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APMA News Brief
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May 7, 2015 In This Issue
National News
What PATIENTS Are Reading
National News
A letter signed by dozens of physicians groups and several state hospital associations asserts that because the Independent Payment Advisory Board must reach "scoreable savings within a one-year time period," it is likely to cut payments for healthcare providers as a short-term solution. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: APMA and its state components are among 500 groups to sign the latest IPAB repeal letter sent to Congress May 6.
The battle to allow for more competition in the health care market wages on between the Davids and Goliaths of the North Carolina health care industry.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set ambitious goals for increasing the proportion of Medicare payments designed to improve the value of care patients receive.
As the ACA passes its fifth birthday, its effects are being felt throughout the health care system. Other studies in the variety issue examine unnecessary testing and health professional training, as well as other topics; all serve as a reminder of the many ways in which the health care system is changing. Click here to continue reading.

Editor's note: Visit APMA's healthcare reform page for more resources and information on how the ACA affects the profession.
Health measurements are requested and required by organizations for various purposes; however, many of the individual measures in use today were developed without attention to the broader context. In some cases, measurements often overlap or are redundant and are implemented for a particular purpose and circumstance.
Most clinical registries in the U.S. that collect patient outcomes data are "substandard," with poor data practices and a lack of data sharing preventing the information from being useful for providers, patients and policymakers.
Health care chiefs overwhelmingly predict the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of the government in the King v. Burwell case, which threatens health insurance subsidies in states that don't run their own exchanges, results of a new survey say.
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What Patients are Reading
This brave new digital world has one huge risk: You don’t own your health information. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: APMA provides HIPAA Privacy and Security Manuals for members on APMA.org.
A controversial new study suggests that some extra weight may be linked to a longer life for people with type 2 diabetes.
Noom Health will enable users to track their exercise and eating habits to curb the risk of Type 2 diabetes — a disease that continues to plague the city despite former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban — when it launches next month.
As the weather warms up, it's hard to resist the urge to break out the truest sign of summer: flip-flops. But most experts are horrified by the idea. Here's why you should reserve your flip-flops for the beach, pool, spa, and shared showers — and keep your feet out of them, otherwise.
There are few things I enjoy more in life than relaxing and letting someone else beautify my feet. So while I have always realized that it is inherently very unhygienic to soak my soles in the same basin that thousands of other women do and let questionably "sterilized" shared tools touch my toes, I shoo those thoughts to the back of my mind.
A flat foot deformity, also known as pes planus, refers to a flexible or rigid decrease in the arch of the foot. The deformity occurs due to over pronation, which is inward rolling of the foot.
A new study uncovers some potentially important new details about the association between sugared drinks and diabetes.
Two years ago I faced the most frightening moment of my life when I was told my left leg might need to be amputated due to a diabetes-related complication. Click here to continue reading.

Editor's note: Studies prove care by a podiatrist helps prevent diabetes complications and saves healthcare dollars.
High heels hurt. If you’ve worn them, then you probably know this already. But are high heels also bad for you? A 2014 survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association — composed of the nation’s top foot and lower-leg docs — found heels were far and away the most common cause of foot pain among women.
Teaching diabetic patients to be aware of complications, how to avoid them and the urgency of getting rapid treatment if they occur, has become a key part of the job for podiatrists countywide.
First-quarter profit at Health Net edged slightly upward, but the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the health insurer's swelling membership and top line was perhaps more notable. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: Learn more about health insurance exchanges and read APMA’s policy briefs at APMA's healthcare reform page.
As the Senate narrows in on its budget goals, details are emerging from Congressional budget negotiations that aim to disintegrate the Affordable Care Act piece by piece. Negotiators also hope to cut Medicare spending by $430 billion over the next 10 years.
After uncovering a provision on diabetes prevention on page 879 during a medical school internship, Sean Duffy swears by Obamacare, as the act is known informally, and generously credits it as the catalyst for the launch of Omada Health, his digital health platform.
Medicare beneficiaries cared for in Pioneer accountable care organizations (ACOs) had a smaller rise in healthcare spending than traditional fee-for-service beneficiaries without any compromise in the experience of care, suggest data from the program's first two years. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: Don’t miss APMA’s resources on ACOs.
Last week, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced legislation (HR 2126) that seeks to halt the implementation of new ICD-10 code sets, EHR Intelligence reports (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/4).
Many of electronic medical record (EMR) programs have an add-on that is supposed to help physicians in the hospital setting with ICD-10 coding. It often is composed of dropdown menus that allow physicians to pick a word pattern with an associated code. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: APMA’s ICD-10 Resources will help you prepare for the transition to happen Oct. 1, 2015.
An effort is underway to advance wound care by replacing rulers and swabs with smartphones and iPads.
The Associated Press recently reported that, despite the public outcry regarding the medical care our veterans have been receiving through the Veterans Administration (VA) and the resulting billions in additional funds, the number of patients encountering lengthy delays has not decreased.
I find it very concerning that approximately 30 percent of physicians and physician groups have not even started to prepare for ICD-10. Right now everyone should be in the final stages of preparation.
The Obama administration is finally getting tough with states that refuse to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is a welcome sight to behold. Click here to continue reading.

Editor's note: See APMA’s Medicaid resources at APMA.org.
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