AAFP President John Meigs, M.D., told House lawmakers the Academy opposes legislation that would require adding subspecialist physicians and industry representatives to the US Preventive Services Task Force. Meigs said the AAFP supports maintaining the existing USPSTF structure, which includes four family physicians, as the optimal configuration for producing evidence-based recommendations that primary care physicians use to advise patients about the need for preventive screenings or services.
Family physicians can play a big role in reducing antibiotic resistance by helping to educate patients about when the medications are and are not beneficial, AAFP President Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., said at a forum hosted by The Atlantic. She said demand for the drugs seems to be decreasing. "I do not see the push for antibiotics that I used to see. I think the public is getting the message," Filer said.
AAFP Board Chairman Robert Wergin, M.D., is helping chronic pain patients in rural Nebraska reduce the number of opioid pain pills they take so they can avoid addiction problems. Physicians are working to comply with new prescribing guidelines and coping with increased scrutiny from medical boards and agencies. Wergin counsels patients about setting realistic goals for coping with pain, and he has changed his prescribing habits and rarely writes prescriptions for oxycodone, which is a popular street drug.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released a final interoperability road map for health care IT infrastructure in the US, but AAFP Board Chair Robert Wergin, M.D., said what is really needed is faster implementation. Wergin said system interoperability is needed to support care coordination and continuity of care and enable switching and integration of health IT programs. In addition, broader interoperability is needed for population management and patient engagement functions, Wergin noted.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was named the most influential person in health care by Modern Healthcare. AAFP President Jeffrey Cain, M.D., also made the "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" list.