News in Brief: Week of May 9-13

May 11, 2011 05:40 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Register Now for CMS National Call to Learn More About Meaningful Use

Family physicians who are eligible for CMS' Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs can register now for a national provider call -- open to the first 1,000 registrants -- to learn more about the meaningful use requirements of the programs.

The presentation is scheduled for May 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. EDT; registration closes on May 18 at 2:30 p.m. EDT or when available space has been filled. The presentation( will be available before the call. Individuals also can opt to attend a webinar( and follow the presentation online. Questions will be taken after the formal program.

Medical School to Build Extension, Expand Class Size to Aid Primary Care

Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, or OU-COM, in Athens has been awarded a $105 million gift that will be used to expand its class size and build an extension campus to address the impending shortage of primary care physicians and the diabetes epidemic.

In an April 30 news release(, the college said the award from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations will be used to build the extension campus in central Ohio, although a decision on the site location has not been finalized.

According to the release, after the extension campus is open, the college plans to enroll 50 new students each year, in addition to the 140 students who are admitted annually at the main campus. The extension campus plans to take its first incoming class in August 2014.

"Primary care is desperately needed in this country, yet the number of physicians going into primary care continues to decrease," Jack Brose, M.D., dean of OU-COM, said in the news release. "We must reverse that trend."

In addition to the new building, the funding award will be used to expand research and treatment of diabetes, a disease that is expected to more than double by 2050. Plans include building a new Diabetes/Endocrine Clinical Treatment Research Center on the Athens campus.

Hawaii Announces Plan for Medicaid Medical Home Model

Hawaii plans to provide a patient-centered medical home model for its 270,000 Medicaid recipients starting in January, according to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

During a recent press conference(, Abercrombie said health services provided by the state government are fragmented, creating the need for integrated health care delivery under the medical home model.

The plan calls for patients to receive integrated primary care, behavioral care and adjunct social services delivered through community health centers or other neighborhood facilities, said Patricia McManaman, the state's director of human services.

Michigan Enacts "I'm Sorry" Legislation

Michigan has enacted legislation( prohibiting a physician's expression of sympathy or apology from being admissible as evidence of admitting liability in medical malpractice suits. The "I'm Sorry" legislation does not apply to statements of negligence, however.

The Michigan AFP was a strong supporter of the measure, sending Speak Out alerts to encourage members to contact legislators and tracking the bill's progress on the chapter's Facebook and Twitter accounts.