the percentage of tobacco revenue spent on these programs are the lowest since 1999, when the states first received significant tobacco settlement funds.

For more key findings from the report and an interactive map on state funding visit: http://bit.ly/epx7vE.

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Announcements

14. USPSTF REOPENS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON DRAFT RECOMMENDATION STATEMENTS

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) discovered technical issues with its web site resulting in the loss of a portion of the public comments submitted electronically for its recent draft recommendation statements on screening for coronary heart disease, hearing loss, and prostate cancer.

Individuals who submitted comments during the periods listed below received messages confirming their comments were submitted even though the USPSTF was not receiving them.

  • For screening for coronary heart disease with electrocardiography: comments submitted between September 27 and October 11, 2011
  • For screening for hearing loss in older adults: comments submitted between October 4 and October 11, 2011
  • For screening for prostate cancer: comments submitted on October 11, 2011 before the late afternoon.

The public comment period for these three topics have been reopened for the period 11/30-12/13. For more information, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.


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