IAFP e-News for February 8  

IAFP News  

**FEB/MARCH 08 FAMILY PHYSICIAN AVAILABLE ONLINE  

The current issue of Family Physician newsletter is online at http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/FebMarch08.pdf   Find out everything that was accomplished over the past year in a report from Vincent D. Keenan, CAE, IAFP executive vice president; and take an indepth look at the medical home and how you become one, as well as what was revealed in IAFP’s bi-annual survey.  It’s also time to nominate those deserving family physicians and family medicine teachers whom you feel deserve an award—even yourself!  Of course there’s more, so don’t miss it!  http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/FebMarch08.pdf  

**PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN SURVEY ON SSTI and MRSA  

Dear Illinois Family Physician,

As Chair of the IAFP Public Health Committee, I ask that you take a few minutes to complete a survey regarding the clinical management of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), with a focus on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).   

We all know that SSTIs and MRSA are serious health issues and that the majority are treated by primary care physicians, but our diagnostic and treatment practices for them are not well understood.  Consequently, the IAFP Public Health Committee and the Illinois Department of Public Health have worked together to develop this survey of practicing family physicians to better characterize current clinical management of SSTIs in Illinois.    

The results of the survey will be utilized to inform the development of clinical guidelines for the management of SSTIs and MRSA, and may also serve as the basis for continuing medical education programs.  Survey results will be shared with IAFP membership, as well as Illinois public health officials.  

Please complete this important survey by Fri. Feb. 15. The survey questions should be answered according to how you manage patients outside of the hospital, including nursing home patients. Thank you for your assistance.  Your input is essential to protecting the health of Illinois residents.  

Thanks to the 164+ members who have already replied.  For research purposes we would like to have 300 or more total responses.  

You can take the on-line Survey about Clinical management of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections at:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=9vQ64L_2f_2fUXxTbSCD3vqSew_3d_3d

Sincerely,  
Eric Henley, MD, MPH
Chair
Public Health Committee
 

**IAFP PARTNERS WITH ATLANTIC HEALTH PARTNERS FOR VACCINE  SAVINGS AND ADVOCACY

The very mention of immunizations can start debate among anyone who works in family medicine.   The AAFP and IAFP have been working in recent years to identify how to assist our members deal with the ever-increasing costs of providing vaccines, along with addressing proper storage, ordering, and payment problems.

IAFP is pleased to announce a strong, new partner to help with vaccine purchase savings.  This new partner – Atlantic Health Partners – can help our member practices save precious dollars and advocate on your behalf with payers and manufacturers.  Atlantic , a physician purchasing program, works directly with Sanofi Pasteur and Merck and has obtained very favorable pricing and purchasing terms for a wide variety of pediatric, adolescent, adult, and travel vaccines.  Members of the Atlantic program make purchases directly from Sanofi and Merck (as many of you do now) but typically receive better pricing and purchasing terms.  In addition, participation is voluntary and there is no cost to enroll in the Atlantic program.  

Many AAFP family physicians currently participate with Atlantic , and have reported strong satisfaction with the program, most notably for the savings, ability to make smaller purchases, customer support, and how easy it was to enroll.  

Jeff Winokur is the primary contact at Atlantic , and we encourage you to contact him at 800-741-2044 or at jwinokur@atlantichealthpartners.com  for more information and details about how your practice can benefit from participation.  

**SPRING INTO ACTION READY FOR REGISTRATIONS—FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!  AUDIO FILE FROM IAFP PRESIDENT TELLS WHY ATTEND  

Audio introduction from President Steve Knight, M.D.

“I would like to make a personal appeal to all our members to come to Springfield and participate in the Spring into Action meeting.  Now is a very high political time with the fall elections.  There will be some kind of healthcare reform coming up.  We have to get our perspective out there and into the legislators so that they can understand where we need to be going and it has to be centered around family medicine.”  Steven D. Knight, M.D., IAFP president.

Listen to Dr. Knight explain how IAFP members can participate in the Spring Into Action meeting and make a difference for family medicine.  Click here to listen

 The meeting itself  

IAFP’s Spring into Action meeting in Springfield will be a little different this year—all to make it even more personalized and convenient for you!  Choose one of the five dates offered Tues. March 4; Wed. March 5; Tues. March 11; Wed. April 2; and Thurs. April 10.  

Each “mini” session will use the same template, so ANY date you pick will afford you the same opportunity to:

  • Advocate on behalf of family medicine and its strengths

  • Share your practice environment and how it’s impacted by current healthcare issues debated in Springfield

  • Increase your visibility with legislators and policymakers

  • Exchange information about public policy and its effects on your practice and patients

  • Serve your specialty as a patient advocate and

  • Promote a comprehensive public health agenda to improve the health of Illinois .

Go to http://guest.cvent.com/i.aspx?1Q,M3,d821c2f7-baea-4e06-86d2-a9c86c3ebbf1 and register today!  

**IAFP SEEKS REPRESENTATIVES FOR NCSC IN KANSAS CITY  
IAFP is looking for an International Medical Grad (IMG) member interested in going to the National Conference on Special Constituencies (NCSC) in Kansas City , May 1-3.  An IMG is anyone who graduated from a medical school outside of the US , Canada or Puerto Rico .  If you are interested in this opportunity, e-mail Jennifer at joleary@iafp.com.  All other slots have had candidates show interest already.  If you would be interested in being in Alternate in case someone can’t go or for next year, contact the IAFP office at iafp@iafp.com.
 

 **“YOUR ACADEMY IN ACTION” ADVOCACY VIDEOS AVAILABLE      
You can view the IAFP advocacy videos on the IAFP web site and there will be more to come in the future. You can also listen to audio files of board members speaking on various topics affecting family medicine.  All information can be found at www.iafp.com and click on either Public Relations or Government Relations.  

 

**IAFP NEEDS INPUT ON VACCINE ISSUES MEMBERS FACE
Are you in solo or small group practice? Then we need your input!   

Dr. Corinne Kohler, a family physician at Frances Nelson Community Health Center in Champaign , is representing IAFP at the April 14 Immunization Summit.  Dr. Kohler is a member of the IAFP Public Health Committee.  

She would like to present, at the Summit , the issues you have with purchasing vaccines and getting reimbursement.  Please share your stories and concerns with her at ckohler@uiuc.edu .  

**IAFP’S ONLINE RESOURCE FOR YOUR JOB SEARCH OR POSTING
The RIGHT job or job candidate is out there, and we’re here to help find it today! Visit http://www.iafp.com and select Job Listings from the menu on the left to learn more.

**SEND YOUR IDEAS OR CONCERNS TO THE BOARD
You can contact your IAFP Board of Directors through the IAFP website at http://www.iafp.com/about/officers.htm about any issue or idea you would like.  The Board would love to hear from you!  

State Government Relations Activities

**INTERVIEW ON ILLINOIS ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS TASK FORCE
Ellen Brull, M.D., IAFP past president, discusses her role as a member of the Illinois Electronic Health Records Task Force and can be heard on IAFP’s web site.  Dr. Brull was instrumental in getting HB 2345 passed in 2005 to establish the Task Force.  This taskforce was to create a plan for the "development and utilization of electronic health records (EHR) in the state in order to improve the quality of patient care, increase the efficiency of health care practice, improve safety, and reduce health care errors."

The Task Force finished its report, on time, in December 2006.  One major recommendation by the Task Force called for the creation of a not-for-profit organization, the Illinois Health Information Network (ILHIN), to establish a state-level health information exchange.  The goal is that Illinois would form a public-private partnership with ILHIN to advance EHR and health information exchange initiatives within the state if taskforce recommendations are enacted.

To hear the entire interview, go to http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/brulliehrtf.mp3  

The Web site for Illinois Electronic Health Records Task Force can be found at http://www.idph.state.il.us/ehrtf/ehrtf_home.htm    

Link to the final report of Illinois EHR Task Force at
http://www.idph.state.il.us/ehrtf/Draft%20Report/EHR%20Taskforce%20Report_Plan%20Dec%2006.pdf

**RESOURCES FOR SMOKE-FREE ILLINOIS
Be on the watch as the Illinois General Assembly continues to negotiate a new gaming bill in search of new revenues. This gives the casino industry a mechanism to make another run at getting an exemption to allow smoking in casinos. Those family physicians that live or practice in communities near a casino should be ready to speak up for your patients who work or spend time in casinos. They all deserve to be protected.

MORE RESOURCES at http://www.iafp.com/PR/
LISTEN: Podcast from IAFP board chair Kathleen J. Miller, MD of Decatur http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/smokefreeil.mp3
ACT: Use AAFP’s “Ask and Act” program to help smokers quit in your practice (www.askandact.org)
REFER: Patients to the Illinois Quit Line at 1-866-QUIT-YES
LEARN information about the new law on the IDPH web site at
http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov/index.htm

**”ASK AND ACT” TO HELP YOUR PATIENTS QUIT SMOKING
What can you do?
1. Read up on the ”Ask and Act” CME web casts at http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/clinical/publichealth/tobacco/cme/webcasts.html You can choose from four different CME web casts that suit your practice or facility’s needs.

2. There are many free patient education materials available on the web site at http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/clinical/publichealth/tobacco/resources.html


3. Approach the appropriate leadership at your hospital or practice facility and ask for the opportunity to present Ask and Act to providers.

4. Celebrate 2008 as Illinois ’ becomes smoke-free at last.

5. Ensure that every patient who smokes gets some intervention when he or she comes to your facility.

6. Use the Illinois Quit Line at 866-QUIT-YES as a resource for patients who smoke and are ready to quit. You can request free materials for your practice at http://www.lungil.org/tobacco/ITQPromotionalMaterialRequestForm.pdf and also find an easy to use Tobacco Treatment Referral Form at http://www.lungil.org/tobacco/IllinoisTobaccoQuitlineFaxReferralFormForHealthProssionals.pdf

** PREVNAR VACCINE ADDED TO ILLINOIS IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE
Public Act 095-0159 went into effect January 1, requiring children under age 2 entering child care systems to have the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, knows as Prevnar. The recommended schedule includes three doses given at age 2, 4 and 6 months with a follow up fourth dose at 12-15 months.

Federal Government Relations  

**IAFP SIGNS ONTO   LETTER TO SEN. DICK DURBIN
IAFP signed a joint letter to Senator Dick Durbin, provided by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, asking his help in getting FDA Regulation of Tobacco called for a vote in the U.S. Senate.  To read the letter, go to
www.iafp.com/pdfs/durbin.pdf 
 

**MEDICARE PAYMENT ISSUE AAFP’s #1 FOCUS
AAFP has put up a new "Medicare Alert" feature on the home page of AAFP.org from now until July with a "Keep the Door Open" theme. The feature includes an actual door that members can click on to enter the Medicare section (on the right side of the main page, underneath member log-in). The direct link is http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/federal/medicarecut.html.

Members will be able to use this link to reach all Medicare resources for members and patients.  A letter from AAFP President
Jim King , MD
, FAAFP asks members to take immediate action by going to www.aafp.org/medicarecut and

1.  Send an e-mail to your senators and representative asking them to act by July 1 to stop the Medicare payment cut.

2.  Print off a letter about this issue and hand it to your patients. Then encourage them to send it to their senators and representative, telling them not to shut the door on Medicare patients.

3.  Print off a sample petition for your patients to sign; then send it to your senators and representative.

4.  Print off a sample op-ed, sign it and send it to your local newspaper describing what this cut will do to your Medicare patients and your community.

5.   Print off a downloadable poster and hang it in your office.

6.  Send us your personal story: How are declining Medicare payments hurting your patients and your practice?  What have you had to do as a result of the payment decline?  Write to AAFP at ann@aafp.org or IAFP at vkeenan@iafp.com .

We need your help to stop the Medicare physician payment cut. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to act; it's critical that we all work together to ensure a stable payment system.

 **NATIONAL PROVIDER IDENTIFIER (NPI)
Beginning March 1, 2008 Medicare Fee-for-Service electronic and paper claims must include an NPI on the claim.  On May 23, 2008, only the NPI will be accepted, and all legacy identifiers must be removed or the claim will be rejected.  AAFP provides NPI information in series of questions and answers on its web site at http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/practicemgt/regulatory-compliance/hipaa/natlproviderid.html

**REPORTING FOR 2008 PHYSICIAN QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE (PQRI) BEGAN JANUARY 1, 2008.
Eligible professionals should begin submitting appropriate 2008 Quality Data Codes on qualifying Part B claims with a date of service of January 1, 2008 or after.  Information on the 119 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) measures, release notes, and detailed specifications are available on the CMS website at  http://www.cms.hhs.gov/pqri.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has posted PQRI worksheets for the 2008 PQRI program on the AMA website at  http://www.ama-assn.org. These worksheets are also available in the CMS 2008 PQRI Toolkit which is posted at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/pqri.  

 CME Information

**HYPERTENTION CASE STUDIES NOW ONLINE
It is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the United States suffer from hypertension. Hypertension is a serious and complex problem that can be difficult for patients to fully understand. However, patients who are carefully assessed, educated and motivated can take an active role in achieving and maintaining his/her target BP.  

Learn more about “Hypertension in  Primary Care Practice” and earn CME credits with three new individual case studies available at www.IAFP.com\education. The patient in each case study is uniquely different and represents what you see in your everyday practice. Each study takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.
You will learn to:

1)      Understand current evidence-based reports of HTN impacts.

2)      List components of initial HTN assessment and goals of therapy.

3)      Develop an effective individualized plan for reaching target BP using lifestyle modification

4)      Appreciate value of clinician involvement to patient’s progress.

5)      Understand coding for HTN and related comorbidities.

 To get started, log on to www.IAFP.com\education and click on any or all three “Hypertension in Primary Care Practice – A Case Study with Coding” links. If you have any questions, please e-mail Kristen Jackson at kjackson@iafp.com .

**PRI-MED CME INFORMATION
Partnering with the IAFP, Pri-Med Updates offers world-class CME programs in your area. Taught by leading experts, you can earn Continuing Medical Education credits at no cost. All activities listed are approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Application for AAFP Prescribed credit has been submitted.

*Pri-Med Updates
Two-day continuing medical education programs designed for Primary Care Physicians currently engaged in patient care. This program features new and emerging guidelines, therapies, and evidence- based information on multiple therapeutic areas encountered in primary care.

New Updates scheduled for 2008!!
Oakbrook, IL – Wednesday, April 2, 2008
http://www.pri-med.com/pmo/ViewEvent.aspx?EventCode=30OAK08A&CCODE=r12

Chicago, IL – Tuesday & Wednesday, June 10-11, 2008
http://www.pri-med.com/pmo/ViewEvent.aspx?EventCode=30chi08a&CCODE=r12

*Pri-Med Online
Pri-Med.com offers over 200 primary care focused eCME activities at no-cost in 15 key Condition Resource Centers including: ADHD, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, Cancer in Primary Care, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Hypertension, Infectious Disease, Sleep Disorders and more. Plus, four eCME activity types are offered so you can thoroughly examine a topic, including: Patient case studies, Clinical reviews, Expert perspectives and Multi-media slide lecture series. Earn high-quality physician-authored eCME anytime at http://www.pri-med.com/onlineCME .

** ICAAP ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE
Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) annual educational conference will be held March 7 and 8, 2008 at the Hyatt Lodge on McDonald’s Campus in Oak Brook , Illinois .  

The day-and-a-half event is appropriate for all pediatric primary care providers and features educational sessions on topics such as ADHD, autism, immunization, coding and reimbursement, obesity, oral health, and more.  Join us for the plenary and interactive sessions, an exhibit floor, social events, and networking.   

Registration fees start at $175 for the full conference, and single day registration is available.  For more information and the program brochure, visit www.illinoisaap.org/AnnualMeeting.htm or contact info@illinoisaap.com

 **FIND IAFP EVENTS AND OTHER CME OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAMILY PHYSICIANS ANY TIME AT http://www.iafp.com/education/  

Members in the News  

**Eric Henley, M.D., M.P.H. of Rockford, chair of the IAFP Public Health Committee and Kenneth Richmond, M.D., of Wilmette, are some of the panelists at a session on "Retail Health Clinics: A Risks and Patient Safety Benefits Dialog" at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Chicago Patient Safety Forum, Fri., March 14 at University of Illinois at Chicago.  For more information on the meeting, http://www.chicagopatientsafety.net/events/CPSF_2008_Annual_Meeting.htm

**Steve Sauerberg, M.D., La Grange , won the GOP Senate primary and will take on Dem. Sen. Dick Durbin.  News on the primary went out across the state.  Articles can be read at  http://www.bnd.com/news/politics/story/248606.html and http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2008/02/what-you-need-t.html  

**Janice Benson, M.D., president of the Stroger Hospital medical staff, is quoted in the Chicago Tribune article “Health cuts in Illinois a risk to women,” by   The article focuses on what doctors are calling an emerging health crisis, with hundreds of women with worrisome symptoms waiting for weeks or months to see gynecologists in the Cook County  health system. Officials blamed the backlog on budget cuts and staff reductions, and are calling on the Cook County Board to restore funding to the health system. Read the entire article at
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2008/02/what-you-need-t.html  

News You Can Use

**CDC DEVELOPS NEW IPV ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS
Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5705a1.htm) shows men and women who report suffering from Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are significantly more likely to experience a number of chronic health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and activity limitations. 

To help healthcare practitioners better identify and treat these victims, CDC recently developed the Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Victimization Assessment Instruments for Use in Healthcare Settings. To view, go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/IPV/ipv-SViolence.htm

This compilation provides practitioners and clinicians with an inventory of existing assessment tools for determining intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence victimization. It also helps inform decisions about which instruments are most appropriate for use with a given population. This document will aid in the selection of assessment instruments to identify victims requiring additional services. It can also help practitioners make appropriate referrals for both victims and perpetrators.

** ILLINOIS HEALTH CONNECT/YOUR HEALTHCARE PLUS
The January 2008 quarterly Illinois Health Connect/Your Healthcare Plus Provider Newsletter, featuring articles such as Behavioral Health, Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment, Supporting Your Patients and more, can be found at http://www.illinoishealthconnect.com/providernewsletter.aspx.  

**AAFP OFFERS STATEMENT ON PREDICTED MEDICARE CUTS
Congress agreed to a 0.5 percent increase in the Medicare physician payment rate for the first six months of 2008, postponing a 10.1 percent reduction in the payment rate that was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 under the sustainable growth rate, or SGR, formula.

Physicians still face a cut of more than 10 percent--scheduled to go into effect on July 1--and another steep reduction in 2009 unless Congress acts. You can read AAFP’s written response to the issue at
http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/press/aafpstatements/2007statements/20071219medicare.html.

**CMS INFORMATION ON NEW MEDICARE FEE SCHEDULE
CMS released that all Medicare contractors were instructed to process claims with January 2008 dates of service, using the new fees, beginning January 7. The new fee schedule should have been posted on contractors' Web sites by January 11. Also, the "Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up" link on the CMS Web site (online athttp://www.cms.hhs.gov/PFSlookup/ ), which allows users to customize a search, should be updated with 2008 information.  Carrier-specific, public-use files are also available on the CMS website, which can be accessed at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PhysicianFeeSched/PFSCSF/list.asp#TopOfPage

Family Health Foundation of Illinois News (formerly IAFP Foundation)
Summer Externship Program, Tar Wars, Students and Resident Activities
 

**CALL FOR PRECEPTORS
The Family Health Foundation of Illinois Summer Externship Program needs you!  Every year we receive more and more applications from first-year students looking to be part of this award-winning program.  In order to offer as many externship experiences as possible we need preceptors to take the students in and show them what being a family physician is all about.  Early, positive exposure to family medicine has shown a difference later on when medical students choose their specialty.

Medical students are matched with preceptors for a four-week period between May 15th and September 30th.  The Foundation’s Summer Externship Program began in 1990 with just two students.  Since that time, more than 700 students have experienced a summer externship with an IAFP member preceptor.

We are currently making plans for the 2008 program and are in need of preceptors.  Are you interested in helping a student learn more about YOUR specialty?  You can make a difference!   Please complete the Preceptor Participation Form at http://www.iafp.com/Foundation/preceptor%20form.htm, or you can contact Crishelle O’Rourke at corourke@iafp.com for more information. 

**TAR WARS STATE POSTER CONTEST DEADLINE IS MARCH 31
Poster contest rules are on the IAFP web site at http://www.iafp.com/tarwars/postercontestrules.htm and also on page 18 of the Tar Wars Program Guide.

Please mail posters to
TAR WARS
C/O IAFP Foundation
4756 Main Street
Lisle, IL 60532


**RESIDENT ROUNDUPS RETURN IN 2008
IAFP Foundation hosted three very successful Resident Roundups in 2007 (link to full article at http://www.iafp.com/residents/residentroundup.htm) and we are proud to announce that the Resident Roundup series will continue in 2008 thanks to a grant from the AAFP Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium.

The roundups will focus on topics suggested by the 2007 Resident Roundup attendees on their evaluation forms. If you have suggestions for topics you’d like to see covered or to provide ideas on where and when a Resident Roundup could be held at or near your program, please e-mail those ideas to Ravi and Helen at IAFPResidents@yahoo.com.


**RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS
Resident information is always just a click away at IAFP’s web site http://www.iafp.com/Residents/index.htm

**STUDENT FMIGs
Family medicine interest groups (FMIG) at the various medical schools are up and running. Join the group, learn more about family medicine, teach a Tar Wars program, and spend time with family medicine residents and more. You can find a complete list of the FMIG leaders at each campus on our web site at: http://www.iafp.com/students/fmigcontacts.htm

**FMIG LEADERS – have you connected with your “Adopt an FMIG” resident contacts? If you need assistance, please contact the resident leaders Ravi Shah or Helen Williams at IAFPResidents@yahoo.com.

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