News in Brief: Week of Feb. 18-22

February 20, 2013 04:15 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

[News in Brief]

Family Medicine Scores Big in 2013 Match for D.O. Physicians

The results are in from the 2013 osteopathic medicine residency match, and, according to a press release( from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), family medicine is the most preferred specialty among future D.O. physicians.

According to the AOA, family medicine filled 472 positions, an 11 percent increase from 2012. Internal medicine saw a 9 percent increase in positions filled.

A total of 2,512 people participated in the 2013 AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program, and 75 percent -- or 1,891 individuals -- successfully matched to a residency program. Complete match results( are available from the AOA.

Free Webinar: Beat the 2012 PQRS Deadline, Earn Bonus Money

AAFP members have until March 13 to complete necessary reporting to qualify for incentive money from CMS' 2012 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

A free webinar scheduled for Feb. 26 at noon EST could help. Register now( for the webinar sponsored by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and PQRIwizard(, a CMS-qualified PQRS registry. Physicians will learn how to collect, validate and report PQRS data to CMS in just a few steps.

USPSTF Offers New Primary Care Tool

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is offering a new tool( to aid primary care physicians and other health professionals.

According to the USPSTF, the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2012( includes the task force's evidence-based recommendations on clinical preventive services from 2002 through March 2012, as well as topics in development, background on the USPSTF and a collection of at-a-glance clinical summary tables.

The USPSTF website also offers

Nominations Due for Childhood Immunization Champion Awards

Nominations( (9-page PDF; About PDFs) are coming due for the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award(

An annual award that recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution to improve public health through their work in childhood immunization, the CDC chooses as many as one "champion" for each state and the District of Columbia.

The suggested due date for nominations is March 1, but states may have selected a unique deadline, so applicants are encouraged to check with their specific state immunization program to confirm the date. Awardees will be announced during the 2013 National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27.

Heart Health Mobile App Wins Million Hearts Contest

In conjunction with national recognition of February as American Heart Month, the Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge has announced the winner of its mobile application development contest. According to a press release from HHS(, the winning app from the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation -- Heart Health Mobile( -- provides information about a person's risk for heart disease based on answers to questions about height, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking status.

"In areas with participating pharmacies and other retail clinics, the app steers users to convenient locations for cholesterol and blood-pressure screening," the release said. "A feature that tracks users' histories allows people to easily see if they have made progress as they work to lose weight or lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels."

Heart Health Mobile offers both a traditional version of the app and one that incorporates a game. Users who play the game earn points for completed tasks and awards for tracking their heart health and reaching their targets.

The app works on Apple iOS tablets, iPhones, and iPod Touch devices and can be downloaded for free. In March, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation plans to release a Web-based (HTML 5) responsive design version that works on other devices.