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Tuesday Sep 15, 2015

AAFP's Annual Meeting Offers Plenty to 'Experience' in Denver

For me, fall is hands down the best of the four seasons. First, the temperature finally drops below unbearable in Washington, D.C. Second, baseball pennant races heat up, and college football season starts. Third, it’s the season when family medicine gathers in a single city for fun, fellowship and education.

Thousands of family physicians will gather Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Denver -- the Mile High City (insert your own joke here) -- for the AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX). The Academy's annual meeting (formerly  Assembly) is a collection of high quality education programs and social events that aims to provide you with information that will enhance your knowledge on timely clinical, practice and professional issues. It also is an opportunity for you to interact with your colleagues from across the nation on those issues impacting family medicine.  

I look forward to seeing many of you at FMX and will be interested in hearing your latest thoughts on the array of health policy and practice management issues you are grappling with in your practices. You can find me at AAFP Exhibit & Marketplace (Booth 407), inside the Expo Hall

Physicians can earn up to 35 prescribed credits in four days, and there are 235 CME sessions to choose from. In addition, the event will feature three outstanding plenary speakers. I urge you to review the full menu of FMX education offerings and review the bios of this year’s outstanding faculty.

I am hesitant to highlight one session over the numerous others, but I am going to do so anyway. At 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 there will be a panel discussion on “Capitalizing on Team-Based Care to Improve Quality and Office Efficiency.” This panel will feature one of the nation’s premier health policy leaders, Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D., M.P.H. He has impacted health policy at an unprecedented level and is a physician whose writings and opinions matter to me. If you are able, I would urge you to attend this session. It will be repeated at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 30.

I will focus on three FMX activities -- practice management and practice improvement education programs, member interest groups and FamMedPAC.  

Practice Management and Practice Improvement Programs
Each year, the AAFP offers several hours of education on practice management and practice improvement topics, and this year is no exception. We are excited to offer three education tracks on timely practice management and practice improvement topics. These tracks aggregate a series of education programs into a 3.5 hour time period so you can receive comprehensive education on a single topic or closely aligned topics.

The education tracks are on practice management, motivational interviewing and direct primary care. Here are the dates and times:

  • Practice management -- 8 a.m.-11:30am on Sept. 30.
  • Motivational interviewing -- 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Sept. 30.
  • Direct primary care – 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

During the past year, I have shared information on the numerous changes in our health care system and the resources the AAFP makes available to assist you and your practice in adjusting to these changes. An important part of this blog is the interaction it provides. I learn from you, and your comments influence the work of the AAFP. Yes, we're listening.

We also use your feedback as guidance on what education and services we should provide. To this end, we are pleased to offer education programs on topics that are frequently noted by you as priorities. Here are a few examples with times and dates:

  • Assessing the Cost of Sustaining a PCMH -- 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 3.
  • Meaningful Use -- 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 30.
  • Negotiating an Employment Contract -- 9:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.
  • Annual Wellness Visit -- 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 2.
  • Chronic Care Management -- 1 p.m. on Sept. 29; 12:45 p.m. on Sept 30; 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 1; and 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 2.
  • Team-Based Care -- 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 and 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 30.
  • Alternative Payment Models -- 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 30 and 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 3.

Member Interest Groups
In 2014, the AAFP established member interest groups (MIGs) as a way to define, recognize and engage groups of AAFP members who have shared professional interests. These groups are excellent venues to connect with colleagues, share your ideas, conduct peer-to-peer learning and develop recommendations on how the AAFP can better serve its members. There are 11 MIGs (so far). There will be a reception for members currently participating in MIGs and those interested in learning more at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. In addition, each MIG will hold business meetings at the date and times listed below. Please consult the official program for locations.

Sept. 30

  • Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care -- 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Global Health -- 12:30-2:30 p.m. 
  • Oral Health -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
  • Rural Health -- 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Oct. 1

  • Single Payer Health Care --  7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Adolescent Health  -- 9:15-10:30 a.m.
  • Hospital Medicine -- 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Telehealth -- 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Independent Solo/Small Group Practice -- 7-9 p.m.

Oct. 2

  • Reproductive Health Care -- 10 a.m.-noon

Oct. 3

  • Direct Primary Care -- 8-10 a.m.

In a previous post, I introduced you to FamMedPAC, which is the AAFP’s federal political action committee and one of our most important advocacy resources. I am a firm believer that there are three forms of advocacy -- lobbying, grassroots and political. Each is complementary of the other two, and each is less effective if the others do not exist.

FamMedPAC also represents a great way for family medicine advocates to participate in federal elections and influence the larger health policy debate from the political angle.

FamMedPAC will have a major presence at FMX, and I urge you to stop by its booth in the AAFP Exhibit and Marketplace. You can make a contribution and engage our staff on the latest political news and the AAFP’s efforts to influence federal elections. If you are currently, or become, a contributor at the Club George level ($365 per year for active members or $52 for students and residents) or higher, we invite you to join us for the annual FamMedPAC reception, which will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Sept. 30.

FMX promises to be an informative and fun event.  If you are attending, I urge you to participate in the education programs offered, and please stop by and see us at our booth in the Exhibit Hall.

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Stephanie Quinn, AAFP Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Practice Advancement and Policy.

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The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.