|ACPM Headlines 12/17/10|
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. HOUSE RESOLUTION PROVIDES NEW FUNDING FOR PMR TRAINING PROGRAMS
The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted a year-long FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR), providing the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) with significant new funding to expand support for preventive medicine residency (PMR) training programs, public health training centers, and the new public health loan repayment program created by the "Affordable Care Act.” The CR provides a combined total of $20 million for these programs; FY 2010 HRSA funding for PMR training programs was $2.3 million.
The current strategy is to send the CR to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to substitute for the CR a FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill drafted by Senate leaders. The Senate FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes $12.3 million for PMR training programs. If Sen. Reid fails to secure the 60 votes needed to pass the FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill, the Senate likely will pass the year-long CR and adjourn for the year. Either scenario is likely to produce significant new funding for PMR training programs.
2. ACPM TO HOST WEBINAR ON LIFESTYLE MEDICINE AND WORKSITE WELLNESS
ACPM is convening a national webinar that will bring the lifestyle medicine competencies to life for employers, health plans, and other payers involved in employee health and wellness programs. "Lifestyle Medicine Approaches to Effective Employer Health and Wellness Initiatives” is scheduled to air live on January 26, 2011, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm ET.
The program, supported by an educational grant from EHE International, will feature a panel of experts from ACPM in the field of lifestyle medicine and workplace wellness and from a leading employer wellness program. The panel will present: the lifestyle medicine definition, competencies, and rationale for development of the competencies; how such competencies can translate to or be integrated with employee wellness programs; actionable steps employers can take to promote the physician-patient dialog around lifestyle interventions, prescriptions, and action plans as a first line of therapy; and resources employers and others can use and share with their constituents to improved medical care, disease prevention, and health promotion practices.
Visit http://bit.ly/dPD07E to register today!
3. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE HIGHLIGHTED IN COMMUNITY HEALTH FORUM MAGAZINE
The Fall 2010 issue of Community Health Forum, a magazine circulated by the National Association of Community Health Centers, included an article titled "Preventive Medicine Physicians: Unique Skill Sets that Can Enhance the Health Center Mission.” The article, authored by ACPM Fellow Linda Hill, MD, MPH, FACPM, and ACPM RPS members Kyong Park, MD and Ashley Maltz, MD, introduces preventive medicine specialists to community health center leaders and makes the case that Preventive Medicine specialists can be an important resource for the rapidly expanding centers and their public health mission.
The article notes: "In health centers, PM specialists not only can help expand the delivery of clinical care but perhaps, more importantly, expand other health care missions closely related to the founding purpose of health centers…Increasing demands on health centers to grow and reach greater numbers of people in medically underserved communities, along with newly available funding, provide the ideal opportunity to incorporate PM physicians in to health center organizations.”
To view a copy of the article please visit, http://acpm.org/CHF-PM-Article.pdf.
4. PMR DIRECTORS PROVIDE INPUT TO IMPROVE HRSA GRANTS PROCESS
The ACPM Council of Preventive Medicine Residency Program Directors recently sent Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary Wakefield a letter outlining specific recommendations to "help strengthen the relationship between HRSA and the preventive medicine community and to facilitate a strengthened residency training grant program for preventive medicine.” The letter comes on the heels of the recent Preventive Medicine Residency program grant awards cycle that executed the influx of new congressional funding to these programs.
The letter offered suggestions to improve internal staff support for PMR training programs, improve the peer review process for grants, and communicate more effectively with all PMR program directors.
To view a copy of the letter please visit, http://www.acpm.org/PMRD-Ltr-HRSA.pdf.
5. ACPM PERSPECTIVES IN PREVENTION: "GREENING” YOUR PRACTICE
The latest ACPM Perspectives in Prevention column, written by David Wallinga, MD, MPA, and titled "Greening” Your Practice, was published in November on Medscape/WebMD. The article focuses on two critical environmental issues with important health consequences that remain largely unaddressed: the daily exposure of people to complex combinations of toxic chemicals, and the existence of an unhealthy and "obesogenic" food environment.
The article provides ways clinicians can help prevent future diseases linked to these problems by offering ways clinicians can "green" their practices and approaches to patients' health. The column will be available for CME credit in the coming weeks. To read the full article and access archived articles, please visit http://www.acpm.org/perspectives.htm.
Policy and Practice
6. LANDMARK CHILD NUTRITION BILL SIGNED INTO LAW
President Obama has signed the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (S. 3307) into law, providing $4.5 billion in new federal funds for school lunch and after-school meal programs. The new law will make free school meals available to thousands of more children and strengthens the nutritional standards of meals served in schools.
For more information on S. 3307 please visit, http://bit.ly/hd9q2o.
7. HOUSE PASSES YEAR-LONG "DOC FIX” WITHOUT RAIDING THE PREVENTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH FUND
In response to opposition from the preventive medicine and larger public health community, Congress scrapped plans to divert dollars from the new Prevention and Public Health Fund created under the Affordable Care Act to pay for an extension of the current Medicare reimbursement rates through December 2011. Instead, Congress altered a provision in the Act providing subsidies to help people purchase insurance in the state-run exchanges in order to pay for the extension and avert a 25 percent cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule on January 1, 2011. The legislation, the "Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act” (HR 4994), received strong bipartisan support. ACPM recently activated its Legislative Action Alert center opposing the effort by Congress to gut the Fund, and thanks all of its members who responded to the call.
Research and Reports
8. IOM REPORT EXAMINES ROLE OF MEASUREMENT IN PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY
To inform the public health community and sectors contributing to population health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released the report, "For the Public's Health: The Role of Measurement in Action and Accountability.” The report, prepared by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), examines three major topics influencing the health of the public—measurement, laws, and funding. In this first of three reports, the IOM reviews current approaches for measuring the health of individuals and communities and suggests changes in the processes, tools, and approaches used to gather information about health outcomes and their determinants. To access the full report, visit http://bit.ly/e5dJUe.
9. DAILY ASPIRIN MAY REDUCE RISK OF CANCER DEATH
Taking aspirin regularly may cut the risk of dying from certain cancers by as much as 21%, according to findings from a large study recently published in The Lancet. The article, "Effect of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials,” analyzed 8 previous randomized controlled trials of aspirin to determine the risk of cancer death. Researchers found those assigned to the aspirin arms of the trials had reduced rates of death due to certain cancers when compared to the control groups. The benefits associated with aspirin use were more pronounced for those who took aspirin the longest (at least 5 years).
The abstract can be found here: http://bit.ly/gw8WYm. To read a related commentary by ACPM Fellow Dr. David Katz, visit http://bit.ly/gRZL5b. For more information about ACPM's Aspirin Talks initiative, visit: http://www.acpm.org/aspirin/.
10. RESEARCH SHOWS RESURGENCE IN WORKPLACE CLINICS
A new study funded under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization initiative has found a resurgence in workplace clinics, as employers are increasingly looking to them as a tool for containing medical costs and boosting productivity. Employers also are viewing these clinics as an asset in helping to attract potential employees, according to the study.
Commonplace in the 1980s among the heavy industry/manufacturing and financial sectors, workplace clinics were geared primarily toward treating workplace injuries or minimizing employees' time away from work. Today, in addition to improving companies' productivity, workplace clinics offer shorter appointment and in-office wait times, as well as longer clinician visits than typical in other medical care settings.
Study authors note while well-designed, well-implemented workplace clinics are likely to achieve long-term results for employers, they do not anticipate them to be an immediate "game-changer” for bending the health care cost curve. To learn more, read the research brief from RWJF.
11. COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS RELEASES WEBINAR SCHEDULE
The County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, has released its upcoming schedule of webinars for health care professionals. The upcoming webinars will cover topics such as Rankings 101, Putting County Health Rankings in Action, and Rankings Methodology.
The Rankings website provides access to the 50 state reports, ranking each county within the 50 states according to its health outcomes and the multiple health factors determining a county's health. Each county receives a summary rank for its health outcomes and health factors and also for the four different types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Users can also drill down to see specific county-level data (as well as state benchmarks) for the measures upon which the rankings are based.
For more information on County Health Rankings, a key component of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) project, please visit: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/.
12. HHS seeks comments on clinical quality measures for health it
The Quality Measures Workgroup of a Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee seeks public comments on its recommendations regarding HIT-sensitive clinical quality measures for five main domains, including one specifically for Population and Public Health. Comments are due by December 23, 2010.
For more information on the clinical quality measures and how to provide comments, please visit: http://bit.ly/dMVRqq.
13. HIT CONFERENCE TO AIR LIVE WEBCAST
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will hold a live webcast of plenary sessions as part of the 2010 ONC Update on December 14-15, 2010. Joined by Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, and Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national Health IT leaders and professionals will provide an overview of programs brought about by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and other topics including:
No advanced registration is required; an agenda of the meeting is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/ONCMeeting2010.
14. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR ENDOWED CHAIR POSITION
The University Of Kentucky College of Medicine is seeking candidates for the position of Endowed Chair/Distinguished Scholar in Rural Health Policy. The chosen candidate will focus on health policy and research with an emphasis on rural health and will support health policy research and development within the University of Kentucky.
Candidates must have completed a terminal degree such as PhD, MD, or DPH. Application materials should include a letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three or more references. For more information on how to apply, please contact Carlos Marin, Assistant Dean for Community and Cultural Engagement, at 859-323-8018.
15. FORMER ACPM CHIEF EXECUTIVE NAMED PRESIDENT OF PARTNERSHIP FOR PREVENTION
Partnership for Prevention recently named Jud Richland, MPH, its new President and CEO, effective January 3, 2011. In this top leadership role, Mr. Richland is responsible for advancing Partnership's strategic efforts in conducting objective, high-quality prevention research on the nation's most important population-based prevention issues and developing viable solutions to these problems.
Mr. Richland served as ACPM's Executive Director from 1998 to 2005, and since has been a Principal Fellow at Partnership for Prevention. Please join us in wishing Jud well in his new position!