|ACPM Headlines 12/21/15|
In this Issue
Policy and Practice
Research and Reports
1. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE PRIORITIES FARE WELL IN OMNIBUS AGREEMENT
The FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill moving through Congress includes notable wins for the preventive medicine community, including enhanced funding for preventive medicine residency training programs and for violence prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In response to earlier versions of the appropriations bill that contained funding cuts of roughly 50% to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) line-item for preventive medicine residency training programs, ACPM implemented a successful grassroots advocacy campaign mobilizing its members to contact lawmakers in Washington and urge support for full restoration of HRSA preventive medicine funding. ACPM member engagement in the call to action was tremendous and proved crucial to our success in restoring federal funding for preventive medicine residency training programs to more than $10 million, a high-water mark for the specialty.
worked with the National Violence Prevention Network (NVPN) to secure an
additional $5 million for the continued expansion of the National Violent Death
Reporting System (NVDRS) program, while successfully suppressing efforts to
restrict CDC firearm data collection activities, a proposal that would have
essentially gutted NVDRS. Thanks to our
members and partners in NVPN for their support and direct engagement in ACPM’s
2. TWO ACPM "CHOOSING WISELY” RECOMMENDATIONS PUBLISHED BY CONSUMER REPORTS
Two of ACPM’s recommendations submitted earlier this year for the Choosing Wisely Initiative have been published in Consumer Reports to promote better understanding of the recommendations among a wider group of patients and physicians. The Choosing Wisely campaign is an initiative led by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation to educate doctors and patients about unnecessary tests and procedures that are not effective and could cause harm.
The first ACPM recommendation published in CR is to avoid whole body scans to screen for cancer in patients without symptoms. ACPM recommends not getting whole body scans for cancer since it is a poor screening tool to detect tumors. Tumors are found in less than 2 percent of patients without symptoms. Additionally, whole body scans can lead to more tests and can cost up to $1,000 even with insurance. A patient can have a whole body scan if they already have cancer to see if it has spread or after a patient has suffered a major injury.
The second published recommendation is to avoid dietary supplements to prevent heart disease or cancer. Research shows that supplements including vitamin E or beta carotene do not help prevent cancer or heart disease. There isn’t enough evidence to show whether multivitamins help prevent cancer or heart disease. Research also shows that beta carotene can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers and people who have been exposed to asbestos. In addition, one study showed that vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer. ACPM recommends that that men over 55 should limit to no more than 22 International Units (IU) of natural vitamin E or 33 units of synthetic vitamin E a day.
Leveraging its Washington, DC-area location of Preventive Medicine 2016, ACPM is organizing an all-day advocacy day for its members on February 24, 2016. ACPM will provide breakfast and training on the morning of February 24, before sending advocates to Capitol Hill to meet with members of their congressional delegation. All background and congressional handout materials will be provided to attendees. Please consider attending ACPM’s 2016 advocacy day, especially if you are new to advocacy activities. Attendees must register to participate in the event.
4. ACPM BOARD APPROVES NEW LIAISON PROGRAM FOR SECTIONS, COMPONENTS, AND AFFILIATES
The ACPM Board of Regents rang out 2015 by taking a number of important actions at its December 17 teleconference meeting, most notably approving a new Board liaison program for ACPM’s sections, component societies, and affiliate organizations. The intent of the action is to allow these important constituents of ACPM to have a more direct connection to and voice in the governance of the College.
The action is a response to requests from various ACPM section and affiliate leaders urging representation on the Board following changes to the Board composition in 2014 that reduced its size and eliminated representative positions for a number of constituencies. Those changes were intended to assure a more streamlined, competency-based Board able to handle the 21st century demands of association governance. Diversity of perspectives, expertise, and stage of career continues to be an important goal in building the Board and its pipeline of leaders. The new liaison program will allow preventive medicine constituencies to have a continued voice in the work of the Board without attenuating the integrity of the new structure and its functions.
Other actions taken by the Board during last week’s teleconference include: adopting a balanced budget for 2016 that emphasizes continued implementation of the strategic priorities adopted by the Board late last year; approving an affiliate agreement with the Public Health Physicians of Canada; approving a Rapid Communication letter to the editor of Pediatrics to increase awareness of the rare, but fatal disease, Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM); approving $3,000 in additional budget authority to retain a part-time medical librarian to support development of ACPM’s scientific prevention practice statements; and approving the application of Mars Symbioscience to join the ACPM Corporate Roundtable.
ACPM is now accepting applications from ACPM members who have an interest in pursuing a rewarding pharmacovigilance career working alongside other preventive medicine physicians in industry. Several positions are available for physicians with preventive medicine training at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization in Princeton, NJ. Interviews will be held at Preventive Medicine 2016 next February. If interested, please contact Paul Bonta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACPM joined seven other organizations, including Doctors for America, to hold a Congressional Briefing on December 2 calling for Congress to end the ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on gun violence. Over 2,000 physicians from all fifty states and District of Columbia signed a petition to remove barriers that would allow research to identify causes and ways to prevent gun violence.
Held hours before the San Bernardino mass shooting, the briefing included remarks made by Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations Nita Lowey (NY), Appropriations Committee member Rep. David Price (NC), Rep, Mike Thompson (CA) who serves on the Committee of Ways and Means, and Reps. Robin Kelly and Mike Quigley from Illinois. All members urged for their colleagues in Congress to join them in their effort to repeal the ban. The ban‘s author, former Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican, has repeatedly stated publically that he regrets offering the ban in 1996 and thinks it should be repealed.
In a related action, ACPM and the National Violence Prevention Network (NVPN) joined its partner organizations in medicine and public health on a sign-on letter to Congress urging that they "lift the current ban on funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to gun violence prevention research… [and] appropriate at least $10 million in FY 2016, along with sufficient new funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.”
As we come to the close of 2015, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the American College of Preventive Medicine's 2015 Annual Fund.
Your support affirms and strengthens our commitment to serving members like you each and every day. Fromeducation and professional development, to advocacy for theprofession, and the promotion of prevention in real-world practice, every gift – large or small – makes a difference.
Show your support forACPM. Give online by December 31 to take advantage of 2015 tax savings.If you've already made your gift,please accept our sincere thanks.
If you have questions about the 2015 Annual Plan, contact Maureen Simmons, MA, CFRE, Chief Development Officer, at email@example.com.
ACPM, together with members of its Corporate Roundtable, is proud to present a groundbreaking, one-day symposium dedicated to exploring the many societal influences on community health. Building Community Health and Wellbeing through Business, Culture and Policy, will be held in Crystal City, VA, on February 23, 2016, one day before the official start of Preventive Medicine 2016.
The event will bring together community leaders, employers, government agencies, health systems, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare organizations, all committed to improving health and wellbeing in communities nationwide. An outstanding faculty will examine what it means to engineer better health, explore the roles of key stakeholders, and share lessons learned in implementing successful community health programs. Speakers include:
Space is limited to 100 attendees, so please be sure to register today!
9. ACPM SIGNS LETTER CALLING FOR TOBACCO CESSATION PERFORMANCE MEASURES IN HOSPITALS
ACPM joined its partner organizations on a sign-on letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging action on tobacco cessation performance measures for hospitals. The letter states, "We fully support the inclusion of the three National Quality Forum- (NQF) endorsed Joint Commission tobacco cessation performance measures as electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) across multiple Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quality reporting programs…The rationale for including tobacco dependence interventions during a hospitalization is compelling. Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States, responsible for almost half a million deaths and approximately $150 billion in added healthcare costs each year.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on Screening for Syphilis Infection in Non-pregnant Adolescents and Adults, recommending screening for syphilis infection in persons who are at increased risk for infection ("A” recommendation). The Task Force concluded with high certainty that the net benefit of screening for syphilis infection in non-pregnant persons who are at increased risk for infection is substantial. The draft recommendation statement and evidence review are available for public comment through January 18.
In a separate release, the Task Force has posted a draft research plan on Behavioral and Pharmacotherapy Interventions for Weight Loss to Prevent Obesity-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults. The draft research plan is available for public comment through January 13.
The CDC has developed a draft opioid prescribing guideline to help primary care providers offer safer, more effective, care for patients with chronic pain and help reduce misuse, abuse, and overdose from these drugs. The guideline will provide recommendations to primary care providers about the appropriate prescribing of opioid pain medications to improve pain management and patient safety.
Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than three months or past the time of normal tissue healing). The guideline is not intended for patients who are in active cancer treatment, palliative care, or end-of-life care.
The guideline is timely, as CDC has released new data showing overall drug overdose death rates have never been higher, and six out of ten of these deaths involved opioids. Opioid overdose deaths, including deaths related to opioid pain relievers and heroin, increased significantly between 2013 and 2014, according to new data published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2014, there were 28,647 opioid overdose deaths, an increase of 14% compared to 2013 data.
CDC’s draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016 is now available at www.Regulations.gov for review and comment until January 13, 2016. ACPM is preparing to comment on the draft. (If you would like to be part of ACPM’s review and comment team, please contact Paul Bonta.)
12. ANNUAL HIV DIAGNOSES DOWN 19 PERCENT SINCE 2005, SAYS CDC
HIV diagnoses declined 19% between the years 2005 and 2014, according to CDC. The overall number of cases fell from 48,800 in 2005 to 39,700 in 2014. A 63% drop among injection drug users, 42% drop among black women, and 35% decrease among heterosexuals contributed to the overall decline in total diagnoses. On the other hand, diagnoses among gay and bisexual men rose 6% in the same ten-year study period, from 25,000 to over 26,600 annually.
The increase in diagnoses among gay and bisexual men is driven by black and Hispanic men. While the diagnoses fell 18% among white gay and bisexual men, the rate rose 22% among gay and bisexual black men and 24% among gay and bisexual Hispanic men. The diagnoses went up 87% among young gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-24.
CDC attributes the overall fall in the diagnoses to successful implementation of the National HIV/AIDS strategy, although they acknowledge that more needs to be done to reduce the disproportionate burden of HIV in certain groups.
The America's Health Rankings 2015 has been released, detailing the health status of every state. Published by the United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association, this year’s report showed a 5% decline in smoking rates (39% since 1990), from 19.0% to 18.1% of adults who are self-reported smokers. Other key findings include an 11% drop in rates of sedentary behavior;an 8% decline in preventable hospitalizations; anda steady decline in cardiovascular deaths and infant mortality. On the flip side, there was a 4% increase in drug deaths and a 6% increase in children living in poverty. America’s Health Rankings is the longest-running, comprehensive state-by-state study of our nation’s health.
According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a flavoring chemical called Diacetyl, which is linked to severe respiratory diseases, was found in 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the flavoring industry have issued warnings on Diacetyl as it is associated with a respiratory disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, also called the "popcorn lung.” The hazards of Diacetyl became known about a decade ago when the chemical was used in artificial butter flavor of microwave popcorn.
Diacetyl is used in many fruit and alcohol flavors, candy-flavored cigarettes, and in flavors of e-cigarettes that especially appeal to young people. Tests showed that Diacetyl was found in 47 out of the 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes. Two other harmful compounds were also found in majority of the types of e-cigarettes.
The study concluded that due to the harmful association between Diacetyl and respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliternas, urgent action is recommended to further evaluate the exposure such chemicals via flavored e-cigarettes.
15. JOBS IN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE: UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
The University of Mississippi has two job opportunities in Preventive Medicine. They are hiring for a Residency Director and a Medical Director. Please click on the links for more information on the job postings.