News in Brief: Week of April 25-29

April 27, 2011 05:20 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

AAFP Adopts ACIP Recs on Tdap, Pertussis Aimed at Health Care Personnel

The AAFP has adopted provisional recommendations for health care personnel that the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, made at its February meeting regarding the use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine and postexposure antimicrobial prophylaxis.

The provisional vaccination recommendation specifically calls for all health care personnel who have not previously received Tdap vaccine to receive a single dose as soon as feasible -- regardless of the interval since their last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine.

The ACIP also recommended postexposure prophylaxis against pertussis for all health care personnel -- regardless of vaccination status -- who have unprotected exposure to pertussis and are likely to expose high-risk patients, including infants and pregnant women.

Graham Center Receives Grant to Study Illinois Medicaid Medical Home Projects

The Commonwealth Fund has awarded the Robert Graham Center a grant of nearly $100,000 to study the impact of two separate but complementary Medicaid medical home projects in Illinois for the next 10 months.

One of the projects, known as Illinois Health Connect(www.illinoishealthconnect.com), or IHC, uses a patient-centered medical home model to deliver care to 1.8 million of the state's 2.6 million Medicaid recipients. The other program, called Your Healthcare Plus, provides care to 260,000 Medicaid medical home recipients with one or more chronic conditions.

Together, the programs saved $180 million during the 2008 fiscal year and $320 million in the 2009 fiscal year, said FP Margaret Kirkegaard, M.D., M.P.H., of Downers Grove, Ill., who is medical director of IHC. Those savings were calculated by looking at the costs per patient before and after the launch of the programs, said Kirkegaard.

The Illinois AFP asked the Robert Graham Center to help develop the case for external evaluation, as well as a request for proposals, with the goal of finding a funder. The Commonwealth Fund agreed to fund an analysis and requested that the Graham Center conduct that evaluation, according to Robert Phillips, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of the Graham Center.

The Graham Center will conduct a thorough review of claims data for Medicaid patients before and after implementation of the plans and may also be able to compare those findings with data from other Medicaid programs, Phillips said. "We will be looking at quality of care, effective utilization of care and costs," he noted. "We will start the evaluation immediately."

Recalled Prep Pads Affect Atwater Carey First Aid Kits

Yet another company is alerting consumers that its health care products are packaged with recalled items from the Triad Group and H&P Industries Inc. Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. LLC said in an April 21 news release(www.fda.gov) that its Atwater Carey First Aid Kits include povidone iodine prep pads that were manufactured by H&P and sold under various brands, including Triad. The pads were recalled in March because they may be contaminated with the bacteria Elizabethkingia meningoseptica.

Wisconsin Pharmacal said seven of its products, which are listed in the news release, were affected by the recall. The company emphasized that it is no longer shipping products with the recalled pads. Contents of older kits that do include the recalled pads may still be used with the exception of the pads, which should be thrown away.

On April 6, U.S. marshals seized more than $6 million in products at a Triad Group Inc. facility in Hartland, Wis., based on a request from the FDA.

Aspiring Medical Students Visit School Websites Before Applying

Medical schools unsure of the best ways to reach potential applicants may want to heed the findings of a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC. According to the April AAMC Analysis in Brief(www.aamc.org), 59 percent of those responding to the AAMC's 2010 Pre-MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) Questionnaire said they visited medical school websites before deciding where to apply; 55 percent said they talked with friends, peers and other word-of-mouth sources before deciding; and 42 percent said they consulted a currently enrolled medical student or recent graduate to compare medical schools.

Middle-ranked sources were Medical School Admission Requirements(www.aamc.org), or MSAR; a physician friend; annual U.S. News and World Report school rankings; and a premedical or faculty adviser.

However, when aspirants made application decisions, they rated the MSAR as having the highest value, the report said.


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