News in Brief: Week of April 23-27

April 25, 2012 05:25 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

CMS, Medscape Collaborate on Video Discussing Agency's Primary Care Initiatives

Medscape and CMS have released a 33-minute video titled "CMS and Primary Care: A New World(" intended to help primary care physicians better understand the various health care delivery reform initiatives advanced by CMS. (Physicians must be a member of Medscape to view the video; free sign-up is available at the site.)

Moderator Richard Baron, M.D., is the group director of seamless care models at CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Baron provides extensive detail on the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, including information on risk-stratified care management, access and continuity, planned care for chronic conditions and preventive care, patient and caregiver engagement, and coordination of care across the medical neighborhood.

Physicians who view the video can earn 0.5 hours of free CME credit from Medscape that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Cities for Life Launches in Birmingham

The AAFP Foundation's community-based diabetes management program, Cities for Life( is underway in Birmingham, Ala.

According to a release( from the Foundation, the program is anchored in family medicine and works with community groups to create an environment that facilitates healthy lifestyles and diabetes management. Because family physicians and other primary care professionals provide most of the care for people living with diabetes, these professionals may be in a better place to develop better strategies for effective management of the disease.

"The Cities for Life program provides a standard of care and community support that will help educate people living with diabetes on how to better manage their condition," Foundation President Mary Jo Welker, M.D., said in the release. "The AAFP Foundation is committed to driving significant change in the treatment and management of diabetes, and through initiatives such as Cities for Life and the Behavioral Economics Roundtable on Diabetes, the AAFP Foundation is bringing together leaders in primary care, industry experts and local communities to collaboratively address the growing problem of diabetes."

With help from resources provided by both the AAFP National Research Network (NRN) and the Foundation's Peers for Progress( program, Cities for Life designates a "patient navigator" to work directly with family medicine practices to help create sustainable linkages between existing community resources and patients who have diabetes or are at risk for developing the disease.

Nationwide Network Alerts FPs About Disaster-Related Volunteering Opportunities

Hurricanes, floods, tornados and other disasters increase the need for family physicians and other trained medical personal as first-line responders. And now family physicians can stay updated on emergency volunteer opportunities by registering with the federal government's Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals( (ESAR-VHP), a national network of state-based systems that updates health care personnel about volunteer opportunities resulting from local and national emergencies.

ESAR-VHP assists states and territories in establishing a standardized, volunteer registration system. It verifies credentials and licenses before an emergency, which saves time when an emergency occurs and volunteers are needed. Volunteers can opt in or out if called to serve, and they are not obligated to respond or say why they are unable to serve, according to the ESAR-VHP website.

White House, VA Cite AAFP Contribution in Joining Forces Effort

The White House and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have recognized the AAFP's contribution to the administration's Joining Forces( campaign in materials marking the one-year anniversary of the initiative.

The campaign focuses on improving the wellness of the nation's troops, veterans and military families, while also raising awareness about the service, sacrifice and needs of those who have served in the armed services. In the materials, the AAFP is cited for its commitment to "improving care for military families post deployment by providing clinical resources for its more than 100,000 member physicians and educational materials for their patients."

In April, the AAFP launched a website that features CME and other information on diagnosing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The web page also includes screening tools and relevant articles for taking care of returning veterans. Website Racks Up Another Award

AAFP staff members recently were notified that the Academy's patient education website,, received a 2012 EXCEL Award from Association Media & Publishing. The Silver award, which will be presented during the 32nd Annual EXCEL Awards Gala on June 11 in Baltimore, was bestowed in the Web Publishing: Design Excellence category.

Association Media & Publishing is a membership organization comprising association publishers, business operation executives, communications professionals, designers and content generators.

"We are continually impressed with the innovative and creative work that associations submit each year, and the entries we received this year really illustrate the trends prevalent in this industry," said Association Media & Publishing Executive Director Amy Lestition, C.A.E., in a press release( announcing the award winners. "The EXCEL Awards honor those who are pioneering ideas in association media, and this year's winners certainly deserve to be recognized." A complete list of EXCEL Award recipients( can be downloaded from the organization's website.

Among honors and recognition has garnered since its launch in 1996 are the Healthcare Web Site of the Year award for 2005 from Medical Marketing & Media and a ranking in 2007 as one of the "best health care websites available" by Dorland's Healthcare Website Guide.